Julian Savea



  • When Savea is on form there isn't anyone more destructive going around World rugby. Except we haven't seen him play anywhere near that level in 2016. First he was dropped by the Canes a few weeks ago and now Hansen has decided to give "bogged down" Savea a break to get mentally fresh so he can stake a claim for the Rugby Championship later in the year.
     
    I understand that being an All Black comes with the responsibility of training and playing to a very high standard. I therefore 100% back Hansen in his decision and I hope the big man finds his touch soon because an All Black team without "the bus" is a less scarier proposition than one with it.
     
    I've got a feeling it may be because Conrad Smith is no longer inside him, taking that pressure off on a regular basis. I'm not blaming the absence of Conrad for all Julians current flaws but that experience both for the Hurricanes and All Blacks combined with the ability to put Savea into space was crucial.
     
    When you compare both centres for the Canes (Proctor) and All Blacks (Fekitoa) they don't have the biggest of voices so maybe that is hurting the big fella.
     
    That's just my take on it. Maybe im just over analyzing it though.



  • When Savea is on form there isn't anyone more destructive going around World rugby. Except we haven't seen him play anywhere near that level in 2016. First he was dropped by the Canes a few weeks ago and now Hansen has decided to give "bogged down" Savea a break to get mentally fresh so he can stake a claim for the Rugby Championship later in the year.
     
    I understand that being an All Black comes with the responsibility of training and playing to a very high standard. I therefore 100% back Hansen in his decision and I hope the big man finds his touch soon because an All Black team without "the bus" is a less scarier proposition than one with it.
     
    I've got a feeling it may be because Conrad Smith is no longer inside him, taking that pressure off on a regular basis. I'm not blaming the absence of Conrad for all Julians current flaws but that experience both for the Hurricanes and All Blacks combined with the ability to put Savea into space was crucial.
     
    When you compare both centres for the Canes (Proctor) and All Blacks (Fekitoa) they don't have the biggest of voices so maybe that is hurting the big fella.
     
    That's just my take on it. Maybe im just over analyzing it though.

    That doesn't explain why he got fat and out of form in 2015.



  • Also doesn't explain him missing easy 1 on 1 tackles, or being a lazy fuck on cover defense
    I'm of the opinion his issues are fitness related just like last year



  • Some players just don't have the discipline to stay in shape constantly. Different metabolisms don't help though, Savea has the old "lick a postage stamp and put on weight" look about him unfortunately so its tougher.
     
    I find it funny that Hansen said how good his skinfold tests were though, like he's one to judge !



  • I'm just going by what Hansen has said in several interviews posted today. Speculation doesn't bring us any closer to the truth than that.

    Some players just don't have the discipline to stay in shape constantly. Different metabolisms don't help though, Savea has the old "lick a postage stamp and put on weight" look about him unfortunately so its tougher.
     
    I find it funny that Hansen said how good his skinfold tests were though, like he's one to judge !

    I doubt Hansen has assessed Jules' skinfolds himself and assume he's relying on the assessment of the team's nutritionist or doctor.



  • I'm just going by what Hansen has said in several interviews posted today. Speculation doesn't bring us any closer to the truth than that.
     
     
    I doubt Hansen has assessed Jules' skinfolds himself and assume he's relying on the assessment of the team's nutritionist or doctor.

    I was referring to the fact that Fatguts is fat but thanks for clearing that up.



  • Julian Savea comes across more to me as a player who likes to be lead, as opposed to a leader, so your observation about Smith maybe correct.
     
    But others have pointed out, his skillset has been down on what expected of him as well - at time's he's reminded me of 2011 Savea, a player with a lot of hype, but not much substance.



  • Also doesn't explain him missing easy 1 on 1 tackles, or being a lazy fuck on cover defense
    I'm of the opinion his issues are fitness related just like last year

    Some players just don't have the discipline to stay in shape constantly. Different metabolisms don't help though, Savea has the old "lick a postage stamp and put on weight" look about him unfortunately so its tougher.
     
    I find it funny that Hansen said how good his skinfold tests were though, like he's one to judge !

    Hansen's come out and specifically refuted Julian's current form issues as being work ethic related.



  • Hansen's come out and specifically refuted Julian's current form issues as being work ethic related.

    ......and ?
     
    Mud sticks, once labelled lazy it can be a pretty tough one for a sportsperson to shake and fact is he was in poor shape last year.



  • Well he's definately shown a lack of work ethic when running (jogging slowly) back on cover defense
    He was also extremely fat at the start of the season
    Hansen probably knows it's not gonna help criticising him in the media. I don't read too much into his comments



  • ......and ?

    And I tend to believe him over your guessing.

    Hansen probably knows it's not gonna help criticising him in the media. I don't read too much into his comments

    Your opinion would have some weight if Hansen didn't have a track record of calling a spade a spade.



  • And I tend to believe him over your guessing.
    Your opinion would have some weight if Hansen didn't have a track record of calling a spade a spade.

