Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

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Ali's Choice
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Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

WHEN:
Saturday 11th July

KICK OFF:
Auckland - 7.05pm
Sydney – 5.05pm

WHERE:
Christchurch, NZ

Image

VENUE:
Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch

Image

MATCH OFFICIALS:
TBC

TEAMS:

Image

15. David Havili
14. Sevu Reece
13. Braydon Ennor
12. Jack Goodhue
11. George Bridge
10. Richie Mo’unga
9. Bryn Hall

8. Whetukamokamo Douglas
7. Tom Christie
6. Tom Sanders
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. Mitch Drummond
22. Fetuli Paea
23. Will Jordan


Image

15. Beauden Barrett
14. Mark Tele'a
13. Rieko Ioane
12. Harry Plummer
11. Caleb Clarke
10. Otere Black
9. Finlay Christie

8. Hoskins Sotutu
7. Dalton Papalii
6. Akira Ioane
5. Josh Goodhue
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c)
3. Ofa Tu'ungafasi
2. James Parsons
1. Alex Hodgman.

Reserves:

16. Kurt Eklund
17. Karl Tu'inukuafe
18. Sione Mafileo
19. Aaron Carroll
20. Blake Gibson
21. Jonathan Ruru
22. TJ Faiane
23. Matt Duffie



Last edited by Ali's Choice on Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Ali's Choice
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

Match of the week, and possibly match of the entire tournament. Two undefeated teams that are both in great form. I am very excited!
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Yourmother
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

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.
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Ali's Choice
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

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True Blue
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by True Blue »

Why is there a duplicate forum? I may have missed something.....
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Yourmother
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

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.
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Norman Harvey
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Norman Harvey »

Yourmother wrote:
True Blue wrote:
Why is there a duplicate forum? I may have missed something.....
Really???

Jake said end of times, and continued his threats. So a proper life raft, actually can’t call it that as it’s 10 years technically ahead. So most have registered. Jake has back pedalled.

Though, many of us are a bit sick of the mothership threats, and are defaulting to posting there.

Sorry, but how did you miss this??

https://notplanetrugby.com/viewforum.php?f=2
:shock:
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booji boy
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by booji boy »

The Blues foundered in the 2nd half against the Highlanders and were lucky to hang on for a nail biting win whereas the Crusaders ran away with an easy 20 point victory. And the Blues were at home and the Crusaders away.

Crusaders by 20.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

Does anyone have an update on Ethan Blackadder? His availability will obviously impact the make-up of the Crusaders backrow. I am hopeful that Sione Havili will emerge as a SR class backrower in a year or two, but his late inclusion at blindisde on Saturday clearly impacted the balance of the team. Namely because he lacks height, so isn't an effective lineout target or lifter. They tried to lift him once on Saturday, clearly using a call that was designed for Ethan Blackadder or Cullen Grace, and Sione Havili barely got off the ground. They never threw to him again.

If Ethan Backadder is unavailable I'd start Tom Sanders at 6, or perhaps think a bit creatively and start Dunshea at 6 and bring the impressive Quentin Strange into lock, with Luke Romano on the bench.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by JPNZ »

In what will be the best news of the week there is little rain forecast for this week <20mm and Friday through Saturday to be fine and clear. Just what is needed for a top of the table spectacle.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Kahu »

Blues will be champing at the bit and confident in themselves. I predict Crusaders will have their first loss in Christchurch in a long time on Saturday.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Masterji »

Whether it happens at the weekend or not but there is going to power shift. If the Blues can hold onto this squad, they will take over for the next few years.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by JPNZ »

NZ TAB thinks the blues have no show

Crusaders $1.33
Blues $3.10
Tuivasa
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Tuivasa »

List of New Zealand Premiers
1 – Auckland – 17 titles; 2 – Canterbury – 14 titles

Canterbury still playing catch up. Auckland still the greatest rugby city in the world with the greatest All time players ever (Micheal Jones Goat , Lomu also grew up in Auckland )
Also the goat forward of the modern day RWC's Jerome Kaino is also Aucklander (people like to overhype the great captain mccaw, but kaino was more immense and valuable than mccaw both in 11 and 15)
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Ali's Choice
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

