Waikato and the Chiefs



  • On the back of Waikato's demotion yesterday, would anyone care to explain why they're in such bad decline while the Chiefs are up there in Super Rugby? The Chiefs have had the most 'national' of the NZ Super squads for a number of years now (probably on par with the Highlanders) and at the same time Waikato appear to have been in steady decline. Is there a correlation to be drawn between the Chiefs' shopping habits and why Waikato stink so bad these days?



  • @shark
    It bugs me that so many promising Waikato players keep deserting the province. I am afraid it will continue this summer. Like the Highlanders, the Chiefs seem to regularly recruit imports known to their coaches, when local players of similar or possibly greater ability miss out. They inevitably look elsewhere for opportunities because of the uncertainty that prevails for their own future.

    I went to the game yesterday and was gutted to see no improvement in the things marring their outcomes this season.

    1. The goalkicking was atrocious, with some of the misses being by huge distances. I was looking for Sweeney and McKenzie to set that right after last year. Maybe Lansdown lost confidence by not being promoted to regular starter. Christie was not intended top kicker, and that responsibility seemed to lie heavily on him. Reece just did not look the part. However, Ahki looked ok.
    2. The lineout organisation seems too complicated, with so many mistimed throws to the back of the lineout. Not sure it was the hooker's fault, as easy to disrupt and anticipate.
    3. Poor tactical kicking, usually to waiting hands, no chasers. Should go to ground more often, or have chasers close.
    4. Too many blind offloads in the opposition 22. That is the time to keep the pressure on by building phases.
    5. Too many cards conceded under pressure and too many penalties given defending mauls.
    6. Lack of deception and vision on attack. Constant use of crash ball by second-five or winger is too predictable.

    My conclusion is that the squad individually lacked self-belief, despite a great start to the season, from uncertainty regarding individual futures, compared to most other teams. The sum of individual talents certainly did not match the team results. With so many players seeking super contracts and so few Chiefs spots open it must be hard to pin your hopes and promote oneself as a draft pick.

    Having four provinces in the Chiefs franchise, when Chiefs coaches still import talent, inevitably means that a lot of aspiring players will be uncertain of their future. Whomever is Coach for next season needs to start off building right now and instilling a sense of belief and progression towards goals, so that the players get the hunger to collectively make it back to the top division next year.

    Relegation might be just the reality check needed to create a united sense of purpose and far better things in 2018. Collective confidence and belief in each other builds a great team.



  • @arhs said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    @shark
    It bugs me that so many promising Waikato players keep deserting the province. I am afraid it will continue this summer. Like the Highlanders, the Chiefs seem to regularly recruit imports known to their coaches, when local players of similar or possibly greater ability miss out. They inevitably look elsewhere for opportunities because of the uncertainty that prevails for their own future.

    I went to the game yesterday and was gutted to see no improvement in the things marring their outcomes this season.

    1. The goalkicking was atrocious, with some of the misses being by huge distances. I was looking for Sweeney and McKenzie to set that right after last year. Maybe Lansdown lost confidence by not being promoted to regular starter. Christie was not intended top kicker, and that responsibility seemed to lie heavily on him. Reece just did not look the part. However, Ahki looked ok.
    2. The lineout organisation seems too complicated, with so many mistimed throws to the back of the lineout. Not sure it was the hooker's fault, as easy to disrupt and anticipate.
    3. Poor tactical kicking, usually to waiting hands, no chasers. Should go to ground more often, or have chasers close.
    4. Too many blind offloads in the opposition 22. That is the time to keep the pressure on by building phases.
    5. Too many cards conceded under pressure and too many penalties given defending mauls.
    6. Lack of deception and vision on attack. Constant use of crash ball by second-five or winger is too predictable.

    My conclusion is that the squad individually lacked self-belief, despite a great start to the season, from uncertainty regarding individual futures, compared to most other teams. The sum of individual talents certainly did not match the team results. With so many players seeking super contracts and so few Chiefs spots open it must be hard to pin your hopes and promote oneself as a draft pick.

