Malo Tuitama has joined Yamaha Jubilo in Japan.
Posts made by Stargazer
RE: Chiefs vs Lions
I don't know what the rules are around naming match day line-ups and making changes to them before games, but if this is true, that's at least really poor sportsmanship from the Lions.
Cape Town - The Lions have revealed that they deliberately made late changes to their starting team before facing the Chiefs in Hamilton last week. Springbok duo Malcolm Marx and Elton Jantjies were initially named on the bench for the match but were added to the starting team shortly before kick-off. Marx was his ever-impressive self in the No 2 jersey, while Jantjies starred at inside centre as the Lions claimed a 23-17 victory. Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli told Netwerk24 that it was always their plan to start with Marx and Jantjies. "It was a tactical move to announce the team like that because we wanted the Chiefs to believe they were not going to play. With Malcolm on the bench, the Chiefs opted to rest some of their heavy forwards. With him in the starting team we could take them on at scrum time and it worked well. The foundation for our victory was laid up front," Straeuli said. The Chiefs named a starting XV without All Blacks duo Brodie Retallick and Sam Cane. The Lions will however be without Marx for this Friday's clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch as he'll be rested in line with SA Rugby's policy to rest Springboks during Super Rugby. Jantjies could be back at flyhalf as Gianni Lombard has returned to South Africa with a knee injury. The Lions' other option at pivot is to play Shaun Reynolds. The men from Johannesburg will remain without head coach Swys de Bruin, who has returned home to South Africa due to stress. Conditioning coach Ivan van Rooyen has taken over the head coaching duties on an interim basis. Friday’s clash is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).
RE: Mitre 10 Cup - news, injuries etc
@Canes4life I wouldn't be surprised at all if they sign Veikoso Poloniati. The Canes picked him for the Hurricanes Dev squad and he played Heartland for South Canterbury, so isn't tied to a M10 squad, yet. Unless Canterbury picks him up first, of course (but they probably already have Dunshea, Dalzell and Romano).
RE: 2019 School Rugby
Eligible Age of First XVs in question
Are there some changes ahead for First XV rugby? College Sport Media has obtained an email from Steve Lancaster, NZR’s head of participation and development, that outlines a tightening up of age and eligibility rules. At the heart of the matter is that in NZR’s view, all open-age college competitions across the country are classified as Under 19 competitions, mostly due to the fact that players who are already 18 as of 1 January are eligible to take part. While this is reasonable, other NZR rules then prevent Under 16 (or Year 10) players from playing in those same competitions. To get around that, some unions and competition organisers have classified their competitions as U18, with dispensations for players already 18 years old. However NZR’s directive would appear to put an end to that.
The rationale for these rules are sensible. In an age where player safety is becoming an increasing focus, addressing the physical and mental disparities that exist between developing and developed bodies is at the forefront of that. Differences in size, like between props and locks, and half and fullbacks, is an accepted part of the game but NZR’s view is that older players are better equipped to deal with those rather than a situation of a 19-year-old prop versus a 15-year-old halfback. While this is unlikely to have an effect in the major First XV competitions, an outright ban on players who aren’t 16 when the school year starts could have dire consequences for the large number of schools up and down the country that struggle to put out a First or Second XV each week. When participation numbers are falling that could be a further death knell for the game in some areas. Fortunately, with the college season almost underway, NZR have for this year decided to enforce an interim solution requiring players already 18 to obtain a dispensation to play while they investigate options for future years. But it seems likely that changes will be in place for 2020. Whether those are enforcement of the current rules – e.g. Under 16s cannot play – or dispensations required for those older than the norm for school will have to be seen.
RE: Hurricanes 2019 Discussion
Hurricanes Hunters line-up for their game against Japan Wolfpack (that's Japan 'A', not a Sunwolves Dev squad as has been written in some media):
No score updates or match report from the Canes, but I managed to find the result on the Japan Rugby website.
After the home game resulted in a 52 - 31 win a few weeks ago, the Hunters suffered a big loss to Japan 'A' in Tokyo on Saturday: 21 - 66 (HT: 7 - 42).
