QF - Lions v Crusaders



  • Macilai has gone backwards this year, a lot
    At least a few ABs get a bit of a break now....
    A lot to like about the Lions play, definitely deserving of their place in the finals, unlike 3 of the other teams.....
    I like Macilai but does lack consistency,I'm guessing being in and out of the side is part of the reason.
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  • Macilai has gone backwards this year, a lot
    At least a few ABs get a bit of a break now....
    A lot to like about the Lions play, definitely deserving of their place in the finals, unlike 3 of the other teams.....

    Yes and no....
    Yes offensively he has gone back. ... wish he would straighten the attack..by running at defenders inside shoulder more often... which of course would actually mean his favourite outside break would appear more often too.
    Defense has improved...he's a beast and really hits hard.
    I do wonder if the mix and match centre pairing for the landers this season hasn't contributed to his drop in form...
    That said I agree with many ... hard to validate AB selection....and the biggest concern for me is his decision making....but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the RC squad..



  • Yes and no....
    Yes offensively he has gone back. ... wish he would straighten the attack..by running at defenders inside shoulder more often... which of course would actually mean his favourite outside break would appear more often too.
    Defense has improved...he's a beast and really hits hard.
    I do wonder if the mix and match centre pairing for the landers this season hasn't contributed to his drop in form...
    That said I agree with many ... hard to validate AB selection....and the biggest concern for me is his decision making....but I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the RC squad..

    Lol confused threads and names....



  • I like Macilai but does lack consistency,I'm guessing being in and out of the side is part of the reason.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I like him a lot cos I have seen what he can do for my team, and yes you might be right selection inconsistency has probably played its part, maybe he is trying too hard when he is getting his chance



  • All in all, I think the Crusaders have proved all the nay-sayers wrong. From the start of the season, everyone (media, many Ferners, others) said they wouldn't get anywhere near the play-offs because they lost Richie and all their first-fives. They were the underdogs from the start. But they did make the play-offs and the Crusaders only lost to one non-NZ team. In the fucken quarter final!
     
    Certainly, a lot has to improve next year. But this was a rebuilt year for the Crusaders as well (not just for the Blues)! I hope Razor will sign some great players; the Crusaders certainly need to improve their backline and a lot of players are leaving. But that also offers opportunities.

    I think we can justifiably claim to have turned out to be the fifth best team in the competition - there's just a bit of a gap to the top three or four.
     
    Given the structure of the competition, we did reasonably well to make the play-offs and - you're right - pre-season most commentators probably didn't pick that. On the other hand, just before the international break we were starting to look like genuine contenders - faded pretty badly in the last couple of weeks.
     
    I hadn't really watched the Lions before this and - on the basis of this viewing - I think they'll struggle with the Highlanders next week. Highlanders have got far more backline strikepower than the Crusaders and we seemed to have no trouble winning possession. Highlander's defensive systems are also much better than ours - Razor really needs to change that - get more linespeed and more urgency to replicate the smothering defences the Landers, Chiefs and Canes all have.



  • I think we can justifiably claim to have turned out to be the fifth best team in the competition - there's just a bit of a gap to the top three or four.
     
    Given the structure of the competition, we did reasonably well to make the play-offs and - you're right - pre-season most commentators probably didn't pick that. On the other hand, just before the international break we were starting to look like genuine contenders - faded pretty badly in the last couple of weeks.
     
    I hadn't really watched the Lions before this and - on the basis of this viewing - I think they'll struggle with the Highlanders next week. Highlanders have got far more backline strikepower than the Crusaders and we seemed to have no trouble winning possession. Highlander's defensive systems are also much better than ours - Razor really needs to change that - get more linespeed and more urgency to replicate the smothering defences the Landers, Chiefs and Canes all have.

    Hw did the structure of the competition effect the Crusaders any worse than any other NZ team? They actually had a good middle run where they built up points on the board before coming up against the strong NZ teams (bar the Chiefs in the first round).
     
    Oh, and regarding the post you replied to my Magpies bretheren Stargazer is talking out of his ass again, the Crusaders are always rated by fans (especially red'n'black ones besides SammyC due to Blackadder ;)) and media and it was no different this year. Hell, they were being talkied up as favourites in their two matches against the Chiefs even though they barely win against them now.



