Terrible display. The forward pack is a mixture of journeymen and once-great players past their peak. Best forward was newell, that guy has a big future. Best back imho was Jordan. Thought goodhue did ok but Havili was poor. I think he’s a busted flush as a midfielder. This is the weakest crusaders side in along while. No way they win the comp.
I highlighted this at the end of last year in the 2022 squad naming's thread and was promptly labelled a nut-case.
Hilarious that you all have suddenly changed the narrative, in the SR squads thread it was deluded misinformed surface level comments along the lines of: 'Crusaders have all the best talent, look how stacked they are!' while I calmly pointed out that the Blues & Chiefs squads were at least on par & if you studied them closely actually significantly better in multiple areas.
My recollection was more that the Saders had a potential 13 AB starting XV with another on the bench.
Point was correct that the next layer of Saders didn’t look so flash and the next level of players in the country were sitting in other teams.
Depth has been the key to NZ teams this year. Previously the Saders had some but maybe the cycle has finally changed a little. This happens usually when positions 1 and 2 are filled and up and comers opt to be number 2 elsewhere rather than 3 with a blocker.
Remarkably the Saders management have dealt with that for a long time but it can’t sustain forever.
I will be mildly surprised if Razor selects that midfield after steadfastly sticking to today's one the last couple of years. Best coach can't be wrong!
Razor has played Havili and Goodhue together a couple of times. I think it will be an easier decision now that Jordan has cemented the fullback position.
I wonder if he will have a dabble and try
Fainga'anuku played more like a centre on the weekend anyway.
I don't think he'll leave out either Goodhue or Havili. Probs Goodhue to 13? Not sure if Havili has ever played 13.
I expect 12. Havili, 13. Goodhue, too.
Havili has played at 13 before, next to Crotty, but I doubt he'll be moved again (other than to fullback, if needed).
No way Razor will leave him out of the starting XV.
But in any event a competition where the results are predictable makes for a boring watch.
The Crusaders losing occasionally is no bad thing.
One person’s reputation that improved yesterday was Richie Mounga. He’s been papering over some pretty large cracks by the looks of things.
The real problem for the Crusaders is that their forward pack is made up of players who are all fairly ordinary and lack any real point of difference (Jager, Grace, Bower, Klein, Christie, McAlister, Gardiner, etc..) in addition to experienced campaigners who are quite obviously past it & have lost their edge (Taylor, Moody, Whitelock, Barrett). this all without mentioning the long list of supremely average backs making up the remainder of their squad (Ennor, Havili, Bridge, Drummond, McLeod, Burke, TTT, Hickey, Punivai, etc..)
And yet somehow, as if by magic, the Crusaders are not the last placed NZ team. Thank God for all the help they get from the refs.
And by a minor miracle could still finish 2nd for the play offs.
Amazing considering we have no decent players.
First thing to say is that both teams played some very good footy in the period, but Blues were just a bit better when it counted.
Some specific points:
Blues kicking. After the game I was very critical of BB and by association Sullivan for poor kicking. But on analysis there was only one poor kick in period, BB's chip kick around 67 which went to Drummond on Chch 10m line, and he passed to Jordan who took advantage of the misaligned Blues 'D' (they hadn't expected chip). He made a good 30m, and this led quickly to Reece try, albeit via an earlier regather, having knocked ball 5 feet forward and with hint of Blues touch which would have made it a knock on.
Other big Chch gain off a kick was where they spread it wide to edge near their 22 and Lester chipped to Blues 10m line. That one was allowed to bounce (wickedly) and Chch regathered going deep into Blues 22. Then BB charge down with Jordan knock in goal which wasn't checked. But Blues kick itself was actually good!
All that said, it was the case that Ritchie was getting more distance on punts than BB.