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Tuivasa wrote:List of New Zealand Premiers
1 – Auckland – 17 titles; 2 – Canterbury – 14 titles

Canterbury still playing catch up. Auckland still the greatest rugby city in the world with the greatest All time players ever (Micheal Jones Goat , Lomu also grew up in Auckland )
Also the goat forward of the modern day RWC's Jerome Kaino is also Aucklander (people like to overhype the great captain mccaw, but kaino was more immense and valuable than mccaw both in 11 and 15)
Pretty irrelevant post given neither Auckland or Canterbury are playing in this match, and aren't even involved in this level of Rugby. They play 3rd tier, semi professional provincial rugby, so I suggest you hold your fire until the Mitre 10 Cup starts up again.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

Nice piece by Marc Hinton on the Blues resurgence. I've been very happy for long-suffering Blues fans this year as their team has continued to perform well, but I hope their rise hits a snag this week against the Crusaders.
Super Rugby Aotearoa: Have the ‘basket-case’ Blues really turned the corner?
Marc Hinton
09:00, Jul 07 2020

The pretenders are finally contenders again. Or, as one Blues insider put it, the “basket cases” of New Zealand rugby have at long last morphed into the legitimate high-level franchise they’ve always aspired to be.

It has been, you could say, a long time coming. And it has not occurred without some blood on the floor. But finally, after more or less a decade entrenched in the basement of the New Zealand professional game, the Blues are soaring, drawing and scoring more points than their opponents on a weekly basis. It would appear to be finally safe for the Eden Park faithful to show their faces again.

No one is getting ahead of themselves at the Blues just three games – and three victories – into this revamped Super Rugby Aotearoa season, on the back of a hugely promising wider campaign pre-Covid that was nipped in the bud at the most inopportune time.

But whatever measure you use, 2020 has been a runaway success for the Blues. So far. A lot of boxes have been ticked and some crucial corners turned. This rejigged coaching team, with a full season under their belts, appear to have found the formula for success in their sophomore year. Off the field they’re as unified and dignified as they’ve been in an age. On it they’re playing a heady mix of exacting and exhilarating footy and handling the big moments.

Of course, it remains very much a work in progress. More could – and should – be known following next Saturday night’s visit to that professional rugby measuring stick, the Crusaders. However no one at Alexandra Park is ordering up any ticker-tape just yet. The numbers may be gaudy but feet remain perched firmly on terra firma.

“We’re still very much in head-down and work-hard mode,” head coach Leon MacDonald told Stuff as he returned early from bye week to begin plotting the blockbuster showdown against his old franchise. “We definitely don’t feel like we’re done yet. We were pretty real in our review of the game last weekend (a squeaky 27-24 home victory over the Highlanders) and were very disappointed with a lot of aspects. It’s a weekly process. We’ve only played three games and have a lot of work ahead.”

Still, consider the backdrop to this season. The Blues last played finals football – and had a winning record – in 2011. Since then their finishing positions read: 12th, 10th, 10th, 14th, 11th, 9th, 14th and 13th. They have been Kiwi conference wooden-spooners for six seasons on the bounce and have been champions of nothing more than their patent inability to deliver on their own promises. Talent has never been an issue in this franchise; though consistency, stickability, smarts and a strong, unified culture certainly have been.

“This franchise was a basket case,” declared one mover and shaker in the corridors of HQ who did not want to be named. “But the alignment right now is the best it’s been for a long, long time. We’re still very much a work in progress, but we’ve come a long way in a short time.”

That they have. MacDonald came in to head a revamped coaching setup only shortly ahead of last season. That followed a New Zealand Rugby-led boardroom coup that saw Don Mackinnon brought in as chair and private equity interests ousted. This year the well-travelled Andrew Hore arrived to take over as chief executive and the franchise has also swept the new broom through its high-performance pathways.

Crucially, there is now unanimity among the constituent unions of Auckland, North Harbour and Northland who were barely on speaking terms prior to 2019. On the squad front, MacDonald has built an excellent playing group.

