Crusaders 2020 Thread

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Grizz Wyllie
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Grizz Wyllie »

I'm all aboard the Havili at 12 option. That gets Will Jordan starting in the back three with Ennor coming off the bench which I think is a better balance to the backline. Dunno about shifting Goodhue to 12 from centre which is such an important role defensively.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

mrbrownstone wrote:
Couple of interesting tidbits there. Hope they're not thinking of moving Havili to 12 permanently - he's a fullback through and through. Good to have him as an emergency option, but that's it.

Harmon's injury makes the decision on who starts the season at 7 pretty straightforward. Losing Harmon isn't a huge blow, but it further erodes our already shallow loose forward depth.
Anymore injuries in that area and I'm guessing Razor will already be looking at opensides that missed the cut in other soup teams
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by mrbrownstone »

Grizz Wyllie wrote:I'm all aboard the Havili at 12 option. That gets Will Jordan starting in the back three with Ennor coming off the bench which I think is a better balance to the backline. Dunno about shifting Goodhue to 12 from centre which is such an important role defensively.
Cant' agree. Don't move players out of position just to fit everyone into the team. If Jordan is good enough to surpass Havili at fullback (and he is, soon enough) then he gets into the starting XV.

Moving Goodhue from 13 to 12 is easier than moving a fullback into the midfield. Ennor is a natural 13 and will be fine there defensively.

Havili is a very good Super Rugby fullback. He's a so-so midfielder, stopgap at best.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

The mysterious TAB punter "the shark" posts his thoughts on the Crusaders for 2020

Youngster to watch: Sione Havili
Last playoff appearance: 2019
Coach: Scott Robertson
Championship Odds: $2.88
Conference Odds: $1.83

Whoever is responsible for engraving the Super Rugby trophy has probably forgotten that there are 14 other teams in the competition after the Crusaders won their third straight title in 2019. The good/bad news for this person is that they will likely be making another trip down to Christchurch in June to again carve the letters C-R-U-S-A-D-E-R-S into the Super Rugby trophy.

I’ll usually leave my final thoughts on a team until the last paragraph but I couldn't help but jump the gun here. With squad the Crusaders have named for 2020, it’s clear to me that they are again the team to beat and are justifiably heavy competition favourites.

Yes, they’ve lost a bunch of key players and don’t have any major signings coming into the squad, but who’s to say those players stepping up aren’t capable of delivering Scott Robertson another championship? Their tight five again looks formidable, the 9-10 combo of Bryn Hall and Richie Mo’unga may well be the best in the competition and there is no shortage of try-scoring threats on their outsides.

Will Jordan looks primed for a breakout year (if he hasn’t already ‘broken out’) and with George Bridge and Sevu Reece on the wings, we’re bound to see another mountain of tries from the defending champs.

The main question I have about this squad is in the loosies. Ethan Blackadder, who would likely have been their first-choice blindside, is out for the year, and who fills that void isn’t clear. I’ve pencilled in Scott Barrett, though if Robertson and co. are to trust their youngsters it could be Tom Sanders, Cullen Grace or any other loosie for that matter, while Sione Havili at openside is no guarantee despite his outstanding Mitre 10 Cup season.

That said, it almost seems daft to question an area of the always-elite Crusaders pack. We’ve seen, time and time again, this franchise mould youngsters into more-than-capable Super Rugby players and because of this I’m not ready to suggest they’re going to struggle at the ruck, or anywhere else, for that matter.

As boring as it may be, I’m forecasting another dominant Crusaders season.

Predicted Finish: 1st NZ Conference, 1st overall.

Best Crusaders Bet: NZ Conference Winner - Crusaders ($1.83)

Top Try Scorer: Sevu Reece ($11)
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by mrbrownstone »

JPNZ wrote: The main question I have about this squad is in the loosies. Ethan Blackadder, who would likely have been their first-choice blindside, is out for the year, and who fills that void isn’t clear. I’ve pencilled in Scott Barrett, though if Robertson and co. are to trust their youngsters it could be Tom Sanders, Cullen Grace or any other loosie for that matter, while Sione Havili at openside is no guarantee despite his outstanding Mitre 10 Cup season.
Scott Barrett at blindside is an interesting option given our loose forward shortage.

