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 Post subject: Crusaders 2019 Thread
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:16 am 
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Here's our squad for 2019;

Quote:
Props: Michael Alaalatoa, Harry Allan, Owen Franks, Oliver Jager, Joe Moody, Tim Perry

Hooker: Ben Funnell, Andrew Makalio, Codie Taylor

Locks: Scott Barrett, Quinten Strange, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock

Loosies: Ethan Blackadder, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Mitchell Dunshea, Billy Harmon, Kieran Read, Tom Sanders, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd

Halfbacks: Mitchell Drummond, Ereatara Enari, Bryn Hall

First-Fives: Brett Cameron, Mitchell Hunt, Richie Mo'unga

Midfield: Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Ngane Punivai

Outsides: George Bridge, Israel Dagg, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Leicester Faingaanuku, Will Jordan, Manasa Mataele


It's a strong squad, containing lots of experienced players, a healthy contingent of rep players, but also a sprinkling of rookies to keep the enthusiasm high.


Losses:

There are some really big losses for the Crusaders in 2019. The squad is undoubtedly weaker, at least on paper, than it was in 2017 or 2018.

Wyatt Crockett is missing from Super Rugby for the first time since 2006. He retires as the most capped player in Super Rugby and his experience and ability will be greatly missed for the Crusaders.

Heiden Bedwell-Curtis was the surprise package of 2018 and will also be missed. He was the anti-Akira; hitting rucks and moving bodies for 80 mins, rarely running with the ball and winning titles.

The biggest loss, IMO, is Seta Tamanivalu who was an out-and-out power winger and scored some crucial tries in really important games. I don't think we would have won last year's title without the big Fijian winger.

Mike Delaney only played a small role in this year's campaign, but brought a tonne of experience and played well whenever he was called on.

Gains:

Not many big-name gains in 2019, however this was to be expected given Scott Robertson's main challenge was to retain as many of his back-to-back winning title squad as possible.

Whetu Douglas will be a welcome return from Japan. He was a crowd favourite back in 2017 and will be hoping to make the same impact again next year. Expect him to play plenty of minutes given Kieran Read's workload will be heavily managed.

All Black Brett Cameron comes in as the team's 3rd first-five. I hope he plays very few minutes because he's not good enough for Super Rugby at this stage his career. The fact that he was selected to tour Japan with the All Blacks, ahead of Mitch Hunt, is a joke.

Leicester Faingaanuku is a talented youngster who is viewed as being a longterm power-wing option. And Ngane Punivai is named in his first Crusaders squad, but will struggle for midfield gametime behind Crotty, Goodhue, Bateman and Havili.

Player to Watch:

Israel Dagg - he's got everything to play for after a forgettable few years. He'll be busting his guts to try and make the RWC squad. At his best he's a world class winger or fullback and I still rate him ahead of Jordie Barrett or Nehe Milner-Skudder.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 10:31 am 
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I hope the Herald is wrong with its pick for the squad for the match vs Japan or we will have to refer to Cameron as an AB from now on.

THe forwards are awesome, particularly the loosies.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:04 am 
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Shame about Bedwell-Curtis. Robertson said it came down to a choice between him and Blackadder, and I guess Blackadder's seen as the better long-term option.

I know we'll miss Tamanivalu, but that has the potential to be a seriously lethal outside back contingent. I hope Will Jordan can stay fit, because if he gets enough opportunities I don't think it'll be too long before he leapfrogs Havili. Enari's another one who I hope gets a decent, extended run.

Best 23 doesn't change too much from this year, only position that's really up for grabs is right wing. I hope Mataele gets the first crack, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dagg does.

1. Moody
2. Taylor
3. Franks
4. Whitelock
5. Barrett
6. Taufua
7. Todd
8. Read
9. Hall
10. Mo'unga
11. Bridge
12. Crotty
13. Goodhue
14. Mataele
15. Havili

16. Makalio
17. Perry
18. Alaalatoa
19. Romano
20. Douglas
21. Drummond
22. Hunt
23. Ennor


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:10 am 
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mrbrownstone wrote:
Shame about Bedwell-Curtis. Robertson said it came down to a choice between him and Blackadder, and I guess Blackadder's seen as the better long-term option.

I know we'll miss Tamanivalu, but that has the potential to be a seriously lethal outside back contingent. I hope Will Jordan can stay fit, because if he gets enough opportunities I don't think it'll be too long before he leapfrogs Havili. Enari's another one who I hope gets a decent, extended run.

Best 23 doesn't change too much from this year, only position that's really up for grabs is right wing. I hope Mataele gets the first crack, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dagg does.

