Blues 2019



  • @kirwan said in Blues 2019:

    Underwhelming signings.

    I'm praying for this alternate universe where Collins and Tupou carve it up with the Blues next year, and dive deep into the playoffs.

    Yeah. Not holding my breath.



  • I thought Tupou re-signed months ago?



  • @african-monkey yep, like Collins.



  • Scotty Stevenson asked Mils Muliaina to name his "franchise players" that the foundations of the Blues should be built around. His answer for the forwards was: Gibson, Ioane, Papali'i, and Scrafton. Sorting out the midfield and developing the right 10 were his critical issues for the backline.



  • @tim said in Blues 2019:

    Scotty Stevenson asked Mils Muliaina to name his "franchise players" that the foundations of the Blues should be built around. His answer for the forwards was: Gibson, Ioane, Papali'i, and Scrafton.

    if so the 4 should be told they are the leaders and its up to them to sort it out on the field and be responsible for setting an example to the whole team. Like the f***king Cantabs do ffs



  • Rugby Pass must be worried about losing subscribers - they've published two optimistic pieces today about the Blues' future.

    , and it's better than you think

    Of note:

    One of the main reasons for the Blues’ woes simply has to be Umaga’s inconsistency with player selection.
    
    Sure, injuries to key figures Sonny Bill Williams and Augustine Pulu haven’t helped, but even when healthy it seems a completely new backline trots out for the Blues each week.
    
    While young star Rieko Ioane has appeared in 14 matches for the Blues this season, he hasn’t been able to play consistent minutes at any one position.
    
    This season Ioane has played with four different numbers on the back of his jersey.
    
    11 – four times, 12 – six times, 13 – three times, and 14 – once.
    
    Umaga – through injury or otherwise – has used an astounding ten different midfield combinations this season, chopping and changing between seven different players.
    
    The Blues’ most common midfield partnership has only been used three times, and the longest standing partnership at any point in the season has only lasted two weeks. It’s tough to imagine how any team can gel or create chemistry with such high levels of uncertainty heading into each week. Training must be an absolute nightmare.
    


  • One of the big omissions in that Rugby Pass article is that two of the three hookers (Apisai, Moulds) from the regular squad are duff lineout throwers. Just not good enough at this level.



  • Of course the 10 issue is well worn but the Blues have had midfield problems since 2012 following the departure of Ice and Payne in 2011.

    I will say Nonu helped shore up the midfield in 2014 but aside from that it's been 7 straight seasons of midfield issues.

    I think it also highlights Blues have had some terrible coaching/selecting during that period. Midfield is a hugely important cog in a backline and can be difficult to select.

    What gives me some hope is Leon MacDonald coming on board. The best backline/attack coach the Blues have had in yonks. I'm hopeful he can sort it out.

    Right now you've got SBW who has hardly played for the Blues in 2 years, Rieko who looks useful at 13 but is absolutely not a 12. Collins looks bad at 13 and has never been tried at 12. Leger looks ok (for a rookie) at 13 but has never been tried at 12. Faiane is all hype and no delivery. He tries hard but he's small, a poor defender and error prone, last week when he came on he threw an intercept with his first touch and then followed this up by conceding a penalty in the same movement. Probably why Tua has replaced him on the bench this week. Speaking of Tua of what little I have seen he doesn't look physical enough - needs to put on some beef. Smashing your hand whilst out on the chop isn't a great look either.

    I'm glad Tele'a has signed for next year. I hope he can stay injury free and get some NPC gametime because he looks very useful and could be the future of the Blues midfield. Plummer can also play 12 which may come in handy.



  • @tim parsons is not a better thrower than Moulds, in fact Moulds had one duff throw as did all the hookers in their last game, he's definitely better around the park in general play. Apisai was actually good at Wellington, he's been off this year, and hampered by injury.
    I'd actually like to look at the stats for Moulds's throws because apart from a couple of over throws which can also be shit lifting he's only had one Not straight this year.



  • @northlandallday said in Blues 2019:

    @tim parsons is not a better thrower than Moulds, in fact Moulds had one duff throw as did all the hookers in their last game, he's definitely better around the park in general play. Apisai was actually good at Wellington, he's been off this year, and hampered by injury.
    I'd actually like to look at the stats for Moulds's throws because apart from a couple of over throws which can also be shit lifting he's only had one Not straight this year.

    He was mediocre at best for Wellington. Certainly displayed nothing that warranted a 2 year Super Rugby deal. I suppose mediocre is better than absolute rubbish which is what he's been for the Blues this year. Awful signing.



  • @kiwimurph said in Blues 2019:

    He was mediocre at best for Wellington. Certainly displayed nothing that warranted a 2 year Super Rugby deal. I suppose mediocre is better than absolute rubbish which is what he's been for the Blues this year. Awful signing.

    I agree. There were hookers from the region who would have been a better selection (Eklund, Wright or Olsen)

    One of the reasons they went for Apisai is because they believe he has leadership skills. I guess thats why he got two years. I expect he'll get even more game time next year



  • Yes yes yes yes. Coventry. Make this happen.



  • Back/attack coach Leon, and Coventry as the forwards coach and Tana can talk to the press.

    Need the new coaches to be the selectors as well though.



  • @kirwan said in Blues 2019:

    Need the new coaches to be the selectors as well though.

    Ioane at 12 would be like MacDonald at Centre in a knockout game.

    oh.

    wait.

    Seriously though - those two should lift the coaching somewhat significantly. Maybe a few wise words from Ted, and we may win some derby games



  • @kiwimurph FUCK YES.



  • Scrafton did his ACL and MCL this season. Good lord I hope he fully recovers.



  • @tim said in Blues 2019:

    Scrafton did his ACL and MCL this season. Good lord I hope he fully recovers.

    He was a find when he showed up. Just need to hold these guys for a few years, keep them fit and get a decent coaching group around them.

    Everyone inside the business seems to like Tana. Maybe he should be the 'hearts and minds' front man, and the actual coaching, selecting and team operation gets done by Leon, Tom and Ted, with help from others. Could keep everyone happy 🙂





  • @nzzp Tana's Mana will have taken a hit in the past however many years he has been bumbling along, but if he has a less hands on role within the Blues and more the 'face' of the Blues coaching team, it could work better for them.



  • @taniwharugby It's become hugely obvious Blues need new coaching for their attacking structure and forwards play. To get two new coaches in with such successful pedigrees in each of these areas is a huge step in the right direction. Blues have had poor coaching teams for the last 4 seasons since Henry and Bryne left prior to Kirwan's last season.