Is:

4. Romano
5. Strange
6. Barrett

Better than anything else we can put out?

Still think Sanders should be given the first go, but it's a good option to fall back on.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Yourmother »

Grizz Wyllie wrote:I'm all aboard the Havili at 12 option. That gets Will Jordan starting in the back three with Ennor coming off the bench which I think is a better balance to the backline. Dunno about shifting Goodhue to 12 from centre which is such an important role defensively.
Yep, fullback to centre always works out well.

Do you even rugby ?
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Yourmother »

mrbrownstone wrote:
JPNZ wrote: The main question I have about this squad is in the loosies. Ethan Blackadder, who would likely have been their first-choice blindside, is out for the year, and who fills that void isn’t clear. I’ve pencilled in Scott Barrett, though if Robertson and co. are to trust their youngsters it could be Tom Sanders, Cullen Grace or any other loosie for that matter, while Sione Havili at openside is no guarantee despite his outstanding Mitre 10 Cup season.
Scott Barrett at blindside is an interesting option given our loose forward shortage.

Is:

4. Romano
5. Strange
6. Barrett

Better than anything else we can put out?

Still think Sanders should be given the first go, but it's a good option to fall back on.
Yep, lock and blindside are very successfully interchangeable positions ...

:?
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

Ennor was a top level Number 12 before he joined the Crusaders, an Aaron Mauger type 12, something NZ hasn't had since....him..just keep the Mulletman at 13..also test other options/pairing at 12/13 such as Havili/mulletman, Ennor/Reece, Ennor/Mulletman, Ennor/Mataele .. the more the options, the better/stronger the bench..
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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comets wrote:Ennor was a top level Number 12 before he joined the Crusaders, an Aaron Mauger type 12, something NZ hasn't had since....him..just keep the Mulletman at 13..also test other options/pairing at 12/13 such as Havili/mulletman, Ennor/Reece, Ennor/Mulletman, Ennor/Mataele .. the more the options, the better/stronger the bench..
Wtf? Now you're just making stuff up. Tell us when he was a playing making, Aaron Mauger-esque 12?
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Ali's Choice
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Ali's Choice »

mrbrownstone wrote:
JPNZ wrote: The main question I have about this squad is in the loosies. Ethan Blackadder, who would likely have been their first-choice blindside, is out for the year, and who fills that void isn’t clear. I’ve pencilled in Scott Barrett, though if Robertson and co. are to trust their youngsters it could be Tom Sanders, Cullen Grace or any other loosie for that matter, while Sione Havili at openside is no guarantee despite his outstanding Mitre 10 Cup season.
Scott Barrett at blindside is an interesting option given our loose forward shortage.

Is:

4. Romano
5. Strange
6. Barrett

Better than anything else we can put out?

Still think Sanders should be given the first go, but it's a good option to fall back on.
We definitely have more depth at lock than in the backrow. Scott Barrett is an established, All Black, and Luke Romano, Quentin Strange and Mitchell Dunshea are all proven at SR level. We also have some very promising younger locks coming through, with Sam Darry being the most talented. He looked very good late in the match against the Highlanders last week, although he's very skinny and will need some time to fill out and mature.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

he played 12 during his school years for Saint Kentigern and then for the blues development side, only moved to 13 when he played for the NZ u20 team..
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

saders thumped highlanders 41-7 moments ago, ennor really good a t13..
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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comets wrote:he played 12 during his school years for Saint Kentigern and then for the blues development side, only moved to 13 when he played for the NZ u20 team..
So he forgot how to kick, pass and create space for his outside runners, the skills that would make him an Aaron Mauger-esque second five eight, between the Blues Development squad and now? Sounds reasonable.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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comets wrote:saders thumped highlanders 41-7 moments ago, ennor really good a t13..
In 2019 crusaders won both preseason games. 2018 lost both, I don’t take much notice of them but I must say the backline is working very well!
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Peaches »

Can't believe Mataele is only 23. He looks 40 years old has anyone verified his passport yet?

