Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

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Ted.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ted. »

Flockwitt wrote:
UncleFB wrote:
Dan54. wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
Dan54. wrote: F*** if being serious I think the whole Canes pack a problem, is Lomax back or still serving his suspension? That is my favourite prop in NZ at moment, will be ok in front row, locks are made of paper, and certainly got a struggle at 10, but ................
If you look at the Canes from a historical perspective, locks have been your problem since the very beginning. You've generally had strong backrows, and decent front rows. But your locks, the engine room of the pack, have often been weak. That's still an issue to this day. Isaia Walker-Leawere is promising but still hasn't transferred his U20's form to senior level, Liam Mitchell is only so, so and Scrafton is a journeyman.
Yep no argument there, really we had Thrush who was a test player-just, but I can't think of another really good lock, as you say Mitchell and Scafton are handy M10 cup players and not a lot more, though I gave them credit for giving it everything, and Walker-Laeware seems to be struggling to make good on his promise.
Still I a Canes man so have got used to living with what we got.
He hasn't had a chance to make good on his promise. Every time he comes on he goes well for the Canes ... yet they persist with the midget Blackwell at lock.
The problem is that if you've got a good fringe almost AB lock, unlike Franklin for the Clan, the rest have all cleared out. Fatialofa was key to the side after being worked up over a couple of seasons, then left. Lousi got better season on season, then got injured, then left. It's the lack of retainment that is as much the issue. A rebuilding needs to be followed by another rebuilding which ensures those weak seasons. I'm not sure if the Canes wouldn't be better going for a lock after their prime trying to find someone who is dissatisfied with the NH and wants to come home for stability. Or grab a saffer who wants to get out.
Have been screaming about lock retention and recruitment for years. In regards to the front row as well, though bringing Lomax home was as good a move as they've managed. Not securing Sneaky and losing Cruden, Soapy and Barrett along wit the locks you mentions, is typical
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kiwigreg369
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by kiwigreg369 »

Ali's Choice wrote:
Ghost-Of-Nepia wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
kiwigreg369 wrote:Crowd is corporate boxes only - so not likely to create much noise....
Really? On the Project earlier in the week they showed a clip of Jacinta Adern saying that on Monday 8th June the rules could change to allow concerts and sports events to be full.
You are correct, Ali. Greg is not.

If we move to Level 1 this coming week, crowds will be welcomed back. The Highlanders CEO said they are all set to have tickets available for sale on Monday afternoon for this week's game if Level 1 is a reality.
That's extremely good news for this competition :thumbup:
Apols - my reference was to league not Super R. My bad, did t clarify.
Good news as AC says.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

The Hurricanes will be smarting after today's loss to the Blues. But they will also be match fit and be extremely motivated to perform against the Crusaders in Wellington.

The Crusaders should be targeting the Hurricanes lineout, which was poor today. Cullen Grace and Sam Whitelock are both very good defensive jumpers, and I suspect they will be working very hard to disrupt the Canes lineout next Sunday.

The Hurricanes edge defense was also not great. Clarke's try was the direct result of a poor defensive decision by Aso that created a huge gap for Ioane to make the initial line break. And Papali'i's try exposed a poor defensive setup with no cover defense whatsoever. Having Jordie Barrett back at fullback will make a difference as he's a good communicator.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Did any Canes players get injured yesterday?

You'd have to think that Ardie Savea will start at 7, and that Jordie Barrett and Vaea Fifita will start if available. That's some significant fire power and experience to bring back into the starting XV. Playing a home, in from of a large and vocal crowd, will also help the Hurricanes. I'm just not sure how they cope with not having a SR class first five for the next 7 games. Does Jordie move to no.10?
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by JPNZ »

For the Crusaders, Ethan Blackadder, David Havili & Sam Whitelock all played minutes in the friendly inter crusaders warmup on Saturday. Robertson will have a full strength side to choose from.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

JPNZ wrote:For the Crusaders, Ethan Blackadder, David Havili & Sam Whitelock all played minutes in the friendly inter crusaders warmup on Saturday. Robertson will have a full strength side to choose from.
Not sure where Ethan Blackadder fits into the mix? Christie is our form 7, and Douglas -as our only ball running option in the backrow - must play 8. So that leaves Cullen Grace and Ethan Blackadder to fight over the no.6 jersey. I think Sione Havili is the best option off the bench as he covers all three backrow positions and also adds some impact and x factor, something neither Blackadder or Grace bring to the table. Given the form Cullen showed pre-COVID 19, I can't see how he isn't in the starting team.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by kiweez »

Just bought my ticket. I know we’re going to get spanked but by Christ I’m looking forward to being in a big ‘canes crowd*

Wellingtonians...cabal thoughts? Point me to the thread if this is already happening.



