Your 4 midfielders for the Lions



  • Based on what Hansen has said and who he has selected, these seem to be the pool of players.

    • Sonny Bill Williams (injured), Ryan Crotty (injured this week), Malakai Fekitoa, George Moala (injured), Anton Lienert-Brown, Seta Tamanivalu, Rieko Ioane, Charlie Ngatai (injured), and Hansen also named-checked Richard Buckman at one stage.
      I consider Ngātai totally unproven at AB level. At the moment, assuming everyone fit and 4 spots: SBW, Crotty, Fekitoa, Moala for me.


  • Bizzle, Ngatai, Fekitoa, Moala for me.



  • ALB, Ngatai, Moala, Crotty



  • SBW, Ngatai, Crotty, Moala



  • I'm with you Billy Tell.



  • Shit, I was supposed to write Leinert-Brown instead of Malakai.



  • SBW, Moala, Fekitoa, ALB



  • SBW, Moala, Fekitoa, ALB
    From what we've seen of their displays, they're the four. Lots of rugby between now and then however.



  • sbw crotty alb ngatai



  • R.Ranger (Blues) (rediscovers his mojo)
    R.Ioane (Blues) (revelation on EOYT)
    G.Moala (Blues)
    C.Piutau (Blues)
     
    C.Piutau to come back and slot into the midfield with stunning & mercurial efficiency. Fuck all these safety first options. Run and gun baby.
     
    Charles, I’m sorry I called you a mercenary c**t 17 times on the internet. I forgive you. You were young and made a stupid mistake. WELCOME BACK TO NEW ZEALAND NOW.

    if you going to be the crazy Blues fan, at least be realistic and start fangirling over SBW



  • Ha - you stole that question from me, Billy - but, I won't stick an arrow through your forehead for it - I'll aim at the apple.  🙂
     
    Assuming full fitness, SBW is a mortal lock, though I'm not sure whether they'd consider him more at centre rather than second five. I hope they will.
     
    I'm somewhat inclined to think a Ngatai/SBW combination is the best we have right now. Crotty on the bench and Fekitoa, pressed by Moala, in the wings.
     
    ALB and Reiko Ioane eventually to make their way into proceedings as SBW and others exit - and Buckman to pretty much miss out.



  • R.Ranger (Blues) (rediscovers his mojo)
    R.Ioane (Blues) (revelation on EOYT)
    G.Moala (Blues)
    C.Piutau (Blues)
     
    C.Piutau to come back and slot into the midfield with stunning & mercurial efficiency. Fuck all these safety first options. Run and gun baby.
     
    Charles, I’m sorry I called you a mercenary c**t 17 times on the internet. I forgive you. You were young and made a stupid mistake. WELCOME BACK TO NEW ZEALAND NOW.

    Rene Ranger is dial-at-least-one-stupid-unforced-error-per-match.  Will never play for NZ again, barring a heap of injuries.
     
    Piutau is gone until 2018 at the earliest.  I doubt he ever returns TBH: neither the RWC nor the Olympics nor the Lions were enough to keep him here, and he is a genuine superstar in Europe on big bikkies.   Doubt he accepts dropping down to base Super Rugby pay on the hope he cracks the AB XV.
     
    Moala I like, but still relatively unproven.  Ditto for Ioane.
     
    I realise you're takng the piss by naming all the Blues brothers, you forgot SBW, though.
     
    Super XV 2017 will be worth watching alone based on the midfield battle.
     
    I went for Crotty and SBW as the 12s and Fekitoa and Moala as the 13s.
     
    But the others are all in with a shot.  Can't believe how worried we were about the AB midfield post Nonu/Smith.  Nothing to worry about at all, plenty of options.



  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/international/78175042/Charles-Piutau-wants-another-crack-at-All-Blacks-jerseyCharles Piutau wants 'another crack' at All Blacks jersey"I'll see how I feel at the end of my Ulster contract but the plan is to go back to New Zealand and have another crack at the All Blacks."in Stuff from March, so must be true!



  • If Charles Piutau comes back, it could be on the wing and not in an already crowded midfield.
    I would go with Moala, ALB, Crotty and AN Other. Fekitoa seems to be a Hansen's favorite while Ngatai and Ioane are still to make their debut. Tamanivalu is just a stop gap for the moment.
    SBW will struggle to get back after his injury as players who have ruptured their Achille's tendon always do.