Image
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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Did anyone watch the Highlanders trial? If so can they report back as to how the team played?

Reading match reviews online and it sounds like the 1st half was pretty close, but the Crusaders backs ran amok in the 2nd half. Mata'ele, Fainga'anuku and Ennor were all prominent, and Bryn Hall was also strong. Apparently the margin would have been even greater but Cameron had a poor game off the tee.

I worry that in 2020 we could be the Hurricanes 2.0. Deadly in the backs but with a powder-puff forward pack.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by mrbrownstone »

Ali's Choice wrote:Did anyone watch the Highlanders trial? If so can they report back as to how the team played?

Reading match reviews online and it sounds like the 1st half was pretty close, but the Crusaders backs ran amok in the 2nd half. Mata'ele, Fainga'anuku and Ennor were all prominent, and Bryn Hall was also strong. Apparently the margin would have been even greater but Cameron had a poor game off the tee.

I worry that in 2020 we could be the Hurricanes 2.0. Deadly in the backs but with a powder-puff forward pack.
You'd hope that the likes of Moody, Taylor, Alaalatoa, Barrett, Romano, and Douglas should still keep us in the upper echelon of packs in the comp - but an injury or two could be disastrous. Outslde of lock and hooker, our forward depth is worse than it has been for years. We're paper thin at prop behind Moody and Alaalatoa, and loose forwards are dropping like flies.

Backs are the opposite - three quality halfbacks, and more outside backs than we know what to do with.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

Ali's Choice wrote:Did anyone watch the Highlanders trial? If so can they report back as to how the team played?

Reading match reviews online and it sounds like the 1st half was pretty close, but the Crusaders backs ran amok in the 2nd half. Mata'ele, Fainga'anuku and Ennor were all prominent, and Bryn Hall was also strong. Apparently the margin would have been even greater but Cameron had a poor game off the tee.

I worry that in 2020 we could be the Hurricanes 2.0. Deadly in the backs but with a powder-puff forward pack.
u can watch the game here..
https://www.facebook.com/watch/HighlandersFB/
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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comets wrote:saders thumped highlanders 41-7 moments ago, ennor really good a t13..
I went to the game, a wonderful occasion but as a Highlanders fan the result was disappointing. The Saders looked sharp, but the Landers made 15 half-time replacements which gifted the well organised Saders the win.

It was a 6,500 ticket sell-out, not bad for the Upper Clultha district with a population of only 13,000.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Kiwiz007 »

Ali's Choice wrote:Did anyone watch the Highlanders trial? If so can they report back as to how the team played?
The Highlanders started very well and spent the first 15 mins in the Crusaders half... they score the first try, their only score of the night.

The Highlanders made 15 half-time replacements which snuffed out any continuity and momentum... the Crusaders were very slick in the second half.

Wanaka was 32'C yesterday so the cold beer was welcome...
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Ali's Choice »

Kiwiz007 wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:Did anyone watch the Highlanders trial? If so can they report back as to how the team played?
The Highlanders started very well and spent the first 15 mins in the Crusaders half... they score the first try, their only score of the night.

The Highlanders made 15 half-time replacements which snuffed out any continuity and momentum... the Crusaders were very slick in the second half.

Wanaka was 32'C yesterday so the cold beer was welcome...
Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great event that was well supported by locals.

