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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:22 pm 
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WHEN:
Saturday 4th July

KICK OFF:
Auckland - 7.05pm
Sydney – 5.05pm

WHERE:
Dunedin, NZ

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VENUE:
Forsyth-Barr Stadium, Dunedin

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MATCH OFFICIALS:
TBC

TEAMS:

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15-Michael Collins
14-Ngane Punivai
13-Rob Thompson
12-Sio Tomkinson
11-Jona Nareki
10-Mitch Hunt
9-Aaron Smith

8-Marino Mikaele-Tu'u
7-Dillon Hunt
6-Shannon Frizell
5-Josh Dickson
4-Paripari Parkinson
3-Jeff Thwaites
2-Liam Coltman
1-Daniel Lienert-Brown

Reserves:
16-Ash Dixon
17-Ayden Johnstone
18-Siate Tokolahi
19-Jack Whetton
20-eariki Ben-Nicholas
21-Kayne Hammington
22-Bryn Gatland
23-Vilimoni Koroi.


Image

15. David Havili
14. Will Jordan
13. Braydon Ennor
12. Jack Goodhue
11. Leicester Faingaanuku
10. Richie Mo’unga
9 Mitchell Drummond

8. Whetukamokamo Douglas
7. Tom Christie
6. Ethan Blackadder
5. Mitchell Dunshea
4. Samuel Whitelock
3. Michael Alaalatoa
2. Codie Taylor (captain)
1. Joe Moody

Reserves:

16. Andrew Makalio
17. George Bower
18. Oliver Jager
19. Quinten Strange
20. Sione Havili
21. Ere Enari
22. Fetuli Paea
23. Sevu Reece




Last edited by Ali's Choice on Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:25 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:24 pm 
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I thought the Highlanders played well last week against the tournament favourites and #1 ranked team. Had they not spurned a very kickable penalty late in the match they'd have probably taken the game into golden point. Not bad for an away team playing at fortress Eden park. This week the Highlanders will be playing in front of their own fans and I expect them to be extremely tough to beat.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:57 pm 
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This match has all the makings of a classic. Really looking forward to seeing what the Crusaders backline can do on a dry pitch. I’m expecting a high scoring affair.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:02 am 
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JPNZ wrote:
This match has all the makings of a classic. Really looking forward to seeing what the Crusaders backline can do on a dry pitch. I’m expecting a high scoring affair.


What worries me is the Highlanders pack. They are arguably the most balanced pack in the comp. They are great at the set piece, hardworking at the breakdown led by a terrific no.7 in Hunt, and in Mikaele-Tu'u and Frizell they have two of the best ball runners in the comp as well.

Oh, and apparently Josh Ioane is back too.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:15 am 
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Speaking of Josh Ioane, it does pose somewhat of a selection headache for Mauger. Mitch Hunt played easily his best game at 10 for the Highlanders last weekend. Does Ioane come straight into first five with Hunt moved to fullback or the bench? Gotta feel a bit for Hunt, he moved from the Crusaders because he couldn't secure the starting no.10 jersey, and now he's stuck behind another quality first five. he should have just stayed in Christchurch.

And speaking of fullback, does Scott Gregory get a chance to redeem himself this week or will he be dropped? Because dropping a young player after a performance like that could destroy his confidence and have a massive impact on his career and development.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:53 am 
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The home crowd will lift the Landers but it's hard to see anything other than a Saders win.

They're just better across the park, quite frankly.

I'm picking a final score somewhere in the vicinity of 29-22.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:54 am 
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I think the best option to keep Gregory's head in the right space would be to select him in the reserves.

Give him the final 10 minutes and hope like hell he doesn't lose the game for the Landers.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:02 am 
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jdogscoop wrote:
I think the best option to keep Gregory's head in the right space would be to select him in the reserves.

Give him the final 10 minutes and hope like hell he doesn't lose the game for the Landers.


Yes, that's what I would do as well. You don't want to destroy his confidence. But if makes another mistake that results in a try to the opposing team his teammates should hold him down and forcibly shave off his hair in the changerooms after the match.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:14 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:

And speaking of fullback, does Scott Gregory get a chance to redeem himself this week or will he be dropped? Because dropping a young player after a performance like that could destroy his confidence and have a massive impact on his career and development.


