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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:13 pm 
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Last edited by Maniototo Man on Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:17 pm 
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Under the roof at Forsyth Barr.

Forecast is for fine weather and 16 degrees. Doesn't matter for the game but bodes well for the walk up crowd.

I see only one team has won a match following a bye so far in Super Rugby Aoteoroa. The Highlanders will need to quickly rediscover their recent form if they are to stop the an in-form Blues juggernaut.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 11:23 pm 
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I would love for the Highlanders to end the Blues title hopes on Sunday, with Mitch Hunt outplaying Barrett at no.10. Nothing would make me happier.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:16 am 
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No Rob Thompson in the 23. I wonder if he's on the naughty step. :uhoh:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:17 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
I would love for the Highlanders to end the Blues title hopes on Sunday, with Mitch Hunt outplaying Barrett at no.10. Nothing would make me happier.


That will rely on an injury to the starting 10, Josh Ioane.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:40 am 
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jdogscoop wrote:
No Rob Thompson in the 23. I wonder if he's on the naughty step. :uhoh:


I guess that's possible, although they have said no-one is being stood down and Thompson is the only one of the regulars who is missing. I'm presuming it's form and the ability to use Ioane at second-five at a pinch.

Good to see McKay getting another start. That gives them three guys with the ability to be ore than effective first receivers. I thought he was Ben Smith like with his distribution and coming into the line with real pace for those out the back moves when they played the Chiefs.

It would be great for his confidence if he could replicate that form.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:48 am 
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Just posted the Blues team.

Some great match ups all over the park but Hunt, Frizell, and Mikkaele-Tu'u vs Gibson, Papalii and Akira Ioane is mouth-watering.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 4:40 am 
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Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:12 am 
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Bit of a match up for the Southland Stag bench players this week, all 4 of our super rugby players occupying the bench.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:38 am 
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mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


Hands off sonny :x


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:40 am 
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I'm happy with that Highlanders team.

I think it possibly could be the Highlander's best lineup all year - pre and post COVID. I probably would have preferred Nareki starting, but I am happy for Gregory. I thought he was solid enough against the Chiefs, and now another chance to redeem himself here against the same opposition as 'that' night in Auckland. No doubt the Blues will try and target him again, but the good thing for Gregory that the game is in the dry FSB, and not rainy Auckland. Like it was against the Chiefs, Nareki's speed off the bench could be a real asset also.

I said it after the Chiefs game, but I think its a good idea to give Thompson a rest. Maybe a game out of the 22 will spur him on a bit, and now that Collins has a chance - he will have to make the most of it. As MM has said, Thompson has been quality in the past, so lets hope he comes back stronger.

Barrett is obviously class though, and with the rest of the much improved Blues team around him - it will be tough without a doubt (as is every game).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:42 am 
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Maniototo Man wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


Hands off sonny :x


+ 1

Quick pass, and speedy halfback + Forsyth Barr Stadium = Entertainment.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:44 am 
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I wish we had Hoskins back. :((


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:44 am 
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You gotta feel for a guy like Otere Black, he purposefully left the Canes to pursue a career in the 10 Jersey, gets injured his first season at the Blues, and upon coming back learns his former Canes nemesis, Beauden Barrett wants his jersey. He should go to easy rugby up north and become a God like Jimmy Gopperth.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:45 am 
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mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


Just like last year, I fully endorse bold poaching raids south of the Bombays in the off-season. :thumbup:


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:48 am 
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Couch wrote:
You gotta feel for a guy like Otere Black, he purposefully left the Canes to pursue a career in the 10 Jersey, gets injured his first season at the Blues, and upon coming back learns his former Canes nemesis, Beauden Barrett wants his jersey. He should go to easy rugby up north and become a God like Jimmy Gopperth.


Imagine him coming to terms with the Barrett signing, and then they go and announce Dan Carter as well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:50 am 
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Auckman wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


Just like last year, I fully endorse bold poaching raids south of the Bombays in the off-season. :thumbup:

2 million people in Auckland and not one decent hooker and halfback?

Shame.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:55 am 
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Couch wrote:
Auckman wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


Just like last year, I fully endorse bold poaching raids south of the Bombays in the off-season. :thumbup:

2 million people in Auckland and not one decent hooker and halfback?

Shame.