    What's your opinion?
    It was pretty obvious he wasn't working as hard as he could on defense last week wasn't it?



  • And I tend to believe him over your guessing.
     
     
    Your opinion would have some weight if Hansen didn't have a track record of calling a spade a spade.

    Not really guessing, the proof is in the pudding.....
     
    If there's any leftover at Julians place.....



  • What's your opinion?
    It was pretty obvious he wasn't working as hard as he could on defense last week wasn't it?

    He missed two tackles. He wasn't alone in that regard. No one is suggesting it was his best test.

    Not really guessing, the proof is in the pudding.....
     
    If there's any leftover at Julians place.....



  • It was more than 2 tackles, it was a general lack of effort on cover defense



  • Such incisive commentary but perhaps he is just suffering from more competitors' video analysis than when he burst on the scene.
    Plus he seemed to have such wonderful balance and intuition a few years ago. So maybe not just fitness but also confidence-related.



  • its a pity
    5th on nz all time try scorer with 39 tries (in only 42 tests i think?).. i honestly thought he would be the first all black to crack 50.. hes only 25.. lets hope he gets his head right.. don't really understand everyone bagging him.. we should be supporting him in his recovery.. 
     
    everyone bags him for 2015.. but forget that he's tied for most tries in a rugby world cup with habana and lomu.. with 8 tries...
     
     
    did i mention 39 tries in 42 test matches? best strike rate of any nz player with 30+ tries..



  • did i mention 39 tries in 42 test matches? best strike rate of any nz player with 30+ tries..

    That's great - but we have Nathan Harris try scoring machine now. He is scoring at a similar rate playing about 20 minutes a test. Savea is superfluous.



  • Going to be interesting to see what happens from here , 
     
    Has been a fantastic player IMO, best winger in the world, 
     
    Surely not all washed up at 25 ??
     
    that would be pretty bizarre really



  • Surely not all washed up at 25 ?? 
    that would be pretty bizarre really

    Cully stopped being Cully at 25.
    Joe Roks last good season was 2009 and he was 26.
    Goldie's was 26 for most of the 1999 season.
    More recently we had Dagg written off 18 months ago at 26.
    Sivi started a bit later, but essentially lasted 4-5 years at the top from 2005-09/10. After that he was behind guys like Kahui, Toeava, Gear and even SBW probably in 2011.
     
    A tad early, but hardly bizzare - especially if the issues are mental and RWC success related (in addition to whatever personal issues). That's not to say he won't return for spot starts - all those did. He is still a serviceable international wing in his current form. He would start for most other countries. Problem with the All Blacks is that there is always someone ready to take your spot.
     
    Could also strike back too, Mils, Howlett, Jane and Ben Smith all had different career trajectories, but if you compare that group to the above one seems to rely much more heavily on physical gifts than the other.



  • He is still a serviceable international wing in his current form.

    Serviceable?  Let's be honest, his age isn't making him lose pace, he hasn't been injured, and he's still big strong and fast.  The only challenge he has right now is his mental space, and the team is (rightly) getting his head right before he comes back.  
     
    To describe someone with a strike rate of 39/42 as 'serviceable' is frankly astonishing.  He is serviceable on defence, but that's his only basic non-strength (not weakness).  And again, that's all mental.
     
    The honest thing is we don't know what is going on in his head right now.  FFS, his mum may be sick, may have marital issues, may have kids with problems - we just don't know, and frankly I don't care much.  The coaches know this shit and they're addressing it.  I'm very relaxed about giving him time off, getting back to destructive Savea and then bringing him back.



  • Cully stopped being Cully at 25.Joe Roks last good season was 2009 and he was 26.Goldie's was 26 for most of the 1999 season.More recently we had Dagg written off 18 months ago at 26.Sivi started a bit later, but essentially lasted 4-5 years at the top from 2005-09/10. After that he was behind guys like Kahui, Toeava, Gear and even SBW probably in 2011. A tad early, but hardly bizzare - especially if the issues are mental and RWC success related (in addition to whatever personal issues). That's not to say he won't return for spot starts - all those did. He is still a serviceable international wing in his current form. He would start for most other countries. Problem with the All Blacks is that there is always someone ready to take your spot. Could also strike back too, Mils, Howlett, Jane and Ben Smith all had different career trajectories, but if you compare that group to the above one seems to rely much more heavily on physical gifts than the other.yeah i guess so, just seems young these days , when a lot of guys are making their debut around that age



  • Going to be interesting to see what happens from here , 
     
    Has been a fantastic player IMO, best winger in the world, 
     
    Surely not all washed up at 25 ??
     
    that would be pretty bizarre reallyAs nzzp said it doesn't appear to be physical, his head is not in the game. Hopefully he can sort that out and concentrate back on his rugby soon. If his out of rugby problems are unable to be resolved, especially if it's family stuff, there might be an outside risk of him pulling the pin and taking an overseas contract just to escape. Which would be a mistake



  • yeah i guess so, just seems young these days , when a lot of guys are making their debut around that age

    Jonah was gone before he hit 27, Tana realized he couldn't cut it out wide anymore and very wisely moved to centre.



