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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:14 pm 
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Will he chase the honour of being an AB or the money for being a primrose (or whatever they are)

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Chiefs lock Matt Symons has big call to make as his rise up the ranks continues

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Matt Symons was one of the new boys on the block at the Chiefs last year, but inside 12 months he has become a senior leader.

So much so that now the two-metre England-born lock is weighing his options as to whether to make himself available for the All Blacks or the country of his birth.

The former British rowing representative, who is renowned for his fitness levels as well as his aerial skills, followed his brother to New Zealand after playing for Esher in England and ended up playing for Canterbury and captaining the Crusaders Development side.

The Chiefs snapped him up for last season and this year made him captain in pre-season games in the absence of the All Blacks, while he also captained them in the opening match of the season with Liam Messam and Aaron Cruden were still unavailable and is still in charge of making the lineout calls.

Having played every minute of the first three matches and named to start the fourth against the Highlanders tomorrow night, with All Black Brodie Retallick having had limited game time, Symons has certainly made his mark in concert with second row partner Mike FitzGerald and people are taking notice, meaning he has to decide who to throw his lot in with internationally.

"I've really started thinking about it in the last few weeks, I guess, and it's a decision I'm in the process of making," Symons said.

"It's a really tough decision. [With family still living back in England] it's going to be really tough."

Symons said he got on "really well" with FitzGerald on and off the field and that had helped them form an effective partnership in the middle of the scrum and as the key lineout jumpers in the absence of Retallick, who is now out with a shoulder injury.

"Obviously Brodie is a big loss for us - he's world player of the year after all - but I think that's one of the things about this environment is that if someone gets injured the next guy tries to fill his spot and we really back each other to do that."

One of the big improvements in the Chiefs' game this year has been the lineout and Symons has played a big part in that.

"We've done a huge amount of work on our set-piece in general and have just had a lot of buy-in from the whole forward pack.

"But it's one of those things that is week-to-week and the Highlanders have got a really good defensive system so we've got to be really aware of that and make sure we keep improving," he said.

Symons said while he was running the lineout there were a lot of strong leaders in the team - more than most people on the outside realised - and responsibility never fell on just one pair of shoulders.

"I do enjoy [the responsibility]. I think it's one of those things that can go either way, but I do enjoy it and it's great when you've got a bunch of guys like we have here. It makes it pretty easy.

"We're where we want to be, but there are a lot of work-ons still and rugby is one of those games that's week by week.

"You might think that you are tracking well and then you slip up so we're really conscious of this game on Friday and know the Highlanders will bring a huge amount of physicality," Symons said.

- Waikato Times


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:25 pm 
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Good luck to the guy, sounds like he's made a huge impact down south. I'm sure Esher would have him back in a heartbeat.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:28 pm 
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Sounds like the next Greg Rawlinson to me.............


Just kidding, from what I have seen of him he looks pretty handy. The faster pace of game the Chiefs tend to play also seems to suit him well.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Good lad. Thriving in backs game.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:46 pm 
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Hey, many don't agree with the 3-year residency period (I'd like to see it increased personally), but at least this isn't a case of a fully developed pro player signing a contract with the intention of switching nationalities. Seems like a bit of a throwback, ie he went abroad for a different lifestyle experience and happened to develop into a better player.

It's certainly no more dubious than someone hopping off a plane and into a national jersey courtesy of a grandparent.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:46 pm 
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Takes a lot of balls to being playing pro here then move down to NZ and try and get a trial. No doubt he'd come back to England if we showed interest


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:14 pm 
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If he's serious about rugby and really wants to be the best then he should stay in Nz and play for the all blacks.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:15 pm 
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F*ck off. You cnuts still owe us for Roger Twose. :x


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:16 pm 
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Should add that he'd just be treated like an arsehole in England, should stay where people actually appreciate his talents


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:28 pm 
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karahi wrote:
F*ck off. You cnuts still owe us for Roger Twose. :x


And Dipak Patel. We did give you Andy Caddick though.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Couldn't hack it up north so left to play easy rugby :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Johnny Marrmight wrote:
Should add that he'd just be treated like an arsehole in England, should stay where people actually appreciate his talents


How was he treated like an arsehole, other than Esher not being quick to offer him a renewal?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Margin_Walker wrote:
Johnny Marrmight wrote:
Should add that he'd just be treated like an arsehole in England, should stay where people actually appreciate his talents


How was he treated like an arsehole, other than Esher not being quick to offer him a renewal?


That plus if he came back the England management would treat him like an arsehole. Why bother?
Stay in nz, get best in class coaching and play with the best players in the world.