*TBC
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by kiweez »

Ali's Choice wrote:Does Jordie move to no.10?
I wondered that myself. I don’t think he’s the answer with static ball, and I think that’s what he’s in for against the ‘saders. If he had a hope of getting it on the front foot, then yeah, he’s an option.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

kiweez wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:Does Jordie move to no.10?
I wondered that myself. I don’t think he’s the answer with static ball, and I think that’s what he’s in for against the ‘saders. If he had a hope of getting it on the front foot, then yeah, he’s an option.
Garden-Bachop is just so average. He's Mitre 10 Cup standard at best, he's the White Brett Cameron. Surely the Hurricanes have a better option than him?
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by jdogscoop »

Ali's Choice wrote:
kiweez wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:Does Jordie move to no.10?
I wondered that myself. I don’t think he’s the answer with static ball, and I think that’s what he’s in for against the ‘saders. If he had a hope of getting it on the front foot, then yeah, he’s an option.
Garden-Bachop is just so average. He's Mitre 10 Cup standard at best, he's the White Brett Cameron. Surely the Hurricanes have a better option than him?
Given his limitations I thought JGB played quite well in the loss to the Blues.

That noted, the gulf in class between him and Richie Mo'unga is massive.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

jdogscoop wrote:Given his limitations I thought JGB played quite well in the loss to the Blues.

That noted, the gulf in class between him and Richie Mo'unga is massive.
He started the match well, making two half breaks and generally looking composed and classy. However after 20-30 minutes the Blues pack started to gain the ascendancy, especially at line-out time, and JGB failed to have an impact. The fact that he was later replaced, and TJP filled in at 10, only served to highlight the Hurricanes lack of depth at 10. Do the Hurricanes genuinely think of Perenara as a 20-25 minute first-five? Because I think he's emergency injury cover at no.10 at best.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Wilderbeast »

Brett Cameron wasn’t out of depth at super rugby level though was he? Not for the crusaders anyway.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Wilderbeast wrote:Brett Cameron wasn’t out of depth at super rugby level though was he? Not for the crusaders anyway.
F**k oath he is out of his depth.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by kiwidutchie »

I have never seen a 6-2 fwd back split on the bench work out for the team doing it. The Canes were exposed a bit last week.

Jordie is still some time away. I don't know if they will persevere with JGB at 10, or give Smith a go.

Will Ardie start? I hope so.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by jdogscoop »

One or two Canes back, the Ardie factor, a bit of Saders game 1 rust.

Saders by 5.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by JPNZ »

Well its going to be rainy, cold with a hectic southerly blowing on Sunday afternoon. Whoever wins the forward battle will win the game.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by jdogscoop »

Given it's the Crusaders v Hurricanes, JPNZ is therefore predicting a comfortable Saders win.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Wilderbeast »

Ali's Choice wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:Brett Cameron wasn’t out of depth at super rugby level though was he? Not for the crusaders anyway.
F**k oath he is out of his depth.
I seem to remember him being and considered something of a hot new talent before going to the blues and turning out to be a bit shit without a good team around him? Or did he get shit before he moved?
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by JB1981 »

Wilderbeast wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:Brett Cameron wasn’t out of depth at super rugby level though was he? Not for the crusaders anyway.
F**k oath he is out of his depth.
I seem to remember him being and considered something of a hot new talent before going to the blues and turning out to be a bit shit without a good team around him? Or did he get shit before he moved?
Brett Cameron is a poor man’s Stephen Brett. A player who has never even managed to flatter to deceive.

What’s this talk about him going to the Blues? He’s still with the Crusaders isn’t he?
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

JPNZ wrote:Well its going to be rainy, cold with a hectic southerly blowing on Sunday afternoon. Whoever wins the forward battle will win the game.
It's not the Rolls Royce Crusaders pack of yesteryear, but we should still be better upfront than the Canes. And we arguably have a better and more dangerous backline than the Hurricanes, so we should be able to win this match whatever the conditions.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by JPNZ »

jdogscoop wrote:Given it's the Crusaders v Hurricanes, JPNZ is therefore predicting a comfortable Saders win.
Jordie is out as well, to further sway those odds
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Wilderbeast »

JB1981 wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:Brett Cameron wasn’t out of depth at super rugby level though was he? Not for the crusaders anyway.
F**k oath he is out of his depth.
I seem to remember him being and considered something of a hot new talent before going to the blues and turning out to be a bit shit without a good team around him? Or did he get shit before he moved?
Brett Cameron is a poor man’s Stephen Brett. A player who has never even managed to flatter to deceive.