He brought in some key heavy-hitters (Beauden Barrett and Dan Carter the headliners in 2020), added crucial high-character types down the depth chart and developed the likes of Hoskins Sotutu, Caleb Clarke, TJ Faiane, Mark Telea and Stephen Perofeta (now out injured) into standout performers, alongside the established class of Rieko Ioane, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, skipper Patrick Tuipulotu, Otere Black, Dalton Papalii and James Parsons.

The results have been dramatic. The Blues went 5-2 before Super Rugby proper shutdown – their best start since 2011 – and with that 3-0 start to Aotearoa have now won seven straight, four in a row against Kiwi sides and four on the bounce on the road. Only the Crusaders look their equal thus far.

The appointment of MacDonald was clearly inspired. He has overseen major improvements in key areas of culture, leadership, tactics and game-plan execution. Hard work, accountability and team-first have become bywords at the franchise and that all flows down from the top.

But MacDonald’s support crew also deserve credit. Tom Coventry has that pack humming, Tana Umaga has overseen a defensive awakening and Daniel Halangahu and Ben Afeaki are excellent complementary pieces. Fitness man Phil Healey has them lasting the distance.

It might have been a roll of the dice at the time, but the unprecedented call to allow Umaga to drop from head coach into an assistant’s role has been vital. MacDonald is very much the boss but the charismatic Umaga remains a highly influential figure in this setup.

“He’s been a massive part of the team … you can see a lot of character in our defence and that’s driven by Tana,” says MacDonald of a man he calls a “trusted ally and a seriously good coach”.

Chiefs remain winless in action-packed match against 14-man Hurricanes.
“He’s passionate but also very wise technically and knows how to bring the best out of his players.”

The Blues have also smartly broken leadership – such a glaring weakness hitherto – down into separate components. Tuipulotu, Parsons, Ioane and Faiane drive one part and the playmakers the other.

“We’ve got a really good leadership that is motivated,” added MacDonald, highlighting the growth and maturity of skipper Tuipulotu. “Their job isn’t about driving the game, it’s about driving the culture and we let our game-drivers like Otere and Beauden lead with the on-field stuff.

“Their sole job is to make sure we turn up with the right attitude at training, our standards are high and we work hard. They get up in front of the group and demand a lot, and when you’re demanding you’ve got to live those standards yourselves.”

MacDonald identifies major inroads in the area of alignment, around talent identification and retention, and in the front office and provincial unions. The players sense something positive brewing and are inspired to lift their own standards accordingly. Average home crowds of 35,000 through the first two home games also indicate the fans are on board.

Now, in a week, the ultimate challenge looms.

“It’s the test of all tests, going to Christchurch in July at 7pm against a team that’s so methodical around set piece, the contact area and how they play. It doesn’t get any tougher, but we can test ourselves, see where we’re really at and hopefully go down there and put on a show.”

The road from chumps to champs, from the outhouse to the penthouse, is a precipitous one. The Blues are climbing steadily.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by mrbrownstone »

Ali's Choice wrote:Does anyone have an update on Ethan Blackadder? His availability will obviously impact the make-up of the Crusaders backrow. I am hopeful that Sione Havili will emerge as a SR class backrower in a year or two, but his late inclusion at blindisde on Saturday clearly impacted the balance of the team. Namely because he lacks height, so isn't an effective lineout target or lifter. They tried to lift him once on Saturday, clearly using a call that was designed for Ethan Blackadder or Cullen Grace, and Sione Havili barely got off the ground. They never threw to him again.

If Ethan Backadder is unavailable I'd start Tom Sanders at 6, or perhaps think a bit creatively and start Dunshea at 6 and bring the impressive Quentin Strange into lock, with Luke Romano on the bench.
I think this would be my preferred option. Tom Sanders is a fine player, but he's so uninspiring at this level. It's a shame that neither he nor Reed Prinsep have ever really translated their form for Canterbury into Super Rugby.

