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Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:40 pm

Yeah he's like Kahui. Just enjoy him when you can.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:31 pm

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/355929/milner-skudder-named-in-squad-to-face-sunwolves

Milner-Skudder is on the bench for the Hurricanes-Sunwolves game. Hurricanes have some good problems to sort out with their backline. They have to fit Matt Proctor, Vince Aso, Ben Lam, Nehe Milner-Skudder, and Julian Savea into three spots.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/355909/squire-in-doubt-for-all-blacks

Also, reported yesterday but Liam Squire has suffered a setback and looks like an unlikely candidate for the All Blacks.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:40 pm

Proctor at 13 would be locked in you would think. He was out injured for the Sharks game and look what happened. Wings I would say Lam and NMS when fit. Aso bench for wing/centre cover. Or do they take the gamble on Savea coming into form? The take home message is that the Canes are stacked in the back 3.

With Squire out Fifita will be at 6 and a shootout between Ioane and Whitelock for 8. Whisper it quietly but Shields would have been handy on the bench covering 6/8 and 7 at a pinch.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:37 am

Man, what are the Highlanders going to do without Lima Sopoaga? Who the hell else is going to go 7/7 with a clutch kick at the end to win the game?

That was probably the most extreme game to date I think of the Highlanders winning without the ball strategy that they employ. The forwards must have been knackered after defending 68% of the time at altitude. No Bulls players got to double digit figures in tackles but Luke Whitelock (19), Tom Franklin (14), Elliot Dixon (10), Dillon Hunt (10), and even Lima Sopoaga (10) all got there for the Highlanders.

Luckily, they've got the Sharks next week at sea level.

Also those green alternate jerseys need to go. I hate them so much.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:50 pm

I watched the game last night. Personally I though the game winning penalty was a load of bollocks but you take them when you get them. Bulls should have taken the easy 3 points at the end of the first half instead of the kick to the corner so only have themselves to blame.

Marty Banks is the answer at 10 but unfortunately is moving from Italy to Japan instead of back to NZ. Other options would be to poach Hunt, Black, or Falcon. I prefer the lime green jersey rather than the highlighter yellow/green they've got going on at the moment.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:10 pm

Yeah, the return of Marty Banks would be great. The ODT did report that the Highlanders had been in contact but they clearly couldn't compete with the Japanese money.

It'll be interesting to see how Fletcher Smith plays in the NPC this season (can't remember who bloody sponsors it anymore), I think he could develop into a genuine Super Rugby level 10 but he's a bit far off that level at the moment. The other Highlander First Five, Josh Ioane, doesn't really fit the Highlanders style I think.

Might be a bit rough.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Tue May 01, 2018 10:01 am

Fun fact: when the Blues play the Hurricanes on the 11th of May, that will mark 364 days since they last won at Eden Park.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Sun May 06, 2018 3:21 pm

@ivelostmysparky wrote:Marty Banks is the answer at 10 but unfortunately is moving from Italy to Japan instead of back to NZ. Other options would be to poach Hunt, Black, or Falcon.

They choose Gatland.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Sun May 06, 2018 9:02 pm

Hmmm, honestly rank Gatland as about the same level as Fletcher Smith but with a higher ceiling so I guess it constitutes as an upgrade.

Hopefully he turns out to be the next player to shine once they get out of Auckland.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Mon May 07, 2018 1:35 pm

Yeah I though having first crack at the Highlanders 10 shirt would be a good intensive to be able to sign someone better (e.g. Hunt or Black), or take a punt on a near-rookie who is full of potential even if currently not particularly good (e.g. Falcon or Perofeta).

Could have done worse though I guess.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Thu May 10, 2018 11:26 pm

Shields named in England squad to South Africa. Will he be a star or will he flop?
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Sat May 12, 2018 7:02 pm

Ha! Watching the Crusaders-Waratahs game. I thought fotg never happened in real life?

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Sat May 12, 2018 10:18 pm

@ivelostmysparky wrote:Shields named in England squad to South Africa. Will he be a star or will he flop?

He's probably not going to live up to expectations considering how he's being helicoptered into the side -- I find it strange that they want him in the side so badly, for the good of England rugby they should have him prove his worth in the Premiership and then select him.

But, whatevs.