    Having four provinces in the Chiefs franchise, when Chiefs coaches still import talent, inevitably means that a lot of aspiring players will be uncertain of their future. Whomever is Coach for next season needs to start off building right now and instilling a sense of belief and progression towards goals, so that the players get the hunger to collectively make it back to the top division next year.

    Relegation might be just the reality check needed to create a united sense of purpose and far better things in 2018. Collective confidence and belief in each other builds a great team.

    I would not get to down. Age group teams from Waikato have been consistently strong.
    From a Chiefs perspective I believe the franchise has really failed it unions. I am hoping Cooper will signal a change.



  • The Chiefs are no longer a thinly disguised Waikato recruitment tool.

    With the added bonus of no incentive to see non-Waikato SR level players leave the franchise area.



  • Out of interest how did Zac go for the chang this year?



  • @arhs Who are all the promising players leaving the province, and who's benefiting? I actually see Waikato bringing in a lot of top talent straight out of school, such as McKenzie, ALB and Tucker all from Chch schools (yes yes, McKenzie himself was an import from Southland first, but the point stands). Or is it the Chiefs bringing them in and they just happen to be aligned with Waikato, who receive minimal use of the players as they advance to the top level?

    I think the Chiefs have badly let Waikato down, and to a lesser degree probably the three smaller top unions in the franchise area, by going after too many players from all over the country when central contracting was introduced. One way or another, Chiefs recruitment has stymied the development of local talent.



  • @shark

    From the last year those gone elsewhere include Brian Alainu'uese, Whetu Douglas, Stephen Donald, Brad Tucker, Josh Gascoigne, Willis Halaholo, Steven Misa, Jason Robertson, Shaun Stevenson, Jordan Trainor, Josh Dowsing, Atu Masirewa, Luke Masirewa, and Under 19s Ryan Coxon and Du Plessis Kirifi loaned (?) out, plus Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Loni Uhila going now. In the previous year or so, Joe Webber, Regan Ware, Dylan Collier, Declan O'Donnell, Kylem O'Donnell, Bryn Gatland, Wharenui Hawera, Josh Tyrell, Joe Walsh, Jordan Payne, Ben Tameifuna, Brad Webber, Kane Jacobsen all gone to other provinces. Not sure why Liam Messam not there this year. Also, Tau Koloamatangi, Turoa Stephens and Nathaniel Apa missing from representative action.

    So, not such a problem in the youngest bracket, but more of an issue in the 21 to 25 area when players are jockeying for full-time super rugby contracts. North Harbour and European Clubs have been the biggest benefactors. Ironically, Ahki and Manihera both from Harbour.

    In my humble opinion that is a huge player turnover, with very few of the players too old for Super rugby (or Waikato Rep team) next year.

    There are some very promising players still there, such as Taukeiaho, Caird, Moli, Jacobsen x 2, Reece, Campbell, Sullivan, Lansdown, Tucker, Kautai, McWhannell, Johnstone, Lienert-Brown, McKenzie, Faiva. I just hope they stay on and develop combinations.



  • A lot of those guys you named are imports to Waikato anyway!



  • I don't think it has anything to do with the Chiefs. The only home base for a franchise with a strong team is Canterbury.



  • It'll be interesting to see how long it takes Waikato to come back up. It hasn't been easy for other teams


    Year Team Relegated Year Regained Promotion
    2011 Southland N/A
    2012 Hawkes Bay 2015
    2013 Bay of Plenty N/A
    2014 Wellington N/A
    2015 Manawatu N/A
    2016 Hawkes Bay N/A
    2017 Waikato N/A

    It's a small sample size, but so far only Hawkes Bay have won promotion after being relegated under this format.
    It has been different from the the yoyo teams in the 90's

    Waikato has a better chance than most. Making the last two under 19s finals means they should have some decent talent coming through

    But consider Wellington.. They arguably have a top 3 team right now but they have been stuck in the second division for years

    Waikato fans should probably cheer for Wellington to get promoted this year



  • @Duluth the season after Wellington got relegated, the Canes had one of their best ever seasons including a home SR final, under the same coach! Then won it the following year. Seems the correlation between SR success and provincial success is not strong anymore.