Red card period ran through to 67. At 63 Blues awarded penalty and took the 3. At the time I thought that was feeble, and after rewatch I'm convinced. Blues still had the momentum, and with the extra man ought to have kicked to corner. Another try would have been match winner. They got the 3, but failure to press the advantage exposed their mental frailty, which wouldn't have gone unnoticed and offered ray of hope to oppo.
Once the Red card period finished Chch were reinvigorated, whereas Blues looked like they were in 'hold on' mode.
Last 8 minutes. It was 23-27 and all to play for. At 73.30 Christie knocked himself out and that definitely weakened Blues. At 74 Sullivan kicked 22 to 22, and close to touch (see above), but Chch with the lucky bounce off Lester chip went the length of the field back. From there they threw the proverbial kitchen sink at Blues, as one would expect. To their immense credit Blues D was indomitable and legal. The Ioane/Paps tackle got the raps, but the last 4 minutes were a case of they shall not pass: bravo!
So Blues better than I thought, but IMO key lesson was not to become too tentative when Chch were still man down. That said, BB is no closer. That chip was a totally unnecessary gamble and had he just nudged the ball into the corner I very much doubt we'd have seem the Chch fightback.
Kudos, though, to Chch. Outplayed for most of match, at the point when the oppo showed a lack of confidence, and gave them a chink of light, they stormed back like the champions they've been.
It was a very kickable penalty. How many chances to get the 3 points : more than 70% IMO. How many chances to score a try via the lineout ? 20% maybe ?
I'm struggling to understand this concept that it's impossible for the canes to win in normal time, yet so much more acceptable they'd win in extra time. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Trying to score from something they're bad at (lineout - maul) against a team excellent at defending a maul. Extra time provides unstructured opportunities which is something the Canes are reasonable at.
It's not just a maul though. Even if you don't score from the maul, you should be able to recycle and get an unstructured opportunity 5 metres out.
Going for the lineout has less than a 50% chance of success, so can't use the fact it failed to prove your point. It has to be based on the likeliness at the time.
Let me get this logic right: A Canes lineout has more chance of losing possession that winning it, so it's better to attempt that to its inevitable conclusion (as we saw), than to force other opportunities?
No. The lineout has less than 50% chance of leading to a try. Obviously, we have more than 50% chance of winning the ball back.
Ok. A Canes lineout has more chance of not leading to a try than scoring one, so it's better to attempt that to its inevitable conclusion (as we saw), than to force other opportunities?
Yes. Going to golden point also has more chance of losing than winning.
There's only two teams competing in golden point...
Yes, but the Crusaders are a far better team, thus giving them a greater than 50% chance of winning in golden point. I don't believe you think the Hurricanes are as good as the Crusaders, or would be as likely to win from that point.
Even if you think golden point is a 50/50, Jordie still has to kick the goal to take us there. Unless you give him a 100% chance of doing so, there was a sub 50% the Hurricanes won from that position.
I understand now. You weren't going to win so why delay the inevitable, get it over in normal time!
That’s exactly what I’m reading too.
We’ll only get one chance as we aren’t good enough. Fair enough.
What I find hilarious is that the Canes were 6/10 against the Saders for line outs won.
But the kick is the risky option.
Our lineout is much better than that normally though.
Ahhh that poor display must have contributed to J. Blackwell's dropping from the side that fronted against Moana Pasifika.
I thought it was enjoyable to watch too. Although not being a cricket, US sports, soccer etc fan I'm just happy to have the rugby back so have enjoyed most games I've watched (even if I have been pointing out shit stuff too 🙂 - stupid league rules in rugby).
Just watched first half. Canes right on top. Crazy score at 16-12. Chch didn't do much right, one try ought to have been ruled out for forward pass, lucky only to have one in bin. Canes should have had at least 6 more on board. Canes 16 - Chch 5 would have been fairer reflection. Amazing!
So we came from 16-5 down to win? Makes the win that little bit more sweeter. Onwards and upwards. Get on the bandwagon, Tony Johnson certainly has 😉
Second half 26-20 to Chch. Hard to argue with too much with it. That said, had Ardie's try stood (thought the decision of no try was correct) doubt Canes would have leaked those quick tries.