Unrelated but does anyone know what the correct call is for that disallowed Ben Smith try in the Highlanders-Lions game? The ref and TMO sure didn't seem to know.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Sun May 13, 2018 8:58 pm

@Bren wrote:Ha! Watching the Crusaders-Waratahs game. I thought fotg never happened in real life?

A good game to bring up when fotg is mentioned in the BR clubrooms Surprised
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Sun May 13, 2018 9:05 pm

@Bren wrote:
@ivelostmysparky wrote:Shields named in England squad to South Africa. Will he be a star or will he flop?

He's probably not going to live up to expectations considering how he's being helicoptered into the side -- I find it strange that they want him in the side so badly, for the good of England rugby they should have him prove his worth in the Premiership and then select him.

But, whatevs.

Unrelated but does anyone know what the correct call is for that disallowed Ben Smith try in the Highlanders-Lions game? The ref and TMO sure didn't seem to know.

Yeah clearly Shields is a good player but living up to the hype will be tough. IMO a huge slap in the face to all the English loosies who toil week in week out in the English domestic comp that he gets a place in the squad straight away.

I think the ref and TMO were correct with disallowing the try. The Lions players needed to make a deliberate play at the ball and therefore while a penalty to Highlanders, didn't put Ben Smith onside, as it would have been for a charge down, intercept attempt that went backwards, etc.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Mon May 21, 2018 1:56 pm

Squad named:

Props:
Owen Franks
Joe Moody
Tim Perry
Jeff Toomaga-Allen
Ofa Tu'ungafasi

Hookers:
Nathan Harris
Codie Taylor
(Liam Coltman)

Locks:
Scott Barrett
Brodie Retallick
Sam Whitelock

Loose Forwards:
Sam Cane
Vaea Fifita
Shannon Frizell
Ardie Savea
Liam Squire
Jordan Taufua
Luke Whitelock
(Akira Ioane)

Halfbacks:
TJ Perenara
Aaron Smith
Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi

Flyhalfs:
Beauden Barrett
Damian McKenzie
Richie Mo'unga

Midfield:
Ryan Crotty
Jack Goodhue
Ngani Laumape
Anton Lienart-Brown
Sonny Bill Williams

Outside Backs:
Jordie Barrett
Reiko Ioane
Nehe Milner-Skudder
Waisake Naholo
Ben Smith

Talking points:
NMS over Lam (although he missed out on the foundation day squad so the writing was always on the wall)
TTT the 3rd halfback, which I think is a great call
Only 3 locks
Whitelock & Taufua over Akira who is only training with the squad
Shannon Frizell!!!

Hansen mentions that Shields would have probably made the squad. There wouldn't have been much between him and Taufua.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Tue May 22, 2018 10:46 am

I find it strange that they select three halfbacks but only two hookers. I thought the logic behind three halfbacks would translate to three hookers. Liam Coltman is with the training squad as a third though so I guess it doesn't really matter. Series is in New Zealand so just call a guy up if there's an injury.

I find 3 locks also interesting, but I think there's a pretty big dip once you get passed Whitelock/Retallick/Barrett in the lock department so I guess they're just counting on one of the many loosies to cover in a pinch.

Very surprised to see Frizell.

Julian Savea not being selected is probably the death knell of his All Black career. With 46 test tries, he's extremely close to Howlett's 49 so I suppose Reiko Ioane becomes the next chosen one to break that record.

Will it make it or putter out before he hits 28? Consider this list of players who never made it past 27. The age listed is their age on their last test for the All Blacks.

Christian Cullen (26 years, 277 days)
Joe Rokocoko (27 years, 153 days)
Julian Savea (26 years, 335 days)
Jeff Wilson (27 years, 305 days)
Jonah Lomu (27 years, 195 days)

(Obviously Lomu was more down to health than anything)

Howlett, Umaga, and Kirwan are the rare entries in our top try scorer list that actually play beyond 28. I find it fascinating though, how wingers are always the first to be discarded. It makes sense, but if I was a young winger (ha!), I'd be trying to make the transition to the midfield like Umaga if I want to keep my rugby career alive.

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Bren on Thu May 24, 2018 4:00 pm

The Barracuda Is Back!

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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by ivelostmysparky on Thu May 24, 2018 10:32 pm

Goodie!
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