Highlanders vs Blues



  • @number9
    I think quite a few members of the Blues pack look a little bit unfit. Look a little big. And it certainly showed last night. Not sure if that's reality or just perception, but they just seem a bit bigger and a bit chunkier than the other NZ teams. Karl T looks enormous as does Ofa, not necessarily fat but really big. Like they've been doing lots of weights but perhaps not as much cardio?



  • Haha yeah elite players in elite environments with an eye on October need to take some training tips from rando internet nuffies.



  • @taniwharugby said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @Cantab79 yeah it is good to see Frizell showing some form (guess that comes with being selected to start) making the selection of our 6 a wee bit less concerning...he has a real chance to own the jersey this year.

    While many parts of NOnu's game make you want him back in, who are they gonna drop for him?

    Goodhue - no
    Crotty - no (although see SBW below)
    ALB - no
    Laumape - maybe, but probably not

    Leaving SBW, his durability sees him the most vulnerable IMO, if fit, we know they will select SBW...if he isnt it, this is where I see the door opening for Nonu (add Crotty to this too...)

    Assume the AB coaches has access to all Nonu's fitness stats, so will know how much he has dropped off since leaving and whether he still has it (numbers-wise) to be a force at the top level.

    I think they'll drop Laumape.



  • @taniwharugby said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @Cantab79 yeah it is good to see Frizell showing some form (guess that comes with being selected to start) making the selection of our 6 a wee bit less concerning...he has a real chance to own the jersey this year.

    While many parts of NOnu's game make you want him back in, who are they gonna drop for him?

    Goodhue - no
    Crotty - no (although see SBW below)
    ALB - no
    Laumape - maybe, but probably not

    Leaving SBW, his durability sees him the most vulnerable IMO, if fit, we know they will select SBW...if he isnt it, this is where I see the door opening for Nonu (add Crotty to this too...)

    Assume the AB coaches has access to all Nonu's fitness stats, so will know how much he has dropped off since leaving and whether he still has it (numbers-wise) to be a force at the top level.

    Interesting thing is that Nonu possibly is already up to at least sixth in the pecking order - i.e. quite likely ahead of the likes of Matt Procter, Rob Thomson etc. In my view, he's shown enough that I'd rather see him in the squad rather than the best of the absolute rookies - even if he has lost a bit of speed.

    A question in the midfield is how (and whether) they match the "power" players with the "finesse"players - or in fact whether they're happy to pair two finesse players (any two of Goodhue, Crotty and ALB in my mind) in the midfield. If they really want to play a big bopper - SBW, Laumape or Nonu - then I reckon that significantly improves Maá's chances (assuming they'd plan to take two big boppers).



  • @Chris-B Nonu has power and finesse, that's what makes him tempting to me despite his age. I am hoping SBW misses out. He is not the answer.



  • @Crazy-Horse Yeah - it's a bit arbitrary - because I think Goodhue and ALB have significant power as well - maybe not quite as much as the others.



  • @Chris-B said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @Crazy-Horse Yeah - it's a bit arbitrary - because I think Goodhue and ALB have significant power as well - maybe not quite as much as the others.

    I think Goodhue does. He is reminiscent of Nonu to ne.

    ALB more a stepper to my mind. Akways seems to beat a defender with s step.



  • @sparky said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    Ben Smith as ever, superb for the Landers. Coltman, Lomax and Lietjens all very good.

    Best player on the park says hi.
    alt text



  • @Bones He missed four tackles....



  • @sparky and conceded no turnovers, whilst getting at least 2 very crucial ones, did plenty of other work.



  • @Tim said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    Those two intercepts really fucked us. Heads went down after Nock's.

    Can't help thinking Mauger coached Clan to seek these out.



  • @sparky said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    Nonu and Reiko Ioane were excellent for the Blues. The Blues lost this in the forwards: at scrum time and the breakdown. Big Karl and "King" Akira weren't really there tonight.

    Ben Smith as ever, superb for the Landers. Coltman, Lomax and Lietjens all very good.

    I don't think big Karl was that bad. For me Ofa is a bit flat at the mo. As it turned out probably cost us that Mafileo went off so early.

    Old schoolers like me look for balance in the loose trio, and Red, Dalton and Akira doen't have it. Through (EDIT:Throw!) in Blake Gibson at and balance is restored.



  • @pakman best not to throw Gibson, you will break him.



  • @Chris said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @Kirwan Makalio will resign with the Crusaders

    Big difference between resigning and re-signing, no?



  • @Dice said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @kev said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @Crazy-Horse Great comment. Add to those an outside back Ben Smith who creates space and passes better than anyone. I would say that is the Blues greatest weakness - they have had so many destructive ball runners yet constantly miss opportunities with backs not passing in the open or forwards off loading in 50/50 contact areas.

    It was a big problem in past seasons when we were stuffing wingers into the midfield, but I'm not sure that this has been that big a problem for us this year, probably because we have proper midfielders in the midfield now who are willing passers. Then you have Melani who has improved his passing and ability to put players away.

    I was watching a dodgy connection on VPN, but I don't remember our first fives kicking much, other than that Plummer PEARL.

    What I did notice was Clan sending a runner at breakneck pace to get between our midfield players and encourage the cutback.

    I'd have expected a seasoned 10 to kick tactically to keep the Clan rush honest. As it was, the Blues backs were predictable and their penetration reduced to individual attempts at breaks.

    Did we do one kick chase?



  • @pakman yeah there was no go forward, and backs got untidy ball with rushing defence. I though the Blues forwards needed to carry more, but kicking works as well.



  • @pakman if you wish to be pedantic



  • Would not be surprised to see Coltman make the WC squad ahead of Harris.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    Would not be surprised to see Coltman make the WC squad ahead of Harris.

    Harris is pretty shit



  • @Chris said in Highlanders vs Blues:

    @pakman if you wish to be pedantic

    Or not confusing


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