P Umaga-Jensen, B Procor, O Sapsford tries; P Paraone cons 3x
Billy Proctor started in the 13 jersey instead of Patafilo, who was added to the bench. Proctor wasn't in the original line-up.
Mateaki Kafatolu received a yellow card in the 45th minute
Of the contracted Hurricanes players, Cridge, Bedwell-Curtis and Rayasi played the full 80 minutes.
RE: Chiefs 2019
Nathan Harris has re-signed with NZR and the Chiefs for 2 more years (2021):
Mobile hooker Nathan Harris has become the latest player to commit to New Zealand, extending his contract until 2021 with New Zealand Rugby and the Gallagher Chiefs. 27-year-old Harris made his Investec Super Rugby and All Blacks debut in 2014 two years after his provincial debut for Bay of Plenty in 2016. He has played 20 Tests for the All Blacks, 51 games for the Gallagher Chiefs and 29 games for Bay of Plenty.
Harris has played 16 of his 20 Tests in the last two seasons and All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen has welcomed the news of his re-commitment to New Zealand. “It’s great for the future of the All Blacks and the Chiefs to have someone of Nathan’s ability re-signing. He’s made the most of his time in our environment in the last couple of seasons, getting a number of Test caps, and is constantly working on the core aspects of his game, while also adding new skills.”
RE: Crusaders 2019
@Chris-B No, it is six games in a row. If they rest Barrett and Todd against the Lions, they can play them in all other 6 games before their next bye. This is already their second mandatory rest week.
This year, All Blacks players were limited to 180 minutes of action through the opening three rounds of Super Rugby and must observe two stand down weeks during the season addition to their team's bye weeks. During the stand down weeks, the player is required to leave the team environment allowing him to switch off and refresh. Players are also limited in how many matches they're allowed to play in a row. While many thought the number was five in a row, Anthony confirmed players could in fact play six in a row. "We had initially talked around five but with some feedback from clubs we revised that to six. If a bye falls in the middle of six games, say in round three, then that restarts back to one again. If it's broken by a bye or rest week then it resets and you can go six again.
RE: Crusaders 2019
@Chris It had to be this week or next week against the Sharks, considering they're travelling to SA the week after the Sharks game, and play 2 NZ derbies after their return. Unless they leave some of their ABs at home during the SA tour, they'll rest a few more ABs next week. I think Mo'unga still has to miss one; maybe Crotty and Goodhue, too (although they won't rest those two at the same time)?
RE: 2019 under 20's
There have been a few changes to the NZ U20s squad for the Oceania U20 Championship that was announced on 5 April:
His 17 forwards look settled, out of which Hawke’s Bay hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes will be skipper. He is one of nine from this squad who played Mitre 10 Cup in 2018, while four appeared for the Under 20s in 2018, a side which won Oceania but placed fourth in the World Cup after dropping the semifinal to France and the bronze playoff to South Africa. The backline is bursting with talent and versatility. Last season’s NZ Schools captain Isaiah Punivai, a midfielder/wing, has been called in after injury to Crusaders wing Leicester Faingaanuku, but the latter is expected to be available for the World Cup. The Hurricanes’ Billy Proctor and the Blues’ Caleb Clarke have yet to be released by their franchises, but Proctor, in particular is a likely starter for the World Cup. Etene Nanai-Seturo was originally released by the Chiefs, but depletion of their outside back reserves means he was recalled. The former All Blacks Sevens rep is another who may yet play a part in Argentina. Scott Gregory is back from injury, but will likely not be considered until the second game in Australia. With the depth of riches in midfield, Gregory could suit up at either fullback or wing. There are no specialist wings, but Philpott knows several of his charges can do a job on the flanks.
