It seems Ponsonby are just well ahead of everyone else this season. Not too surprised with the team they have.
It'll be interesting to see how Eden go against them this week. If Eden can't give them a challenge, then I can't see who else can.
@nzzp Was good to read about what's going on inside the team yesterday.
I'm truly shocked neither Ioane brother even got a mention for biggest grub.
I'm guessing it's because the Ioanes don't go beyond just a push and shove. You won't see them penalized or carded for anything grubby.
Other Blues players set to feature for their club on Saturday are Aaron Carroll (Mt Maunganui), Ezekiel Lindenmuth (Ardmore Marist) and Jack Heighton (East Coast Bays). Tamati Tua, Luteru Tolai and Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa are also available but their clubs weren’t known at the time of publication.
Moved to Counties Manukau?
Looks like it.
Lavea going to Counties is probably the worst thing that could've happened to us. He could decimate our depth in a couple of seasons. If he went to any team outside of Counties/Harbour, he'd have a harder time to do that.
@Stargazer the article also says this
Hickey has signed with the Hurricanes until the end of 2021.
So potentially rest of this year and 2021?
Hickey was on the radio this morning and he said he's signed for the rest of this year.
Last year we were forced in to it because we had absolutely no one at 6. But by christ i hope this year we take a punt and develop a 6 and 8 that have a bit of height, and then just pick the best 7 at 7.
Ioane/ Robinson, Cane, Sotutu.
Papali'i in for Cane...
A bit of a depth chart for this season.
Rob Cobb(with Waikato?)
Bolded the ones I think will most likely be in the Mitre 10 squad.
Also, some guys I listed might've moved on and I don't know about it.
Ponsonby 48 University 16
Point scorers for Ponsonby.
Tries: Paul Roache 2, Danny Tusitala 2, Jonah Mau’u, Rilloy Suesue and Junior Halafuka
Conversions: Jordan Trainor 5
Penalty: Jordan Trainor
Ponsonby did a write-up of the game.
Blues structure improved in the last 20 wth Beaudy at ten, IMO. Not saying Beaudy 10 and ??? 15 would be an improvement, but Beaudy is a big step up over Black - no matter how well he's playing
The conundrum there is definitely who we play at 15 isn't as good as Beaudy either.
Perofeta was going O.K but injured. Duffie isn't a threat from the back really, so I understand why Leon is doing it. I've forgotten somebody else at 15...I think.
Narawa is another FB option.
I might be in the minority with this opinion, but I think Trainor would do alright at 15 in this backline. I think he's a better FB option than Duffie at least.
@KiwiMurph I wouldn't mind seeing Tolai get a shot off the bench. Bench hooker and the bench utility(23) would be the obvious spots we can rotate.
Maybe get a specialist loosehead back on the bench? Hodgman had to play 70 minutes last week, probably because they didn't trust Renata to play big minutes at loosehead, although in saying that, Renata's one scrum of the night went pretty well.
Pierce and GCT are probably interchangeable. Maybe give Pierce a chance to see if he can win the bench lock spot off GCT.
With no finals this year ,
And the blues playing the crusaders in the last round at eden park,
Wouldn’t it be awesome if the winner of this game, is the winner of the comp, so in effect, we do get a final
That seems to be the most ideal scenario for this competition format. Did they think of this when making the schedule?
The bloody Chiefs, Canes and Highlanders better get with the program then and lose to the Blues. Beat the Crusaders if you want though... and maybe rough up bum-toucher, Mo'unga.
@canefan Yeah, I saw Toovey's interview on the news last night. I'm not sure what he is as a coach, but Manly players seemed to like his coaching style. It was obvious that he lived off of the team Hasler built a bit too much though and didn't have a plan to build his own once the star players got older.
On the NRL as a whole
The QLD teams are dogshit. Green should be the next coach sacked given he actually has a good roster to work with, and the Cowboys are terrible. The Broncos have an unbalanced squad, and too many passengers. The Titans are just stacked with ordinary, and losing meekly to the Dragons is damning.
Manly are a bloody tough side, and those Trbo... Turbo... Trj... those brothers they have a both really fucking good. I would say they are the 2nd best team in the comp right now. Newcastle are going well, playing off the back of a big, mean forward pack. Mitchell Pearce is the reason they can't win the comp, even given an armchair ride against a shit Broncos team he worked against them last week. I have a sneaky suspicion that Parra are once again pretenders. Everyone else is making up the numbers.
I kind of wish we got Des Hasler to the Warriors when he was still jobless. He's proven that he can rebuild a struggling team, not once, but 3 times now. And he's taken no time in getting each team he's coached to being contender quality.
He's a bit quirky, but he has a case for being the 2nd best NRL coach of the last 15 years.
@trodthesod I've been a Coventry fan since his days at Hawke's Bay, and I was very excited when we signed him, but I almost lost faith in him when our pack looked quite average last season, but this season he's proven that he's still got the Midas touch.
Anyone who can fix our maul defense is a miracle worker. He's also given us a sharp set-piece(at least when Eklund isn't throwing in the line-out). I guess Ben Afeaki deserves a bit of credit too.
Just like last week, there was a big penalty count against us in the 1st half, but we somehow still came out of the half with the lead, then in the 2nd half, we adapt a bit and really start taking control of the game.
Patty and the backrow were very good tonight. Akira will get another start next week after that performance.
Setpiece is functioning really well this season, and we still have Karl T to come back into the team.
The defense in tight was a bit iffy at first, but it just got better as the game went on. Was nice to keep them tryless.
Nice of the team to dedicate the win to Blues fan, Constable Michael Hunt.
They've finally given the Akira/Papali'i/Sotutu backrow a chance. I remember the last time Akira and Sotutu got a bit of time on the field together, which was in the 2nd half/OT of the 2018 NPC Final, and that was a beautiful sight.
The bench does lack a bit of attacking power. I'm hoping Narawa gets a chance in that 23 jersey at some point. It's weird they've gone with two tighthead props on the bench.
We were robbed.
I was there. It was a miracle - injuries and penalties at just the right times for Auckland
We're down 20 - 7 at halftime and we were thoroughly outplayed in the 1st half, and to make matters worse, the heavy rain came to the party for the 2nd half. In dry conditions, we might still be a chance to come back, but in such poor conditions, I thought it was impossible. I honestly gave up on us winning.
I think the biggest miracle was our handling in the 2nd half in those conditions. I think we had 70% of the ball in the 2nd half, and we were handling the ball better than we'd ever handle it in great conditions.
It would've been deemed a great final if it ended in regular time, but the game going to overtime made it an even better final...truly one for the ages.