Kaufusi and Haas forced changes to both sides, but the success of the cowboys has seen players filled from their team in either side. Probably lucky the bye comes for them this week from an NRL perspective.
Whoever emerges as Rugby Africa Cup 2022 champions next weekend will take their place in Pool A at RWC 2023 as Africa 1, alongside France, New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay. The runners-up will head into the Final Qualification Tournament.
Prayers up for apprentice jockey Leah Kilner, she’s in a coma. She went down hard in the home straight during an early/midcard race at Grafton about 9 hours ago. I was watching the race live, her horse was back at rear and not affected by any other horse, but tripped itself and went down, throwing her hard face-first into the turf. It looked rough enough, not unusual, but this was worse than it looks. She went straight into a coma, the rest of the racecard was cancelled, she was airlifted to emergency and is right now on life support. Stomach-churning.
I'm pretty sure Moorby got injured playing club rugby for Dunedin last year. He was in the WTG and just got struck down with injuries at the wrong time. He probably would have had an opportunity or two on the wing if it wasn't for that poorly timed injury. Timoci Tavatavanawai, I think at the time he hadn't even played a game for Tasman and was just seen as too much of a risk. The side then picked 'safe' players due to poor results up front and managed to string some results together I'm the Trans Tasman comp. I guess that's the difference between the likes of the Crusaders and the Blues. Those squads are packed full of talent, so a risky selection has plenty of protection. They can play their own game without the fear of failure. At the Highlanders, they have Aaron Smith and stuff all else in terms of proper top quality leadership. Because of this there is a reliance of selecting what coaches may consider safe players, like Gregory amongst others. Sadly failing to take the risk has seen quality players taken right out from underneath the noses of the franchise.
Geoff Cridge was announced as a signing for this season, but Bayonne has announced that he's signed a 2-year contract with them. I assume he'll leave after the NPC, but haven't seen any confirmation of that.
Stoked for the lad considering he almost gave away rugby to become a full time builder after being dropped from the Canes a few years ago. Hopefully this will set him up well for later life.
Changes in "leaving" list are in bold or strikethrough. "Signed" and "Re-signed" lists are new.
Bryce Robins (skills coach) leaving Shining Arcs Tokyo (to NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes Osaka)
Joe Maddock (assistant coach) leaving Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo
Greg Cooper (head coach) leaving Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynabours
Nick Collins (performance director) leaving Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynabours
Simon Cron (head coach) leaving Toyota Verblitz
Dave Dillon (manager) leaving Kobelco Kobe Steelers
Ben Herring (assistant coach) leaving Hino Red Dolphins
Johnny Fa'auli leaving Toshiba Brave Lupus Tokyo
Colin Slade leaving Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynabours
Michael Little leaving Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Sagamihara Dynabours
Joe Latta leaving Tokyo Sungoliath
Damian McKenzie leaving Tokyo Sungoliath
Matt Duffie leaving Mie Honda Heat (retiring)
Morgan Mitchell leaving Kamaishi Seawaves RFC
Sam Henwood leaving Kamaishi Seawaves RFC
Brett Cameron leaving Kamaishi Seawaves RFC
Colin Bourke leaving Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo
Daymon Leasuasu leaving Ricoh Black Rams Tokyo
Fletcher Smith leaving NEC Green Rockets Tokatsu
Patrick Tuipulotu leaving Toyota Verblitz
Nasi Manu leaving Hino Red Dolphins
Jack Debreczeni leaving Hino Red Dolphins
Hayden Cripps leaving Hino Red Dolphins
Gillies Kaka leaving Hino Red Dolphins
Hayden Parker leaving Kobelco Kobe Steelers
Aaron Cruden leaving Kobelco Kobe Steelers
Ben Smith leaving Kobelco Kobe Steelers
Fraser Anderson leaving Kobelco Kobe Steelers
Jordan Smiler leaving Toyota Industries Shuttles Aichi
Robbie Robinson leaving Toyota Industries Shuttles Aichi
Luteru Laulala leaving Toyota Industries Shuttles Aichi Tim Bateman leaving Toshiba Brave Lupus
Brodi McCurran leaving Kobelco Kobe Steelers
Hadley Parks leaving Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights
Bryce Robins appointed assistant coach at NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes Osaka (from Shining Arcs Tokyo)
@FakatavaAllBlack It would be really sad if that means the end of his (Super Rugby) career. With long-covid it can take a very long time to get back to full health.
If he can't play NPC, I can't see him get picked up by any franchise or a team overseas. All he can then hope for is to get back to full fitness and hope for an injury cover spot somewhere next season.
It does sound promising. The fact that we could see the game plan get picked off years ago has frustrated the shite out of us fans for such a long time I think the average fan would be happy to see any form of innovation. Seeing the tactical nous and innovation of the respected top NZ SR sides and other top international sides rubs salt into that wound.
Even if the ABs win today, if it is done using the same old tired game plan, we know it is just a matter of time before the wheels fall again and it will be a long season. From this perspective, this game is incredibly important for the mental health of NZ fans.
Bridge at FB for the Chiefs (or left wing) would be a big upgrade. If we can keep Stevenson and sign another good one (Rayasi? JRK?), we’d have enough weapons to possibly challenge for 2nd best team in the country.
Without trying to start rumours I was talking to someone today that's in close circles with the likes of O'Reilly, J Garden-Bachop and Goosen (who are all leaving the Canes), and his assumption was that a Blues player was on the Hurricanes radar to replace Goosen. Joing the dots it makes me think that could be Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens but I could be wrong.
Du Plessis Kirifi commented with a shake hands emoji on JRK's leaving post on Insta so maybe that's a slight hint.
Be someone to share the eight load with Christian Lio-Willie. So someone in the I'll walk through brick walls mould. I suspect they will be playing Withy and Lentjes at 6&7. With Sam Fischli around a swell.
That read like any press release from the E&WCB over the last few years. Problems? What problems?
NZC arguably has a recent history of doing even the right thing the wrong way. E.g. Hesson and McCullum were the right calls and probably set up the last eight years or so, yet the captaincy situation with Ross Taylor still managed to be handled abysmally by the powers-that be at the time...
I think part of the idea of appointing McCullum was to imitate that “reset” that NZ cricket seemed to have. It was certainly mentioned a fair bit anyway. Has that worked? Well the early indications would say yes, but it is very early days. Too soon to start dusting off the trophy cabinet that’s for sure.
England haven’t turned a massive corner, they still have a VERY creaky top order and two absolutely ancient spearheads…..BUT they’ve had some pretty good performances, their world class batsman has fired when ours didn’t and Bairstow has played out of his skin aka Johns son…..difference being he had enough support to get his team to victory.