The big question for me is what Robertson does with his back three. Bridge & Reece are the incumbent All Black wings, while David Havili has been in career best form this year, and has steered us to three consecutive titles at fullback. But Will Jordan is in irresistible form, and simply has to start.

As harsh as it is, I think I'd push Havili back to the bench where he can cover 10-15, and let Will Jordan start in his best position at fullback. Since seeing him at the 2017 Under 20s I've long thought he'd be the next longterm All Black fullback, and he's done nothing to change that view this season. He's already done more to merit selection than Jordie ever did in his first couple of seasons at Super level. If Beauden Barrett relinquishes the fullback position while he's in Japan, he might find it's not so easy to reclaim.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

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mrbrownstone wrote:The big question for me is what Robertson does with his back three. Bridge & Reece are the incumbent All Black wings, while David Havili has been in career best form this year, and has steered us to three consecutive titles at fullback. But Will Jordan is in irresistible form, and simply has to start.

As harsh as it is, I think I'd push Havili back to the bench where he can cover 10-15, and let Will Jordan start in his best position at fullback. Since seeing him at the 2017 Under 20s I've long thought he'd be the next longterm All Black fullback, and he's done nothing to change that view this season. He's already done more to merit selection than Jordie ever did in his first couple of seasons at Super level. If Beauden Barrett relinquishes the fullback position while he's in Japan, he might find it's not so easy to reclaim.
You are right, the back three selection is intriguing. There aren't enough matches in the comp to rotate players either.

I don't mind your idea of using Havili off the bench, but he can still cover 10-14 from fullback. In terms of form I would leave Havili at fullback, and start Reece and Jordan as my wingers. That the backline that finished the game on Saturday and I thought it worked really well. George Bridge misses out because his form hasn't been good enough.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Tussock »

Ali's Choice wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:The big question for me is what Robertson does with his back three. Bridge & Reece are the incumbent All Black wings, while David Havili has been in career best form this year, and has steered us to three consecutive titles at fullback. But Will Jordan is in irresistible form, and simply has to start.

As harsh as it is, I think I'd push Havili back to the bench where he can cover 10-15, and let Will Jordan start in his best position at fullback. Since seeing him at the 2017 Under 20s I've long thought he'd be the next longterm All Black fullback, and he's done nothing to change that view this season. He's already done more to merit selection than Jordie ever did in his first couple of seasons at Super level. If Beauden Barrett relinquishes the fullback position while he's in Japan, he might find it's not so easy to reclaim.
You are right, the back three selection is intriguing. There aren't enough matches in the comp to rotate players either.

I don't mind your idea of using Havili off the bench, but he can still cover 10-14 from fullback. In terms of form I would leave Havili at fullback, and start Reece and Jordan as my wingers. That the backline that finished the game on Saturday and I thought it worked really well. George Bridge misses out because his form hasn't been good enough.
For me, I'd like to see Jordan start at fullback and Havili on the bench, but I'm expecting the coaches to go with experience and start, Bridge, Havili & Reece with Jordan on the bench.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by BlueThunder »

Hard to get excited about this, Crusaders will outclass the Blues as usual. I can see why Crusaders fans would be excited to see their team knock the Blues down a peg or two.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Kiwias »

I really can't see Jordan being benched, his form is too commanding. So I would start with Reece and Jordan on the wings with Havili at fb.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Shrekles »

BlueThunder wrote:Hard to get excited about this, Crusaders will outclass the Blues as usual. I can see why Crusaders fans would be excited to see their team knock the Blues down a peg or two.
Nah - this could be a truly epic match - two teams with great attacks both in great form going at it. I can’t wait.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by booji boy »

Shrekles wrote:
BlueThunder wrote:Hard to get excited about this, Crusaders will outclass the Blues as usual. I can see why Crusaders fans would be excited to see their team knock the Blues down a peg or two.
Nah - this could be a truly epic match - two teams with great attacks both in great form going at it. I can’t wait.
I hope you're right. I'm in Blue Thunders camp.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

