@Chris It was bizarre that he was left out in 2018 when he was easily the best in club rugby that year but they decided to go for 2 journeymen in Phil Burleigh and Sam Beard instead which did nothing for them in the long term as they both only lasted the 1 season.
Yeah exactly we were not impressed with those selections they were both poor.
I was thinking that season Nu’u must get a chance then they name the squad with those two in,Bizarre is a great word for it no rhyme or reason to it.
Someone once said something about a game of two halves (and then they said it again..).
This was that.
First half, Tasman seemed a mix of casual, butter-fingered, overly-anxious hunguses determined to keep Southland in the game.
Second half they came out much more focused, accurate and playing for each-other and eventually broke the Southland shackles.
Not sure whether playing with the wind was responsible for some pretty dire catching and passing. Tbh Southland played the first half like there was a heavy mid-afternoon dew , as well.
Anyway, ended up pretty comfortable.
Much better from just about everyone compared to last week's debacle - at least in the 2nd half. David Havili back to being a talisman. Fox-Matamua went well at 8. Ross improved the lineout. Renton probably had his best game of the season.
Once we stopped dropping the ball Big Leicester and Fetu Paea started to look good. Fonotia was decent and Mark Talea had his moments.
Nice cameo from Segner with one blockbusting run and a little catch and pass to set up a try. Worth another run next week, IMO.
Biggest problem was Isaac Salmon at tighthead - we went from having a dominant scrum with Matenga, to getting beaten up. That suggest that Matenga might be worth a look from a Super team.
Pleasing effort in the loose from Sam Moli. I'm not sure whether he threw to the linout, but I'd stick with him for next week as well.
ive always wondered this...and havent been able to find an answer, whats with the grandstand at rugby park? why so offset? i get it if they couldn't afford or just didn'r need one the full length...but why not around the half way line?
Love the finish of the game. Sums up Southland’s woes. Southland player did all the work to stay in the field of play and get the offload off, only for a basic handling error to happen straight after and game over.
Kept scoreless in the second half after a big lead. If Southland were a horse...
@nakosi one of the really big issues they have in the Southland area is player drain which the quality of club rugby has dropped away ..they have have realistically got about 10-12 players of Mitre 10 level.
Its not only quality it is quantity. 6 Prem teams only (and they are scraping numbers to make Prem teams) means a short season
All very quiet in here as Bay of Plenty are trying to achieve the seemingly impossible, losing to Southland.
We really gave it a good go. Despite setpiece dominance and a maul that was walking them back and winning a penalty every time, we contrived to keep handing Southland opportunities and they have some dangerous runners. If we had lost, it would have been peak choke. With the hooter gone, be a man up, have your own 5m attacking scrum, win the scrum, have the ball in the half-back's hands about to kick it 10m into touch - and still finish the game frantically defending your own line is quite an achievement.
@bones I am saying he wasn't worthy based on his injury, not his playing ability over 20 mins of ITM Cup. I am willing to give him a chance to show his true colours over an extended playing period and only then can a proper judgement be made.
@shark I doubt Havili will go anywhere after the RWC. He's only 23, still developing as a player and - the last two years - the first choice fullback for the Crusaders (keeping both Dagg and Bridge out of the 15 jersey). He's is test capped and - presumably - he'll still be on the ABs radar. I have no doubt that's what his ambitions are; to get another shot at the ABs. He's not that far off. One or two more good seasons at SR level, and he may get another call-up, esp in case of a BFA departure. Sooner, in case of injury. Hansen & co have said they like his versatility. Getting the Tasman captaincy may give him some confidence, which he seemed to lack a bit at the beginning of the 2018 SR season.
I actually think he reached peak form in 2017 and might struggle to get back there. Sure, Smith will be goneski after the RWC but he's still behind Barrett and McKenzie with the chance someone else could emerge (Jordan possibly). His versatility and potential issues in the Crusaders midfield going forward (ie Crotty injuries) could see him shifted around a bit as well, opening up opportunities for others in the Crusaders 15 jumper. All combined, I think he will find it difficult to get back into black and if he becomes frustrated due to any of the aforementioned factors, he could be off.