What’s this talk about him going to the Blues? He’s still with the Crusaders isn’t he?
I have been talking about Stephen Brett this whole time :blush:

My bad.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by JPNZ »

Wilderbeast wrote:
I have been talking about Stephen Brett this whole time :blush:

My bad.
I wondered what he was up to after his playing days in France, turns out he's attack coach for an American team in their major league.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by mrbrownstone »

JB1981 wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:Brett Cameron wasn’t out of depth at super rugby level though was he? Not for the crusaders anyway.
F**k oath he is out of his depth.
I seem to remember him being and considered something of a hot new talent before going to the blues and turning out to be a bit shit without a good team around him? Or did he get shit before he moved?
Brett Cameron is a poor man’s Stephen Brett. A player who has never even managed to flatter to deceive.

What’s this talk about him going to the Blues? He’s still with the Crusaders isn’t he?
The Blues are welcome to him.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by mrbrownstone »

Robertson is expected to have a full strength squad to choose from before the Crusaders meet the Hurricanes in Wellington next Sunday.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sup ... -crusaders
Makes for a few interesting selection dilemmas. The front row largely picks itself - Moody, Taylor, and Alaalatoa first choice.

Lock is an interesting one. Barrett, Whitelock, Romano, Strange, and Dunshea are all good enough to be starting at Super Rugby level. I'd assume Barrett/Whitelock is still the first choice combo with a bit of rotation on the bench, but I wonder if there's a thought to start Barrett at blindside (not again, I know) and partner Whitelock and Strange?

Loose forward is also an interesting one. I imagine Whetu Douglas and Tom Christie remain first choice 7 & 8, but blindside is up for grabs. Ethan Blackadder is fit again, and would have been the preseason favourite to get the jersey. Tom Sanders is also fit again, has experience on his side, and started the season in the jersey. Then Cullen Grace is the incumbent, and arguably the revelation of the season until the stoppage. It would be harsh to drop him, although I wonder if his lineout prowess becomes a little less relevant with Whitelock back in the mix?

I imagine the halfbacks will continue to rotate, and 10, 12, 13 largely picks itself. Then the back 3 is another interesting battle. With everyone fit you have Bridge, Reece, Havili, Jordan, Mataele, and Faingaanuku vying for 3 starting spots and a bench spot. It's hard to go past the proven Bridge/Reece/Havili combo, with the 2 incumbent All Black wingers, and Havili being arguably the form outside back to start the season. I think it's fair to say plenty of teams would be happy to start with a Jordan/Mataele/Faingaanuku combo though.

Good dilemmas to have. Lets just hope everyone can stay injury free. :thumbup:
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Jordie Barrett will miss this week's Crusaders game as part of his All Black mandated rest and rotation program.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sup ... ders-match
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by JPNZ »

Crusaders named:

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor (C)
3. Michael Alaalatoa
4. Samuel Whitelock
5. Mitchell Dunshea
6. Cullen Grace
7. Billy Harmon
8. Whetukamokamo Douglas (VC)
9. Bryn Hall
10. Richie Mo'unga
11. George Bridge
12. Jack Goodhue
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sevu Reece
15. Will Jordan

RESERVES:

16. Brodie McAlister
17. George Bower
18. Oliver Jager
19. Luke Romano
20. Ethan Blackadder
21. Mitchell Drummond
22. David Havili (VC)
23. Leicester Faingaanuku
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Kiwias »

A very strong team, as expected, but Jordan at 15 ahead of Havili is a surprise.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by mrbrownstone »

JPNZ wrote:Crusaders named:

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor (C)
3. Michael Alaalatoa
4. Samuel Whitelock
5. Mitchell Dunshea
6. Cullen Grace
7. Billy Harmon
8. Whetukamokamo Douglas (VC)
9. Bryn Hall
10. Richie Mo'unga
11. George Bridge
12. Jack Goodhue
13. Braydon Ennor
14. Sevu Reece
15. Will Jordan

RESERVES:

16. Brodie McAlister
17. George Bower
18. Oliver Jager
19. Luke Romano
20. Ethan Blackadder
21. Mitchell Drummond
22. David Havili (VC)
23. Leicester Faingaanuku
As expected really, with Barrett, Strange, and Christie apparently unavailable.

Havili on the bench is a minor surprise, but there's not much between Jordan & Havili, and I imagine he'll be back in the starting role soon enough.

Hoping Cullen Grace can keep up his impressive pre-COVID form :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by mrbrownstone »

Hurricanes:
Chase Tiatia, Wes Goosen, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (cc), Ardie Savea, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Vaea Fifita, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (cc), Fraser Armstrong, Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Ben May, Alex Fidow, Scott Scrafton, Gareth Evans, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor, Kobus Van Wyk.
That's a strong side. Reckon they'd be better served with Evans starting over Prinsep though.