What if he is just shit?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:17 am 
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Shrekles wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:

And speaking of fullback, does Scott Gregory get a chance to redeem himself this week or will he be dropped? Because dropping a young player after a performance like that could destroy his confidence and have a massive impact on his career and development.


What if he is just shit?


His ability to traverse the NZ junior rep pathways up to SR level suggests he has talent.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:51 am 
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Ben Blair level talent?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:54 am 
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Shrekles wrote:
Ben Blair level talent?


Imagine being so shite you get bagged by your own supporters.

What a sad situation. My heart goes out to Blair.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:58 am 
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jdogscoop wrote:
Shrekles wrote:
Ben Blair level talent?


Imagine being so shite you get bagged by your own supporters.

What a sad situation. My heart goes out to Blair.


Tbf I always liked Ben Blair and I still maintain that he was a very talented Rugby player. I have always assumed that his performance in that final against the Brumbies was due to match fixing. No big deal, we've all moved on.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:13 am 
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So we are all agreed - Scott Gregory is just shit?

Two shit names, shit haircut, shit under the high ball, shit tackler, shit kicker.*









*naturallly, he is going to now go on and become a 100 test All Black and make me eat my words for the next 10 years.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:18 am 
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Shrekles wrote:
So we are all agreed - Scott Gregory is just shit?

Two shit names, shit haircut, shit under the high ball, shit tackler, shit kicker.*









*naturallly, he is going to now go on and become a 100 test All Black and make me eat my words for the next 10 years.


On the basis of that baptism of fire, as an AB he could complete an unholy trinity of NZ fullbacks with Bob Lendrum and Colin Farrell...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:51 am 
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Ben Blair was an All Black too...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:04 am 
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Shreks

SSSHHhhhhhh. Trying to wipe that memory from my mind.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:09 am 
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Scott Gregory - the ginger Blair


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:25 am 
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Shrekles wrote:
Scott Gregory - the ginger Blair


If we make Gregory an AB, maybe then we can forget about BB in Black


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:09 am 
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Lacrobat wrote:
Shrekles wrote:
So we are all agreed - Scott Gregory is just shit?

Two shit names, shit haircut, shit under the high ball, shit tackler, shit kicker.*









*naturallly, he is going to now go on and become a 100 test All Black and make me eat my words for the next 10 years.


On the basis of that baptism of fire, as an AB he could complete an unholy trinity of NZ fullbacks with Bob Lendrum and Colin Farrell...

The youngsters always throw up Benny Blair as one of out worst fullbacks. He wasn’t actually and did play some electrifying rugby at all levels. Us of more wiser years know it was Colin Farrell. Jeez even at provincial level everyone knew just put a bomb down his throat and he would drop it. Later learnt it was BeeGee Williams who got him those two tests where the Lions undid him with bombs. The best fullback in the country that period was the Southland fullback. Can’t remember thou if it was Jeff Gardiner or Geoff Valli. Both were excellent under the high ball even in the Southland mud and both had booming punts.

As for this clash it will be great to get dry ground under those fleet footed Saders backs feet to see their skills.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:05 am 
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Cullen Grace fractured his thumb against the Chiefs and had an operation today. He will miss the next few weeks of play.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:56 pm 
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I have no idea whether I should post here, or the NPR or what, but Josh Ioane isn't likely to be back according to Tony Brown - a shame if true. Speaking of Ben Blair - after he was jettisoned from the Crusaders, he put in a decent shift for the Highlanders. It was a pretty decent setup with Nick Evans at 10 and Blair at 15. I still remember the thrashing that we gave to the sharks in Durban in 2005 43-7 or something? Blair bagged 28 points, and that's still the record for most individual points in a game for the Highlanders to this day.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:06 pm 
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HouseOfPane wrote:
I have no idea whether I should post here, or the NPR or what, but Josh Ioane isn't likely to be back according to Tony Brown - a shame if true. Speaking of Ben Blair - after he was jettisoned from the Crusaders, he put in a decent shift for the Highlanders. It was a pretty decent setup with Nick Evans at 10 and Blair at 15. I still remember the thrashing that we gave to the sharks in Durban in 2005 43-7 or something? Blair bagged 28 points, and that's still the record for most individual points in a game for the Highlanders to this day.