In terms of players, were there any performances that stood out for either team? Despite the fact that he's no longer Crusades I am interested in Mitch Hunt's development and progress in 2020. And Shannon Frizzell has the opportunity to secure the All Black no.6 jersey with a strong SR season. Overall the Highlanders still boast a very strong pack this year, even with the losses of Luke Whitelock, Liam Squire, Elliot Dixon, Jackson Hemopo, Tom Franklin and Tyrel Lomax.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

What have they done to the away jersey?? This is the one that will feature Fiji airways on it

The highlanders is a similar look

Image
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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JPNZ wrote:What have they done to the away jersey?? This is the one that will feature Fiji airways on it

The highlanders is a similar look

Image
It's f**king dreadful. You don't win a title wearing a jersey like that. Call me old fashioned, but I'd like them to wear Red at home and black away. Simples.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

looks like ppl jizzed on it..
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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Adidas must have a deal with NZR as all NZ teams away jerseys have that blueish grey hue to them
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Yourmother »

Havili is playing at first 5.

Razor really must hate Brett Cameron.

Plus it’s against Gatlands nearly unbeatable chiefs. :shock:
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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JPNZ wrote:Adidas must have a deal with NZR as all NZ teams away jerseys have that blueish grey hue to them
I read that it's because the jerseys are all made from recycled plastic that was collected from the ocean, hence the blue theme. Pretty woke :thumbup:
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by mrbrownstone »

JPNZ wrote:What have they done to the away jersey?? This is the one that will feature Fiji airways on it

The highlanders is a similar look

Image
Yeah that's a shocker.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

Sevu Reece has signed a one year extension taking him out to 2022 at the Crusaders
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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Finally some word on Tim Perry's retirement
Tim Perry's under-the-radar retirement shouldn't be a bombshell to anyone who knows the 31-year-old. No press release from New Zealand Rugby, silence from the Crusaders and Tasman, and not a whisper from the former All Black himself on social media. Just the way the six-test All Blacks loosehead prop wanted to go out after he decided he'd hang up his boots at the end of last year. "Tim Perry doesn't have an ego, he played the game because he loved it, he played for all the right reasons," Tasman chief executive Tony Lewis told Stuff. "He wanted to see how far he could go in the game and he wanted to leave without any fanfare or fuss and I wouldn't expect anything else from Tim."

Initial attempts to arrange an interview with Perry, who spends much of his time huntings hogs and is understood to be farming in Mid Canterbury, were promising but did not eventuate. Lewis said the son of former All Black Grant Perry informed him last February that 2019 would be his last year in the sport. At the time, Perry was very much in the All Black frame as they plotted towards the World Cup in Japan, but he broke his arm in the Crusaders' season opener and practically missed the entire Super campaign.

He was fit again for the Mitre 10 Cup, helping Tasman go undefeated on their way to a maiden national provincial title. "It was the icing on the cake for Tim," Lewis said. "He's a bright man who knows he has another life other than rugby. He was just looking at when was the perfect time to start that other life. I have no doubt him and Grant have worked out a very good plan." Born in Ashburton, Perry went on to board at St Andrew's College in Christchurch. He played a handful of games for Mid Canterbury in 2010, before debuting for the Mako in 2012.

The Blues came calling the following year, when he played seven times for the Auckland-based side. Perry signed with the Crusaders in 2014, winning three straight titles between 2017-19. Perry got an All Blacks call up on the 2017 end-of-year-tour, but didn't earn his first test cap until the following year, when he debuted against the Wallabies in Sydney. "I can't believe I've got a test jersey hanging up. It hasn't been easy, but I've stuck at it. I didn't want to give up – I'm not that type of person." Perry said after the match.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson found out Perry wouldn't be back in 2020 when he was compiling his roster last season. "Tim, as he does, flies under cover. We asked his availability for this year and he said it was time for him to retire and he was looking forward to getting on the farm," Robertson said. "He's a hunter and a gatherer and a farmer and a man of the land. He enjoys it there. He's just working his piece of land."

