Auckland 2018



  • Looks like Sam Ulufonua (promising lock/six from Ponsonby) is going to be playing in Hawkes Bay this year:

    (hat-tip: @Stargazer)

    https://www.facebook.com/havelocknorthrugby/posts/10155476823432055

    Morena Village whanau. We are in need of some help with accommodation for Sam Ulufonua who is here from Auckland to play for the village. Thanks to Richard Kinnear and HBHS he is in work and is contracted with HBRFU as a devlopment player however wanting to make the Magpies. If anyone can help or is looking for a flatmate/roomie/boarder please let Tom Blake or Richard Kinnear know ASAP. Sam is a lock 23 yrs 6ft.4 ..134kg. Sam is looking to settle here for awhile...........



  • @tim Auckland do have some talented lock/6s coming through such as Hoskins Sotutu & Reidlinger-Kapa - hopefully they are both in the Auckland squad.



  • @kiwimurph Yeah, should be a lot of competition for those spots.

    Locks:

    Scrafton
    Fatialofa
    Tuipulotu
    Nee-Nee
    Pierce
    Lane
    Dunshea

    Lock/6 includes Seu and Slade.



  • Is he any good or will he be shit like most of our recent Auckland imports? Looks a bit short to be a top end lock and too heavy to be a 6 or 8.





  • Tiatia is pretty highly rated as a forwards coach, isn't he?



  • Ulufonua has been mostly injured since coming out of school.

    @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    Tiatia is pretty highly rated as a forwards coach, isn't he?

    Maybe, but the Sunwolves pack were mostly beaten up under him. Not much talent there though, but that's the only team I've seen under him.



  • @dice Wasn't he pretty good with Japan?



  • @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    @dice Wasn't he pretty good with Japan?

    I forgot he was with Japan. Hopefully he can give us more of the stuff he did with them than with the Sunwolves.



  • Auckland coaches putting out a message that they will be keeping a very close eye on club rugby this year and this is very much a new regime. This is a very good thing.



  • @kiwimurph It's astounding this is 'New'



  • Auckland club rugby gets underway this weekend.

    Grammar TEC's entire frontrow is comprised of Tu’ungafasi's.

    Albert Lagitofaoletalalelei is the name of the round.



  • @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    Albert Lagitofaoletalalelei is the name of the round.

    Is he any good? I really want him to make the ABs and hear commentators around the world deal with that.



  • @snowy imagine the level of 'disrespect' he'd receive on here - we cant even spell Messim right!



  • @crazy-horse said in Auckland 2018:

    we cant even spell Messim right!

    Or Reid, shit Read.
    That bloke that captains the All Blacks anyway.

    I think I will call Mr Lagitofaoletalalelei, Albert. Possibly even Al.



  • Anyone know if the Filipo Levi coaching at Marist is the former Highlander?



  • @tim Yeah that's him.



  • Levi played a couple of years for Marist a few years ago.



  • Looks like Auckland will be without Scrafton and Tuipulotu this season. Have also lost Nee Nee, Pierce, and Ulufonua to other provinces. Fatialofa and Seu for the starting locks?



  • @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    Looks like Auckland will be without Scrafton and Tuipulotu this season. Have also lost Nee Nee, Pierce, and Ulufonua to other provinces. Fatialofa and Seu for the starting locks?

    That looks like the go, with Slade as the bench lock.

    With Seu going to lock and Akira a good chance to be an AB, we could be fielding a very young but exciting looking backrow of Havili(6), Gibson(7) and Papali'i(8).



  • PONSONBY CLAIM 2018 WAKA NATHAN CHALLENGE CUP
    ~
    Waka Nathan Challenge Cup Final:
    Eden 30 - 34 Ponsonby
    ~
    Premier Pre-Season Results:
    College Rifles 37 - 21 University
    Mt Wellington 17 - 33 East Tamaki
    Manukau 12 - 39 Grammar TEC
    Pakuranga 60 - 14 Te Papapa
    Papatoetoe 38 - 24 Otahuhu





  • I see that Willie Talataina-Mu is back at Ponsonby after playing for Southland last year.

    England under 20 player Jacob Umaga (son of Mike Umaga) is playing for Eden.

    Marcel Renata is playing for University, so must've been released by the Hurricanes.



  • @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    England under 20 player Jacob Umaga (son of Mike Umaga) is playing for Eden.

    It would be nice if we could steal one back.