Forget what's happened in clashes between the Blues and Crusaders over the past decade, they have absolutely no relevance. This is clearly the best Blues team since their title winning season of 2003. This should be a very close game and Blues players and supporters should be very confident going into this fixture.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by booji boy »

Ali's Choice wrote:Forget what's happened in clashes between the Blues and Crusaders over the past decade, they have absolutely no relevance. This is clearly the best Blues team since their title winning season of 2003. This should be a very close game and Blues players and supporters should be very confident going into this fixture.
a. True but the Crusaders just look so well drilled compared to the other NZ teams and in Richie Mounga have the best first five in NZ.

b. The Blues reverted to type in the second half of their last match against the Highlanders and were lucky to hang on for the win.

Still think it will be a cracking match but the Crusaders look a cut above the rest as demonstrated by their two winning bonus points which no other team has achieved. Over the course of 80 minutes they will run out comfortable winners.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by puku »

Definitely getting up for this one.

Outside of a test match, it has been a minute since I was this excited for a game. The game will be a true measure of whether or not the Blues are the real deal.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by terangi48 »

Saturday forecast: Fine with morning frosts. Light winds. 3-13 degrees.

That's the best that can be provided mid-winter outdoors here in the south - Soft track, little breeze, cool air,(dewy?)

The under-foot conditions will take a yard of pace out of the game, and if a dewy surface, another yard. This points to more of an arm wrestle, bringing the result closer to the Blues.....but in my HO, not quite back to 50/50.

The bench in this kind of game is vital.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

terangi48 wrote:The bench in this kind of game is vital.
The bench is almost always vital in close games, and I expect this match to be very close.

I wonder if the Blues players genuinely think they can beat the Crusaders? I know they are in great form, and they beat us just 6 years ago, but I still think that deep down the Blues lack the innate confidence and self-belied that the great teams have that they can beat any team, home or away.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Tussock »

Blues announced.

Blues: 15. Beauden Barrett, 14. Mark Tele'a, 13. Rieko Ioane, 12. Harry Plummer, 11. Caleb Clarke, 10. Otere Black, 9. Finlay Christie, 8. Hoskins Sotutu, 7. Dalton Papalii, 6. Akira Ioane, 5. Josh Goodhue, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3. Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 2. James Parsons, 1. Alex Hodgman.

Reserves: 16. Kurt Eklund, 17. Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18. Sione Mafileo, 19. Aaron Carroll, 20. Blake Gibson, 21. Jonathan Ruru, 22. TJ Faiane, 23. Matt Duffie.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Tussock »

Would have liked to see Barrett v Mo'unga.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by JPNZ »

Crusaders Named

15. David Havili
14. Sevu Reece
13. Braydon Ennor
12. Jack Goodhue
11. George Bridge
10. Richie Mo’unga
9. Bryn Hall

8. Whetukamokamo Douglas
7. Tom Christie
6. Tom Sanders
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. Mitch Drummond
22. Fetuli Paea
23. Will Jordan
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by JPNZ »

Big call leaving Jordan on the bench but what an impact he will have when he gets on. Its a good headache to have.
There’s no room in the Crusaders’ starting side for white-hot outside back Will Jordan this week.

Fresh from scoring braces against the Chiefs and Highlanders, Jordan has been named on the bench for Saturday night’s hugely anticipated clash against the Blues in Christchurch.

‘’It’s obviously a hard decision,’’ Crusaders coach Scott Robertson said, having named vice-captain David Havili at fullback, and George Bridge and Sevu Reece on the wings.

‘’But when you've got two All Black wings and your vice captain, who was probably player of Super Rugby before Covid-19 and he got sick (bowel surgery). We spent a lot of time on the decision-making and who would start. But the young fella will bring a lot off the bench.’’ Jordan has lit up the competition through the Crusaders’ opening three wins, running amok from both the fullback and wing positions. It sure highlights the luxurious position Robertson is in when it comes to his outside backs depth, which also includes Leicester Faingaanuku and Manasa Mataele.

“We would start all four if we could, there is no doubt,’’ Robertson said.