  • sorry, no can do, this year took a self-imposed moratorium on reading anything about the individual in question

    Me and several others missed you DP.  🙂



  • Second test in Wellington, 21st minute, #10 Beauden Barrett, with the wide pass to #12 Jordie Barrett who scythes past Jamie Roberts to score, he had #13 Charlie Ngatai there in support also...
     
    Good Taranaki backline there...
     
    Jordie Barrett
    Anton Leinart-Brown
    Charlie Ngatai
    Ryan Crotty.
     
    SBW cooked. Fekitoa found to be cooking Meth - hence the erratic performances. Tumanivula - also cooked. Bacon mostly. Gets fat.



  • In all honesty though, if we had Beauden at 10, Jordie at 12, Ngatai at 13, Ben Smith at 15, Naholo at 11, Milner-Skudder at 14 - there would be legitimate claims to being the fastest AB's backline ever.
     
    Beaudan is a jet, his brother seems as quick. there should a database where we can check their 40m sprint times somewhere. 
     
    I'm going to start a new thread on this...



  • On the subject of the Lions tour, the Premiership club owners are already whining about the schedule:http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/37208971



  • Even though I don't think they have the most upside, I think you've got to write Crotty and Fekitoa's names down first.
    SBW will certainly be in the mix as long as his injury doesn't curtail his speed too much.
    Then there is one more spot. I'd give it to ALB.
    Tough on the rest though.



  • Even though I don't think they have the most upside, I think you've got to write Crotty and Fekitoa's names down first.
    SBW will certainly be in the mix as long as his injury doesn't curtail his speed too much.
    Then there is one more spot. I'd give it to ALB.
    Tough on the rest though.

    Agree Crotty and Fekitoa have to be there, SBW, and Ngati. Depending on his progress ALB can be there but definitely plenty of improvement required.



  • In all honesty though, if we had Beauden at 10, Jordie at 12, Ngatai at 13, Ben Smith at 15, Naholo at 11, Milner-Skudder at 14 - there would be legitimate claims to being the fastest AB's backline ever.
     
    Beaudan is a jet, his brother seems as quick. there should a database where we can check their 40m sprint times somewhere. 
     
    I'm going to start a new thread on this...

    Admittately I have not seen him play much but from what I have seen Jordie looks more of a 10, 15 or possibly wing, kind of same as Beauden?



  • Second test in Wellington, 21st minute, #10 Beauden Barrett, with the wide pass to #12 Jordie Barrett who scythes past Jamie Roberts to score, he had #13 Charlie Ngatai there in support also...
     
    Good Taranaki backline there...
     
    Jordie Barrett
    Anton Leinart-Brown
    Charlie Ngatai
    Ryan Crotty.
     
    SBW cooked. Fekitoa found to be cooking Meth - hence the erratic performances. Tumanivula - also cooked. Bacon mostly. Gets fat.

    So a guy who's playing fullback for Canterbury at provincial level and has yet to play Super Rugby is gonna get a look in for the Lions tour ? you'll forgive me if I don't bet the house on that happening.



  • Even though I don't think they have the most upside, I think you've got to write Crotty and Fekitoa's names down first.

    Aren't we picking the 4 midfielders that we want for the Lions series not who Hansen and co will choose?  If it's the latter, I expect Fekitoa will be there and there is probably only one place up for grabs.  But a good Super season could change their minds and some of the contenders have the advantage of playing together to form combinations.



  • On the subject of the Lions tour, the Premiership club owners are already whining about the schedule:

    Gatland has voiced his concerns too.  So who actually agreed to this itinerary?



  • Gatland has voiced his concerns too.  So who actually agreed to this itinerary?

    No one with any genuine interest in player welfare



  • If the clubs are that concerned about the tour and the injury / short offseason, why don't they just give the Lions players August and September off? There are how many clubs who will supply players to the tour - 12 or 15? Even if you're taking 46 players (I'm not sure what the squad size is going to be but it needs to be huge) then that's only 3-4 players per supplying club. Perhaps Saracens or other top English clubs will be disproportionately badly hit.
     
    The Lions tour is the biggest rugby event outside the RWC, and who cares if it disrupts the start of a club season once every four years (yes, I know RWC also disrupts the start of the club season once every four years).



  • SBW, Crotty, Moala, Ioane



  • I don't see how Ioane forces his way into contention as an AB centre if the Blues first-choice midfield is likely to be SBW and Moala. 
     
