Blues 2020



  • What's the opinion on Rieko's move to centre? I was iffy on the move at first, but it's probably been the right move for the Blues.

    We needed a centre for the long term and we probably have it sorted now. Not sure if he'll play much wing for the Blues going forward, but that's OK, because we have some good young wing talent to work with.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/120435598/super-rugby-all-blacks-options-as-rieko-ioane-shines-on-centre-stage-for-blues



  • @Dice said in Blues 2020:

    What's the opinion on Rieko's move to centre? I was iffy on the move at first, but it's probably been the right move for the Blues.

    Plenty to work on, particularly on defence. On balance, I like it though = one of the reasons the cross kick is working well for us is that with Rieko at 13 and a big gap to the winger, you have to either leave Telea/Duffie in space, or leave Ioane in space.

    Straightens, and runs straight. Creates space outside him. For someone only in their third or fourth game he's going great guns - not starting AB level, but has the talent to get there.

    Defence still needs work in all three facets - reading, positioning, and tackling. Mind you, Conrad managed to survive as a skinny white guy with only the first two, so maybe two out of three 🙂



  • @Dice said in Blues 2020:

    What's the opinion on Rieko's move to centre? I was iffy on the move at first, but it's probably been the right move for the Blues.

    We needed a centre for the long term and we probably have it sorted now. Not sure if he'll play much wing for the Blues going forward, but that's OK, because we have some good young wing talent to work with.

    He was always going to end up at 13. The transition has gone better than I expected this year

    If the season wasn't interrupted I would've expected him to start most of the remaining games at 13 for the Blues.
    Then in international season I would have expected him to start on the wing.

    The combination with TJ is building well. Ioane keeps a lot of defenders interested and TJ is picking when to skip him very well.
    I suspect the attack would've gone better last year if TJ was playing in his correct position

    @nzzp said in Blues 2020:

    Defence still needs work in all three facets - reading, positioning, and tackling.

    He needs time in the position to get his defence right. The biggest weakness is his lateral movement... that turns small errors into gaping holes

    In the last couple of games his ruck work really improved too



  • @Duluth said in Blues 2020:

    @nzzp said in Blues 2020:

    Defence still needs work in all three facets - reading, positioning, and tackling.

    He needs time in the position to get his defence right. The biggest weakness is his lateral movement... that turns small errors into gaping holes

    In the last couple of games his ruck work really improved too

    Re-reading what I posted, it's a bit harsh. I meant it needs work to to 'elite' level; it's OK at the moment, but could be better.

    His attack, OTOH, is damn fine.



  • @nzzp

    I don't think his defence is good enough at the moment.

    Individually it's offset by his attack. Across the whole team it's not a huge issue because the scrambling defence has been covering it

    He'll improve with game time and it'll be worth it



  • Looking at the tackling stats on the fox website (it's the easiest source to sort on..) Rieko has made 16 and missed 7

    Of the Blues players who have played at least two games there's only three defenders that have a worse tackle efficiency:

    Black & Perofeta. Neither of those is that much of a surprise.

    The third was Marchant.

    So I that's another reason Rieko will stay at 13 for the Blues.



  • Either way, Rieko seems to have his confidence back which is a big positive for the ABs because I'd much rather have him in the 11 jersey.



  • @Bovidae said in Blues 2020:

    Either way, Rieko seems to have his confidence back which is a big positive for the ABs because I'd much rather have him in the 11 jersey.

    Not having a calf injury helps with that, which was the problem last year.



  • @Bovidae said in Blues 2020:

    Either way, Rieko seems to have his confidence back which is a big positive for the ABs because I'd much rather have him in the 11 jersey.

    In Super last year, he outran Bridge, out trys-d Bridge and out beat defenders over Bridge when his "confidence" was down. I still claim it was a silly knee jerk decision after Perth to dump him, which would have been the worst silly knee jerk decision if not for the Barrett over Cane loose forward clusterfuck.