  • Hw did the structure of the competition effect the Crusaders any worse than any other NZ team? They actually had a good middle run where they built up points on the board before coming up against the strong NZ teams (bar the Chiefs in the first round).
     
    Oh, and regarding the post you replied to my Magpies bretheren Stargazer is talking out of his ass again, the Crusaders are always rated by fans (especially red'n'black ones besides SammyC due to Blackadder ;)) and media and it was no different this year. Hell, they were being talkied up as favourites in their two matches against the Chiefs even though they barely win against them now.

    Yup don't get this rebuilding talk about the Crusaders when they have what is judged by many as the best forward pack in the comp as well as the man that has carried their backline for the last 3 seasons in Nadolo. Carter and McCaw barely played for them in the last few seasons and when they did, they played well within themselves for the majority of the time.
     
    Oh, and the draw suited the Crusaders better than any NZ side where they got to play the Blues twice and the Hurricanes and HIghlanders only once.



  • Hw did the structure of the competition effect the Crusaders any worse than any other NZ team? They actually had a good middle run where they built up points on the board before coming up against the strong NZ teams (bar the Chiefs in the first round).
     
    Oh, and regarding the post you replied to my Magpies bretheren Stargazer is talking out of his ass again, the Crusaders are always rated by fans (especially red'n'black ones besides SammyC due to Blackadder ;)) and media and it was no different this year. Hell, they were being talkied up as favourites in their two matches against the Chiefs even though they barely win against them now.

    I wasn't talking about Crusaders fans talking up their chances, of course they (or, at least, some of them) would!  There are only a few of them on the Fern; overall, the majority of comments on the Fern have been mostly negative to hesitating from the start.
     
    I must have read a lot more articles in the media than you have, because nobody of the sports journos (not even locally biased Richard Knowler) has talked up the Crusaders at any point in the competition this year; not as title contenders or - in the beginning of the season - as a finalists. You're such a one-eyed Chiefs supporter that you obviously didn't read or remember most of the articles/comments about the Crusaders. I - on the other hand - read almost everything I can find about every NZ team.



  • Hw did the structure of the competition effect the Crusaders any worse than any other NZ team? They actually had a good middle run where they built up points on the board before coming up against the strong NZ teams (bar the Chiefs in the first round).

    Where did I say this?
     
    Most people thought the structure of the competition would preclude NZ having more than three teams in the play-offs. Since I'm pretty clearly saying we were the fourth best NZ team, logically, we should have been the one to miss out. Therefore....we did pretty well to get there.



  • Oh, and the draw suited the Crusaders better than any NZ side where they got to play the Blues twice and the Hurricanes and HIghlanders only once.

    Stick the boot in, when we're down. 🙂
     
    Someone else also got to play the Blues twice - and we had to play the Chiefs twice. And they got to play us twice.



  • Yup don't get this rebuilding talk about the Crusaders when they have what is judged by many as the best forward pack in the comp as well as the man that has carried their backline for the last 3 seasons in Nadolo. Carter and McCaw barely played for them in the last few seasons and when they did, they played well within themselves for the majority of the time.
     
    Oh, and the draw suited the Crusaders better than any NZ side where they got to play the Blues twice and the Hurricanes and HIghlanders only once.

    One man doesn't make a good backline. The Crusaders didn't have a good backline (unlike, for ex, the Chiefs & Highlanders). They had 3 good backs this year: Nadolo (out 4 weeks during suspension, and a few more due to injury and fading out at the end of the season), Crotty (out during several games, esp. in the beginning, due to injury) and Dagg (idem).
    Most of the others are either rookies or bad to average. Only McNicholl may have been a reasonably positive exception in some games & Mo'unga until the June break. The backline has been the Crusaders weakness for years now, yes, but it got worse without - particularly - Slade (who was a rock last year) and Taylor (as 2nd five, not fullback).



  • One man doesn't make a good backline. The Crusaders didn't have a good backline (unlike, for ex, the Chiefs & Highlanders). They had 3 good backs this year: Nadolo (out 4 weeks during suspension, and a few more due to injury and fading out at the end of the season), Crotty (out during several games, esp. in the beginning, due to injury) and Dagg (idem).
    Most of the others are either rookies or bad to average. Only McNicholl may have been a reasonably positive exception in some games & Mo'unga until the June break. The backline has been the Crusaders weakness for years now, yes, but it got worse without - particularly - Slade (who was a rock last year) and Taylor (as 2nd five, not fullback).

