Steamers v Taranaki



  • All set for a home game at the Domain this Saturday and the union has done well - $20 tickets all round, free buses for ticket holders and stuff going on along the Strand. Details here
     
    http://www.mytauranga.co.nz/events/event-details/tabid/3626/eid/493/tctl/7268_-7269_/Default.aspx
     
    As for the game, no clue really - as usual with NPC, the start of the season is a bit of a mystery of new players and new combinations.



  • Let's hope pre-season form is a good guide for once 🙂



  • I see you guys have snared another player from Wellington in James O'Reilly. Wellington must be a hooker factory if guys who have relatively recently played NPC for them like O'Reilly and Hunter Prescott (to Manawatu) have moved on. There are a couple of other really decent hookers floating around in club rugby down here (not including those that ply their trade in reputable Gentlemens Clubs so I'm told!) that also would not look out of place running around in the Mitre 10 Cup.
     
    Come to think of it the BoP seems to be fast becoming a haven of players escaping Wellington with quite a few having travelled that highway in the last couple of years. Must be the warmth, sunshine and decent beaches.



  • I see you guys have snared another player from Wellington in James O'Reilly. Wellington must be a hooker factory if guys who have relatively recently played NPC for them like O'Reilly and Hunter Prescott (to Manawatu) have moved on. There are a couple of other really decent hookers floating around in club rugby down here (not including those that ply their trade in reputable Gentlemens Clubs so I'm told!) that also would not look out of place running around in the Mitre 10 Cup.
     
    Come to think of it the BoP seems to be fast becoming a haven of players escaping Wellington with quite a few having travelled that highway in the last couple of years. Must be the warmth, sunshine and decent beaches.

    Good point Higgins but our Wellington acquisitions are probably more to do with our coach having coached down there.
     
    Isn't it great to see the start of this competition and pleasing to see the BOPRU and Tauranga City Council making an effort to make this a success. Looks like the weather is going to play ball also so there is no excuses for a decent crowd.
     
    As to how the team performs, its still anyone's guess. I see the TAB doesn't give us a show which is probably not surprising given our relative placings from last year. I'm lucky enough to have seen both preseason games and they have shown, at times, some real endeavour and skills but I have long since realised that preseason games and form are meaningless. I don't know much about Taranaki either so have no expectations. 
     
    As is usual we are in the dark about the injury situation. By my reckoning, as of last week, there were injuries to Polwart, Siataga, Royal, Lay, Eru, Haimona, Stanaway, Webber and Karpick which is about a quarter of the team which is a bit scary considering we haven't  played a competition game yet. It would be nice to know an update on their injuries.
     
    As a final comment, you should all get your head around the new breakdown rules which are sure to cause many penalties and angst. Both Taranaki and BOP have been using the new rules for premier grades this year so should have some understanding. It was interesting top watch from the sideline against Auckland and to see close up how the "breakdown" is so different from All Black rugby as an example. We like the changes and think they will speed up the game.
     
    Anyway, Good luck BOP....can't wait !!



  • Team is named

    1. Solomona Sakalia2. James O’Reilly3. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi4. Shahn Eru5. Culum Retallick6. Henry Stowers7. Hugh Blake8. Joe Tupe9. Te Aihe Toma10. Dan Hollinshead11. Isaac Te Aute12. Terrence Hepetema13. Lalakai Foketi14. Monty Ioane15. Chase Tiatia Reserves:16. Liam Polwart17. Aidan Ross18. Pingi Tala’apitaga19. Keepa Mewett20. Jesse Parete21. Luke Campbell22. Kelly Haimona23. Te Rangi Fraser


  • Really looking forward to this year. Word I hear is that the spirit is really good in the squad. Early days of course...
     
    The hooker issue is interesting considering we had so many named in the squad. I reckon some of this is just pre-contracted players who must be named, despite coming into the comp injured. Beats me why Polwart is not run on - perhaps he has just come right and needs some rhythm/tempo (critical for a hooker). Strong front row with good back up with Tala'apitaga.
     
