Auckland vs Canterbury



  • Auckland team named for Mitre 10 Cup opener
     
    • Liaki Moli to play 50th match for Auckland
     
    • 14 players with Super Rugby experience named
     
    • Two debutants in the starting line up
     
    Auckland coach Nick White has named a strong team to open the Mitre 10 Cup season against Canterbury in Christchurch on Saturday.
     
    14 of the team have Super Rugby experience, while brothers Rieko and Akira Ioane will take the field, having returning from the Rio Olympics on Tuesday.
    White said he is pleased with the makeup of the team.
     
    “We’ve got a strong forward pack and have all our Super Rugby players back which is good. We’ve given an opportunity to a few guys on the wing, both of those players have taken their chances in pre-season and deserve their position.”
     
    Alluding to Pryor Collier and Stacey Ili, named on each wing for the opening game, neither was in the initial Auckland squad but brought in for injury cover. White said the experience of Ioane and Vince Aso in the midfield, along with Melani Nanai and fullback will help the debutants.
     
    The other talking point sees Joe Edwards named at openside flanker.
     
    “The main reason for that is because Blake Gibson is injured. But with these new rules you don’t need and out and out seven because the opportunity to jackal has gone. It’s something different for Joe but we are confident,” said White.
     
    The new laws at the breakdown will present a big change to the way the game is played.
     
    “The good players will adapt. It comes down to the forwards having that awareness and making good decisions.”
     
    White said the challenge of playing Canterbury in Christchurch is a big one, Auckland not claiming victory in the mainland since 2007.
     
    “It’s not easy down there so we will have to back ourselves to play well and have a go.”
     
    Simon Hickey will captain the team.
     
    The match will be played at AMI Stadium

    1. Sam Prattley (Pakuranga)
    2. Greg Pleasants-Tate (Ponsonby)
    3. Isi Tu’ungafasi (Grammar TEC)
    4. Scott Scrafton (Grammar TEC)
    5. Liaki Moli (Manukau Rovers)
    6. Taleni Seu (Grammar TEC)
    7. Joe Edwards (Pakuranga)
    8. Steven Luatua (University)
    9. Leon Fukofuka (Marist)
    10. Simon Hickey (Grammar TEC)
    11. Pryor Collier (Ponsonby)*
    12. Vince Aso (Ponsonby)
    13. Rieko Ioane (Ponsonby)
    14. Stacey Ili (Manukau Rovers)*
    15. Melani Nanai (Manukau Rovers)
    16. Kurt Eklund (University)
    17. Tom McHugh (Grammar TEC)
    18. Marcel Renata (University)
    19. Michael Fatialofa (Ponsonby)
    20. Akira Ioane (Ponsonby)
    21. Jono Hickey (Grammar TEC)
    22. Tyrone Elkington-MacDonald (University)**
    23. Latiume Fosita (Papatoetoe)**
       
      *Will make provincial debut for Auckland
      ** Will make Auckland debut



  • Excellent to see the Ioanes back - gee Blake Gibson gets injured a lot - in the last 12 months ruled out of last year's ITM Cup getting injured in game 1, missed a heap of weeks in Super Rugby with a broken thumb and now injured again - he also broke his jaw I believe in Super Rugby 2015.



  • Edwards at 7 is risky
     
    No openside on the bench either. Seu will probably shift across if Edwards has to go off



    1. Michael Fatialofa (Ponsonby)
    2. Akira Ioane (Ponsonby)
       
      That is some serious firepower on the bench for an NPC team.


  • Jordie Barrett, Johnny McNicholl, Jack Goodhue, Rob Thompson, Nathan Earle, Richie Mo'unga, Mitchell Drummond, Luke Whitelock [captain], Billy Harmon, Reed Prinsep, Dominic Bird, Scott Barrett, Siate Tokolahi, Ben Funnell, Alex Hodgman.
     
    Reserves: Nathan Vella, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Oliver Jager, Luke Romano, Jed Brown, Jack Stratton, Inga Finau, Ben Volavola.