Despite their showing last week, I'd never take a side with the attacking threats of Laumape, Perenara, Savea, Coles, Lam, Aso etc lightly. Canes in Wellington is never an easy prospect, especially with a game already under their belts to get back into it and adjust to the new rules. I'm expecting a close one.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by UncleFB »

mrbrownstone wrote:Hurricanes:
Chase Tiatia, Wes Goosen, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (cc), Ardie Savea, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Vaea Fifita, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (cc), Fraser Armstrong, Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Ben May, Alex Fidow, Scott Scrafton, Gareth Evans, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor, Kobus Van Wyk.
That's a strong side. Reckon they'd be better served with Evans starting over Prinsep though.

Despite their showing last week, I'd never take a side with the attacking threats of Laumape, Perenara, Savea, Coles, Lam, Aso etc lightly. Canes in Wellington is never an easy prospect, especially with a game already under their belts to get back into it and adjust to the new rules. I'm expecting a close one.
Evans was shit last week, as was Prinsep, but they favour Prinsep as a 'workhorse' I guess - Evans is more in the Ardie mould. Flanders is the guy they should be starting.

Also, that's a pretty average team despite your talking it up.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by mrbrownstone »

UncleFB wrote:
mrbrownstone wrote:Hurricanes:
Chase Tiatia, Wes Goosen, Vince Aso, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Jackson Garden-Bachop, TJ Perenara (cc), Ardie Savea, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Reed Prinsep, Vaea Fifita, James Blackwell, Tyrel Lomax, Dane Coles (cc), Fraser Armstrong, Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Ben May, Alex Fidow, Scott Scrafton, Gareth Evans, Jamie Booth, Billy Proctor, Kobus Van Wyk.
That's a strong side. Reckon they'd be better served with Evans starting over Prinsep though.

Despite their showing last week, I'd never take a side with the attacking threats of Laumape, Perenara, Savea, Coles, Lam, Aso etc lightly. Canes in Wellington is never an easy prospect, especially with a game already under their belts to get back into it and adjust to the new rules. I'm expecting a close one.
Evans was shit last week, as was Prinsep, but they favour Prinsep as a 'workhorse' I guess - Evans is more in the Ardie mould. Flanders is the guy they should be starting.

Also, that's a pretty average team despite your talking it up.
No team with Jackson Garden-Bachop starting at 10 and two undersized locks is going to be consistent enough to win a tournament.

But they have enough individual brilliance through Savea, TJ, Laumape et al. that they could tear apart any team on their day. Especially at home, with an extra week's match fitness & understanding of the new rules.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Scott Barrett will miss this game with a foot injury, and he could be out for a while. Not good news but at least we have good depth at lock.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Dan54. »

Ali's Choice wrote:Scott Barrett will miss this game with a foot injury, and he could be out for a while. Not good news but at least we have good depth at lock.
C'mon AC you missing a chance there , you could of given him the same reason as Jordie surely :P :lol:
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Dan54. wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:Scott Barrett will miss this game with a foot injury, and he could be out for a while. Not good news but at least we have good depth at lock.
C'mon AC you missing a chance there , you could of given him the same reason as Jordie surely :P :lol:
:lol: I thought about doing that for a moment but didn't want to appear to always be trolling NZR.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Interesting to see Codie Taylor has been appointed captain in Barrett's absence.

Codie Taylor is a bit strange in the sense that at 29 years of age he still feels like he's just emerged on the scene, but he already has 50 All Black test caps and he's playing his 9th season of pro-rugby in NZ. He's a very solid and reliable hooker who is tidy at set piece time, is busy and mobile around the field and quick enough to be a threat with ball in hand. I like him and I look forward to seeing his leadership skills develop. Playing under Richie McCaw, Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock isn't a bad apprenticeship for a captain either.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Normac »

Surprised the Canes didn't make more widespread changes after that outing last week. Minus the Dane Coles try, the backline didn't seem to function. This is probably one of the worst backlines the Canes have fielded for a big match in a long time. In my opinion the only players who have the capability to spark something and break a game open are Tiatia and Aso. Laumape was well contained last week to the point I barely noticed him. Add to that a forward pack with an undersized lock, an immobile 6 and a non-functioning lineout and it could make for a sorry outing on Sunday.

In saying that the Canes always come slow out of the gates. From memory they got pantsed by the Stormers at the very beginning of this season, snatched a last minute victory over the Waratahs in round one last year, and got 50 points put on them by the Brumbies in round one of the year they won the comp.

