So the ABs finished the game with the following forwards :
Who could have guessed that at the beginning of the season ?
People in this forum are great fans of Richie Mounga. He's had a mare : missed an easy tackle on Daly who is not the quickest fullback nor the strongest one (this led to England's first try), then could not handle the English rush defence. Let's hope he'll learn from this very disappointing performance.
The Bounga experiment was clearly a failure with BB's kicking from hand being an issue. Would DMac have done better ?
Is it the weakest AB squad since 2004 ?
There is a lot of fringe players who do not seem to be of international calibre. Perry is struggling at SR level, Frizell is the third choice blindside flanker for the Highlanders, TTT, Mo'unga are largely untested, DMac has yet to have a good game at 1st Five, this season, Fifita has been very anonymous, Scott Barrett is lacking the necessary physique for an international lock while JTA has never propped at TH at the upper level. Moreover, L. Whitelock is just here to fill a gap in Read's absence, NMS does not have the pace of an international wing and Harris is a journeyman as is Ofa T. If the RWC was to be played toimorrow, I doubt this team could make the final.
Evans and Hemopo are other names you could throw in the mix.
Be interesting who gets the 6 shirt against Italy.
I would add Seu as well. It's a shame he was injured this year and so missed most of the SR season. I found him outstanding during the last stages of the Mitre 10 Cup.
The "BB can't control a game" is rather ridiculous when the AB win the RC with a bonus point for 4 tries in each game (in fact, they scored an average of 6 tries per game) and with record margins. If you call "control of the game" kicking into the corners in order to apply pressure on the opponents, then BB does not know how to control a game. He just tears the defences to create and score tries which put the AB beyond reach of the opposition. Instead of winning by a 5-10 point margin, the AB, with his "no control", win with an average 25-30 point margin.
I reckon he did not play his usual best last Saturday but that was his sole under par performance of the year. This criticism is beyond me.
Can't even blame an exodus of talent. Only Vito I would class as a definite test class 8/6. Even that was only on his form the last year in NZ after flattering to deceive for much of hist test career.
Maybe but right now, there aren't many LHP of international quality in NZ behind Moody. Moli hasn't shown he is up to it. So who else ? Hodgman looked promising against the Chiefs before his injury. He is big and strong, while his scrummaging seemed to have improved. Ross has a big workrate but his scrummaging is suspect. Johnstone is a good scrummager but his mobility is far from being top notch. Armstrong is playing better these days than he has ever done but I don't know how he is rated by Foster. Numia is promising but still too green. So, IMO, big Karl will probably be selected for the AB squad.
Folau and not Cullen ? Hmmm.
Zinzan Brooke was heads and shoulders above the rest during the nineties. Best Nr.8 IMO.
Carter was the best 10 ever but not in Super Rugby. The most brilliant was Carlos Spencer. He gets my vote with Stephen Larkham bubbling under.
Post your ultimate Super Rugby XV, can be any player, any year, any club.
- Os Du Randt (Cheetahs/Cats/Bulls)
- John Smit (Sharks)
- Owen Franks (Crusaders)
- Brodie Rettalick (Chiefs)
- Victor Matfield (Bulls/Cats)
- Jerry Collins (Hurricanes)
- Richie McCaw (Crusaders)
- Pierres Spies (Bulls)
- Joost van der Westhuizen (Bulls)
- Daniel Carter (Crusaders)
- Jonah Lomu (Hurricanes/Blues/Chiefs)
- Ma'a Nonu (Hurricanes/Blues/Highlanders)
- Stirling Mortlock (Brumbies/Rebels)
- Rupeni Caucaunibuca (Blues)
- Christian Cullen (Hurricanes)
16. Dane Coles (Hurricanes)
17. Tony Woodcock (Blues)
18. Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks)
19. Brad Thorn (Crusaders)
20. George Smith (Brumbies/Reds)
21. Will Genia (Reds/Rebels)
22. Stephen Larkham (Brumbies)
23. Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes)
Two LHP on the bench is questionable.
Olo Brown was a much more impressive THP than Owen Franks IMO.
I'd go with Bakkies Botha on the bench : did Brad Thorn left an indelible mark for the Crusaders ?
@cgrant If you read some of Gatland's recent comments his plan is to give everyone in the squad opportunities to impress so I wouldn't read too much into that selection just yet.
"The experience I've had before in club rugby is that you have to make sure you keep the players motivated and interested and feeling like they've got an opportunity, particularly at the start of the year. "We're aware that we can't keep picking the same team week-in, week-out. "Because all of a sudden three or four of them pick up injuries and people will say: 'Why haven't you given others an opportunity early on just in case you did pick up injuries?"
The same article says 38 players have been used so far but that does include some injury replacements. Only McWhannell (coming back from injury), Sullivan and Naholo haven't had any game time yet.
I know but this Chiefs lineup looks like the strongest available XV, that's why I made this remark.
If Rieko Ioane is now considered as a centre, then Telea and Alaimalo must come into consideration for the All Blacks (and maybe Bridge though his performances during the WC let me think he want make the AB squad) for the left wing spot. This leaves Nareki for the All Blacks XV.
The Canes are celebrating their Māori & Pacific players and fans with Mana Moana week at Sky Stadium on Saturday.
It got me thinking, who would make an all-time Mana Moana Canes XV - feel free to add a Blues one in here aswell.
Considering the likes of Cullen and Coles count, here is my stab at an all time XV: * I feel like I've missed someone obvious in the locking department.
- Schwalger 2. Coles 3. Tialata (but would probably have Lomax over him already) 4. Tito 5. Fatialofa 6. Collins 7. Savea 8. So'oialo 9. Perenara 10. Weepu 11. Lomu 12. Nonu 13. Umaga 14. Milner Skudder 15. Cullen
Has Weepu ever played 10 for the Canes ? If not, R. Flutey then.
Surely you'd take Cruden before Flutey?
Ooops ! I forgot about Cruden playing for the Canes.
Akira needs to make this opportunity count.
Not really. He needs to play well for the team, but in terms of minutes, he's going to get more opportunities. We can't play Sotutu and Robinson in every game.
I'd like to see a back row of Dalton at 7, Akira at 8 and Sotutu at 6, with Robinson playing lock again. Akira's particularly good at cleaning up messy scrums (not that we have had many this year).
Robinson is a better 6 than 5, IMO.