  • @dice said in Auckland 2018:

    @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    Looks like Auckland will be without Scrafton and Tuipulotu this season. Have also lost Nee Nee, Pierce, and Ulufonua to other provinces. Fatialofa and Seu for the starting locks?

    That looks like the go, with Slade as the bench lock.

    With Seu going to lock and Akira a good chance to be an AB, we could be fielding a very young but exciting looking backrow of Havili(6), Gibson(7) and Papali'i(8).

    I'd go with Papali'i (6), Gibson (7) and Sotutu (8).



  • @cgrant said in Auckland 2018:

    @dice said in Auckland 2018:

    @tim said in Auckland 2018:

    Looks like Auckland will be without Scrafton and Tuipulotu this season. Have also lost Nee Nee, Pierce, and Ulufonua to other provinces. Fatialofa and Seu for the starting locks?

    That looks like the go, with Slade as the bench lock.

    With Seu going to lock and Akira a good chance to be an AB, we could be fielding a very young but exciting looking backrow of Havili(6), Gibson(7) and Papali'i(8).

    I'd go with Papali'i (6), Gibson (7) and Sotutu (8).

    That's a good option too. I do rate Havili a bit more than Sotutu though. For someone his age, he's got such a high level of physicality, and I think that's something he clearly has over Sotutu at the moment.

    There was an example of his physicality in the pre-season game against the Canes when he put a big shot on Lousi, who has about 20kg's on him. That surprised me, because even though I knew he was quite strong in contact, I didn't know he was that strong already. It was especially pleasing to see because it's clear he hasn't filled out his body yet, but is already muscling up with the big boys.



  • I've seen Havili get overpowered a bit though.. but yeah you can't fault his effort
    Will be great when he fills out



  • He's like a new Jordan Taufua, very physical but a bit too short for a 6.



  • @cgrant I'm not sold on that comparison.

    Havili can play 6 and 8, but his best position might be 7 going forward. It's where he's played a lot since coming out of school, but with Gibson around, it's just about fitting the best guys in for me.

    187cm at 6 is not an ideal height, but you can more than get away with it at NPC level, and even Super level. If Papalii is in the backrow, you don't need to worry about a 6 being a jumper that much.



  • @dice said in Auckland 2018:

    Havili can play 6 and 8, but his best position might be 7 going forward.

    Yeah, he's played the last two games for College Rifles there.



  • Is Seu still contracted by Auckland ?





  • Quick rundown of the squad.

    33 Players - 19 forwards, 14 backs.

    Numbers by club:

    Suburbs - 5
    Ponsonby - 5
    Eden - 3
    Pakuranga - 3
    Papatoetoe - 6
    University - 2
    Grammar TEC - 3
    Waitemata - 3
    College Rifles - 2
    Manukau Rovers - 1

    Jarred Adams (Suburbs) - Loosehead, ex Counties-Manukau, Samoa U20
    Conner Halangahu (Ponsonby) - Loosehead, ex Oyonnax
    Frank Friconnet (Eden) - Loosehead
    Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Suburbs) - Loosehead, also plays Tighthead, 2017 NZ U20, trained with Crusaders as injury cover in 2018
    Jerry Samania (Pakuranga) - Tighthead, Samoa U20
    Inoke Latu (Papatoetoe) - Tighthead, ex Tasman

    Penisoni Fineanganofo (Papatoetoe) - Hooker, Auckland U19 2017
    Leif Schwencke (Suburbs) - Hooker, Samoa U20 2014
    Steve Afoa (University) - Hooker

    Jack Whetton (Grammar TEC) - Lock
    Cameron Rutherford (Eden) - Lock
    Jamie Lane (Ponsonby) - Lock, NZ U20 2015
    AJ Sagaga (Waitemata) - Lock/Loose forward
    Sam Slade (Ponsonby) - Lock/Blindside, NZ U20 2017

    Ben Sa'u (Papatoetoe) - Blindside
    Adrian Choat (Waitemata) - No. 8/Openside, NZ U20 2017
    Aleks Dabek (Ponsonby) - Openside
    Onosai Auva'a (Papatoetoe) - Openside/Blindside, ex Counties-Manukau
    Futuloa Havili (Papatoetoe) - No. 8

    Pele Cowley (Suburbs) - Halfback, ex Waikato, ex Cardiff, Samoan International
    Melino Fineanganofo (College Rifles) - Halfback, ex Warriors U20 (NRL)
    Desma Liaina (Eden) - Halfback/First-Five, ex Counties-Manukau

