Best posts made by Dice
RE: AB EOYT 2018
Doesn't feel like a Bledisloe test week. Could be because it's a dead rubber? Maybe because it is in Japan? Maybe because it's already Wednesday and Hansen hasn't baited Cheika yet.
Don't expect the last one to happen this week as the most rancid bait will be saved Eddie no doubt.
Plus the team hasn’t been named yet.
When is that by the way?
RE: New 'power play' rule in South Africa's Varsity Cup
Every team should play without a 10.
I'm not saying this because I'm a Blues fan...
RE: Auckland vs. North Harbour - The Battle of the Bridge
Sweet win, especially after last season. It's good to see us get a convincing win against a decent team going into the playoffs.
Loved seeing Papali'i thoroughly outplay Hunt, especially after Parsons saying earlier in the week that Hunt has been the best openside in the Mitre 10 Cup . He put on a masterclass yesterday and definitely deserved his AB call-up.
Faiane set the tone for us in that first half. That clean out to spring the Ruru try was beautiful. At the game you could see him barking at the forwards to get in there, but decided he had to do it himself. Needs to retain captaincy next season even if Gibson is healthy.
Usually this isn't funny, but Parsons giving a familiar losing interview at Eden Park made me laugh.
RE: Highlanders v Hurricanes
@Rocky-Rockbottom said in Highlanders v Hurricanes:
wow dont tell me Fakatava isn't already putting heat on TTT for RWC 3rd halfback spot? The kid looks the goods.
Although ffs really he should be playing for Tonga
Nope can’t make. He doesn’t fit our Maori quota for halfbacks.
What if he changed his name to Whakatava?
RE: George Moala
Yet another quality player the Blues never got the best out of.
I think he's been very good this season, but he's no better than in his best season with the Blues a few years back.
If only he had vision and a passing game, he'd be unstoppable. Fortunately, Clermont have good skill players around him to compensate.
RE: Northland vs Auckland
A bit of a breakdown of each player after seeing the game again.
Outside Backs: Rayasi and Nanai were constant threats throughout the game. Unlike last year, our wingers are getting put into space this year.
Trainor was a bit rocks and diamonds - needs to clean up those simple mistakes.
Midfield: Solid all round games from Faiane and Manu. Manu looks to have a real knack over the ball. Looking forward to his match-up with Tupaea on Thursday.
Halves: Fukofuka had a near faultless game again. His speed of delivery and accuracy helps everyone, especially Plummer. A couple of sweet try assists by him.
Plummer had a good game, particularly with ball in hand and on defense. Did a great job of staying in support to score after Nanai made the break as a Taniwha player was holding him back - usually guys tend to give up and try to get the refs attention when that happens, but he persisted. A few errors and a few kicks by him weren't ideal, but nonetheless, it was a solid performance.
Backrow: Papalii! Looked like another man of the match performance from him. Defensively, he's about as good as anyone at the moment.
Gibson wasn't too far behind Papali'i with his performance. One aspect of Gibson's game that seems to have improved this season is his ball carrying in the tight.
Akira had a quiet 1st half but had a much better 2nd half. Had some nice turnovers when Northland were hot on attack. If Papali'i and Gibson are healthy, Akira will get a bit more help at the Blues next year.
Locks: Lemalu had a solid debut - we look a bit stauncher in the tight with him out there.
Whetton was really good. I didn't really notice how good he was live, but with a second look, he had a man of the match type of game.
Can't really ask for much more from our 4th and 5th string locks.
Frontrow: Renata was a welcomed addition this week - was solid in the scrum and busy on defense.
Prattley wasn't as visible around the park but held his own in the scrum.
Abel had a couple of throws that might've been under thrown early, but Northland might've read the plays well too, either way, he settled down after that and wasn't too bad around the park.
Bench: Nothing notable from the bench outside of Sosene killing Debreczeni.
RE: 2018 Mitre 10 Cup Form XV
I didn't go overboard with this...
I went a bit NBA style with it.
Mitre 10 Cup 1st XV
15 - Will Jordan
14 - Melani Nanai
13 - Tumua Manu
12 - TJ Faiane
11 - Sevu Reece
10 - Mitch Hunt
9 - Brad Weber
8 - Akira Ioane
7 - Dalton Papali'i
6 - Ethan Blackadder
5 - Luke Romano
4 - Jack Whetton
3 - Tyrel Lomax
2 - Samisoni Takei'aho
1 - Wyatt Crockett
Mitre 10 Cup 2nd XV
15 - Shaun Stevenson
14 - Malo Tuitama
13 - Quinn Tupaea
12 - Dwayne Sweeney
11 - Salesi Rayasi
10 - Harry Plummer
9 - Jonathan Ruru
8 - Teariki Ben-Nicholas
7 - Mitch Jacobson
6 - Tom Robinson
5 - James Blackwell
4 - James Tucker
3 - Marcel Renata
2 - Andrew Makalio
1 - Reuben O'Neill
Mitre 10 Cup 3rd XV
15 - George Bridge
14 - Jonah Lowe
13 - Matt Faddes
12 - David Havili
11 - Jona Nareki
10 - Fletcher Smith
9 - Finlay Christie
8 - Marino Mikaele-Tuu
7 - Dillon Hunt
6 - Mitchell Crosswell
5 - Pari Pari Parkinson
4 - Gerard Cowley-Tuioti
3 - Sione Mafileo
2 - Robbie Abel
1 - Sam Prattley
Player of the Year - Luke Romano
Defensive Player of the Year - Dalton Papali'i
Attacking Player of the Year - Sevu Reece
Rookie of the Year - Quinn Tupaea
Captain of the Year - TJ Faiane
Coach of the Year - Alama Ieremia
Plenty of decent players missed out, but many of them could easily be in there though. Was pretty tough to decide who to leave out. You could make a fairly decent 4th XV.