  • @duluth said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    It'll be interesting to see how long it takes Waikato to come back up. It hasn't been easy for other teams


    Year Team Relegated Year Regained Promotion
    2011 Southland N/A
    2012 Hawkes Bay 2015
    2013 Bay of Plenty N/A
    2014 Wellington N/A
    2015 Manawatu N/A
    2016 Hawkes Bay N/A
    2017 Waikato N/A

    It's a small sample size, but so far only Hawkes Bay have won promotion after being relegated under this format.
    It has been different from the the yoyo teams in the 90's

    Waikato has a better chance than most. Making the last two under 19s finals means they should have some decent talent coming through

    But consider Wellington.. They arguably have a top 3 team right now but they have been stuck in the second division for years

    Waikato fans should probably cheer for Wellington to get promoted this year

    It doesn't really matter though what dic you're in? You still play Div 1 and 2 opponents. If you asked me who was in each division, apart from Southland, I wouldn't have known who was in it.



  • @hooroo said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    It doesn't really matter though what dic you're in?

    Well you can't be champions



  • @duluth said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    @hooroo said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    It doesn't really matter though what dic you're in?

    Well you can't be champions

    True.

    Wow, I am suprised how little I care about NPC. Love the Shield still though



  • The Chiefs angle is interesting

    Taranaki have long had ambitions of being a SR base. If they end this season as Ranfurly Shield holders and 1st division winners they have a strong hand to ask for more games

    They too have a Test match venue, they have better crowds and produce more players

    I expect infighting



  • The Chiefs and Waikato separated as an entity a long time back (maybe even back when I was living there) and quite frankly it's a good thing that the bulk of a franchises talent isn't all concentrated in one NPC team. That was the problem with the previous incarnations with the NPC when Super Rugby started, the franchise could just hog the talent. Now we have a much better spread, and Southland and the Magpies aside, any team can beat any team regardless of the division. It's really just two conferences in the same competition.



  • @duluth said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    The Chiefs angle is interesting

    Taranaki have long had ambitions of being a SR base. If they end this season as Ranfurly Shield holders and 1st division winners they have a strong hand to ask for more games

    They too have a Test match venue, they have better crowds and produce more players

    I expect infighting

    That would be a fair call too. It would be a bit of fun if Super Bases were loaded out based on NPC performance



  • I'm all for going back to a system where a franchise has to select a minimum of x amount of players from within franchise boundaries. This used to be something like 24 players but could be as few as 12 potentially. There has to be a happy medium to be found between the central contracting free-for-all and the old 24 player system. Before anyone says anything, this wouldn't benefit Canterbury greatly.



  • @shark said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    I'm all for going back to a system where a franchise has to select a minimum of x amount of players from within franchise boundaries. This used to be something like 24 players but could be as few as 12 potentially. There has to be a happy medium to be found between the central contracting free-for-all and the old 24 player system. Before anyone says anything, this wouldn't benefit Canterbury greatly.

    What is wrong with it in reality? Why protect the franchise bases? Some provinces are struggling to be as successful as in the past, that just means others are more successful now - but if you remember back to the 80s then Waikato spent time in the old 2nd division.

    If unions are to be tied in then it should be all top tier unions in the region rather than just the home franchise which has happened in the past, that way a union like Hawkes Bay (for example) wouldn't see it's players go to other franchises so often.



  • @shark said in Waikato and the Chiefs:

    I'm all for going back to a system where a franchise has to select a minimum of x amount of players from within franchise boundaries. This used to be something like 24 players but could be as few as 12 potentially. There has to be a happy medium to be found between the central contracting free-for-all and the old 24 player system. Before anyone says anything, this wouldn't benefit Canterbury greatly.

    And players then just shift province, like they used to. And so the outer provinces get stripped.


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