That's and news for Ioane and the Highlanders, but the positive thing is that Hunt played well last week and I expect him to lift against his old team. Players tend to play well against their former teams as their is no intimidation factor, they've trained against them for years.

Whilst we are talking about first-fives, I am really worried about the Crusaders' lack of depth at no.10. We haven't even been carrying a second specialist no.10 in our match-day squads - with David Havili backing if Richie Mo'unga. Brett Cameron simply isn't up to this standard of Rugby, that's been obvious for years. If Mo'unga goes down with an injury we are screwed.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:43 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
HouseOfPane wrote:
I have no idea whether I should post here, or the NPR or what, but Josh Ioane isn't likely to be back according to Tony Brown - a shame if true. Speaking of Ben Blair - after he was jettisoned from the Crusaders, he put in a decent shift for the Highlanders. It was a pretty decent setup with Nick Evans at 10 and Blair at 15. I still remember the thrashing that we gave to the sharks in Durban in 2005 43-7 or something? Blair bagged 28 points, and that's still the record for most individual points in a game for the Highlanders to this day.


That's and news for Ioane and the Highlanders, but the positive thing is that Hunt played well last week and I expect him to lift against his old team. Players tend to play well against their former teams as their is no intimidation factor, they've trained against them for years.

Whilst we are talking about first-fives, I am really worried about the Crusaders' lack of depth at no.10. We haven't even been carrying a second specialist no.10 in our match-day squads - with David Havili backing if Richie Mo'unga. Brett Cameron simply isn't up to this standard of Rugby, that's been obvious for years. If Mo'unga goes down with an injury we are screwed.


Yeah Hunt will give it his all I am sure, and he slowly seems to be getting better. Hopefully it will be a close game, and I think playing at home helps the Highlanders (but it also obviously gives the dangerous crusader backs a dry track as well).

Mo'unga is some talent and of course if he went down then it will be hard, but the Crusaders have battled at times as well - always at least 'there' or 'there abouts' every year (2011 being a massive example despite everything happening at the time). Scott Robertson is great coach in my eyes, and he should be the ABs coach, but I guess I should just bite my tongue there. My point is, he'd pull something out of his break-dancing butt if Mo'unga were to get injured.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:26 am 
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Highlanders named:

15-Michael Collins
14-Ngane Punivai
13-Rob Thompson
12-Sio Tomkinson
11-Jona Nareki
10-Mitch Hunt
9-Aaron Smith
8-Marino Mikaele-Tu'u
7-Dillon Hunt
6-Shannon Frizell
5-Josh Dickson
4-Paripari Parkinson
3-Jeff Thwaites
2-Liam Coltman
1-Daniel Lienert-Brown

Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Jack Whetton, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Kayne Hammington, Bryn Gatland, Vilimoni Koroi.

Saucie - ODT


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:42 am 
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Crusaders to be named at 3.30pm


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:40 am 
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HouseOfPane wrote:
Highlanders named:

15-Michael Collins
14-Ngane Punivai
13-Rob Thompson
12-Sio Tomkinson
11-Jona Nareki
10-Mitch Hunt
9-Aaron Smith
8-Marino Mikaele-Tu'u
7-Dillon Hunt
6-Shannon Frizell
5-Josh Dickson
4-Paripari Parkinson
3-Jeff Thwaites
2-Liam Coltman
1-Daniel Lienert-Brown

Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Jack Whetton, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Kayne Hammington, Bryn Gatland, Vilimoni Koroi.

Saucie - ODT


Thanks JP,

Looks like Scott Gregory wasn't afforded the opportunity to salvage any dignity with a bench role. Aaron Mauger is one cold-ass honky!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:55 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
jdogscoop wrote:
Shrekles wrote:
Ben Blair level talent?


Imagine being so shite you get bagged by your own supporters.

What a sad situation. My heart goes out to Blair.


Tbf I always liked Ben Blair and I still maintain that he was a very talented Rugby player. I have always assumed that his performance in that final against the Brumbies was due to match fixing. No big deal, we've all moved on.


