Highlanders V Brumbies Super Bang Bang quarter finals



  • Interesting changes in for the Highlanders, Luke Whitelock moves from no8 to lock, where he played when Squire came on last weekend. While Shane Christie returns to the openside.
     
    I think the selection of Luke Whitelock at lock is a clear indication the Highlanders are going to attempt to run the Brumbies all over the park.
     
    There shouldn't be a lot lost lineout wise either, Squire can move into the middle, while Dixon is always camped at the front of the lineout, so Whitelock can jump at the back.
     
    Interesting as well, that they have reverted to a 5/3 split on the bench, after having six forwards on the bench against the Chiefs. Although I fully expect Aaron Smith and Sopoaga to play full games.
     
    Highlanders by about 12.
     
    Brumbies v Pulse Energy Highlanders - GIO Stadium, Canberra, Fri 22 July 6.00pm (AEST) 8.00pm (NZT)

    1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
    2. Ash Dixon
    3. Josh Hohneck
    4. Tom Franklin
    5. Luke Whitelock
    6. Elliot Dixon
    7. Shane Christie ( cc )
    8. Liam Squire
    9. Aaron Smith
    10. Lima Sopoaga
    11. Patrick Osborne
    12. Malakai Fekitoa
    13. Matt Faddes
    14. Waisake Naholo
    15. Ben Smith ( cc )
       
      Reserves
    16. Liam Coltman
    17. Aki Seiuli
    18. Siosiua Halanukonuka
    19. Mark Reddish
    20. Dan Pryor
    21. Te Aihe Toma
    22. Fletcher Smith
    23. Rob Thompson


  • The Highlanders 23 has been named:



  • Can't see the Brumbies winning this. Not on their form. Regardless of the weather I'll go along to watch the Clan destroy them.



  • Stolen from another site and the link only works if you are foolish enough to pay to read the Australian. 
     
     
    Brumbies star David Pocock can slow Highlanders’ style of playTHE AUSTRALIAN12:00AM JULY 20, 2016Bret HarrisSenior rugby writerSydneyDavid Pocock’s mere presence on the field will be enough to lift the Brumbies when they play the Highlanders in a sudden-death Super Rugby quarter-final in Canberra on Friday night, but he also holds the key to stopping the almost unstoppable New Zealand style of play.Pocock is expected to be named today in the Brumbies team at openside flanker after recovering sufficiently from a fractured eye socket, which he sustained against England five weeks ago.Pocock has an aura that New Zealanders call “mana” and it lifts the players around him.“Poey is a world-class player,” Brumbies forwards coach Dan McKellar said.“When you’ve got world-class players in your team and they come back into the dressing room it just adds a lot of confidence.“He brings a lot of energy through his communication, through his preparation. It’s great to have him back.”Pocock’s trademark skill, his ability to turn the ball over at the breakdown, will be crucial to the Brumbies’ defence against the defending champions.While the five New Zealand teams have their own styles of play, a common feature is their ability to keep the ball alive. A ball scavenger such as Pocock can curb the Highlanders’ continuity in attack.“He’s the best in the world at turnovers at the defensive breakdown. He helps our defence a lot,” McKellar said.“When you’ve got a player like David who is constantly looking for that opportunity on the ball and you don’t have to defend for 15 or 16 phases at a time, it certainly helps from a defensive point of view.“If we tackle well and give David, Fards (Scott Fardy) and Squeaks (Stephen Moore) good opportunities on the ground, then we can nullify the opposition’s attack.’’Pocock has worn a protective face pad at training and McKellar said Pocock would not play if he did not receive medical clearance, but the Brumbies seem optimistic.“We’re just waiting to hear back on final reports on the scans,” McKellar said. “He has trained well all week and he’s keen to play.’’McKellar said the Highlanders posed a different challenge to the other New Zealand teams because they were more structured in attack.“Of the New Zealand sides, they are a lot more structured than, say, the Hurricanes, Crusaders and Chiefs,” McKellar said.“They play a pretty structured game. They kick a lot, both contestable and in behind the line.“We need to make sure that defensively, like any of the New Zealand teams, we make our first- up tackles and deny the opportunity for offload and also make sure our back three cover the back of the field well because there are certainly going to be plenty of kicks coming our way.’’The Brumbies’ set piece is expected to be one of their strengths but they have not forgotten that second-rower Sam Carter was heavily penalised for obstruction in the lineout in their loss to the Highlanders in Invercargill in April.“The Highlanders had identified a certain area of our lineout to the referee before the game and we were penalised for it,” McKellar said.“We’ve tweaked Carts’ blocking technique. We understand the referees are going to be looking out for it. It’s an accidental obstruction, I suppose. We don’t see that being an issue.”