Someone like Ford and JJ play second fiddle to no hopers, why should he settle for the same treatment from the management?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:44 pm 
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Johnny Marrmight wrote:
Should add that he'd just be treated like an arsehole in England, should stay where people actually appreciate his talents

Why would he? :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:47 pm 
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Rowntree is such an arsehole that he sought him out for a coffee and a chat when in NZ on the summer tour last year.

The bastard. I bet he made Matt pick up the tab too.


Last edited by Margin_Walker on Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:54 pm 
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Margin_Walker wrote:
Rowntree is such an arsehole that he sought him out for a coffee and a chat when in NZ on the summer tour last summer.

The bastard. I bet he made Matt pick up the tab too.

Being a good, honest, hard working kiwi of course Matt offered.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:00 pm 
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Rowntree is the most junior coach.

Hierarchy is:

Faz


-----daylight-------


Lancaster

Catt

Rowntree


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:23 pm 
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we gave martin j back .. .and he took one of our women folk.

i say you owe us .. still.

KG


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:42 pm 
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JM2K6 wrote:
Good luck to the guy, sounds like he's made a huge impact down south. I'm sure Esher would have him back in a heartbeat.


:lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:47 pm 
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hp18 wrote:
Couldn't hack it up north so left to play easy rugby :thumbup:


Those Northern accents do grate on you after a while.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:27 am 
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This Fitzgerald guy. Any good? He's coming to Leicester next year.

I've seen he plays both second row and 6 down there, is he a lock that can cover flank or is it the other way round?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:31 am 
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Hope he makes a go of it down there :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:32 am 
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Help yourselves, we've got quality locks to spare. I watched the Chiefs' first SR game largely because of the news about Symons. Can't say he impressed me all that much


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:36 am 
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Symons isn't actually that good. In the game he was captain he got himself binned and was ineffectual and in the most recent game I didn't realise he was on the field.

I'd much rather Fitzgerald was staying and Symons was going to the NH.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:44 am 
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He was bloody good against the Crusaders. I thought we would be buggered when Brodie went off but he a was very very capable replacement.

With brodie out for 6 weeks we will get a lot more chance to look


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:52 am 
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Fantastic vindication of the training and development of young players in Canterbury and within the Crusaders set up :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:48 am 
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You bring them in, we'll bring them up. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:07 am 
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very much in the mould of a Louis Deacon by the sounds of it, let go by Sarries' Academy in favour of (the frankly far better) George Kruis, help yourselves Kiwis


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:55 am 
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enzedder01 wrote:
He was bloody good against the Crusaders. I thought we would be buggered when Brodie went off but he a was very very capable replacement.

With brodie out for 6 weeks we will get a lot more chance to look

Nah, Fitzgerald was doing all the good work.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:22 am 
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As I said in another thread, I would be pretty surprised if he gets any international caps for either country.

Don't have anything bad to say about him but he must be low on the pecking order for both countries.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:10 am 
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kiwigreg369 wrote:
we gave martin j back .. .and he took one of our women folk.

i say you owe us .. still.

KG


Surely that was the greater work of charity, right there.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:18 am 
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UncleFB wrote:
Symons isn't actually that good. In the game he was captain he got himself binned and was ineffectual and in the most recent game I didn't realise he was on the field.

I'd much rather Fitzgerald was staying and Symons was going to the NH.


Always Negative Nancy with you.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:24 am 
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Bowens wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
Symons isn't actually that good. In the game he was captain he got himself binned and was ineffectual and in the most recent game I didn't realise he was on the field.

I'd much rather Fitzgerald was staying and Symons was going to the NH.


Always Negative Nancy with you.

Bollocks, I was Positive Pete towards Fitzgerald!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:22 am 
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We "may" get Symons and they get Fitzgerald? :frown:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:47 am 
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Is Fitzgerald England eligible?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:08 am 
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UncleFB wrote:
Symons isn't actually that good. In the game he was captain he got himself binned and was ineffectual and in the most recent game I didn't realise he was on the field.

I'd much rather Fitzgerald was staying and Symons was going to the NH.


He was very good against the Crusaders so I'm surprised you say that you didn't notice him.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:30 am 
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hp18 wrote:
Couldn't hack it up north so left to play easy rugby :thumbup:


:thumbup:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:19 am 
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SirBurger wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
Symons isn't actually that good. In the game he was captain he got himself binned and was ineffectual and in the most recent game I didn't realise he was on the field.

I'd much rather Fitzgerald was staying and Symons was going to the NH.


He was very good against the Crusaders so I'm surprised you say that you didn't notice him.

Nah, Fitzgerald was really good against the Crusaders, Symons was as quiet as Bryce Heem.


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