1. Moody
2. Taylor
3. Franks
4. Whitelock
5. Barrett
6. Taufua
7. Todd
8. Read
9. Hall
10. Mo'unga
11. Bridge
12. Crotty
13. Goodhue
14. Mataele
15. Havili

16. Makalio
17. Perry
18. Alaalatoa
19. Romano
20. Douglas
21. Drummond
22. Hunt
23. Ennor


Nice and stable XXIII. I like your selection. I'm with you 100%, I hope Mata'ele gets first shot at 14. He's the biggest and most powerful of our wingers and offers plenty of dynamism in attack.

What I like about our squad, is how well we cover for injuries. We can cover one injury in most positions very well. Sure, like all the Kiwi teams we don't have immense depth and will struggle if we lose several players in the same position, but our squad has as much depth as any in the country and that bodes well for 2019.

What really worries me is how much the All Black's RWC preparations will interfere with our season. I expect most of our All Blacks to miss plenty of Rugby next season.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:30 am 
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Here's some footage of Leicester Faingaanuku in action at schools and U20 level. He's already a monster of a winger and could be a very exciting prospect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Si1hZVkOHk


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:45 am 
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Jeez what a talent, signed by Tasman as a 15 yo to keep nrl grubby hands off him :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:48 am 
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Big future

https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/95173 ... mapped-out


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Depth will be key this year, as AC said I expect the AB prep to interfere a lot. Traditionally world cup years haven't been good for the Saders in Soup.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:39 pm 
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If everyone named to play Japan this weekend actually gets game time, we'll have 17 All Blacks in the squad next year.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:06 am 
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Queue gnashing of teeth in the Blues area if Scott and Lincoln Uni can pull this one off...

Quote:
The standout schoolboy son of Auckland and All Blacks legend Sir Michael Jones is weighing a move south to launch his professional rugby career in Crusaders country.

Niko Jones, who had a fairytale season with the national champion St Peter's College first XV, is being heavily pursued by a number of unions for his first season out of the schoolboy ranks, including his hometown Auckland and their staunch southern rivals Canterbury.

It's understood that Christchurch is the favoured destination, though Sir Michael, a NZ Rugby board member, told the Star-Times a decision on where his son would play his rugby in 2019 had yet to be made.

Niko is in his final year at St Peter's and about to sit final exams, so any call on where he heads is unlikely to be made until he is clear of those commitments.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-newspapers/ce ... ols-career


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:13 am 
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JPNZ wrote:
Queue gnashing of teeth in the Blues area if Scott and Lincoln Uni can pull this one off...

Quote:
The standout schoolboy son of Auckland and All Blacks legend Sir Michael Jones is weighing a move south to launch his professional rugby career in Crusaders country.

Niko Jones, who had a fairytale season with the national champion St Peter's College first XV, is being heavily pursued by a number of unions for his first season out of the schoolboy ranks, including his hometown Auckland and their staunch southern rivals Canterbury.

It's understood that Christchurch is the favoured destination, though Sir Michael, a NZ Rugby board member, told the Star-Times a decision on where his son would play his rugby in 2019 had yet to be made.

Niko is in his final year at St Peter's and about to sit final exams, so any call on where he heads is unlikely to be made until he is clear of those commitments.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-newspapers/ce ... ols-career


Nico Jones had an outstanding game in the national college final. I didn't realise he was Samoan Jesus' son until afterwards.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:34 am 
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With Todd over 30 Jones is effectively competing with Harmon - if Jones is as good as he seems to be. Different story in Auckland with Gibson and Papalii both under 25.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:16 am 
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Andalu wrote:
With Todd over 30 Jones is effectively competing with Harmon - if Jones is as good as he seems to be. Different story in Auckland with Gibson and Papalii both under 25.


Highlights of national schoolboy final with N Jones captaining the St Peters side at no 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahD9utYOo2M


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:55 am 
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Tehui wrote:
Andalu wrote:
With Todd over 30 Jones is effectively competing with Harmon - if Jones is as good as he seems to be. Different story in Auckland with Gibson and Papalii both under 25.


Highlights of national schoolboy final with N Jones captaining the St Peters side at no 8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahD9utYOo2M

He was class in that much. Annoying, that may be the only time in my life I've ever wanted Napier Boys to win too.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:23 am 
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The Crusaders are an All Black factory. Any aspiring young Rugby player would be foolish not to consider spending some time in that environment. Whilst living in CHCH, and moving away from family & friends, won't appeal to everyone, the lure of an environment that produces All Blacks more readily than any other team would certainly be appealing. I struggle to think of players whose careers regressed at the Crusaders, maybe Marty McKenzie and Ben Volavola, that's it!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:22 am 
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I can see the Crusaders winning a several SR titles over the next few years. For the first time in a long time, they've got a strong backline to go with their forward pack. I only wish my Hurricanes side had a tight five that could compete with them, as I like to see genuine competition.


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