Perry could have demanded big bucks in Europe or Japan had he desired, but playing code offshore clearly isn't for everyone. Lewis played under Perry's father's captaincy in his day and said the pair were a classic case of like father, like son. The Tasman boss went on to label Perry as "undemonstrative and an incredible team man", saying it was not uncommon for Perry to turn up to the team's headquarters with a wild boar for staff to feast upon. "The way I would describe Tim, whether it's 2020 or 2040, he will be exactly the same. He will sit down and have a beer and a laugh because he's a top fella. "Rugby is poorer for him not being around. He epitomised what the rugby player of yesteryear used to be about . . . the most important thing was enjoying playing the game with your mates and you can't buy that."
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all ... -tim-perry
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

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JPNZ wrote:Finally some word on Tim Perry's retirement
Tim Perry's under-the-radar retirement shouldn't be a bombshell to anyone who knows the 31-year-old. No press release from New Zealand Rugby, silence from the Crusaders and Tasman, and not a whisper from the former All Black himself on social media. Just the way the six-test All Blacks loosehead prop wanted to go out after he decided he'd hang up his boots at the end of last year. "Tim Perry doesn't have an ego, he played the game because he loved it, he played for all the right reasons," Tasman chief executive Tony Lewis told Stuff. "He wanted to see how far he could go in the game and he wanted to leave without any fanfare or fuss and I wouldn't expect anything else from Tim."

Initial attempts to arrange an interview with Perry, who spends much of his time huntings hogs and is understood to be farming in Mid Canterbury, were promising but did not eventuate. Lewis said the son of former All Black Grant Perry informed him last February that 2019 would be his last year in the sport. At the time, Perry was very much in the All Black frame as they plotted towards the World Cup in Japan, but he broke his arm in the Crusaders' season opener and practically missed the entire Super campaign.

He was fit again for the Mitre 10 Cup, helping Tasman go undefeated on their way to a maiden national provincial title. "It was the icing on the cake for Tim," Lewis said. "He's a bright man who knows he has another life other than rugby. He was just looking at when was the perfect time to start that other life. I have no doubt him and Grant have worked out a very good plan." Born in Ashburton, Perry went on to board at St Andrew's College in Christchurch. He played a handful of games for Mid Canterbury in 2010, before debuting for the Mako in 2012.

The Blues came calling the following year, when he played seven times for the Auckland-based side. Perry signed with the Crusaders in 2014, winning three straight titles between 2017-19. Perry got an All Blacks call up on the 2017 end-of-year-tour, but didn't earn his first test cap until the following year, when he debuted against the Wallabies in Sydney. "I can't believe I've got a test jersey hanging up. It hasn't been easy, but I've stuck at it. I didn't want to give up – I'm not that type of person." Perry said after the match.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson found out Perry wouldn't be back in 2020 when he was compiling his roster last season. "Tim, as he does, flies under cover. We asked his availability for this year and he said it was time for him to retire and he was looking forward to getting on the farm," Robertson said. "He's a hunter and a gatherer and a farmer and a man of the land. He enjoys it there. He's just working his piece of land."

Perry could have demanded big bucks in Europe or Japan had he desired, but playing code offshore clearly isn't for everyone. Lewis played under Perry's father's captaincy in his day and said the pair were a classic case of like father, like son. The Tasman boss went on to label Perry as "undemonstrative and an incredible team man", saying it was not uncommon for Perry to turn up to the team's headquarters with a wild boar for staff to feast upon. "The way I would describe Tim, whether it's 2020 or 2040, he will be exactly the same. He will sit down and have a beer and a laugh because he's a top fella. "Rugby is poorer for him not being around. He epitomised what the rugby player of yesteryear used to be about . . . the most important thing was enjoying playing the game with your mates and you can't buy that."
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all ... -tim-perry
That's a real shame as we could use the loosehead depth.

Not a bad career though - 6 All Black caps & 3 Super Rugby titles is nothing to scoff at.

Shame he was so injury prone. 32 Super Rugby caps from 2013-2018 isn't a great track record.