  • I actually think defensively Rieko did a very good job vs Canes in Welly (up against Aso) and against Lions at Eden Park.

    After he had a week to settle in (v Stormers) his defence was really good.

    He has the chance to develop into a world class centre.



  • @nzzp hah...umm Conrad couldn't tackle about as much as Wilkinson couldn't kick goals...



  • @Bones said in Blues 2020:

    @nzzp hah...umm Conrad couldn't tackle about as much as Wilkinson couldn't kick goals...

    Conrad was a good tackler, not a great tackler.

    Jerome and Jerry and peak Read were great tacklers.



  • @Bones said in Blues 2020:

    @nzzp hah...umm Conrad couldn't tackle about as much as Wilkinson couldn't kick goals...

    He also wasn't really skinny either after 2004.



  • @nzzp yeah...nah. Agree to disagree! I don't think you need to be able to hit hard to be a great tackler...not that Smith didn't hit hard anyway.

    Edit: replace "hard" with "huge".

    (That's what she said)



  • @nzzp said in Blues 2020:

    Conrad was a good tackler, not a great tackler.

    You don't play 94 tests and win two World Cups without being a defensive master. Conrad Smith was a great tackler, arguably one of the greatest. Instead of braun, he used his brain, though the below vid shows his ability to mix it with the big boys aswell.



  • @Canes4life shoulder contact with the head and no mitigating factors - red card



  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    @nzzp said in Blues 2020:

    Conrad was a good tackler, not a great tackler.

    You don't play 94 tests and win two World Cups without being a defensive master. Conrad Smith was a great tackler, arguably one of the greatest. Instead of braun, he used his brain, though the below vid shows his ability to mix it with the big boys aswell.

    Not the last few years of his career, he started falling off tackles. There was a reason he got dragged at half time in the final.



  • Ranger's hospo pass deserves a red card.

    Mind you this one to Cruden (first touch in Super Rugby) from Weepu in the same game deserves a 3 match suspension.



  • @Kirwan I think the reason was SBW's attacking flare, not Conrad's tackling technique. In fact I call BS on that, he was sublime for the Canes in 2015 and I remember a hit he made in the first few mins of the World Cup final against Aus that helped set the tone for a dominant performance, along with the likes of McCaw, Read etc.

    Edit: see around the 18.04 mark on the vid below: a classic hit on old mate Hooper.



  • @Canes4life That video - I'm still astounded Kepu wasn't sent from the field in that match and yet Ben Smith got the softest YC in history. Not Owen's best game with the whistle.



  • “The Blues are my team, the team I care about – and I feel like I was only going to play the best rugby for a team that I care about,” Sotutu said.
    “As long as the Blues are keen to keep me, I’m keen to stay.”

    👍 I hope we've already locked him up long term.



  • @Dice I guess the question is will Akira stay if they sign Sotutu on a long term contract?



  • @Canes4life keep your Canes mitts off



  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    @Dice I guess the question is will Akira stay if they sign Sotutu on a long term contract?

    Judging by that recent interview with Ardie he’s very happy in Auckland. And we can play both of them in the starting lineup too.



  • @Kirwan Sotutu actually mentioned that in the article:

    “It’s Aki at the moment. Later in the season, we might’ve seen me and him starting on the pitch at the same time.

    “Aki’s sort of the big brother in the team. He’s happy for me and happy that I’m getting a shot.

    “He’s real supportive of all the players, but especially me. He’s always been helping me out through my development with the Blues.”



  • @KiwiMurph don't need Akira, I'd prefer Evans, Flanders and Savea any day of the week. 😃



  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    @KiwiMurph don't need Akira, I'd prefer Evans, Flanders and Savea any day of the week. 😃

    You'd rather Prinseep than Akira? 🤷🏽♂



  • @Nepia Wouldn’t have either if I was in charge, same goes for Fifita. I would have selected TBN ahead of all of them this year.



  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    @Nepia Wouldn’t have either if I was in charge, same goes for Fifita. I would have selected TBN ahead of all of them this year.

