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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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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:53 am 
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Great to see Niko signed with Akld / Blues :smug:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:23 am 
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swc wrote:
Great to see Niko signed with Akld / Blues :smug:


Any other players with no relation to the Crusaders who haven't signed for them?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Kiwias wrote:
swc wrote:
Great to see Niko signed with Akld / Blues :smug:


Any other players with no relation to the Crusaders who haven't signed for them?

Probably. The Crusaders attract a ton of talent from across the country.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Sevu Reece is in preseason camp with the Crusaders

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sup ... -crusaders


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Hope Reece does well, a back 3 of Reece, Bridge and Mataele could be the fastest around and if dagg comes in, just move reece to cover 13 or other wing cause manasa is a bit of a 'injury' magnet..


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:02 am 
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I'm surprised (disappointed) that Robertson would pick this thug up and NZR would allow him too - he should have been given at least a year to cool his heels before being allowed back in the top echelon of NZ rugby.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:15 am 
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Desperate to replace Seta.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:48 am 
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UncleFB wrote:
I'm surprised (disappointed) that Robertson would pick this thug up and NZR would allow him too - he should have been given at least a year to cool his heels before being allowed back in the top echelon of NZ rugby.


Whilst I have no tolerance for DV, the reality is that its is fairly pervasive in NZ society and people still have a right to earn a living and get on with their lives. There have been players in NZ Rugby with much higher profiles who have committed DV and not been stood down for "at least a year". Are you advocating for different rules for All Blacks and lower ranked provincial players?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:09 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
I'm surprised (disappointed) that Robertson would pick this thug up and NZR would allow him too - he should have been given at least a year to cool his heels before being allowed back in the top echelon of NZ rugby.


Whilst I have no tolerance for DV, the reality is that its is fairly pervasive in NZ society and people still have a right to earn a living and get on with their lives. There have been players in NZ Rugby with much higher profiles who have committed DV and not been stood down for "at least a year". Are you advocating for different rules for All Blacks and lower ranked provincial players?


nah its cause he is black, he would have a different rule for 'whiter' wife bashers .. fer sure :evil: :evil:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:37 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
I'm surprised (disappointed) that Robertson would pick this thug up and NZR would allow him too - he should have been given at least a year to cool his heels before being allowed back in the top echelon of NZ rugby.


Whilst I have no tolerance for DV, the reality is that its is fairly pervasive in NZ society and people still have a right to earn a living and get on with their lives. There have been players in NZ Rugby with much higher profiles who have committed DV and not been stood down for "at least a year". Are you advocating for different rules for All Blacks and lower ranked provincial players?

Nope, they should have been stood down from the ABs for a period as well.

Reece was omitted from the original squads because of the DV and now he's been added back in - that's not sending a very good signal.

In light of your posts about DV in the past I'm thinking your comments on this issue would be different if it was another franchise who picked him up and not your beloved Crusaders.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:48 am 
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So less than a month to go until the 2019 Super Rugby season starts.

As a Crusaders fan I'm not sure what to expect from this season. Sure, having won back-to-back titles, and with an experienced and stable squad, I should be really optimistic. But it's a RWC year, and that's never good news for teams like the Crusaders with lots of All Blacks. Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock are going to miss the start of the season as part of a strict player management program, and the likes of Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Ryan Crotty, Codie Taylor and Scott Barrett will also have their workloads heavily managed & restricted throughout the season.

Apart from my concerns about the RWC, I'm also concerned about our squad make-up. In particular the outside backs. We have a plethora of handy fullbacks and no.14's, George Bridge, Manasa Mata'ele, Israel Dagg and David Havili, but are lacking an experienced power winger. I said at the end of the last season and I'll say it again, we're going to miss Seta Tamanivalu immensley. I'd go as far as saying that without Seta, we wouldn't have won the title last year. He was so dangerous, especially against quality opposition when defenses were much tighter, because he could create gaps and tries from nothing. Just through his power and strength. He scored so many tries when there wasn't an overlap or there wasn't much space, simply by beating his opposing defender 1 on 1. We don't have anyone who is a like-for-like replacement for Big Seta. Leicester Faingaanuku is the closest we have, but in his debut season of SR no-one is expecting him to dominate players like the experienced Tamanivalu could.

My other concern is the closeness of the NZ conference. With the Blues likely to improve, following some canny recruitment and off the back of Auckland's Mitre 10 Cup success, there will be no easy local derby clashes for NZ teams. The intensity and ferocity of eight tough intra-conference games is bound to have a significant impact on the Crusaders. Throw in an ill-concieved trip to Suva to play the Chiefs (why do we keep going to Fiji to lose?) and I am worried that 2019 is going to be a tough year for Crusaders fans.