  • Barrett vs Nanai and the clash of the midfields should be fun. Get the feeling Isi T could be in trouble at scrumtime.



  • That midfield match-up does look quite good.
     
    Pretty lucky to have the Ioane boys back so early. They just came back yesterday morning, but were straight back into training with the team in the afternoon. They were allowed to take a break and come back next week, but they turned it down.
     
    Stacy Ili was playing on the wing for Melbourne Rising this time last year. I saw some highlights and he scored a few nice tries.



  • Edwards at 7 is risky
     
    No openside on the bench either. Seu will probably shift across if Edwards has to go off

    I suppose with the new rules we can risk doing this but yes a risk all the same.



  • Pretty lucky to have the Ioane boys back so early. They just came back yesterday morning, but were straight back into training with the team in the afternoon. They were allowed to take a break and come back next week, but they turned it down.

    they're probably not allowed to start fights at home.



  • Playing Edwards at 7 is not a big risk IMO. He won't let the team down as he is a good tackler and adds power around the rucks. But don't expect him to score tries à la Savea.
    I have more worries concerning the second row where Scrafton and Moli have to face an in form Bird and a solid Barrett.
    Isi T could struggle in the set scrums too.
    The debutant wings are also a concern though Nathan Earle is an unknown quantity at this level.
    So Edwards at 7 is far from being the main problem.



  • http://canterburyrugby.co.nz/news/304-2016-canterbury-mitre-10-cup-squad-announced
     
    “We have two new props in the mix, Oli Jager and Lee Roy Atalifo.  Oli hails from Ireland but a stint in Christchurch to train at the Crusaders International High Performance Unit resulted in him being offered a place in the Canstaff Crusaders Academy.  He has been impressing for New Brighton Rugby Club and deserves a place in our squad this season. 
    “Lee Roy brings international experience to the group, having played for Fiji in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  He is a dynamic prop and a strong scrummager, so we can’t wait to see what he can add to the group,” Robertson said.

    I'm not very impressed by this. Who's actually developing our next generation of tighthead props?



  • Just noticed Stacey Ili on the wing. I didn't know he made the itm cup squad?
    Are our other wingers injured?



  • Just noticed Stacey Ili on the wing. I didn't know he made the itm cup squad?
    Are our other wingers injured?

    Yup him and Pryor didn't even make the original squad. Joe Ravouvou and Visinia are both out .



  • Playing Edwards at 7 is not a big risk IMO. He won't let the team down as he is a good tackler and adds power around the rucks. But don't expect him to score tries à la Savea.
    I have more worries concerning the second row where Scrafton and Moli have to face an in form Bird and a solid Barrett.
    Isi T could struggle in the set scrums too.
    The debutant wings are also a concern though Nathan Earle is an unknown quantity at this level.
    So Edwards at 7 is far from being the main problem.

    Earle was stand out for England U20s and tipped for big things. Has been badly held back by injury since though, so it will be interesting to see how he goes in a different environment.



  • Yup him and Pryor didn't even make the original squad. Joe Ravouvou and Visinia are both out .

    Any idea how long those two are out?



  • Good to see Billy Harmon at 7.
     
    He's a real hard man in club rugby
     
    Got sent off 10 minutes into the club final for a pretty reckless spear tackle on Barrett.



  • Good to see Billy Harmon at 7.
     
    He's a real hard man in club rugby
     
    Got sent off 10 minutes into the club final for a pretty reckless spear tackle on Barrett.

    Yes especially for someone so young, he's had a few injury problems this season but has always stood out for Brighton both with ball in hand and on defence.
     
    Tim, not too sure. Visinia has been injured since the club final so it must be quite serious. We're quite thin out wide so any injury out there is a setback for us.



  • One of the main attraction in this game is how will fare Jordie Barrett for his first outting for Canterbury.



  • Auckland is getting shat on..



  • Auckland look like garbage. Not getting any players to the ruck to support the ball carrier. Look like they have no pattern in the forwards.