    That wasn't the question though ....



  • @Nepia Don't really see the point to your question but yeah, I would have Prinsep over Akira because I know what sort of player I'm getting.



  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    @Nepia Don't really see the point to your question but yeah, I would have Prinsep over Akira because I know what sort of player I'm getting.

    You'd take an actual average rugby player over a guy with 67 Super caps, who also played every game for the Blues in a two year period, because you know what you'll be getting? Ok.



  • @Nepia i’d rather have an average Super Rugby player over a player that promises plenty but hardly delivers. Which player played finals footy in those two years? Oh yeah that’s right it wasn’t Akira. Prinsep isn’t flashy but he works a shit tone harder than Ioane.

    The fact you brought Prinsep into the conversation tells me that you don’t think Akira is better than the other three Canes loosies that I mentioned. 😬



  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    @Nepia i’d rather have an average Super Rugby player over a player that promises plenty but hardly delivers. Which player played finals footy in those two years? Oh yeah that’s right it wasn’t Akira. Prinsep isn’t flashy but he works a shit tone harder than Ioane.

    The fact you brought Prinsep into the conversation tells me that you don’t think Akira is better than the other three Canes loosies that I mentioned. 😬

    That comment suggests you really haven’t watched Akira at Super level and using the hadn’t played finals argument is plain silly that it’s not worth bothering with.

    I brought Prinseep into the conversation because he’s a current Canes loose forward who could easily be replaced. I’d take those three and Akira and dump Prinseep in a heartbeat because we know exactly what we’re going to get from him.



  • We'll happily take Akira down in the Tron.

    There is fuck all else to do except train and he can make for a brilliant AB trio with Cane and Jacobson.



  • @Nepia Akira can hardly make the Blues 23 atm, he was overweight in Auckland's ITM Cup campaign and has struggled for confidence. Atleast with Prinsep you know he's going to turn up in shape, he's going to put out unflashy, but consistent performances and as Coles has said, he will keep everyone honest at training. In saying that and as I have said in previous comments, if I had a choice both players wouldn't even be in my squad, so this argument is kind of pointless. Akira can stay at the Blues for all I care.

    Aslong as the Canes keep developing Flanders, I'm happy.



  • @Canes4life

    You've asked about when Akira is off contract multiple times. You've said you want him at the Canes
    You aren't fooling anyone by changing your story now

    FYI Akira is still under contract..

    Anyway let get this thread back on track. It's getting filled up with some crap about mediocre Canes players

    I look forward to seeing who the Blues recruit next. The bad old days of not having a quality ten seem so long ago. Imagine trying to recruit players without a quality ten? It must suck for the supporters of teams like that. They would be left defending imports like Prinsep

    alt text



  • You're right, I have asked about when Akira's contract ends but I haven't said anything about actually wanting him. I do think he would be better suited in a different environment though because let's be frank the Blues have been a shit show for a long time now.

    Lol the Blues could hardly beat a 12 man Hurricanes side the other week, don't start getting all patronizing now that you have Beauden, we all know the Blues are still the laughing stock of New Zealand rugby (just look at your hooker). A couple wins doesn't change that. Also the fact that the Blues need ex Hurricane first fives and a Canterbury coach to help them get those wins really shows how poor the Blues really are.







  • @Canes4life said in Blues 2020:

    You're right, I have asked about when Akira's contract ends but I haven't said anything about actually wanting him. I do think he would be better suited in a different environment though because let's be frank the Blues have been a shit show for a long time now.

    Lol the Blues could hardly beat a 12 man Hurricanes side the other week, don't start getting all patronizing now that you have Beauden, we all know the Blues are still the laughing stock of New Zealand rugby (just look at your hooker). A couple wins doesn't change that. Also the fact that the Blues need ex Hurricane first fives and a Canterbury coach to help them get those wins really shows how poor the Blues really are.

    Laughing stock. Hard to laugh while looking up a ladder...….


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