We're a team of 5 million. We require food and wine when we come down SH1 in the off-season.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:59 am 
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Auckman wrote:
Couch wrote:
Auckman wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


Just like last year, I fully endorse bold poaching raids south of the Bombays in the off-season. :thumbup:

2 million people in Auckland and not one decent hooker and halfback?

Shame.


We're a team of 5 million. We require food and wine when we come down SH1 in the off-season.


Auckland = King's Landing.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:11 am 
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Couch wrote:
2 million people in Auckland and not one decent hooker and halfback?

Shame.


Plenty of decent Hookers in Auckland but they don't play Rugby.

Highlanders by 4


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:01 am 
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Auckman wrote:
I wish we had Hoskins back. :((


Sotutu and Robinson would be so good in this selection.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:01 am 
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mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


As a Hurricanes supporter - Riccitelli has always seemed like a journeyman to me. Eklund looks to have a way bigger up side from what I've seen of him. Is this his first season of soup? No point ever going back to Parsons imo


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:05 am 
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elcamino wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


As a Hurricanes supporter - Riccitelli has always seemed like a journeyman to me. Eklund looks to have a way bigger up side from what I've seen of him. Is this his first season of soup? No point ever going back to Parsons imo


Yeah Eklund looks good. His set piece work is tidy and he looks very athletic in general play. That's what separates the elite hookers in the game from the also-rans; Athleticism. That's why Taylor, Coles and Aumua standout from the pack, when compared to players like Harris, Coltman and Parsons.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:21 am 
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Ali's Choice wrote:
elcamino wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:
Looking at that Blues team, if I was in charge of their recruitment, I'd be heavily targeting Folau Fakatava and Ricky Riccitelli.

Hooker and halfback are the glaring weaknesses in that squad. Fakatava looks like a future 50+ test All Black, but is stuck behind the incumbent All Black halfback and will struggle for game time, while Riccitelli is 50+ cap Super Rugby winner who has proven himself at this level, but is stuck behind two All Blacks in Coles and Aumua. Both would be clear upgrades on Eklund and Christie. Reckon those two could really round out the Blues squad and take them to the next level.


As a Hurricanes supporter - Riccitelli has always seemed like a journeyman to me. Eklund looks to have a way bigger up side from what I've seen of him. Is this his first season of soup? No point ever going back to Parsons imo


Yeah Eklund looks good. His set piece work is tidy and he looks very athletic in general play. That's what separates the elite hookers in the game from the also-rans; Athleticism. That's why Taylor, Coles and Aumua standout from the pack, when compared to players like Harris, Coltman and Parsons.


You're being unkind to Coltman aren't you? He can be astonishing around the ruck and maul... if only he could throw the ball in straight, consistently, at lineout time... sigh :uhoh:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:18 am 
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Blues Brothers! Lend me your ears. The mathematics for tomorrow is simple.

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Win with a bonus point. Win not and our glorious season essentially finishes under Dunedin's roof.

May Ofa's Allah be merciful!!! Huzzah!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:48 pm 
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May Ofa's Allah be merciful!!! Huzzah!


Your cultural (lack of) awareness may be showing Auk :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:53 pm 
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Heart says Landers, head says Blues.

That's a good looking visitors side.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:14 am 
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I'm right behind the Highlanders today. Really hoping that they can end the Blues title hopes.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:22 am 
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Mika'ele-Tu'u outplayed Hoksins Sotutu when these two teams met earlier in the season. Will be interesting to see if he can outplay Akira Ioane this time around.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:33 am 
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Parkinson v Tuipolotu should be a good battle too.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:34 am 
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So I hear the Blues have not won here since 2011 ....at Carisbrook :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:36 am 
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I'm just looking for the Highlanders to play the game they've got in them. One where they attack, the passes stick and they win the 50:50 moments.

They may lack the all over talent of the Blues but they have good performers in key positions. My biggest concern is the Blue's clear edge in the tight five.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:38 am 
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LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLLLE!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:42 am 
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Did I mention not kicking away possession? :x


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:42 am 
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The foot should not be allowed to prevent a try. Bloody hell x(


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:43 am 
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Blues deserve to lose because of those jerseys alone.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:46 am 
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Good Akira.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:46 am 
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Kahu wrote:
Blues deserve to lose because of those jerseys alone.


They seem to have toned them down. I'm sure they had one earlier this year with splashes of blue that made it look like they had been involved in the chainsaw massacre of a smurf colony.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:46 am 
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Raw Power...


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:49 am 
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:D :D :D

Yes. All started from Beauden Mo'unga.


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