    Overall it appears a good run on and decent squad. I'm keen to see how these young backs perform and Hollinshead will have matured somewhat - this being his 3rd season. Also keen to see how Hepetema goes in the mid-field. He was much vaunted as a signing last year (I'd never heard of him) and limped off after 2 minutes in the first game. Poor bugger was out for the entire season.
     
    I'm a long way away and will do my best to follow the games by twitter, text messages to whanau at the game and the Fern - so keep us up to date and I look forward to the discussion post game.



  • We have a terrible record against Taranaki. I checked the archive at that great website bopmafia.com to discover that we last beat them in 2006! (Delany was good that day and the weather was foul) and we haven't even scored a try against them in the last 3 games.



  • We have a terrible record against Taranaki. I checked the archive at that great website bopmafia.com to discover that we last beat them in 2006! (Delany was good that day and the weather was foul) and we haven't even scored a try against them in the last 3 games.

    Yes, the stats really make horrible reading. I just did a quick calculation and found that Taranaki has 398 Taranaki caps in their team and we have 212 (if you exclude Retellick's 92). Even if you do include the 92 then its obvious they are a vastly more experienced team.
     
    Like Gagaboy, I'm keen to see how the new guys perform. Te Aute is exceptionally fast and Hepetema really looked the goods in club rugby but they require the opportunity with good ball. I'm surprise Elijah Nicholas didn't get a run.
     
    This season I would like to see Toma and Hollinshead step up. They have been around a while and shown glimpses of class so I'd like to think its their year. 
     
    One bad bit of news from todays BOP times is a comment from the Clayton McMillon
     
    "Teddy Stanaway, Joe Webber, Mitch Karpik and Jordan Lay are some heavy artillery that will play no part or limited part in our season. While it is unfortunate it just creates an opportunity for somebody else."



  • I'm hoping Toma and Hollinshead will really step up this year. I thought they have been some of our better players in the last year or so, so fingers crossed they click from the start and cause teams some real headaches.
    Really gutted I'm out of the country this season. I have fond memories of watching us smash second division teams in the promotion relegation match. It's a stadium that doesn't need thousands of people to have a good atmosphere



  • Just back from the game, my thoughts.
    1/ Very enjoyable atmosphere created by the Union, Tga Domain needs to the future venue for BOP rugby, decent seating, free food for the kids.. even half time entertainment that made me chuckle.
    2/ Loved BOP's work around the breakdown, they punched over the advantage line all day, and denied Taranaki the chance to do so. Looked well drilled and confrontational.
    3/ Scrum was horrible for the first 10mintes thn settled down nicely and the reserves dominated the Taranaki reserve front trow by games end.
    4/ Injuries suck donkey balls. Losing our 10 was a blow, and Tiatia would have been useful as we chased the game. Losing both? grrr
    5/ Pretty clear to me that one team had a very good coach and the other one did not. Just that the well coached team.. was by some miracle BOP. The disciplined way they played around the break down was nothing short of outstanding. The new rules played havoc with Taranaki, and they were one of the unions who trialed it in club rugby.
    6/ A few of mistakes cost BOP the game, the first being Eru not seeing his outside man and trying a reverse flick with the line open. Secondly trying to run out form your own 22, and pass it to a loose forward covered by 3 players near the touchline.. pnelty Taranki... should have got out of red zone. And lastly the unfortunate penalty at the break down to seal game for Taranaki at end .... kudos to ref though.. he was consistant and that penalty was exactly what Tranaki had been getting pinged for all day. 
    7/ This would be a 50/50 game every day. You couldnt tell which was in which division. Taranaki had a bit more experience and a bt more super rugby ecxperience, but you couldnt really tell. I think BOP will do well in the 2nd division, and Taranaki will struggle in first.
    8/ I havent been this chipper about a Bay season in years,not since the era of Bourke, Latimer and Delany. Just love the coaching, the enthusiasm and the physicality, in a year or so these guys will be pumping.



  • Any idea of crowd numbers? I hope the community gets in behind the bay at the domain again.



  • Thanks BSG - good, positive summary. Shame to lose 2 key players straight up. Sounds like we will be in for a interesting year. I see McMillan has signed on for a couple more years.