Had Canes taken their chances they would have won, but that's rugby.
@nevorian Good recruiting by the Force thanks to Forrester's 💰 ; several of them older players, which shows the importance of experience. Unfortunately to them, they're also going to lose some of their players after this season. For example, IIRC both Cubelli and Miotti have signed in France. But maybe they'll manage to sign some of this year's returnees to take their place.
@kiwimurph A indictment on the Australia education system perhaps? Obviously cultural/sexual sensitivities take just as much presendence over traditional education learning skills over there as they do here.
@nevorian Just a natural phenomenon I think. Officials are human and whoever is at the top gets a negative narrative and the officials, as much as they try, have to be influenced by it all. The ABs in Europe during the end of year tours were subject to extra scrutiny especially around foul play where local players could get away with things the ABs couldn't.
The alternative is losing and the scrutiny (and whinging) transfers to the team that is winning.
@kiwimurph Or some people are just oversensitive when someone says something remotely critical of Akira (I guess that goes hand in hand with hyping up a player over the years 🎣 ). I've seen plenty of people commenting on Sotutu, Clarke and Rieko being lacklustre this season, and being outplayed in this game.
I don't think people care when Akira gets shit when he's playing average, but as this thread clearly shows no matter how well he plays posters will say he's playing shit or he's always shit.
The 2018 season clearly shows us this. He was class all that year yet we have have posters on here that are claiming otherwise.
Mate ,I didn't think he played that well in 2018, but I quite happy to say that is just my opinion, and some like different things in a 6 than me. I like them to have fairly good all round game. Doesn't mean I'm right though, just what I think.
The way both teams dealt with the breakdown seemed completely different. The Crusaders were happy to concede a lot and fan across in defense. The Chiefs put numbers in there and there were numerous hands competing for the ball. I wonder if the Chiefs would have been penalized more with a different ref.
Maybe initially - but you always push the boundaries and see where the line is.
Highlander runners seemed for at least first 60 to back off/slow a tad/change line at last moment going into contact. Result was a bit like when a scrum fakes at hit. Oppo overbalanced and contact ineffective. Whatever it was it really threw Saders momentum at breakdown.
Clan seemed to target running one out and then angling back in behind ruck. Seemed that analysis may have identified space there, and good yards made.
Seemed also to result in Saders not getting the rub of the red and black, as per usual.
If I were Super coaches I’d be pouring over tape!
A bit of actual rugby analysis rather than endless moaning about the refereeing. Awesome stuff!!
Ofa cost the game against the Aussies a few months ago. His bad habits are a problem, but the ABs have only two THPs of international calibre so he should keep on be selected again and again. Lomax is not yet ready, Angus T and Fidow cannot scrum while Jager is irish and Moli always injured (and seen as a LHP). It's urgent to give Newell and T. Williams some game time.
@chris-b Holy crap 55 contracted players. Were they running a contracted womans and development team as well?
Not sure quite how it was all supposed to work - but, there definitely wasn't a women's team.
My memory is that they retained a Nelson Griffins and a Marlborough Red Devils team and presumably the guys in those were on semi-pro contracts. But, I'm guessing really.
A guy who was big in one of the Nelson clubs told me he'd been talking to a very fringe player who told him how much his contract was and that there were plenty of others like him. I can't remember the figure he mentioned - but, both of were, "Why the hell would they pay him that!"
They definitely got the financial model badly wrong back then, but I think learned some very good lessons. 🙂
Agree. Nock has huge upside I reckon but will need time.
is looking like his time is now, was starting to look good last Super season, until he was dropped, presumably for a off-field incident (breach of team rules form what I heard) but was superb for Northland.
Am thinking Christie will get first chances though, but we know how attritional things are, so he will get his shot.