Just heard that Niko Jones has signed with the NZ 7s.
Posts made by Dice
RE: NFL 2018
Good start to the week. Patriots get smashed by the Titans, 34 - 10.
Jags continue to fall. They were one of the SB favorites before the season started, but they've now lost 5 in a row. Could be 6 in a row with the Steelers up next.
Browns get a win over the Falcons.
RE: Auckland 2018
Beer confirmed the World Cup was also set to make it very difficult to retain the core group of this year's title-winning squad who lost just once in 2018 and snapped a run of nine championships in 10 years by the Red and Blacks.
"We'll be looking to work through the contracting with players, which Alama is across" added the Auckland boss. "But we've got to be considerate of what players might be available for Rugby World Cup selection across different nations. A few of them could be picked off by different countries, such as Canada, Australia and the Pacific Island nations.
Guys who might not be available next season:
Evan Olmstead, Mike Sosene-Feagai, Fa'atiga Lemalu, Leon Fukofuka, Dalton Papali'i, Akira Ioane(with 10+ backrow injuries, it could happen).
I can easily see both Melani Nanai and Tumua Manu putting their names forward for Samoa. Both turn 26 next year and might want to go to a World Cup while they're in their primes.
Let's say all those guys are unavailable, this is what the line-up might look like next season:
15 Jordan Trainor
14 Vince Aso
13 Tanielu Telea
12 TJ Faiane
11 Salesi Rayasi
10 Harry Plummer
9 Jonathan Ruru
8 Hoskins Sotutu
7 Blake Gibson
6 Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa
5 Taleni Seu
4 Jack Whetton
3 Marcel Renata
2 Robbie Abel
1 Ezekiel Lindenmuth
16 Kurt Eklund
17 Sam Prattley
18 Marco Feapuleai
19 John Akau'ola-Laula/Lyndon Dunshea
20 Sione Havili/Adrian Choat
21 Desma Liaina
22 Daniel Kirkpatrick
23 Caleb Clarke
Actually not that bad to me, but this teams needs to stay pretty healthy to win it again.
RE: NPC Final - Auckland vs Canterbury (free entry)
Super late to the party, wasn't able to comment on this game at the time, but what a match this was and what a fight back!
Was so good to see the crowd turn up and stick around even when the rain came about and we were well behind. I actually can't believe the players were able to play at such a high level in such poor conditions.
Not quite sure how we pulled this one off, but after that Manu try(33rd minute), momentum really swung our way and we dominated possession and territory from that point onwards. I think it took until the 83rd minute for Canterbury to get back into our 22.
Akira was massive from the 2nd half onwards. That backrow of Akira, Seu and Sotutu late in the 2nd half and overtime period was pretty awesome to watch - they were a real handful for Canterbury. It's a bit of a risk to sub out your only openside, but it worked out well for us.
Olmstead gave it everything and made a number of key plays in overtime. He looked pretty dead at one point, but he just kept going. I think the whole team were practically running on heart in overtime.
Faiane led really well. In the 2nd half, TJ knew the forwards were a bit tired after expending so much energy in the 1st half, so he consciously played closer to the ruck to help them out with carries and cleanouts. Just a massive workrate in this game. The stats kind of back-up how big a game he had.
Trainor played a near faultless game in tough conditions for a fullback. He and TJ were pretty much the only players to turn up for us in that first half. Been so good to see a fullback in an Auckland jersey who can run, kick and pass well - it's been awhile.
The bench were immense. Adding Fukofuka to the line-up after leaving him out for the last 3 games was a master stroke in the end, because he made quite an impact in this game. Seu only had 20 minutes of rugby prior to the final, but he probably played the game of his life.
So proud of what the guys have achieved this year, can't wait for next season.
RE: Blues 2019 - (New Head Coach)
@daffy-jaffy he got injured again in Mitre 10 Cup.
Blues tend to have a history of picking impressive U20 players who get injured early on in their career - Faiane, Gibson, to some degree Papali'i etc
They just happen to be all from St Kents.
Duffie also went to St Kents and he started his career with so many injuries. He was the Blake Gibson before Blake Gibson.
Scrafton is another St Kents boy, but he didn't start his career with injuries, he's just getting all his big injuries now.
I wonder how serious Telea's injury is, because I saw him at the final and he had a big knee brace on. There didn't seem to be much in the contact that injured him, so I'm assuming it was an ACL.
RE: Blues 2019 - (New Head Coach)
What are the chances Alama coaches the development team?
Also, I wonder if Olmstead and Abel will stick around for an injury call-up. Abel said that he's willing to wait for an injury call-up, so we might have to hope we're the first team to pick up a hooker injury.
A couple of weeks ago, Olmstead said he was talking to a few teams, but no one signed him in the end. I wonder if the talks were more about injury cover than anything else.