Forcing his way ahead of Wyatt Crockett for the 2018 finals would have to be right up there as a career highlight.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Ali's Choice »

Nice time for the bye next weekend, with a 3-1 record and a few injuries that will benefit from the rest.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with where the Crusaders are at this early point in the season. Our backline looks to be creating opportunities and our set piece is very solid. The worry was always going to be the backrow, but in Christie and Grace I think we have found our 7 and 6. Whetu Douglas's untimely injury has been a real setback, but I think once he returns our backrow will look more balanced. Cullen Grace has been the surprise package of the season so far, and if continues to play as well as he is he'll be in the discussion for the vacant All Black no.6 jersey despite his tender age.

David Havili, Jack Goodhue and Bryn Hall have been the standouts for me so far this season.

Havili is so reliable and dangerous at fullback. His positional play has been faultless this season and he almost always beats the first defender. I hope the leg injury he looked to pick up against the Highlanders isn't serious because he's a key player for the Crusaders this year. I'd also like to see him permanently used as Mo'unga's backup no.10 so Brett Cameron can be sent back to club Rugby.

After a quiet match against the Chiefs, Jack Goodhue's form has been excellent. He was brilliant in both attack and defense against the Blues and the Highlanders. I was uncertain about how he would fare at no.12, but he's the form second five-eighth in the NZ Conference right now. His ability to offload the ball in contact has been a feature of his play in 2020.

Bryn Hall is such a key player to the Crusaders attack. His passing is crisp and accurate, and the quick ball he generates from the breakdown consistently allows the Crusaders backs to be on the front foot. His kicking game has also been excellent this year. Robertson has generally alternated between Hall and Drummond over the past 3 years, with the starting 9 jersey being shared evenly, but I cannot see Drummond starting games in the near future if Hall continues to play as well as he has.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Shrekles »

I would also add Brayden Ennor into your list of form players - he has been consistently excellent.

The worry so far in the backline is Sevu Reece - he just has not got back to the highs of last year.
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

Shrekles wrote:I would also add Brayden Ennor into your list of form players - he has been consistently excellent.

The worry so far in the backline is Sevu Reece - he just has not got back to the highs of last year.
not getting the right balls from Mounga'a like last year, you can say the same for Bridge.. the issue is infact 13 not Reece, Crotty was a Provider in previous seasons, previous wings like Tamanvialu, mataele and Nadolo benefited a lot from him, Ennor is not, seen him 3 times making a break in the last game but refusing to pass to both his wingers in the open.. fullbacks are supposed to be the greedy ball hogging douches not centres..mulletman is fine , Ennor isn't..
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

A week off has come at just the right time for the dinged up Crusaders. Three consecutive New Zealand derbies have taken their toll on the New Zealand conference leaders, who were forced to utilise third and fourth string goal kickers Bryn Hall and Mitchell Drummond against the Highlanders on Friday night. But coach Scott Robertson is expecting a bunch of reinforcements to report fit for duty when his side regroups at Rugby Park in Christchurch Monday week, following the first of their two bye weeks. That includes captain Scott Barrett, who sat out their 33-13 bonus point win against the Highlanders in front of about 15,000 fans at Orangetheory Stadium, as they prepare for their round six match against the Reds in Christchurch.


Fullback David Havili, who has handled the kicking duties so far this season while Richie Mo'unga nurses a groin compliant, took a knock to the knee during the match, after himself complaining of tightness in his groin before kickoff. "Probably the form player of the comp, to captain the side and perform with such a high skill set. Those high balls, flicks out the back, tough defensively. He's pretty special." The Crusaders were already operating without Quinten Strange (hand), Whetukamokamo Douglas (fingers), Will Jordan (groin), Oli Jager (concussion), Billy Harmon (knee), Ethan Blackadder (shoulder) and Fergus Burke (quad). Only Blackadder, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, isn't expected back anytime soon. Exact time-frames for the remainder won't be known until they're back in camp, but Strange, Jager, Harmon and Jordan should be close to being available.