  • Can't see the Brumbies winning this. Not on their form. Regardless of the weather I'll go along to watch the Clan destroy them.

    Write them off at your peril.  Brums with PoBono are a far better side than without him.  Knockout games at home- you're always in with a crack.



  • To be fair, the Brumbies have seemed alright when Pocock has played, but rubbish without him. Job just got harder for the Clan.



  • gonna be a big ask for him to drag them up from the hole they dug themselves....how many weeks he been out? Although the forecast is rain, the Highlanders still seem to prefer an up tempo match, run him about.



  • To be fair, the Brumbies have seemed alright when Pocock has played, but rubbish without him. Job just got harder for the Clan.

    Has NZ rugby ever fallen for the Pocock factor?  I wouldn't really say we have.  Other countries certainly have.  I think he's hugely respected but I'm not sure this article accurately captures the way NZ rugby views him.
     
    I don't think he's ever had the genuine effect on the game with us that he has with others.  Maybe its time for that to bite me in the arse!



  • Has NZ rugby ever fallen for the Pocock factor? I wouldn't really say we have. Other countries certainly have. I think he's hugely respected but I'm not sure this article accurately captures the way NZ rugby views him.
    I don't think he's ever had the genuine effect on the game with us that he has with others. Maybe its time for that to bite me in the arse!

    If you are taking test rugby, sure, the Wallabies with him haven't really "done much" to make NZers think twice about many of their players actually.
    But I guess at Super level he's had a big influence on games. That round 1 effort against the Canes a case in point where he was dominant. As Chris said he's missed rugby this year and the Brumbies have suffered.
    What has been noticeable over the last number of weeks is how badly the Brumbies backs are. Other than Toomua the rest have been rubbish.



  • I'm a big fan of players playing in the position described by their name. Whitelock has been dynamic and bruising recently, has basically been playing a great locking game.



  • If you are taking test rugby, sure, the Wallabies with him haven't really "done much" to make NZers think twice about many of their players actually.

    I'll disagree.
     
    He is a sensational player, and adds massive amounts to the Wobbles.  He has limitations - not a great ball runner, and not a great lineout forward.  Also tends to look more for the turnover than play other facets, but what he does he does massively well.
    '
    The problem with Pooper as a combo is that the lineout is weakened, and playing Pocock at 8 doesn't suit the sort of game he plays. 
     
    That said, you can see how much the team misses him. He is genuinely world class, and while we nullify a lot of his ability when we play well, there is no doubting how good he is. At times he seems to have inherited the cloak of invisibility from McCaw.



  • Not really the point I'm making, nzzp.  I have no doubt about the ability of the player.
     
    I just personally don't look at an Aussie team sheet that differently if he's on it like the above article seems to think - I guess mainly because I've always thought that we've handled him quite well.  Sure, he gets a few turnovers but against us, i've never really noticed him turn a game on his own.  Plenty of other Aussie players - George Smith, Steve Larkham etc - I've been much more wary of.
     
    I've also not seen the column inches in NZ dedicated to Pocock (for rugby related reasons, at least), that I remember seeing for Smith, Larkham (amongst others).



