How good was Kieran Read...?,actually thought he should have been the MOTM..!
Best posts made by Steven Harris
RE: Blues vs Crusaders
Walked away from Eden Park on Saturday night asking myself one question..have the Blues got the right skipper..?
Being down 3-12 and with a man in the bin,I thought the Blues did extremely well to keep the Saders scoreless during that time.
However the decision not to take 3 points from a very kickable position on the stroke of halftime had many of us in the west stand shaking our heads..On 2 other occasions points on offer were turned down..
You often wonder why the Blues never quite get across the line in this local derby games..much of it you can put down to poor leadership and decision making on field.
Sure you can heap blame on individuals but despite that in many cases poor options when coming to terms of what’s required and understanding game situations is something they need to fix and in a hurry..
I was often told,when your playing a good team,stay in the fight and when it gets down to the wire anything can happen,for that to happen you have to keep accumulating points.
There was a lot to like,talking to a good friend in Christchurch who caught up with Matt Todd earlier today..Todd had told him the Blues were definitely a different beast from previous years ,very tough up front and more structure to their game.but they also knew whom to pressure in the last 15 minutes and get maximum value..interesting coms..
Just from my own point of view,I think the Blues would have Brocken their duck against any other franchise ,but after all we are playing a team that’s got everybody else’s number in NZ.
Just on a man of the match..if Ardie and Sam are considered the best 7s in the country ,Matt Todd must the unluckiest player running around..watched his running lines from the top of the west stand always in the right place at the right time..not far behind the young Ennor ,but I have always known how good this kid was gonna be from his St Kent’s and NZ 20s days.
For the Blues,if Akira can keep this form up,who knows I am sure Hansen will no choice but to have him involved with the Blacks.
Nonu surprised me,did most things right and more ,got gassed by Ennor,but at the end of the day just up against younger faster legs.
Like the look of Tom Robinson,would love to see him used more running off a short pass from a prop channel 1 or 2..
Disappointed with the loss,but will be back for the next home game..loved the banter from the supporters up on the West Stand,never laughed so much at a game.
RE: Crusaders v Blues
As much as I have wanted the Blues to get across the line this evening ..I have got to question how much some really do know about the game of rugby ...the one area where the Crusaders have dominated has been in the high kick stakes..the Blues have been completely overshadowed in this aspect...the much maligned George Bridge has put so much pressure on the receiver from high kicks ...the Blues have failed to negate this area..and their own high kick when it really mattered , unfortunately fell by the wayside ..both Christie and Barrett at crucial times put kicks out on the full...to me the turning point was the charge down of Blacks kick ..and the subsequent short kick off from Mo’unga , the Blues had fallen asleep and you could see the momentum change ,some great individual performances , but big match players come up with big moments ..on that aspect ..The Crusaders Take the chocolates ..it was great to watch a game that I really feel the Blues are now relevant again..you know when a Canterbury crowd goes silent for long periods means you have them under the pump..to blame this evenings official is joke..game management when it really mattered was the difference..
RE: Blues 2018
Interesting listening to Murray Mexted this morning on Radio Sport,touched on both the Blues & Auckland and the issues both have had over the last decade.
I was delighted to hear Mexted speak both frankly about the failure to identify or scout talent,which has been a big bug bear I have had for a least 10 years..
Even the current Auckland Mitre 10 cup is classic,having watched quite a bit of Auckland club rugby,I have been highly impressed with the 3 argentine Costa brothers that play for Eden,I was told by someone on the AK coaching staff,that they were not up to mitre 10 level.
yet Nico comes on for Auckland v Canterbury at halfback and almost changes the game,a position Auckland have struggled at in the last few seasons,and I would imagine all 3 x Brothers would have a great understanding of each other's game..just saying..!
I also question the Blues ability to select a player required for their roster,I see the Blues signed the boy Ruru from Otago,with the greatest respect I reckon Jack Stratton from Canterbury looks a much better prospect,can think right back to the Lions first game against the NZ Babas,he was awesome against quality opposition.
Even the selection of Otere Black bothers me,he was targeted by the Blues a couple of seasons ago and declined,
Personally when the Blues were chasing Beauden Barrett,I would gave gone after Richie Mo'unga,at the time he was the 3rd choice 10 at the crusaders,but having seen him at NZ 20s level,one could see he had the goods.
Even in recent times,best young first five at the NZ under 19s tournament a couple seasons back was Brett Cameron from Canterbury,..will probably be the 3rd choice at the saders in 2018 behind Mo'unga and Hunt.