    Three doesn't go into 2 at the Chiefs either.  I'd pick ALB over Seta myself.



  • ngatai,sbw,alb,fekitoa



  • Still a lot of love for Ngatai on here.
     
    Can someone tell me what a guy with a test career of a few minutes does so much better than those who have done the business this year ? ( Taminuvula excepted in my opinion )
     
    and if you're gonna reply with "Fucken go and watch more Chiefs games fluffybunny" at least try and be creative about it......



  • Still a lot of love for Ngatai on here.
     
    Can someone tell me what a guy with a test career of a few minutes does so much better than those who have done the business this year ? ( Taminuvula excepted in my opinion )
     
    and if you're gonna reply with "Fucken go and watch more Chiefs games fluffybunny" at least try and be creative about it......

    Totally agree. He has almost reached fern 'all time great' status despite hardly ever playing!



  • You only have to see how the Chiefs backline performed with Ngatai, and then without him, to realise the influence he has.  Hansen talked him up too when the AB squad was selected.  I think he can assume the role of C Smith as the ABs backline general.
     
    But he needs to get back on the field first.  The Maori tour is also an option for him.



  • It's weird becuase right now I have abosolutely no idea who the midfield will be, but I'm also not concerned about it at all. I think we have a host of players that would do a good job. Settling on a final combination will be the challenge for the selectors.
     
    I really like Moala, him paired with Crotty is my preference at this stage. If Ngatai can get fit and make the step up to international footy then he will be in the mix, but he is completely unproven at this stage. Plenty of guys have looked the goods at Super level.



  • Still a lot of love for Ngatai on here.
     
    Can someone tell me what a guy with a test career of a few minutes does so much better than those who have done the business this year ? ( Taminuvula excepted in my opinion )
     
    and if you're gonna reply with "Fucken go and watch more Chiefs games fluffybunny" at least try and be creative about it......

    Similar to Crotty in my opinion - but, bigger and probably faster. I thought he was the most impressive NZ midfielder in Super rugby this year, until he got injured.



  • It's weird becuase right now I have abosolutely no idea who the midfield will be, but I'm also not concerned about it at all. I think we have a host of players that would do a good job. Settling on a final combination will be the challenge for the selectors.
     
    I really like Moala, him paired with Crotty is my preference at this stage. If Ngatai can get fit and make the step up to international footy then he will be in the mix, but he is completely unproven at this stage. Plenty of guys have looked the goods at Super level.

    That combo looks a bit short on physicality to me. Would definitely benefit having a Fekitoa/Moala in there.



  • Although with Ma's and Conrad you only had one 'physical' part of the duo. As long as they are accurate I don't think the 'loss' in physicality matters much



  • That combo looks a bit short on physicality to me. Would definitely benefit having a Fekitoa/Moala in there.

    I do have Moala in there...
     
    We will most likely end up with SBW/Crotty and Moala on the bench.



  • People seem to be picking three second fives. Moala, ALB, SBW and Ngatai are all primarily 12's. Crotty, Fekitoa and Tamanivalu are all primarily 13's. Someone of them can play both positions and some of them can only really play one. I genuinely cannot see SBW, Crotty or Fekitoa missing out so I think we have ALB, Moala and Ngatai playing for one spot.



  • I'd tend to add Crotty to the list of primarily 2nd fives who can play centre.
     
    Certainly this year the ABs have preferred him there - including when he was paired with Moala.



  • People seem to be picking three second fives. Moala, ALB, SBW and Ngatai are all primarily 12's. Crotty, Fekitoa and Tamanivalu are all primarily 13's. Someone of them can play both positions and some of them can only really play one. I genuinely cannot see SBW, Crotty or Fekitoa missing out so I think we have ALB, Moala and Ngatai playing for one spot.

    Crotty's a 12 for the ABs. I think the only times he's ever played at 13 for the AB was when Nonu or SBW were at 12. And I'd argue Moala is probably a 13, since that's where he played against Wales and the Blues 12 jersey will be SBW's next year.
     
    But instead of pinning players down as 12's or 13's, I'd split them by "type" because you want that Nonu/Conrad balance.
     
    Regardless, I agree that SBW, Crotty and Fekitoa pretty much have their spots on lock and I'd probably go with Ngatai as the fourth, assuming he's playing as well as he was earlier this year. I am wondering if ALB could do a Kahui and sneak in as a centre/wing though.


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