Crusaders v Blues



  • Blues

    15 Matt Duffie, 14. Melani Nanai, 13. Michael Collins, 12. Rieko Ioane, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Stephen Perofeta, 9. Augustine Pulu (c);
    8 Akira Ioane, 7. Blake Gibson, 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Ben Nee-Nee, 4. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3. Ofa Tuungafasi, 2. Matt Moulds, 1. Alex Hodgman

    Reserves:
    16 Ross Wright, 17. Pauliasi Manu, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19. Jacob Pierce, 20. Murphy Taramai, 21. Sam Nock, 22. Bryn Gatland, 23. Tamati Tua.

    Not considered because of injury: Otere Black (knee – season), George Moala (chest – season), Matt Johnson (surgery – season), Jimmy Tupou (knee – season), Josh Goodhue (concussion), Patrick Tuipulotu (shoulder – season), Glenn Preston (groin, season), Scott Scrafton (knee – season), Sonny Bill Williams (shoulder), Dalton Papalii (hamstring), Terrence Hepetema (back strain), Mike Tamoaieta (knee), Leni Apisai (hamstring), Jordan Trainor (hand), Lyndon Dunshea (shoulder), Matiaha Martin (shoulder), James Parsons (neck).

    .

    TEAM NAMED FOR CRUSADERS V BLUES

    The Blues will aim to give long-serving star Jerome Kaino a fitting send-off in his final game for the club when they take on the champion Crusaders in his last Investec Super Rugby clash in Christchurch on Saturday.
    
    Kaino, who heads to France after the season, will play his 139th game for the Blues on Saturday, to sit second on the all-time Blues list behind Keven Mealamu.
    
    The Blues will not dwell on the 16 players not considered for selection with injury, nor the disappointing season, but focus on a quality performance against the best team in the Super conference.
    
    “This game means a lot. We want to send Jerome off in the best possible fashion,” said coach Tana Umaga. “We are going into a cauldron in Christchurch, but we have to go with eyes wide open and also take confidence from the game last week.
    
    “We’ve worked on the areas that were pretty obvious in terms of our defence but there will be no lack of motivation to play against the Crusaders.
    
    “Our forward effort was good last week but we know it needs to go another notch and I think some of the play by our backs, that in tough times they started to find their confidence.
    
    “For us we have to do well on both sides of the ball. We had some individual lapses in defence and that’s something we’ve worked on.
    
    “We need to stick to what we train. We need to be consistent in the execution of our plans and finish off opportunities when we create them. They are a quality side and have been for a long time but we are excited to get out there and do our best for us and for Jerome.”
    
    The only change from the pack from last week is a start for Ben Nee-Nee after an injury to replacement Matiaha Martin ruled him out, while the backline remains the same.
    


  • The well performed midfield gets another go....

    I'm just hoping for no injuries.



  • @stargazer said in Crusaders v Blues:

    1. Michael Collins, 12. Rieko Ioane

    Sad trombone.

    1. Tamati Tua.

    Well at least he finally made it off the injury list! 😆



  • 96-19?



  • Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Mitchell Drummond, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Jordan Taufua, Sam Whitelock (capt), Quinten Strange, Michael Alaalatoa, Andrew Makalio, Tim Perry
    Reserves: Sam Anderson-Heather, Wyatt Crockett, Donald Brighouse, Luke Romano, Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Mitchell Hunt, Manasa Mataele



  • Kara Pryor not good enough to push Taramai off the bench given he aint on the broken list.

    Wow, Tamati, finally, if he hadnt done himself an injury at the start of the season, he'd of had plenty of chances to push for a start.



  • So the Crusaders are resting Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Scott Barrett and David Havili, and Joe Moody is injured.
    With Read coming back, Taufua was expected to shift to 6; Bedwell-Curtis and Samu, and to a lesser degree Blackadder, are from now on competing for the bench spot.

    The big question mark, and probably the weakest link, is the new hooker from Otago.

    Found this article with a bit of info about him.

    http://www.cookislandsnews.com/item/69447-sam-an-exciting-prospect-for-rugby/69447-sam-an-exciting-prospect-for-rugby



  • @stargazer He's from Hastings Boys. Must be in his late 20s by now.



  • @nepia Yep, he's 30.



  • I guess we knew Taylor and Barrett would get rested and it's not surprising that they're giving Owen Franks a break - they seem to be managing his minutes pretty carefully this season.

    Drummond getting thrown a bone with a start before the play-offs - but, the interesting one is Dagg getting a start at fullback.

    Not sure whether that is throwing Israel a bone, or how well he would need to play to usurp Havili for the play-offs. My guess is he'd need to have a stormer. David's been going pretty well, perhaps without quite reaching last year's standard. I think his spot would be more at threat to Israel, than George Bridge's.



  • @nepia said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @stargazer He's from Hastings Boys. Must be in his late 20s by now.

    He's a mate of mine. He was meant to be picked up by the highlanders a couple of seasons ago but his partner got sick so he turned it down. Glad he has got another shot. What happened to Chris King?



  • @magpie_in_aus said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @nepia said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @stargazer He's from Hastings Boys. Must be in his late 20s by now.

    He's a mate of mine. He was meant to be picked up by the highlanders a couple of seasons ago but his partner got sick so he turned it down. Glad he has got another shot. What happened to Chris King?

    Not needed if two of Moody, Crockett and Perry are available?

    He played two weeks ago in the game v Western Force.



  • @stargazer said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @magpie_in_aus said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @nepia said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @stargazer He's from Hastings Boys. Must be in his late 20s by now.

    He's a mate of mine. He was meant to be picked up by the highlanders a couple of seasons ago but his partner got sick so he turned it down. Glad he has got another shot. What happened to Chris King?

    Not needed if two of Moody, Crockett and Perry are available?

    He played two weeks ago in the game v Western Force.

    Watched brighouse play club rugby last week and he was pretty impressive. Deserves his spot on the bench



  • @sammyc Yup, and 12 years younger, so one with still plenty of seasons ahead of him. Nevertheless, thumbs up for King; still playing at 37.



  • I can tell you that Chris King will be quite pleased not to be involved. He was called into the Canterbury set up as training fodder last year and it didn't go any further. The Crusaders did the same thing in pre-season but then he somewhat relucantly laced up the boots for the game in Gore and was subsequently retained due to all the prop injuries.



  • @stargazer said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @sammyc Yup, and 12 years younger, so one with still plenty of seasons ahead of him. Nevertheless, thumbs up for King; still playing at 37.

    Alex Ainley turns 37 on Monday - needs a play-off start to match Chris King - though Alex is still a contracted squad member and hasn't yet announced he's retiring.



  • @chris-b I was wondering where the Crusaders would get their 4th hooker from after Vella left for Wellington. It crossed my mind that they could ask Ti'i Paulo to lace up his boots if there weren't any young bucks available.



  • I see Tumua Manu is playing 12 in Auckland club rugby this weekend - not a bad idea Tana...



  • @stargazer said in Crusaders v Blues:

    @chris-b I was wondering where the Crusaders would get their 4th hooker from after Vella left for Wellington. It crossed my mind that they could ask Ti'i Paulo to lace up his boots if there weren't any young bucks available.

    Brodie MacAlister is next in line and has also been playing really well in club rugby (he played in the game against the force)



  • @sammyc Yup, as I said "if there weren't any young bucks available". Clearly, there is a young buck available in Brodie McAlister, but we didn't know that at the time when Vella joined the Canes and Funnell got injured.