    D'Angelo Leuila (Papatoetoe) - First-Five, Samoa International
    George Taina (Pakuranga) - First-Five, NZ Secondary Schools (2013), Tonga International

    Will Talataina-Mu (Ponsonby) - Second-Five/First-Five
    AJ Lam (Grammar TEC) - Midfield
    Junior Tofa-Va'a (Waitemata) - Midfield, ex BOP, ex North Harbour
    Stacey Ili (Manukau Rovers) - Midfield/Wing, ex Auckland, ex Connacht
    Loketi Manu (College Rifles) - Midfield/Wing

    Tevita Latu (University) - Wing
    Hawaii Ahokovi (Pakuranga) - Wing
    TJ Vaega (Grammar TEC) - Wing/Fullback
    Ethan Thompson (Suburbs) - Fullback

    Players will be missing from: NZ U20, Blues plus Dev Squad, Other Super Rugby players and injury cover, NZ Sevens. Marcel Renata is not playing club rugby in Auckland at the moment.



  • Seems like more of a spread around the clubs than in past years.

    As well as lock - hooker is a spot that Auckland will be light on if Eklund is out injured.



  • Confirmed that Marcel Renata is still with the Hurricanes.

    https://www.hurricanes.co.nz/news/article/hurricanes-squad-named-to-face-the-chiefs/



  • Possible XXIII for Auckland this year. Hard to pick the front row (Eklund supposedly out for the season, and a lot of unknown players), locks (availability), and replacement loose forwards and first five. Probably be a few more changes from last year, and hopefully some surprises.

    1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth
    2 Greg Pleasants-Tate
    3 Marcel Renata
    4 Michael Fatialofa
    5 Patrick Tuipulotu
    6 Dalton Papali'i
    7 Blake Gibson
    8 Akira Ioane
    9 Jonathan Ruru
    10 Harry Plummer
    11 Caleb Clarke
    12 TJ Faiane
    13 Vince Aso
    14 Tumua Manu
    15 Melani Nanai

    16 Steve Afoa
    17 Sam Prattley/Conner Halangahu
    18 Jerry Samania/Inoke Latu
    19 Taleni Seu/Lyndon Dunshea
    20 Samuel Slade/Hoskins Sotutu/Sione Havili
    21 Leon Fukofuka/Pele Cowley
    22 D'Angelo Leuila/George Taina
    23 Jordan Trainor​​​​​​​

    Blues injury list as at 31 May:

    Not considered because of injury: Otere Black (knee – season), Blake Gibson (shoulder) and hamstring, Glenn Preston (groin, season), Scott Scrafton (knee – season), Matt Johnson (surgery – season), George Moala (chest – season), Tamati Tua (hand – season), Jimmy Tupou (knee – season), Josh Goodhue (concussion), Isaac Salmon (hand), Patrick Tuipulotu (shoulder – season), Kara Pryor (ankle), James Parsons (neck), Murphy Taramai (ankle).



  • Possible Harbour XXIII. Not sure which players are returning - Vaega, Nansen, and Mayhew in particular.

    1 Chris Eves
    2 James Parsons
    3 Sione Mafileo
    4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti
    5 Ben Nee-Nee
    6 Glenn Preston
    7 Dillon Hunt
    8 Murphy Taramai/Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a
    9 Bryn Hall
    10 Bryn Gatland
    11 Tevita Li
    12 Harrison Groundwater
    13 Matt Vaega
    14 Shaun Stevenson
    15 Matt Duffie

    16 Steven Misa
    17 Nic Mayhew
    18 Mike Tamoaieta
    19 Nansen/Pierce
    20 Collett/Taramai/Moala-Liava'a
    21 Lewis Gjaltema/Harrison Levien
    22 Todd Doolan
    23 Daniel Hilton-Jones



  • @tim

    Fatialofa is going to Worcester after SR finishes



  • @duluth Thanks. I thought he wasn't leaving until later.



  • @duluth According to Worcester's signing announcement he'll leave after the Mitre 10 Cup:

    https://warriors.co.uk/2018/03/28/warriors-sign-hurricanes-lock-fatialofa/

    The 25-year-old becomes Warriors’ ninth signing ahead of the 2018/19 campaign and will make the move to Sixways later this year, at the climax of the Mitre 10 Cup season with Auckland.


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