Blues 2019



  • @Duluth said in Blues 2019 - (New Head Coach):

    @Crazy-Horse said in Blues 2019 - (New Head Coach):

    There seem to be a lot people pinning their hopes on Black, but based on what?

    Is there?

    There's two fit 10's. I would pick Black over Plummer at this stage

    Why? Not saying you are wrong, but why would you pick Black over Plummer? What does Black do better than Plummer? It's been so long since I have seen Black play. I blinked and missed Black in last year's NPC. Is it a case of give him a run to see what he can do? If so, I reckon Plummer deserves that as well.



  • cant recall who it was, but someone on here was banging on about the Black signing being pretty much the best Blues signing ever...

    I think the Blues are in a great position right now though, low expectations (given we hear similar noises every other year and they under-perform) with some good cattle, if MacDonald can get them all working together then I think they are good enough to be looking at a finals spot.

    Despite all the shit he cops, SBW will be integral to any Blues success, IMO him and the Ioanes are likely to be key in the Blues campaign.

    How they deal with injuries will ultimately be telling, but right now at least, it looks like they have a bit of cover across the park, and if MacDonald gets them all singing off the same sheet, we often see injuries go all but unnnoticed within a well coached squad.



  • @Crazy-Horse

    I honestly don't have a strong opinion on the first selection. I am not 'pinning my hopes' on Black. But I would prefer to see Plummer eased into SR from the bench



  • @Duluth said in Blues 2019 - (New Head Coach):

    @Crazy-Horse

    I honestly don't have a strong opinion on the first selection. I am not 'pinning my hopes' on Black. But I would prefer to see Plummer eased into SR from the bench

    Yep, Black has far more SR experience, its a no brainer to start him initially.



  • @Crazy-Horse Where Black would have the edge at this stage is experience. He's played 21 Super Rugby games. Plummer has played zero.

    That's not to say Black is locked in starter for the season but given it's the Crusaders first up i'd say he has the edge.

    Whoever is at 10 in theory should benefit from the new coaching. MacDonald was brought in as an attack coach - that seems to be his strength and the Blues were woeful in this aspect in 2018. Having some actual attacking patterns and some solid game plans should help whoever is at 10 run the game rather than just sticking someone at 10 and asking them to do everything. Just look at Plummer's success with Auckland - the team was very well drilled and he wasn't asked to do everything and consequently he and the team flourished.



  • Fair enough about Black's experience giving him the edge Given Plummer is still a baby and Black missed last season after being a back up ten at the Hurricanes (? - can't remember and too lazy to look it up) it's as good a reason as any.

    As TR said above, Black was touted as a big signing for the Blues, and I remember thinking at the time that was a bit optimistic and I wondered what I had missed. Looking forward to watching him.



  • Looks like Lua Li was in the reserves on Saturday too.



  • @Dice Think I spotted Kirkpatrick in photos from Blues preseason training.



  • @Tim Did he even play NPC? I know he was named in the squad, but I can't remember him playing for Auckland at all.



  • @Stargazer I think he got a few minutes.



  • According to his club, Scrafton should be available soon:

    Scott Scrafton is due to make his comeback from injury in the coming weeks.

    http://www.grammartec.co.nz/newsarticle/72861?newsfeedId=415180



  • I'd go with this lineup. Almost picks itself with the current injury list.

    Hodgman
    Parsons
    Mafielo
    Goodhue
    Tuipulotu
    Robinson
    Papalii
    Ioane
    Ruru
    Black
    Ioane
    Faiane
    Nonu
    Nanai
    Collins

    Moulds
    Tuinukuafe
    Tuungafasi
    Cowley-Tuioti
    Sotutu
    Pulu
    Plummer
    SBW

    ABs props to come off the bench?
    Gibson and Jed Brown injured which only leaves Sotutu (fully contracted) to cover back row replacements. Sotutu was one of the best on field against the Canes apparently.
    Picking Ruru to have a stellar Super season
    Black to get first dibs at 10
    Faiane to find his feet at Super level
    Plummer gets the bench spot with Perofeta out as he covers 10 & 15 (and 12)



  • @Nogusta Goodhue rated above GCT now?



  • @Bones Cowley only just back from injury against the Canes. Goodhue has trained and played the house down in the preseason so gets his shot



  • @Nogusta Faiane 12 and Nonu 13? I'd be looking the other way around, cement Faiane at 13 and look to rotate Nonu and SBW from starting to bench as the season goes,
    .



  • @Nogusta I would love to see Olmstead on that bench for GCT. They may even go with both Sotutu and Matich (who also went well during pre season) on the bench to cover 7 and let Robinson cover lock. It could be a risk though with the quality of the crusaders locks and scrum.



  • @Crucial yea good call cementing Faiane. Maybe a bit unfair on him though to put at 13. Really hoping he puts his injury woes behind him and carries his good M10 form to the Super. Nonu was at 13 and Faiane 12 against the Canes. Faiane was also at 12 against the Chiefs the week before.



  • @Daffy-Jaffy yea forgot about Olmstead. I'd have him there too over GCT given he's had a full preseason on top of his stellar 2018 M10



  • @Crucial said in Blues 2019 - (New Head Coach):

    @Nogusta Faiane 12 and Nonu 13? I'd be looking the other way around, cement Faiane at 13 and look to rotate Nonu and SBW from starting to bench as the season goes,
    .

    Personally I think Faiane seems more comfortable at 12. Ma will play 13 outside SBW, so it may be easiest to build things around him locked in there.



  • Given that Faiane has shown great ability at 13 during NPC and SBW has shown nothing at 13 to date but is an AB 12 the 'planning' of Faiane at 12 confuses me.
    All I can think is that SBW is scheduled for a season as bench impact, coming on at 12 with Faiane moving out and old man Ma'a shuffling off.
    There will be games where Ma'a and SBW start together but I would think that the majority of starts would go to TJ so giving him a set jersey makes more sense to me.


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