On the up-side, I'm expecting a massive season from Richie Mo'unga. Being in and around the AB camp will have given him a lot of confidence and I expect him to be an improved player in 2019.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:45 am 
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its the chiefs homegame in Suva, not crusaders for the last 2 years..its funny cause chiefs have no Fijians for the last 2 years, the only good option they had they refused to pick (sevu reece) and he is with the crusaders now though not sure if he has made it past pre-season (has he AC?, you know more about the sadists than i do) sevu is not the same class as Seta but he is a class winger. power wingers are rare nowadays, most are jsut bullies with no offloading games like Faingaanuku, lets hope scott develops manasa into his uncle..

yeah seta is irreplaceable, Bordeaux are actually wasting him there, like they do with all fijians he played 2 games at 12 and 13, the positions he should have played in nz and was good


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:49 am 
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Interesting post in the local paper today about a relatively fit reporter joining the Crusaders squad for the "Bronco Test" the test is best described as "A 1.2km shuttle test doesn't sound overly difficult. Run to the 20m cone and back, head to the 40m marker and return, then pin the ears back for 60m and return. Repeat four more times." ALL NZ super squads run this test

Times below:
CRUSADERS BRONCO TEST

Bryn Hall 4.27
Ethan Blackadder 4.34
Tom Christie 4.36
David Havili 4.39
Mitch Drummond 4.39
Brett Cameron 4.39
Braydon Ennor 4.40
Jack Goodhue 4.40
Tom Sanders 4.40
Tim Bateman 4.42
Ere Enari 4.42
Robert van Royen 4.44
Will Jordan 4.45
Sevu Reece 4.45
Richie Mo'unga 4.45
Mitch Hunt 4.45
Scott Barrett 4.45
Ryan Crotty 4.46
George Bridge 4.47
Codie Taylor 4.47
Ngane Punivai 4.48
Leicester Faingaanuku 4.49
Billy Harmon 4.50
Ben Funnell 4.53
Whetukamokamo Douglas 4.55
Mitch Dunshea 4.56
Quinten Strange 5.09
Kieran Read 5.13
Michael Alaalatoa 5.15
Manasa Mataele 5.17
Joe Moody 5.21
Isileli Tu'ungafasi 5.29

Interesting to see two opensides in the top three and two halfbacks in the top 5. Note its not about top end speed but turning and sprinting so support experts. Van Royen in bold is the reporter, has run a number of half marathons and quite fit


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:53 am 
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In the same article they said its not really indicative of anything. More for a compassion to previous tests. For example Read has never beaten 5 mins. Some people are runners and others a bruising hunks of meat that smash other players in the rucks.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:17 am 
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Interesting to see Mataele so low - nestled among the tight forwards. I know it's not about top end speed, but he's nearly 30 seconds slower than the next slowest back. Might be reading too much into it, but I wonder if he's bulked up a little to try to take over the 'power' winger spot from Tamanivalu?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:22 am 
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Impressive and encouraging to see Christie, Blackadder, and Sanders in the higher group.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:58 am 
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If you haven’t given it a crack, I can vouch for the fact that it’s a really shit way to spend a 5 minutes +/- a few seconds depending on how quick you are. Quite a big mental component to it aswell, as you have to go into the hurt locker, and it never gets any easier with training your time just gets quicker.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:13 am 
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mrbrownstone wrote:
Interesting to see Mataele so low - nestled among the tight forwards. I know it's not about top end speed, but he's nearly 30 seconds slower than the next slowest back. Might be reading too much into it, but I wonder if he's bulked up a little to try to take over the 'power' winger spot from Tamanivalu?

Do we know his time from last year?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:20 am 
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JPNZ wrote:
Van Royen in bold is the reporter, has run a number of half marathons and quite fit


Having sat next to him for 8 or so months at his previous job, I can confirm he's a fit bastard. Well, definitely in comparison to the rest of us in the department...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 7:59 am 
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Ghost-Of-Nepia wrote:
JPNZ wrote:
Van Royen in bold is the reporter, has run a number of half marathons and quite fit


Having sat next to him for 8 or so months at his previous job, I can confirm he's a fit bastard. Well, definitely in comparison to the rest of us in the department...


I assume he’s carrying a few less kg’s than your average pro rugby player?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:25 am 
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jimmy speights wrote:
Ghost-Of-Nepia wrote:
JPNZ wrote:
Van Royen in bold is the reporter, has run a number of half marathons and quite fit


Having sat next to him for 8 or so months at his previous job, I can confirm he's a fit bastard. Well, definitely in comparison to the rest of us in the department...


I assume he’s carrying a few less kg’s than your average pro rugby player?


He's a skinny bugger anyway but the article says he's 1.86m & 78kg. Whippet-like.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:47 pm 
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Inside word is a certain ex all black may struggle to make much game time this year at all, let alone get back in contention for the world cup...

Really sad way to end it :(


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Top of the table bump for the nice softly spoken Anglo Christ Church folk that I hold so dear to me heart...

Here’s to a three peat boys :smug:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:39 pm 
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maxbox wrote:
Top of the table bump for the nice softly spoken Anglo Christ Church folk that I hold so dear to me heart...

Here’s to a three peat boys :smug:


:thumbup: :thumbup:


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