  • Jonah was gone before he hit 27, Tana realized he couldn't cut it out wide anymore and very wisely moved to centre.

    Dougie went on to 29 by the look, and could have kept going.  I think a lot depends on your game - Jeff Wilson perfected the chip'n'chase by the end of his career, didn't rely on out and out speed. He looks like 29 as well... so Savea's got at least 4 more year.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Howlett
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Wilson_(sportsman)



  • Hansen says his weight and fitness is where they want him, so is it just form or mental...I'd say the latter given the AB coaches have often persevered with an out of form player to play them into form.
     
    Hansen has always been a bit of a straight shooter in the media, I think he'd say nothing before fudging something.



  • I remember reading somewhere that the prime age for an Olympic Sprinter is 25.4. After that it's pretty rare for people to get any faster.
     
    Obviously there are exceptions like Gatland (steroids) and Bolt.



  • I remember reading somewhere that the prime age for an Olympic Sprinter is 25.4. After that it's pretty rare for people to get any faster.
     
    Obviously there are exceptions like Gatland (steroids) and Bolt (possibly drugged).

    FIFY



  • FIFY

    I wanted to write that, but the forum police have constantly called me up when I've made similar comments in the drug cheating russians thread



  • Makes Scotlands Simon Danielli glorious recall to the Scotland side at 32 in 2011 all the more impressive. Sean Lamont running down the flank at THIRTY FOUR in the last World Cup ? Inspirational !



  • I remember reading somewhere that the prime age for an Olympic Sprinter is 25.4. After that it's pretty rare for people to get any faster.
     
    Obviously there are exceptions like Gatland (steroids) and Bolt.

    Someone better tell Wazza he's taking the wrong batch:



  • I think what was noticeable for me with Julian , just before the decline,
    Was how all rounded his game had become since the early years , he wasn't just the finisher anymore ,
    Was good under the high ball , good defensively , off loaded and linked well with his supports ,
    For an X factor type , he was pretty reliable I thought



  • I think what was noticeable for me with Julian , just before the decline,
    Was how all rounded his game had become since the early years , he wasn't just the finisher anymore ,
    Was good under the high ball , good defensively , off loaded and linked well with his supports ,
    For an X factor type , he was pretty reliable I thought

    Rokocoko was like that too if I recall.



  • Joe Roks bulked up significantly which moved his game away from what made him so dangerous early on. ie gas and swerve out wide. So while he was still quality and would make it over the gain line his strike rate dropped. A similar thing happened with tuqiri going from skinny fast guy in league to bulked up slower less good guy in rugby.
    I think its way too early to write off Savea. Don't really think comparisons with guys who started their careers at the dawn of proffessional rugby is much use either. Conditioning is completely different now.



  • Joe Roks bulked up significantly which moved his game away from what made him so dangerous early on. ie gas and swerve out wide. So while he was still quality and would make it over the gain line his strike rate dropped. A similar thing happened with tuqiri going from skinny fast guy in league to bulked up slower less good guy in rugby.
    I think its way too early to write off Savea. Don't really think comparisons with guys who started their careers at the dawn of proffessional rugby is much use either. Conditioning is completely different now.

    Tuqiri was always pretty big, never Joe Roks lean but never quite got "Sailor" big ( he was another who got a bit too solid for his own good )
     
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I'm sure if John Hart had his time again he would have gone 15 Cullen 14 Wilson 13 Umaga and 11 Lomu......but can anyone remember what possessed him into thinking Cullen would be great at centre ? His strengths as a player were always tucking the ball and having a go, even in the late 90s I'm pretty sure Umaga had played at 13 a bit for Wellington.



  • Im talking early league days when he made his name. He was significantly smaller than his rugby days. Almost hard to recognise him. Skinny probably not the right word though. Slim maybe.



  • Roks' attacking ability started to fade after he picked up that knee injury around 2006. That's around the time the tries started to dry up.



  • Jonah was gone before he hit 27, Tana realized he couldn't cut it out wide anymore and very wisely moved to centre.

    It was Jonah's kidneys that poked his career



  • Savea rocking up to the start of the season looking pregnant and then having to work like a maniac to get fit must take its toll and affect the rest of his game. Imagine having to try and lose shit loads of weight and focussing on elite rugby skills at the same time.
    It's ridiculously unprofessional and he should not have been picked, regardless of past deeds. Just like Weepu he seems to have entered some kind of comfort zone since becoming an established AB and feels compelled to fund the retirement of some lucky KFC franchise owner.
    I hope he gets his shit together because he's brilliant when on song. I don't think he's lost his ability, but he needs to have everything (mind and body) at 100% and he's clearly nowhere near that right now.



  • How come some guys who are so powerful and explosive ( Savea, Isitolo Maka, Sione Lauaki ) even compared to other elite Rugby players turn to lard at the drop of a hat ?
     
    Metabolisms are funny old things.....


Log in to reply