Blues v Bulls



  • https://blues.rugby/blues-focussed-on-powerful-friday-performance/

    The resilient 23-year-old No 8 Akira Ioane will make his 32nd straight start, virtually all with 80-minute performances, with All Black Dalton Papalii not recovered 100 percent from a head knock.
    
    “Akira has worked hard on improving his game this year and he has been such a work-horse for us, especially early on when we had injuries with the loose forwards,” said MacDonald. “We have to remember he is still a very young man and we had initially looked to lighten his load and bring him off the bench this week.
    
    “But while Dalton is very close to full fitness, we did not want to take any risks and will keep him back until next week. We know Akira will put in another big effort for us.”
    
    The Blues team is: 1 Alex Hodgman, 2 James Parsons, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 5 Scott Scrafton, 6 Tom Robinson, 7 Blake Gibson ©, 8 Akira Ioane; 9 Jonathan Ruru, 10 Harry Plummer, 11 Rieko Ioane, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 13 TJ Faiane, 14 Caleb Clarke, 15 Melani Nanai.
    
    Reserves: 16 Leni Apisai, 17 Lua Li, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Hoskins Sotutu, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Otere Black, 23 Tanielu Tele’a.
    
    Players not considered with injury: Sione Mafileo (ankle), Stephen Perofeta (pectoral), Jordan Trainor (thigh), Sonny Bill Williams (knee), Michael Collins (groin), Karl Tu’inukuafe (illness), Sam Nock (hand), Matt Moulds (hand), Jed Brown (hamstring), Jimmy Tupou (calf), Dalton Papalii (concussion).
    


  • @KiwiMurph cheers.

    More importantly, the TAB has Bulls as $3.60 outsiders. Worth some loss insurance perhaps?



  • @nzzp that's a good bet - especially considering the predicted wet conditions which you would think would play into the Bulls hands.



  • I want to see Tele'a get some good minutes from the bench. Then start him in the midfield vs the Reds



  • [Tinfoil hat]

    Do you think they already know that he won't be selected for the ABs so are running him into the ground because he'll only have to go to Mitre 10 cup anyway?



  • @gt12 No. There's 5 weeks between the Blues last regular season game and the first AB test.



  • @gt12

    I think they need to win and can't rest anyone. Simple as that

    If the Blues win against the Bulls and Reds there's a possibility they could sneak in with an upset against the Canes in the last round

    (last year the Sharks squeaked in with 7 wins and 36 points. Not sure what will be needed this year.. but the Blues currently have 5 wins and 26 points)



  • @Duluth The Blues will be hoping the Canes win their next two games and seal 4th place, because as a result, they will likely rest all their star players, with the exception of maybe Evans and Coles for that last round-robin game - an ideal chance for the Blues to get one back over the Canes.

    If the Canes have their full team, they will beat the Blues at home comfortably.



  • Coles will have reinjured his calf muscle by then surely



  • @Duluth

    I understand, but I also wonder why there hasn’t been any thought at all about managing his workload - it’s probably a limitation of the squad and current injuries, but Akira already looks flat, I don’t see how ringing him out even more is even really helping the Blues chances. For example, Hoskins looks good enough to perhaps give Akira a bench spot, which could help keep him fresher and ready to close out games?



  • @gt12

    Yeah it’s probably a lack of trust in the squad depth.

    I would have liked it if Sotutu played more this year, but it seems they don’t trust him with a start yet.
    If he had time off the bench in the earlier would they trust him now? I think they made a mistake not having a look.





  • @Duluth trusting in the squad players is something the Blues have struggled with for a long time



  • @Duluth According to the Article Akira was due to be on the bench, with Papalii to start at 8 until he failed concussion protocol's.



  • @Duluth said in Blues v Bulls:

    I want to see Tele'a get some good minutes from the bench. Then start him in the midfield vs the Reds

    Rieko is due another rest week, right? If he takes it next week, it probably means Telea starts on the wing against the Reds. Then SBW probably comes back and takes that 23 jersey.



  • @Chris said in Blues v Bulls:

    @Duluth According to the Article Akira was due to be on the bench, with Papalii to start at 8 until he failed concussion protocol's.

    Papalii at 8, sounds like a great experiment.



  • Referee: Mike Fraser
    Assistant Ref 1:Brendon Pickerill
    Assistant Ref 2:Dan Waenga
    TMO : Ben Skeen



  • @Duluth I rate Sotutu. He's very good in the tight. I would have started him this week to give Akira a rest.



  • @African-Monkey said in Blues v Bulls:

    @Duluth I rate Sotutu. He's very good in the tight. I would have started him this week to give Akira a rest.

    It worked well for Auckland to use them like that.



  • Warrick Gelant, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal (c), Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok, Ivan van Zyl, Paul Schoeman, Hanro Liebenberg, Marco van Staden, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Schalk Brits, Lizo Gqoboka

    Reserves: Jaco Visagie, Simphiwe Matanzima, Wiehahn Herbst, Jannes Kirsten, Ruan Steenkamp, Andre Warner, JT Jackson, Divan Rossouw


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