I just reviewed a neat little 1 minute package of his errors on YouTube.

In all honesty, it looked for all money like if I was asked to play fullback for the Crusaders.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:56 am 
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Crusaders:

David Havili,
Will Jordan,
Braydon Ennor,
Jack Goodhue,
Leicester Faingaanuku,
Richie Mo’unga,
Mitchell Drummond,
Whetukamokamo Douglas,
Tom Christie,
Ethan Blackadder,
Mitchell Dunshea,
Samuel Whitelock,
Michael Alaalatoa,
Codie Taylor (captain),
Joe Moody.

Reserves: Andrew Makalio, George Bower, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Sione Havili, Ere Enari, Fetuli Paea, Sevu Reece.

Quote:
Scott Barrett’s busted foot is expected to keep the Crusaders’ skipper out of action until November.

And that wasn’t the only grim news Crusaders coach Scott Robertson delivered on Thursday, when he named a side littered with changes to lineup against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night.

Outstanding rookie flanker Cullen Grace is likely to miss the remainder of Super Rugby Aotearoa, given he needs between six and eight weeks to recover from Tuesday’s thumb surgery, Robertson confirmed.

Grace fractured the base of his thumb (Bennett’s fracture) against the Chiefs last week, while Barrett had surgery last Thursday to repair the damaged plantar fascia ligament in his foot, which he wrecked in an inter-squad match on June 13. Robertson has no choice but to move on, something made easier by a squad oozing with depth. He’s made five personnel changes to the starting side for his team’s first match under the Forsyth Barr Stadium roof since 2018, including resting All Black wing George Bridge and halfback Bryn Hall.

There is also a debut for Tasman utility Fetuli Paea, a former Tongan sevens representative. The 25-year-old can play centre and wing, and can expect to be injected into the all South Island clash in the second half.

“He's a power athlete. He's trained extremely well over this whole period, and we just really wanted to make sure we give as many of our squad game time,’’ Robertson said.

“With the nature of these games, if you make too many changes you can lose a little bit of your rhythm and combinations, but it works quite nicely for him to come in with Dave [Havili] covering 10 as well.’’


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:59 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
HouseOfPane wrote:
Highlanders named:

15-Michael Collins
14-Ngane Punivai
13-Rob Thompson
12-Sio Tomkinson
11-Jona Nareki
10-Mitch Hunt
9-Aaron Smith
8-Marino Mikaele-Tu'u
7-Dillon Hunt
6-Shannon Frizell
5-Josh Dickson
4-Paripari Parkinson
3-Jeff Thwaites
2-Liam Coltman
1-Daniel Lienert-Brown

Reserves: Ash Dixon, Ayden Johnstone, Siate Tokolahi, Jack Whetton, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Kayne Hammington, Bryn Gatland, Vilimoni Koroi.

Saucie - ODT


Thanks JP,

Looks like Scott Gregory wasn't afforded the opportunity to salvage any dignity with a bench role. Aaron Mauger is one cold-ass honky!

Isn't he Tahitian as well?

Damn, you know it's a bad performance when you get replaced by Michael Collins at fullback.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:01 am 
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Quote:
15. David Havili
14. Will Jordan
13. Braydon Ennor
12. Jack Goodhue
11. Leicester Faingaanuku
10. Richie Mo’unga
9 Mitchell Drummond

8. Whetukamokamo Douglas
7. Tom Christie
6. Ethan Blackadder
5. Mitchell Dunshea
4. Samuel Whitelock
3. Michael Alaalatoa
2. Codie Taylor (captain)
1. Joe Moody

Reserves:

16. Andrew Makalio
17. George Bower
18. Oliver Jager
19. Quinten Strange
20. Sione Havili
21. Ere Enari
22. Fetuli Paea
23. Sevu Reece


Interesting team. Great to see Makalio and Strange back after longterm injuries.

I'm very happy to see Tom Christie has replaced Billy Harmon, who is dropped from the XXIII entirely. Hopefully that's a sign of Robertsons thinking for the future, Harmon is a journeyman.

It's weird that we have dropped/rotated the two incumbent All Black wingers, yet our backline is arguably more dangerous. How is that even possible?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:03 am 
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UncleFB wrote:
Isn't he Tahitian as well?