The Crusaders are also expecting Mo'unga to be fit enough to take back the goal kicking duties after the bye. "Give him a good 3-4 weeks off doing it. Goal kicking is really important to him and he wants to be 100 per cent when he does. Groin [complaints], it's just one of the trade offs of being a kicker," Robertson said. With 14 points to show from their first four games (3-1), the Crusaders are almost certain to return from their week off at the top of the New Zealand conference standings. They can thank the Brumbies for toppling the previously unbeaten Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday night, leaving the Warren Gatland-coached side a point back as they too take a week off.


"It's a good start, 4-0 is better, obviously . . . but we're in good spirits, we're having good fun and we're in the hunt," Robertson said. Improving execution, which cost them dearly in a 25-15 loss to the Chiefs, and denied them from banking a bonus point in their 25-8 win against the Blues, remains a priority moving forward. But Robertson certainly can't complain about the lineout, which dismantled the Blues, and was again flawless against the Highlanders, despite operating without Barrett. Rookie Cullen Grace, a hard-tackling loose forward out of Timaru Boys' High School, deserves much of the credit. "He's in a rich vein of form. When you've got hops like Cullen Grace. I've mentioned before, that Kieran Read spring. He hardly jumps but look at him. He's got a special bit of timing in him."
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JPNZ
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

comets wrote:
not getting the right balls from Mounga'a like last year, you can say the same for Bridge.. the issue is infact 13 not Reece, Crotty was a Provider in previous seasons, previous wings like Tamanvialu, mataele and Nadolo benefited a lot from him, Ennor is not, seen him 3 times making a break in the last game but refusing to pass to both his wingers in the open.. fullbacks are supposed to be the greedy ball hogging douches not centres..mulletman is fine , Ennor isn't..
Agree with this a lot, so many missed oppurtunites outside of 2nd five in the 1st 4 games. It will come with experience, Crotty was exceptional at distributing into gaps
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comets
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by comets »

shocked Razor didn't even consider Reece as a goal kicker yet, that guy has played 10 for Waikato :/, but yeah he is a fijian, he thinks all fijian 10 play like volavola ..also bring back Manasa, run him at 13, whats lacking is a CENTER THAN CAN OFFLOAD
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JPNZ
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by JPNZ »

I'm looking forward to Manasa having a run soon
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mrbrownstone
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by mrbrownstone »

Ali's Choice wrote:
David Havili, Jack Goodhue and Bryn Hall have been the standouts for me so far this season.

Havili is so reliable and dangerous at fullback. His positional play has been faultless this season and he almost always beats the first defender. I hope the leg injury he looked to pick up against the Highlanders isn't serious because he's a key player for the Crusaders this year. I'd also like to see him permanently used as Mo'unga's backup no.10 so Brett Cameron can be sent back to club Rugby.
Havili is in career best form so far this season. If he keeps this up, he'd have to be seriously challenging for Jordie's All Black squad spot.

They have similar skill sets - Havili offers all of Jordie's versatility, covering 10, 12, fullback, and wing, as well as a long range goal kicking option. The difference is that Havili is a better decision maker, and safer at his core roles.
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Kiwias
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Re: Crusaders 2020 Thread

Post by Kiwias »

mrbrownstone wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
David Havili, Jack Goodhue and Bryn Hall have been the standouts for me so far this season.

Havili is so reliable and dangerous at fullback. His positional play has been faultless this season and he almost always beats the first defender. I hope the leg injury he looked to pick up against the Highlanders isn't serious because he's a key player for the Crusaders this year. I'd also like to see him permanently used as Mo'unga's backup no.10 so Brett Cameron can be sent back to club Rugby.
Havili is in career best form so far this season. If he keeps this up, he'd have to be seriously challenging for Jordie's All Black squad spot.

They have similar skill sets - Havili offers all of Jordie's versatility, covering 10, 12, fullback, and wing, as well as a long range goal kicking option. The difference is that Havili is a better decision maker, and safer at his core roles.
In the debit column, we have the indisputable fact that his surname does not start with "B".
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