So the final squad for the Oceania tournament is:
Naitoa Ah Kuoi - Wellington
Kaylum Boshier - Taranaki (vc)
George Dyer - Waikato
Samipeni Finau - Waikato
Devan Flanders - Hawke's Bay
Cullen Grace - Canterbury
Kohan Herbert - Bay of Plenty
Kianu Kereru Symes - Hawke's Bay (c)
Shilo Klein - Canterbury
Jeriah Mua - Bay of Plenty
Fletcher Newell - Canterbury
Ollie Norris - Waikato
Simon Parker - Waikato
Taine Plumtree - Wellington
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington
Tupou Vaa’i - Taranaki
Tamaiti Williams - Canterbury
Fergus Burke - Canterbury
Leroy Carter - Bay of Plenty
Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
Cole Forbes - Bay of Plenty
Taufa Funaki - Auckland
Sam Gilbert - Canterbury
Lalomilo Lalomilo - Bay of Plenty
Dallas McLeod - Canterbury (vc)
Rivez Reihana - Waikato
Etene Nanai Seturo - Counties Manukau
Danny Toala - Hawke's Bay
Quinn Tupaea - Waikato
Added (all backs):
Isaiah Punivai (Canterbury)
Scott Gregory (Northland)
Chay Fihaki (Canterbury)
After France exposed New Zealand in the scrum last year, it is no secret that set-piece has been a key plank of the planning for this 2019 campaign. “Especially given our pool at the World Cup (Georgia, Scotland and South Africa). We’ll be pretty good at defending the lineout drive after that. They are very set-piece focused teams, but we have probably one of the biggest packs we’ve selected for a while, especially in the tight five,” says Philpott. “In the past, New Zealand rugby has been about our big boys having soft skillsets, being able to catch, pass and run like backs, but we find that is essential they can scrum first and do their core tasks at set-piece.”
As ever, while the NZ Schools and NZ Barbarians Schools teams offer well-established pathways into the Under 20s, the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament is a vital step in the selection process. “A lot of these guys impressed in that 2018 tournament. One that springs to mind is (lock) Samipeni Finau for Waikato. He was the first player I saw on the first day. He made a break and we thought ‘Wow.’ We kept an eye on him. We’ve also got a lot of Bay of Plenty guys in our team from the side that won the tournament, like Lalomilo Lalomilo, Leroy Carter and Cole Forbes. That’s where they come to the fore, so that tournament is invaluable for us,” says Philpott.
Match Round 1: Friday 26 April 2019
New Zealand v Fiji – Kick off 7pm NZT (5pm, AEST)
Australia v Japan – Kick off 9pm NZT (7pm, AEST)
Match Round 2: Tuesday 30 April 2019
New Zealand v Japan – Kick off 7pm NZT (5pm, AEST)
Australia v Fiji – Kick off 9pm NZT (7pm, AEST)
Match Round 3: Saturday 4 May 2019
Japan v Fiji – Kick off 7pm NZT (5pm, AEST)
New Zealand v Australia – Kick off 9pm NZT (7pm, AEST)
All matches will be live streamed on www.rugby.com.au.
RE: Who is the AB's 4th choice at 10?
@sparky I don't think anyone will have any doubt Mo'unga will re-sign. Our 10-shortage increases his market value though. He's in a good negotiating position.
BB is probably already on top money (in NZ terms), but he's almost 28, so I can see him leave. All NZR can offer him is sabbaticals and out-clauses, so he can do some overseas' stints if he decides to stay. I can't see him re-sign for longer than 2 years tbh.
If I were NZR, I'd do some better scouting (in NZ). Ensure that all young, good & promising first five-eighths playing M10Cup have SR (development) contracts for the next few years, so that there's an adequate pathway for their development. Everyone who's read the Hurricanes thread, knows that that's not the case at the moment. Try converting current young fullbacks, halfbacks or second fives into 10s, at least up to "emergency standard" etc etc. I don't know what NZR are doing at the moment to increase depth, but I have the feeling they could do more.
RE: 2018-2019 World Sevens Series
Game of two halves! As good as the first half was, as bad was the second. Aussies finally got the ball and scored 4 unanswered tries; NZ bench not as good as the starters? Or thought they'd already won?
In the end, BF7s still beat Australia 34 - 26, so finish 5th.
We're used to them winning, so maybe disappointing, but considering all the injuries, not really a bad result.