  • Any idea of crowd numbers? I hope the community gets in behind the bay at the domain again.

    Not sure to be honest, but probably no more than 4000? It will take a while and a few wins to get the fans coming back.
     
    I'm not quite as upbeat as BSG, if only for our first half performance which was pretty poor, so much dropped ball and shovelled passes across the backline. I said at half-time that the only good thing was we had to be better in the second half and we were.



  • I guess I'm somewhere between Baron and Kiwipie.
     
    In my view Taranaki were the better side, were expected to win and deserved it. They were more accurate and muscled up better than us.
     
    Having said that BOP deserved plenty of kudos :- They came extremely close to getting a bonus point.
                                                                                   They scored three tries...three times more than they have against Taranaki in the last three games.
                                                                                   They showed plenty of ticker. I had given the game away after the first half.
                                                                                   They defended better than they had in the two previous games. Most tries scared against them in preseason games were from pushovers.
     
    Several things about them still irk me though :- They need to nail their advantage when on attack. Like in preseason they cocked up lineouts (on their own throw) when on the five metre line.
                                                                               They sometimes take the wrong options
                                                                               Many of their kicks handed the opposition the advantage.
                                                                               The lineouts need work.
     
    But enough of the complaints.This was miles better than a couple of years back.



  • I guess I'm somewhere between Baron and Kiwipie.
     
    In my view Taranaki were the better side, were expected to win and deserved it. They were more accurate and muscled up better than us.
     
    Having said that BOP deserved plenty of kudos :- They came extremely close to getting a bonus point.
                                                                                   They scored three tries...three times more than they have against Taranaki in the last three games.
                                                                                   They showed plenty of ticker. I had given the game away after the first half.
                                                                                   They defended better than they had in the two previous games. Most tries scared against them in preseason games were from pushovers.
     
    Several things about them still irk me though :- They need to nail their advantage when on attack. Like in preseason they cocked up lineouts (on their own throw) when on the five metre line.
                                                                               They sometimes take the wrong options
                                                                               Many of their kicks handed the opposition the advantage.
                                                                               The lineouts need work.
     
    But enough of the complaints.This was miles better than a couple of years back.

    Points well made - I just think I was expecting us to come out firing and it was the complete opposite. We did get better as the game went on but thought it was a missed opportunity as Taranaki weren't all that good. That bombed try by Eru was appalling, just draw and pass for the try.



  • Hmmm, Just checked on a few permutations regarding the Ranfurly Shield. For all its worth, I thought I would mention it....
     
    North Harbour challenge Waikato next Saturday....Given Harbour's performance against Counties a win here is slim although it isn't out of the question.
     
    Should they win, the first challenge would be against Manawatu....who struggled against Northland so potentially a Harbour win is not an impossiblity.
     
    So, should they beat Manawatu, then the next challenge is against Southland who just lost to Otago so Harbour would probably go into that game as favourites
     
    And The Mighty BOP is their next challenge. Its an extremely slim chance that all the results go our way but you never know.



  • Hmmm, Just checked on a few permutations regarding the Ranfurly Shield. For all its worth, I thought I would mention it....
     
    North Harbour challenge Waikato next Saturday....Given Harbour's performance against Counties a win here is slim although it isn't out of the question.
     
    Should they win, the first challenge would be against Manawatu....who struggled against Northland so potentially a Harbour win is not an impossiblity.
     
    So, should they beat Manawatu, then the next challenge is against Southland who just lost to Otago so Harbour would probably go into that game as favourites
     
    And The Mighty BOP is their next challenge. Its an extremely slim chance that all the results go our way but you never know.

    That's a fair degree of optimism that Harbour can win 3 games - in recent years, they haven't been winning that many all season.



  • I've just checked out the stats for the first round of the competition for all the teams (Premiership and Championship) and it doesn't make pretty reading.
     
    BOP came second to last in the number of clean breaks
    Last in the number of carries
    Second to last in the number of metres
    Last in the number of defenders beaten
    Third to last in the number of off loads.
     
    Its pretty clear from those that we have deficiencies on attack.


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