@antipodean fake tits are gross in general. Give me natural any day.
Yet still better than none, or next to none!
Well, colour me underwhelmed. With the forwards anyway, and in the five-eighths. I guess I was hoping hoping hoping there'd be a surprise or two sprung and we'd have some instant depth added at prop after losing Franks, Perry and Crockett in recent times, and find a truly big (tall and solid) lock to replace Whitelock, but we've come up short in both departments.
There is definitely a depth issue at prop, so Jason Ryan will need to continue working his magic with the inexperienced group we have and hope we don't get exposed. Good experience at lock but Strange is the only guy over 2m, and he's not really a 'grunter'. Romano is a grunter but who knows how long his legs will last now. We could potentially field some relatively short locking combinations, but we might be able to add depth to our line-out by using Blackadder, Grace and Roots on the blindside.
Depth at 10 is a big worry. Losing Mo'unga for any length of time could be disastrous if Cameron can't play better than he did vs NSW last season, and Burke's handful of good moments in the NPC were as outside back cover. I'd almost have picked up O'Malley from Tasman as another option. At 12 we have to either blood a rookie, one of whom spent most of the NPC on the wing, or work-up a combination between Ennor and Goodhue or Havili'i and Goodhue. A couple of times in the NPC I bemoaned on the boards what Maddock was doing with McLeod, Burke and also Sam Gilbert, specifically because it was so obvious they needed to be blooded properly in their preferred positions with an eye on Crusaders selection. And boom, here we are.
@Cyclops really. I’m all for having the best team.
I agree, so long as we're deficient in the position and the domestic cupboard is bare, or relatively bare.
People also need to realise having a foreign international come in could help the development of others in the squad. There is a common complaint that our exodus strengthens NH rugby, and there's no reason why it can't happen here. The same applies to coaching: O'Gara 'fixed' Mo'unga's goalkicking during his time here. Would we rather have that or the likes of a Joe Maddock prematurely promoted?
Is it England or GB for the purpose of this exercise? Either way, they probably under-perform given they can't dominate rugby, soccer or netball and have only had limited success over-all recently in cricket. Some really good patches in the Olympics but they've also been dire at the Games at times whilst also enduring really poor periods in some of the aforementioned sports as well. In individuals global sports such as tennis and golf how many majors have British (let alone just English) athletes won?
@shark to your credit, not including paragraphs in your posts does make them read slightly deranged which matches the content nicely.
Multiple posters, from different franchises, are making similar points now. And we’ve been discussing his workload for over 18 months now, a weird claim to say that’s recent.
Need to read more than just the Crusader posts.
No idea what you're on about re excluding paragraphs. Whatever comes through when I hit the 'quote' button, comes through. Maybe you need a technician in?
This isn't a Crusaders player we're talking about, and he's not even in competition with a Crusaders player for the All Blacks, yet you're alluding to a franchise bias. And I'm deranged?
An area we're sorely lacking in as things stand is grunt from the loose forward group. We have a proliferation of world-class openside flankers we seem to want to shoe-horn in ala Pooper and Smith/Waugh as we lack depth at 6, and as of 2020 we have a dire hole at 8 as well. (Still not dire enough to try Ioane though). Savea is an openside flanker, as of course is Cane. We need a couple of chunky lads in 6 and 8. Maybe Squire comes back and that helps, but we need a Fifita or Frizzell to stake a legit claim and/or a Blackadder to break through in SR. It's noticeable that throughout our game, loose forwards and locks are 'shrinking'. We first see our midget packs get beaten up by SA and England in the U20s and this has started to translate into the senior ranks. We have far too many blindside flankers playing as under sized locks in Super Rugby and even moreso in the NPC, and too few 8s and 6s regularly playing in those positions who have genuine size (around 1.92m+) and bulk. We also have stuff all 2m+ locks coming through (compared to around 10 - 15 years ago when we were flush in that department) and our openside flankers are on average getting smaller I reckon. Look at the emerging talent like Harmon and Kirifi. Harmon replaces another midget in Todd. Dillon Hunt isn't big either.
10-15 years our locks were rubbish, we had Ali and Jack and fuck all else. It wasn’t until Brad Thorn came back and Whitelock came onto the scene that we actually got decent there. Luckily BBBR followed BBBT so there was no drop off.
As far as i know Squire is off overseas too. Which is good because he definitely isn’t the answer to any questions we should be asking.
The point being made isn't about whether we have world class 2m+ locks, but SR capable 2m+ locks, or are we generally a bit smaller than in that period. In and around the period I've mentioned we had Jack, Williams, Ryan (briefly), Eaton, Clarke, O'Neill, Donnelly, Ross and then Whitelock and Retallick emerging. If someone had the time and inclination to do the analysis I reckon the stats would back up my assertion. How many 2m+ guys will play SR next year? Or even 1.98m+ guys. And then how many games will Blackwell, Hemopo, Frizzell, Parete, Fifita etc etc play at lock?