Pity about the other two titles fights though. Joanna
Seems like an outdated argument to me. The WRU are a mess and Waikato had a shit season but the Mitre 10 Cup is becoming less and less important every year, all the money goes to Super Rugby and that's the priority. It may sting because we all grew up with the NPC but what's important is getting the best players in NZ into the 5 franchises, not strengthening teams in a much less important competition.
The way I see things, the Mitre 10 Cup is basically turning into a developmental league. The next step will probably be resting starting Super players from playing in it, leaving just the U20 players, fringe Super players and club stand outs.
@kiwimurph solid point! Maybe I have it the other way round?!?
You sure you're not thinking of Rennie, Nisbo?
Wayne Smith has always been said to see DMac as a 10 and disagreed with Rennie playing him at 15 all the time, so no surprise if Hansen's thinking along the same lines too. I don't think we know what Cooper's planning yet but seeing as Cruden's gone and Beaver's been dropped (for shame!), there aren't exactly many options.
@Unco not that I'm a fan of the hacking at the ball at the ruck anyway, but isn't disrupting play for the other team a large part of competing for possession?
Sure but there should at least be some illusion of proper competition there. To me it isn't much different than a deliberate knock on.
Some good changes in there but why the fuck did it take so long to ban kicking the ball in the ruck? It's good that they've finally done it but even ignoring player safety, it was never about competing for the ball, just disrupting play for the other team. I've always hated it.
ALL BLACKS: Damian McKenzie, Israel Dagg, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Vaea Fifita, Brodie Retallick, Luke Romano, Nepo Laulala, Dane Coles, Joe Moody.
Reserves: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Scott Barrett, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Lima Sopoaga, Ngani Laumape.
Return of the hot stepper.
Good to see Nehe back.
Little bit of rotation without going OTT. Good.
Sammy deserves a rest.
Would be fun to watch Laumape and Dubs together although I don't expect that to be plan A.
Only question for me is TKB on the bench. No problem in as much as he is clearly in the 3 best halfbacks, but as he's leaving are we missing a chance to get another 9 blooded? Or is Weber next in line and still not 100% so TKB is stop gap as nobody else is ready?
Who says they'll even have 3 full-time halfbacks in the squad after TKB leaves? It wasn't that long ago they only had Weepu and Cowan, with Ellis only called up when needed.
Who won this game again?
Check the table on the official website:
Looks like it's fixed now.
I love how they've still got "Official home of the Investec Super Rugby competition" in the page title an entire year (and major sponsor change) after I first noticed it. An even sloppier effort than last night's game.