Who knows what will happen on Sunday but my money would firmly be on the Crusaders.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Normac wrote:Surprised the Canes didn't make more widespread changes after that outing last week. Minus the Dane Coles try, the backline didn't seem to function. This is probably one of the worst backlines the Canes have fielded for a big match in a long time. In my opinion the only players who have the capability to spark something and break a game open are Tiatia and Aso. Laumape was well contained last week to the point I barely noticed him. Add to that a forward pack with an undersized lock, an immobile 6 and a non-functioning lineout and it could make for a sorry outing on Sunday.

In saying that the Canes always come slow out of the gates. From memory they got pantsed by the Stormers at the very beginning of this season, snatched a last minute victory over the Waratahs in round one last year, and got 50 points put on them by the Brumbies in round one of the year they won the comp.

Who knows what will happen on Sunday but my money would firmly be on the Crusaders.
Starting slow wasn't such a big deal in the old 16 game Super Rugby tournament which also had finals matches. This tournament is an eight game sprint with no finals - winner takes all. Losing two games in a row would make it very hard for the Hurricanes to win the comp.

In saying that, all hope is not lost. This is still a very weak Crusaders squad when compared with past teams. They lost 1200 SR caps of experience in the off season, and the pack is the weakest we've fielded in decades. I'm unsure why Billy Harmon is starting over the promising Tom Christie. Billy Harmon hasn't shown anything in his career to date to suggest he is anything more than a journeyman, he looks and plays like the part time builder that he is. Cullen Grace is in his debut season and Whetu Douglas trues hard, but is a step down from no.8's we've had in previous years.
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Normac »

Ali's Choice wrote:
Normac wrote:Surprised the Canes didn't make more widespread changes after that outing last week. Minus the Dane Coles try, the backline didn't seem to function. This is probably one of the worst backlines the Canes have fielded for a big match in a long time. In my opinion the only players who have the capability to spark something and break a game open are Tiatia and Aso. Laumape was well contained last week to the point I barely noticed him. Add to that a forward pack with an undersized lock, an immobile 6 and a non-functioning lineout and it could make for a sorry outing on Sunday.

In saying that the Canes always come slow out of the gates. From memory they got pantsed by the Stormers at the very beginning of this season, snatched a last minute victory over the Waratahs in round one last year, and got 50 points put on them by the Brumbies in round one of the year they won the comp.

Who knows what will happen on Sunday but my money would firmly be on the Crusaders.
Starting slow wasn't such a big deal in the old 16 game Super Rugby tournament which also had finals matches. This tournament is an eight game sprint with no finals - winner takes all. Losing two games in a row would make it very hard for the Hurricanes to win the comp.

In saying that, all hope is not lost. This is still a very weak Crusaders squad when compared with past teams. They lost 1200 SR caps of experience in the off season, and the pack is the weakest we've fielded in decades. I'm unsure why Billy Harmon is starting over the promising Tom Christie. Billy Harmon hasn't shown anything in his career to date to suggest he is anything more than a journeyman, he looks and plays like the part time builder that he is. Cullen Grace is in his debut season and Whetu Douglas trues hard, but is a step down from no.8's we've had in previous years.
Yes I was looking forward to the match-up between two promising young 7s in Kirifi and Christie. I think Kirifi will benefit from having Ardie beside him in the pack as he didn't feature nearly as frequently at the breakdown last week as we've been used to seeing him. I've not seen much of Harmon to know what he brings or doesn't bring but I had assumed Christie was top of the Crusaders openside pecking order.
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Ali's Choice
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Re: Hurricanes vs Crusaders: MATCH THREAD: June 21

Post by Ali's Choice »

Normac wrote:Yes I was looking forward to the match-up between two promising young 7s in Kirifi and Christie. I think Kirifi will benefit from having Ardie beside him in the pack as he didn't feature nearly as frequently at the breakdown last week as we've been used to seeing him. I've not seen much of Harmon to know what he brings or doesn't bring but I had assumed Christie was top of the Crusaders openside pecking order.
Billy Harmon is the Prince of Meh. You know how some players are described as being a 'Jack of All Trades'? Well he's a 'Jack of No Trades'. He isn't particularly good at any facet of flanker player. He's a weak defender, who doesn't hit particularly hard and misses too many tackles. He's not a dynamic presence at the breakdown and never will be. He isn't athletic or strong enough to be an effective ball runner. And he doesn't have a passing/linking game. I'd love to be proven wrong about Billy Harmon, but frankly I think he's just shit and Tom Christie (who's also a bit meh) is a better option until we find a better player to replace them both with,
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