Another player I would be all over is Jackson Hemapo from Manawatu,the man is a beast,and from the time Stephen Luatua signed with Bristol,they should have been all over it.
I realise in the scheme of things there are agents and money to deal with,but man alive,open your eyes..!
RE: Bledisloe One: Wellington, October 11
Now that the emotion has died down.
I really enjoyed that test and further more had we lost , Would not have bothered me the least .
Thought the Wallabies were tremendous and I have always said, regardless of what we think of the standard of their rugby , it’s only takes a squad of 23 on the day to do the job.
First order of business from an All Blacks piece , and this is what really worries me under Foster you have got to earn the right to go wide, if it means means doing a bit more work up front then so be it.
To be honest when I first saw the All Black team that was named for the test , I was quite underwhelmed ..
I thought it was the perfect opportunity as the Wallabies did to promote a couple of youngsters into the starting XV , Wil Jordon and Caleb Clark come to mind and I would have just left D.Mac on the bench and not played Bridge at all.
Fosters conservative approach concerns me.
Thinking back on super rugby watching many of the NZ contests which were fast paced and highly skilled compared to the Australian comp which at times could be a grind especially when watching the Brumbies with lineout drives and mauls and holding on to the ball for long periods ,but if you really think about it .
Which style is closer to test Rugby ..?.
The Wallabies I thought we’re a lot better than I thought they would be , but on saying that as proven when Rennie took over the Chiefs ironically from Foster he selected a group of players from all over the country and bought them together win a title in his very first year , sure you had Wayne Smith in the background but at the end of the day this was Rennies team .
Really liked the way their forwards went about their work ,Harry Wilson running in the wide channels was superb ,Only 20 years old , Lukhan Salakaia Loto was an absolute beast and his his locking partner Matt Philip has got some work rate and Taniela Tupou being used as a first receiver dragged in at least 3 tacklers was a master stroke in terms of coaching
Add in Nick White who was superb behind the Wallabies pack , Dalgunu on the wing looks a handful and Tom Banks at the back is safe as houses at the back superb under the highball and has a massive punt .
Plenty of pluses for the visitors .it seems as though Rennie has got buy in from this squad which for an outside coach is your first victory.
RE: Ireland vs All Blacks (2018)
Outplayed and out coached by the Irish on the day,no real complaints from me.
Not the end of the world, but I have seen plenty of evidence to suggest signs of staleness within this coaching group.
No question it was a points decision to Joe Schmidt after this mornings match and that what’s worrying me
We have the players,but is this coaching group getting the best of out of this group..?
I have often believed if you have several players at their best in a team of 15 there’s a good chance you go on an win.
That’s been a real concern not just in this mornings game,but also last weeks performance against England ,just the lack of our so called world class players standing up and when you consider the All Black coaches pulled out all the stops by taking away 51 players on this tour to protect many of our big guns..
Was it the right strategy..?,based on what we have seen you would have to say no..
Also our discipline when don’t have the ball has been terrible,some of our senior players the real culprits.
What’s that all about..?
Which leads me on to why all the penalties,when you give up ball with a poor kick game against a team like Ireland who can hold on to the ball no matter where they are on the paddock..you have got to ask questions abou strategy and dare I say it captaincy..
My apologies if I am sounding like Watto,but I would like to think I have outlined my argument with a degree of thought.
Latest posts made by Steven Harris
RE: Game of three halves - Blues/Crusaders/Chiefs - 20/02, 12pm
Some really impressive individual performances..Ruru had a very good game in the first hit out , but I thought Sam Nock was superb in the 2nd 40 against the chiefs he is starting to eye opportunities, which holds the defence and gives times for support players to get themselves in the right positions, Thought he had the best pass of any of the halfbacks on show ,Both Eklund amd Tolai showed that Parsons will not be missed ..much more physical with ball in hand ..Akira i thought was very good ,has added some nice offloads to his game ,plenty of depth in the loose forwards to keep him honest..Josh Goodhue after a superb season with the Taniwha last year now showing the sort of consistency at lineout and kickoff time , and carry into contact with aggression..Tom Robinson just another energy charged performance as per normal ..
And Caleb Clark looked in good nick ..I have seen him training at Waitakere stadium with Danny Tusitala consistently throughout the summer ..
Special mention to Xavier Rowe ,looked really good in a team that look at bit lost in terms of attack in the backline ..