SBW out? Rieko to 12!
There's been some comments in the media that the current situation is similar to all the other Blues coaches. I thought I would check out the win percentages vs other NZ sides
Yes, the form of the NZ teams has ebbed and flowed but they are generally strong. Also, they are the one constant across the various number of teams, competition structure etc
15 games 1 win
The one win was the first game vs the Highlanders (33-31)
If his team the next 5 NZ games (2 vs Crusaders, 2 vs Hurricanes, 1 vs Highlanders) he can just edge in front of Kirwan
24 games 7 wins
(3 Hurricanes, 2 Highlanders, 2 Crusaders)
24 games 9 wins
(4 Highlanders, 2 Chiefs, 2 Hurricanes, 1 Crusaders)
I think there has to be a note about the injury crisis in Lams fourth season. Crazy number of injuries, players with no NPC experience starting... locks in particular, we were starting our 7th choice lock with a loosie next to him etc
First three seasons prior to that injury crisis:
This included the best streak since Henry: 6 in a row versus NZ teams. The streak Included all other NZ sides. That season was the last time the Blues made the playoffs
(2 Chiefs, 2 Highlanders, 1 Hurricanes, 1 Crusaders)
A bad first season cemented reputation then his team went ok (0-4 in that first year)
(3 Crusaders, 2 Chiefs, 2 Hurricanes, 2 Highlanders)
Yes, even Jed Rowlands
13 in a row before losing the final in 98
Clearly Henry belongs in his own category.
From 1999-2011 all of these coaches had a minimum of 50% success rate against NZ teams:
Sure, thats not good enough, but they were competitive. They all got a lot of criticism in the press compared to the current coach.
Then came the injury crisis in Lam’s fourth season. I have never been convinced the right action was to sack Lam after that amount of injuries. He had very little support in the media and from the board so he had no chance.
The new normal of shittness has settled in under Kirwan/Umaga
No, he had low scores in the first 3 rounds. Currently, he's kicking better than BB, but obviously, if you average it, BB is still higher.
But if you ignore some of BB misses his %age is even higher
@Hooroo Punch a teammate, punch the opposition, punch the missus?
This seems like a good time to bump these posts:
kick the useless prick out and never let him put a jersey on again. Wife beaters are up there with paedophiles in my book. What a waste of talent. Fucking loser
would you want him playing for your club. Imagine what message that sends to the female members of the club. I say go and get a real job mate.
I wonder if Hillary told Jacinda about her links with Sir Edmund?
As told by Mark Steyn:
...in the mid-Nineties when she visited New Zealand and met Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Everest, and for some reason decided to tell him he was the guy her parents had named her after. Hmm. Edmund Hillary reached the top of Everest in 1953. Hillary Rodham was born in 1947, when Sir Edmund was an obscure New Zealand beekeeper and a somewhat unlikely inspiration for two young parents in the Chicago suburbs. ------- Eventually, when it was noticed that Hillary was born six years before the ascent of Everest, Clinton aides tried assuring skeptics that her parents had seen a press interview with Sir Edmund in his beekeeping days, Mr. and Mrs. Rodham apparently being the only Illinois subscribers to The New Zealand Apiarist.
But the Blues didn’t choke they coped with the pressure and finished strong. Weird to criticise a team for something that didn’t happen.
Also I find it strange the lack of credit given to the Highlanders. They had a good period in the second spell and worked their way into a strong position. However that narrative isn’t useful to people who were so desperate for the Blues to lose, despite their teams not taking part in the final. Therefore they give no credit to the Highlanders, only blame to the Blues.
No surprise that it's Papali'i. He consistently got votes throughout the season and was chosen as the best Blues player in 5 of the 14 matches.
The top four spots were all taken by loose forwards
I think TSF votes often favour the loosies but it seems fair. Apart from GCT they were the most consistent.
A loosie came first in 11 of the 14 matches. Sotutu, Ioane & Robinson each with two man of the match wins
Points were given to the top 3 players in each match. 4 times GCT was just outside the top 3. He was consistent without it showing up that well on the overall standings.
Another player who was consistent but couldn't break into the top 3 often was R Ioane.
The four main loosies that played also picked up votes when they were on the bench. Robinson early in the season and A Ioane late in the season.
In SRA there was also a lot of votes for the substitute halfback. A large part of that was probably because of dissatisfaction with the starter. Christie, Ruru and Nock all got a lot votes as subs during SRA
(Nock only got two votes in total for his two starts.. he was a lot more popular as a bench player)
Another notable popular sub was Harry Plummer in the final
Only Laulala scraped onto the leaderboard. That seems off.. maybe the rotation between who was starting had an impact?
Not convinced with Daniel Halangahu, backline attack hasn't been as impressive as the forwards. That might just be Otere's fault, but I think there's space for someone better coaching the backs.
The backline is functioning similar to Harbours a few years ago
Tai Lavea would be a good replacement. It won't happen this year though
I said earlier in the week that I wanted the Blues to have a 6/2 split. It was obvious that the Highlanders would attempt to tire out the big Blues pack with an extra forward sub.
When Robinson was ruled out a 6/2 split wasn't really an option.
It's impressive the Blues pack finished stronger. They had one less sub, plus Goodhue getting injured not long after coming on meant the second row basically played the full match.
The Gibson try was earned through multiple players still working hard and over powering the Highlanders.
15 Dalton Papali’i
12 Tom Robinson
9 Akira Ioane
9 Hoskins Sotutu
5 Patrick Tuipulotu
5 Finlay Christie
5 Otere Black
3 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti
3 Bryce Heem
3 Kurt Eklund
3 Jonathan Ruru
3 Caleb Clarke
2 Rieko Ioane
2 Zarn Sullivan
2 Nepo Laulala
1 Stephen Perofeta
1 Josh Goodhue