    I count 3 good backs and 2 positives. Isn't that a backline when it isn't hit by injury?



  • First time I've looked at TSF in five months - ie pretty much the entire Super Rugby season and I must say with relatively fresh eyes, it's not refreshing to see the same old petty, tired, whinging and moaning about - and sticking of the boot into - the Crusaders. The only thing that's changed is that there appears to be one or two new offenders and one or two new defenders as well. Yippee, pleased to be back.



  • Good to see you've kept the victim mentality. Very refreshing.



  • Good to see you've kept the victim mentality. Very refreshing.

    Ahh there we go with the typical wank-fest comments, drawing likes from like-minded piston wristed gibbons.



  • Where did I say this?
     
    Most people thought the structure of the competition would preclude NZ having more than three teams in the play-offs. Since I'm pretty clearly saying we were the fourth best NZ team, logically, we should have been the one to miss out. Therefore....we did pretty well to get there.

    It read like you were saying the despite the structure they made the finals meaning it was harder for them, as opposed to just being the 4th best NZ team.
     
     
     
     
    Good to have you back Shark, we were wondering where you were just a few days ago. Sammy C (I think) and Chris B (despite the fact he's the only one ready to pick the yokels from Tasman regularly) have been sticking the occasional boot into Rennie on your behalf while you've been away.  😉



  • Crusaders lack a balanced backrow and a decent backline. They need a big hard running 6. Tafua has soldiered admirably but IMO is too small for the role and should be the bench player not the starter. Despite all the praise for Mounga I haven't been that impressed, his defense is especially weak. These problems have been obvious all through Blackadders run as coach.
     
    looking forward to a change and IMO Robertson should make sure Rob Thompson partners Crotty and Luatua or Ione is brought down from the Blues. Should also go after Brad Weber.



  • First time I've looked at TSF in five months - ie pretty much the entire Super Rugby season and I must say with relatively fresh eyes, it's not refreshing to see the same old petty, tired, whinging and moaning about - and sticking of the boot into - the Crusaders. The only thing that's changed is that there appears to be one or two new offenders and one or two new defenders as well. Yippee, pleased to be back.

    I'd say most of the criticism is warranted though? 
     
    You'd have to say Toddy has underperformed as a Crusaders coach looking back over the years and when you look at the cattle he's had...do wonder how different his legacy might have been if not for that loss in the year after the quakes.



  • Ahh there we go with the typical Do a Willis-fest comments, drawing likes from like-minded Williss.

    Good to see the time away hasn't mellowed the sharks bite at all, why bother logging on just to whinge ?



  • Anyone who says the Crusaders weren't rebuilding this year is fucking kidding themselves IMO. Maybe Mccaw and Carter weren't at their best for them for a while now but they would add a huge amount off the field with their experience and leadership.
    To remove that and the next level (of 1st fives particularly) in Slade, Taylor, Laulala and Bird leaves a massive hole. They had to fill that hole with Mounga, Volavola, Mckenzie and Alaalatoa FFS.
     
    Todd Blackadder staying this year has definitely slowed/delayed any building for the future IMO. I couldn't identify any new game plan and he didn't bring in any decent talent to address their weaknesses. The only positive from their backline that has provided variation from "give it to Nadolo" has been Dagg returning to form.
    The Blues have definitely come along further from where they started the year despite having less talent in the forwards and the Canes despite a few speed bumps along the way have hardly looked like they have missed Nonu, Smith, Thrush, Franks, NMS, Motu'u or Broadhurst, who arguably left a bigger hole than the Crusaders had to fill. 
     
    Next year won't be much easier and Robertson will need to come up with something good to make use of that forward pack. I hope he can make a difference, the Crusaders used to be one of my favourite teams but they are just bloody frustrating to watch now.
     
    So in summary the Crusaders did pretty well to make the playoffs after losing the guys they did and having a rubbish coach.
    Probably benefitted from the Waratahs sucking arse this year. 
    But should have done better with the forward pack they have.


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