‘’He's [Jordan] just explosive, isn't he? He has got great timing and anticipation and can beat a man. He's pretty exciting, but he'll get more chances.’’ Asked where he saw Jordan in the All Blacks’ pecking order, the fourth-year Crusaders head coach said his consistency over the next five matches would be paramount.

‘’But he’s got all the qualities required. He’s definitely on the radar.’’

Jordan’s move to the bench is one of four changes to the Crusaders’ starting side. In addition to Bridge returning to the left-wing after a week off, halfback Bryn Hall replaces Mitchell Drummond in the run-on unit.

Loose forward Tom Sanders will start in the No 6 jersey, a week after Ethan Blackadder was set to fill the void left by the injured Cullen Grace against the Highlanders, only to be scratched ahead of kickoff.

Blackadder, who had major shoulder surgery last year, is set to go under the knife in the next week, after feeling discomfort in his knee, Robertson said.

‘’We really feel for him, he's been through a lot. He just had a wee episode with his knee, something is floating in it. It just locked up a couple of times. The surgeon said he will go inside and have a look.

‘’Look, he is a tough kid, but that hurt, I'm sure it did for him. He didn't show too much of it [emotion], but he's just hoping the best when they get him in for the operation.’’ With Grace likely to miss the remainder of the competition, the Crusaders have brought in Canterbury loose forward Hugh Renton as injury cover.

Sanders started the Crusaders' first two games of the season in February, but was unavailable immediately after the Covid-19 enforced break after becoming ill.

Sione Havili, who started at blindside flanker against the Highlanders last week, will provide impact off the bench, much like Jordan Taufua did in his final year with the team last season.

‘’Sione Havili was exceptional last week. He’s probably a bit like Will [Jordan], gives us some great impact. They are tough decisions, there is not much in it,’’ Robertson said.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

Some interesting selections.

Will Jordan's relegation to the bench is hard to understand. He's the form outside back in the competition, and I'm sure that the Blues team is happy that he won't be playing significant minutes barring injury. In saying that George Bridge is a high quality player and if he plays close to his potential then the Crusaders will lose very little.

That's pretty much the strongest pack the Crusaders can play. I'm not a huge fan of Tom Sanders, but he's as good as we have given he is our 3rd choice no.6, with Cullen Grace and Ethan Blackadder injured. The Blues have a significant advantage in the loose forwards, but I am hopeful that Sanders can play well and get the job done against Sotutu, Papali'i and Akira Ioane.

For the Blues, it is great to see Karl Tu'inukuafe back - he was in good form prior to the COVID break. And I think the selection of Plummer at 12, over TJ Faiane, is very interesting. Faiane reminds me a lot of a White Ryan Crotty, and I think he has been the glue that keeps this Blues backline together, notwithstanding the presence of Barrett at fullback.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Wilderbeast »

Robertson guilty of giving everyone a turn. Jordan needs to play.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by BillW »

Wilderbeast wrote:Robertson guilty of giving everyone a turn. Jordan needs to play.
I think the idea is that Jordan, with his speed and skills, will be able to wreak havoc on a tiring opposition in the final quarter.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Wilderbeast »

BillW wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:Robertson guilty of giving everyone a turn. Jordan needs to play.
I think the idea is that Jordan, with his speed and skills, will be able to wreak havoc on a tiring opposition in the final quarter.
I’m of the opinion that Jordan, with his speed and skills, could wreck havoc for four quarters.
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terangi48
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by terangi48 »

Crusaders selection seems to be a Canterbury 15 with a Tasman bench.......
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Ali's Choice »

terangi48 wrote:Crusaders selection seems to be a Canterbury 15 with a Tasman bench.......
Gotta keep the upstarts in their place ;)
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by jdogscoop »

Ali's Choice wrote:
terangi48 wrote:Crusaders selection seems to be a Canterbury 15 with a Tasman bench.......
Gotta keep the upstarts in their place ;)
Upstarts! Tasman is the test tube baby the Crusaders always craved. Another first division sibling to go with Canterbury.
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Re: Crusaders vs Blues: MATCH THREAD; Sat 11th July

Post by Enzedder »

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