RE: Blues v Chiefs
Ugly win, but I guess I'll take that.
Good effort by the starting props to go 80.
Nice games by the two youngsters, Clarke and Plummer. Can Foxy come and help Plummer out with goal kicking though?
We'll need to play far better next week just to be competitive with the Crusaders.
RE: Wellington vs Auckland
One guy who hasn't been mentioned but had a massive game was Marcel Renata. He's been good all season, but was exceptional in this game. Hopefully the Blues have already gotten his signature.
Was good to see all the bench players making positive contributions when they came on. Also smart move by the coaches to not bring Clarke and Sotutu on because we needed experience out there to finish this game.
RE: NPC Final - Auckland vs Canterbury (free entry)
Just heard that both Manu and Trainor should be good to go this weekend. Sweet.
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 v Bulls
Happy enough with the 5 points, but we still have a lot to work on.
Jerome was great last night. He turns 34 in two weeks, but he's still easily the standard for 6s in this country. I thought he looked good last week too.
I'm hoping we drop Tupou from the starting line-up once Luatua comes back, because he's adding very little to the team at the moment. At this level, he's too small to be a lock, and not dynamic or physical enough to be a 6.
I think Taramai has done his dash off the bench, it's time to bring Pryor in. He's played every game so far this season and has done little to nothing in his game time.
RE: Super Rugby News
This makes me happy
Look forward to Tana picking him in every game next year and reading the crying about it on here.
This reminds me of the time when there was constant crying on here each week when Luke Whitelock would start ahead of Jordan Taufua under Toddy.
RE: Blues v Chiefs
Moala is just a big liability. Him leaving points and opportunities out there each week in close games is just criminal and should be enough to have him dropped.
Pulu plays his heart out and has his share of good plays, but he's such a flawed player. When I watch him, I always think that he'd make for an awesome hooker in league. His weaknesses in rugby wouldn't be as accentuated in that form of the game, while his strengths would be showcased more often.
Akira has had very little help from his backrow partners in these first two games. We need one of Gibson, Pryor or Papali'i to recover soon, because Taramai still looks as average as last season. Tupou's not much better.
Why did we sign Apisai? Hame Faiva was rightfully not re-signed by us and even he had shown more at the lower levels than him.
RE: Blues v Hurricanes
We did a lot of good in this game, but our inability to convert chances keeps hurting us. We seem glaringly behind other NZ teams in that aspect.
I'm not quite sure why this is such a problem for us, but we've made a real art form of losing the ball in the mauls this season, particularly in good attacking position.
GCT and Scrafton looked the goods once again. I'd be tempted to ride the hot hand and keep those two together as starters, even when Tuipulotu comes back. We probably should extend those two before other suitors come in.
Luatua and Kaino were top notch. I felt sorry for Kaino after this game, he looked so distraught. He's been here for so long, but has barely played in any playoff games. If only he was born one year earlier, he could've been part of that 2003 team.
RE: Chiefs vs Blues
Nonu beat 10 defenders in this game, which is unreal considering his age. Most players can't even do that once in their careers. It's just not normal for someone to carry their explosiveness for this long.
Karl T was awesome. Loving the scrummaging but also the ball skills and ball carrying of his this season.
Faiane is owning that 13 jersey. Master stroke by Leon to shove him out there. Does so much work every week and is working well with Nonu and the outsides.
Robinson, Tuipulotu and Papali'i were massive again. Papali'i reminds me a bit of a young Kieran, just a do-it-all kind of backrower.
Happy enough with how Otere is tracking now. Just keep the errors down, kick your goals and that will do for now. Nonu and TJ helped out quite a bit with running the backline in this game, but that's OK.
Some of the bench players played well. Jed Brown had a pretty good debut game.
RE: Blues 2020
@Machpants They got the pack almost spot on, but the backline needs a bit of work.
Mathewson over Pulu at halfback. His first season or so was easily the best play we got from a halfback in the last decade.
I'd probably go with Wulf on the right wing over Halai, even though he did play quite a bit of left wing. Rarely ever had a bad game for us and was always an automatic starter.
Toeava was probably our best 15, 13 and 12, but didn't even get in the team.