Damn, you know it's a bad performance when you get replaced by Michael Collins at fullback.


Samoan I thought,


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:05 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
Isn't he Tahitian as well?

Damn, you know it's a bad performance when you get replaced by Michael Collins at fullback.


Samoan I thought,

Both according to this:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/2726 ... ams-Mauger

Quote:
Aaron Mauger, who has Pakeha, Tahitian and Samoan heritage,


So he's a hori rather than a honky. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:09 am 
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UncleFB wrote:
So he's a hori rather than a honky. :lol:


My comment was more about the Macklemoore Thriftshop reference, with Mauger being a "cold-ass Honky" in the sense that he was 'cold ass' as opposed to being an actual honky an in being palagi.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:15 am 
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Nice to have Makalio and Strange back in the mix :thumbup:

I hope Blackadder can grab this opportunity with Grace expected to be out the rest of the SR season. He was favourite to claim the jersey pre-season, after all.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:20 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
So he's a hori rather than a honky. :lol:


My comment was more about the Macklemoore Thriftshop reference, with Mauger being a "cold-ass Honky" in the sense that he was 'cold ass' as opposed to being an actual honky an in being palagi.

Ah right ... I'm not that familiar with the lyrics to Thriftshop. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:17 am 
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It sounds silly given we're 2-0 so far, but this is a crucial game in terms of how the season pans out. Win, and we'll go top of the table, keeping pace with the in-form Blues.

However, a loss would be huge. A rested, pace-setting Blues side would the have the opportunity to establish a nearly insurmountable 2 game lead at the top of the table if they win next week, just halfway through the season.

That's the beauty of this short, sharp format. Every game is critical. One loss, and suddenly you're playing catch up.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:22 am 
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mrbrownstone wrote:
It sounds silly given we're 2-0 so far, but this is a crucial game in terms of how the season pans out. Win, and we'll go top of the table, keeping pace with the in-form Blues.

However, a loss would be huge. A rested, pace-setting Blues side would the have the opportunity to establish a nearly insurmountable 2 game lead at the top of the table if they win next week, just halfway through the season.

That's the beauty of this short, sharp format. Every game is critical. One loss, and suddenly you're playing catch up.


Not forgetting the Crusaders play the Blues next weekend in Christchurch in what should be a cracking match.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:11 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
Quote:
15. David Havili
14. Will Jordan
13. Braydon Ennor
12. Jack Goodhue
11. Leicester Faingaanuku
10. Richie Mo’unga
9 Mitchell Drummond

8. Whetukamokamo Douglas
7. Tom Christie
6. Ethan Blackadder
5. Mitchell Dunshea
4. Samuel Whitelock
3. Michael Alaalatoa
2. Codie Taylor (captain)
1. Joe Moody

Reserves:

16. Andrew Makalio
17. George Bower
18. Oliver Jager
19. Quinten Strange
20. Sione Havili
21. Ere Enari
22. Fetuli Paea
23. Sevu Reece


Interesting team. Great to see Makalio and Strange back after longterm injuries.

I'm very happy to see Tom Christie has replaced Billy Harmon, who is dropped from the XXIII entirely. Hopefully that's a sign of Robertsons thinking for the future, Harmon is a journeyman.

It's weird that we have dropped/rotated the two incumbent All Black wingers, yet our backline is arguably more dangerous. How is that even possible?


The definition of depth in the squad. I am still struggling to be impressed with Alaalatoa at THP. Is he really the best we have, he asks knowing full well the answer.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:29 pm 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
JPNZ wrote:
This match has all the makings of a classic. Really looking forward to seeing what the Crusaders backline can do on a dry pitch. I’m expecting a high scoring affair.


What worries me is the Highlanders pack. They are arguably the most balanced pack in the comp. They are great at the set piece, hardworking at the breakdown led by a terrific no.7 in Hunt, and in Mikaele-Tu'u and Frizell they have two of the best ball runners in the comp as well.

.


This! I just finished telling son exact same thing, reckon with Parkinson and Dickson as locks, they won't get bullied too much, and they got the form 6 and 8 in the comp! I even suspect the backs might try a Brownie special or 2 under the roof!


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