  • Brumbies:

    1. Scott Sio
    2. Stephen Moore (c)
    3. Ruan Smith
    4. Blake Enever
    5. Sam Carter
    6. Scott Fardy
    7. David Pocock
    8. Jarrad Butler
    9. Tomás Cubelli
    10. Christian Lealiifano (c)
    11. Robbie Coleman
    12. Matt Toomua
    13. Tevita Kuridrani
    14. Nigel Ah Wong
    15. Aidan Toua
       
      Reserves
    16. Josh Mann-Rea
    17. Allan Alaalatoa
    18. Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin
    19. Tom Staniforth
    20. Michael Wells
    21. Joe Powell
    22. Andrew Smith
    23. James Dargaville
    24. Lausii Taliauli
       
      (one to be omitted)
       
      https://www.brumbies.com.au/2016/07/brumbies-name-side-quarter-final-showdown-highlanders/


  • I'll disagree.
    He is a sensational player, and adds massive amounts to the Wobbles. He has limitations - not a great ball runner, and not a great lineout forward. Also tends to look more for the turnover than play other facets, but what he does he does massively well.
    '
    The problem with Pooper as a combo is that the lineout is weakened, and playing Pocock at 8 doesn't suit the sort of game he plays.
    That said, you can see how much the team misses him. He is genuinely world class, and while we nullify a lot of his ability when we play well, there is no doubting how good he is. At times he seems to have inherited the cloak of invisibility from McCaw.

    I don't doubt his ability and I also think he is an excellent player. And yes an Aussie side with Pocock is better than one without.
    But I just don't think he has the gravitas with the NZ public that other Aussie players have had over the years. Even the Evil Wizard had more. Then of course Gregan, Eales, Campo, Horan, Bernie, Burkey have caused more trips to the local psych for many NZers...,



  • Write them off at your peril.  Brums with PoBono are a far better side than without him.  Knockout games at home- you're always in with a crack.

    Congrats on pointing out the self evident truth that a team in a knockout final has a chance. The Brumbies have look stifled and bereft of imagination on attack., Pocock's not the sort of player that's going to fix that issue.

    I'll disagree.
     
    He is a sensational player, and adds massive amounts to the Wobbles.  He has limitations - not a great ball runner, and not a great lineout forward.

    When you say not great, you mean shit?



  • Missing Ben Alexander and Rory Arnold in the pack. Butler is a bit of a journeyman at 8. Fairly toothless back three without Tomane or Speight. Bench looks a little uninspiring.
    Can't see it happening for the Brumbies. Sole Aus rep to be bundled in the quarters.



  • I definitely look at an Aussie team with Pocock in it with more trepidation. He can be nullified, but the All Blacks need to actively focus on doing that, and when they don't he keeps Australia in the game.
     
    He's not the best player in the world, but he is absolutely exceptional at one particular skill that can really disrupt the teams he's playing against.



  • I definitely look at an Aussie team with Pocock in it with more trepidation. He can be nullified, but the All Blacks need to actively focus on doing that, and when they don't he keeps Australia in the game.
     
    He's not the best player in the world, but he is absolutely exceptional at one particular skill that can really disrupt the teams he's playing against.

    When he is one of their few quality forwards, then he can be stopped and disrupted.  The problem is if the depth chart starts to stack up for them, then it gets tough.  Stop Pocock, and others make hay.  It's the Jonah effect all over again - defences may stop him, but that opens up space everywhere else.  
     
    In terms of influencing games, ask the SA team at the 2011 world cup the effect he can have.



  • Congrats on pointing out the self evident truth that a team in a knockout final has a chance. The Brumbies have look stifled and bereft of imagination on attack., Pocock's not the sort of player that's going to fix that issue.

    The point I'm making is they are more than just a chance.  Playing knockout games at home means even with a crap attack, the Brums could very readily get up and win this,  By comparison, play at a neutral or Highlanders venue, I'd say a very low chance of winning.



  • I'm interested in the last two lines. The Brumbies' main attacking weapon is the maul, and they are all but admitting they have a lock acting as a blocker, and actively train for it. That's an astounding thing to say going in to a game.