Landers v lions



  • Until Nonu and Smith, didn't we typically have the hard ball runner at 13 anyway, and the distributor at 12? That said, I think Nonu was a better kicker than Smith so maybe that's why.



  • Until Nonu and Smith, didn't we typically have the hard ball runner at 13 anyway, and the distributor at 12? That said, I think Nonu was a better kicker than Smith so maybe that's why.

    Yeah I think Nonu's kicking game made him a better option there - not that he had to use it fuck all with the likes of Carter / Cruden and Dagg in the backline.
     
    Also, I have heard Carter say he always felt much more comfortable with Nonu on his shoulder as he provided a great bail out option in heavy traffic if the kick wasn't on.
     
    Nonu really did reinvent the 12 position.



  • Having a ball carrier at 12 certainly opens up our room to attack. Just holds the defence enough to look to create space.
    I think back to the Mauger/LukeMc days when the 3/4s would only ever have 1/3 of the width to work with.
     
    I'd like to see a Fekitoa 12/Ngatai 13 combo at some point. Just to see how it would go.



  • Until Nonu and Smith, didn't we typically have the hard ball runner at 13 anyway, and the distributor at 12? That said, I think Nonu was a better kicker than Smith so maybe that's why.

    nonu was the distributor. just happened to be a big fluffybunny as well - his long passing game came well before his kicking.



  • only really been the past couple of seasons Nonu has had an accomplished kicking game, and it made him pretty much the complete 12 IMO, up there as one of the very best.



  • I really like Fekitoa's speed at 13 (mainly on defense, actually). With more experience he could be lethal there and is reading play better and better.
    Having said that, I also like Ngatai and Crotty at 13 for their defense.
    It's going to be very very hard to find someone who can play Nonu's game.
    But, Moala looks like the player with the most potential to develop into being a similar player.
    Right now, I'd say Ngatai and Fekitoa with Crotty about and Moala for development.



  • I really like Fekitoa's speed at 13 (mainly on defense, actually). With more experience he could be lethal there and is reading play better and better.

    Me too, he's lethal on the outside break. Nonu never had that same speed.
     
    Fekitoa's distribution looks to have improved a bit this year too.
     
     
    Mo'ala is like an early Nonu, before he developed his passing game. Apparently the Crusaders got pretty close to signing him a couple of years back, that's a huge lost opportunity.



  • The funny thing about nonu at 12 , and being an all time great there 
     
    He was almost selected  there by default , 
     
     Mauger and Mcalister were the prefered choices, when they departed , the talk was the cupboard was bare , we may have to play Nonu as a last resort ........  funny how that worked out



  • The funny thing about nonu at 12 , and being an all time great there 
     
    He was almost selected  there by default , 
     
     Mauger and Mcalister were the prefered choices, when they departed , the talk was the cupboard was bare , we may have to play Nonu as a last resort ........  funny how that worked out

    Agree. NZ Rugby had been almost obsessed with having 2nd 5/8s rather than inside centres. Nonu became a hybrid of the two and now we are looking for a similar player to fill the gap he has left.
     
    I can't see either Fekitoa or Moala filling that role unless they are given extended runs in the position with a plan to alter their way of playing. Although I like the look of Ngatai at 13 because his play is most like Conrad's I also wonder if he is the best option out there to fill the Nonu role. He has some size and power and also the kicking and passing skills.
     
    As far as I can see we will either be changing the role of the 12 or the 13. 12 being closer to the action is possibly the one we want to change least.



  • I think that Ngatai is the closest we'll have to a complete Nonu package for 12. Obviously Moala has potential but at the moment, and providing he stays uninjured Ngatai looks to have the right combination of skills and power.
     
    Ngatai is a bit like Nonu (aside from the early AB call up), burst on to the scene with a lot of hype and then it took him a number of years to get to the level he is now, and hopefully he can keep that line moving upwards on the graph.



  • See below



  • Where has Cruden got it over him?

    The biggest difference between Cruden and Sopoango is their leadership. Sopoanga still relies heavily on Ben Smith and Aaron Smith. I remember a Super game last season they had their WC stand down and the Highlanders looked half the team and Lima flat. Cruden dominates as a leader no matter what team he is in and who surrounds him.
     
    With Nonu and Smith gone from the All Black backline and Richie as captain no way Cruden will not be the starting 10
     
    In addition Sopoanga strikes me as a confidence player. He has had nothing but downhills at the moment over what is still a relatively short span. Cruden has proven he is the type of player who if he mucks up it is just water off the ducks back. Classic example is the miss from out wide in the Irish come from behind test. Knocks the second over just like Carter did in the quarterfinal.
     
    I think we will need 3 10s in the leadup to the next WC and Sopoango has definitely booked his ticket as Carters replacement in that rotation with Cruden and Barret. However he is the junior player for now.



  • I think Damian Mckenzie is going to be there by next rwc although not sure if it be as a full back or at 10
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  • I think Damian Mckenzie is going to be there by next rwc although not sure if it be as a full back or at 10
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Or in the Barrett role.



  • I like Mackenzie but I can't see him cracking it unless Barrret either loses his pace off the mark (which we have seen happen with age or injury) or gets fed up with being the impact bench player and does a Luke McCallister/Carl Hayman and cashes in up north.



  • I would suggest that if Barrett was injured DMc would get a look in.
    AB selectors don't tend to ignore freakish talent they see if there is a way they can use it



  • According to one snippet I read the AB coaches have been interested in McKenzie for some time but want him to gain experience.  He turns 21 next month so has plenty of time to continue to develop.  When he first played for Waikato McKenzie's front-on defence was poor but he's obviously worked on that, judging by his efforts this season.  He also seems to be very level-headed for a player thrust onto the scene at a young age.
     
    As to the AB midfield, a lot will depend on what position they believe Fekitoa is best suited.  He has started a similar number of tests in the 12 jersey (3) as he has in the 13 jersey (4) but I get the impression Hansen and co don't entirely trust him yet as their centre.  The centre usually leds the defensive line in the backs and Fekitoa has a bad habit of rushing out of the line.  Fekitoa is improving every season, particularly his distribution.



  • I still maintain that Fekitoa's rush out of the line is part of the Landers defensive plan at times. The players around him seem to totally expect it and position themselves in case he doesn't slow down or stop the attack.
    It looks like some clever thinking on turning a potential weakness into a strength. Using his speed off the mark to best effect.
     
    He just needs to make sure that if he is playing in a different defensive system he doesn't do this by habit.



  • Big games this season will be Chiefs VS Highlanders. Are their 2 of them?



  • I still maintain that Fekitoa's rush out of the line is part of the Landers defensive plan at times. The players around him seem to totally expect it and position themselves in case he doesn't slow down or stop the attack.
    It looks like some clever thinking on turning a potential weakness into a strength. Using his speed off the mark to best effect.
     
    He just needs to make sure that if he is playing in a different defensive system he doesn't do this by habit.

    Even though the bloody Landers beat my Canes in the final last year relegating us to permanent brides maids, they are my favourite team to watch. Always have a clear game plan that everyone is on board with. They are the smartest Super team by some stretch at the moment. Chiefs, Blues, Saders and Canes always attract "WTF are they doing?" type comments.


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