Magpies - 2018 Mitre 10 Cup

  • We already knew that JJ Taulagi and Stacey Ili have been called into the Samoa squad for their Northern Tour.
    Sam Ulufonua has now also been called to international duties by Tonga. Also former Magpie Tolu Fahamokioa.

  • Ash Dixon played the first 50 minutes before being subbed off for Panasonic Wild Knights in their 25-6 win over Kobe Steelers.

  • @number-10 said in Magpies - 2018 Mitre 10 Cup:

    Ash Dixon played the first 50 minutes before being subbed off for Panasonic Wild Knights in their 25-6 win over Kobe Steelers.

    I hope he played well and remained injury free. 🙂

  • @nepia Yup, and stays injury free until the Māori ABs tour is done and dusted.

  • Magpies' Player of the Year awards last night:

    Rookie of the Year:
    Kianu Kereru-Symes

    Best Back:
    JJ Taulagi

    Best Forward:
    Tom Parsons

    Player of the Year:
    Tom Parsons

    Players' Player of the Year
    Kianu Kereru-Symes
    (3-2-1 basis for each game by the players)

  • Super Rugby signings:


    Michael Allardice, Tiaan Falcon, Brodie Retallick, Brad Weber

    Geoff Cridge, Gareth Evans, Jonah Lowe, Ben May
    dev contract: Devan Flanders (full contract 2020 - 2021)

    Israel Dagg

    Richard Buckman, Ash Dixon, Folau Fakatava, Marino Mikaele-Tu'u

    Not a bad result, although you could argue that Tom Parsons deserved a spot somewhere, because he had a massive season (I think he was better than Allardice). Happy the Canes offered Cridge a new contract. I assume it will be the last SR season for Dagg and May, probably Dixon and Buckman, too.

    I wish development squads were published, because Kianu Kereru-Symes, Lincoln McClutchie and Danny Toala, deserve a development contract. Based on what he's shown last year, Tim Farrell, too. Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe probably has to earn a spot next season; he just didn't have a chance to show anything due to injury.

    It will be interesting to see whether a player like Taulagi maybe gets a spot in an Aussie team, or the Sunwolves again.

    I'm afraid that Lowe will be wasting his time at the Canes again. Maybe they re-signed him for two seasons last year. I can't imagine that he's happy in Wellington, not getting the game time he deserves. I'm having bad thoughts (wishes) about some Canes backs getting injured ...

  • Some interesting info in this article:

    Ozich was equally as thrilled for 19-year-old halfback Folau Fakatava, who has been selected for the Highlanders after just one season of Mitre 10 Cup rugby, and as a deputy to former All Blacks No 9 Brad Weber, after playing for the national title-winning Hastings Boys' High School 1st XV.
    "I'm so rapt for Folau. He has decided to chase his dream of playing for the All Blacks despite being pursued by Tonga."

    Glad about that! He has the potential; of course, wait and see whether he can fulfil that promise. Still think he should play U20s though, if doesn't get regular game time for the Landers.

    Eleven members of this season's Magpies squad will play Super Rugby next year.
    Ozich added former All Blacks outside back Israel Dagg and long-serving Magpies utility back Richard Buckman to the Bay's list of Super players for next year as they will play for the Magpies again if their international commitments allow.


    Ozich confirmed Maori All Blacks hooker Ash Dixon and prop Ben May will be back with the Magpies next year after again being named in their respective Highlanders and Hurricanes teams.
    In addition to the fully contracted players Baby Blacks loosie Devan Flanders has scored an apprenticeship contract with the Hurricanes similar to the one Cridge had in 2014.

  • Magpies' crossover matches for 2019:

    Home v Tasman

    Home v Wellington

    Away v Counties Manukau

    Away v Waikato

    Means we don't play Auckland, Canterbury, North Harbour.

  • Did Brad get injured in the USA game? Saw his insta story seems like hes on his way home to NZ

  • @magpie_in_aus Yes, I mentioned that in the MABs thread. I doubt it's due to injury, as after the initial team naming, they inexplicably added another halfback (Sam Nock), so I assume it was then known that Weber wouldn't be available for the South American leg of the tour. Four halfbacks seems a bit much for 2 games. Maybe he has a private commitment (wedding or something like that)?

    Or he'll suddenly appear at 21 in the teamlist for the test against Italy. 😬

  • WTF is Izzy wearing? 😱


  • Seriously Mods, we need that downvote button!

  • Finally, a short comment about the 2018 season. Overall, I think we've done better than I dared to hope at the beginning of the season, so this is quite a positive afterthought.

    I didn't know what to expect after the last few seasons. Last year, the players almost looked scared when they walked onto the pitch and some seemed to hate being there. I wondered how much of that was still at the back of their minds when they returned this year.

    With the memories of the previous seasons still lingering, I feared we would struggle with such a young squad and I wondered whether the team would gel with a) many players from outside the Bay and b) the young-old devide.

    But the changes seems to have worked out well. The team seemed to enjoy their time together, on and off the field. I can only assume that the new coaches have been able to achieve a complete culture change; that the newbies (youngsters and imports) have brought new energy (and ambitions) to the team; and that the old heads have used their experience to move things in the right direction. I also think it was really good for our season that we started with two wins, even if we lost games after that. Really good for confidence! IIRC, Ozich said at the beginning of the season that it was too early for thinking about promotion, but he was hoping to make the semis. He's achieved exactly that.

    It was a pleasure watching the Magpies play again this year, and geez, did we need that as supporters! I reallly am looking forward to next season. Can we just skip Super Rugby (and the RWC 😆 ).

    I finish this post with some quotes from players (copied from instagram). Really positive to read (and there were many more like that)!

    Devan Flanders:

    Unreal year in the black and white, especially being able to play with my Akina brothers

    Lincoln McClutchie:

    Such a blessing running out with the brothers in the black and white jersey ⚪⚫️ #1664

    Thankful for the opportunity #birdgang🦅

    Sasa Tofilau:

    Thank you God for blessing me with the opportunity to pull on the black and white hoops for this great province @hbmagpies. I’ve never been apart of a team that has as strong a culture than what I’ve felt since making the move down to Hawke’s Bay, I’ve met so many great people and made some lifelong friends. Plenty of ups and downs but I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learnt and I can’t wait to come back a better player next season. #TheRealBay #GodsPlan ⚫⚪

    Joe Apikotoa:

    Over and out for the 2018 season, loved every minute I got in the black and white hoops! We just getting started ⚫⚪🤪 #grateful #theprocess

  • The question is now, will he come back for Mitre 10 Cup next season? This contract with Stade Montois (Pro D2) is until the end of the season (May/June 2019), but even players on short-term contracts rarely come back, do they?

  • Here is a nice piece on the start of getting the horrors of 2017 turned around

  • Two things I just saw on Insta:

    • JJ Taulagi saying that he doesn't think he'll be back with the Magpies next season
    • Joe Apikotoa training with the Highlanders

  • @stargazer Gees that would be a big loss.I thought he was pretty good last season, but I guess money talks.

  • He appeared to be perfectly happy to accept HBs money last year when the alternative would probably have been returning to the general workforce to earn a living.

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