One of the intriguing things about this season is highlighted by Daryl Gibson's own words:
"He's really lifted training, obviously having the All Black captain in our team is a real lift for our players. Certainly to see him train at the intensity he trains at for our younger players and even our senior pros, to know that's the level you've got to be at if you want to be at the very best." (Source: Rugby: All Blacks skipper Sam Cane charts return to rugby after long layoff )
While you'd expect the All Blacks captain to lift standards at training, the couple of pre-lockdown training sessions I stumbled across looked relatively chilled. To be fair, not every session can be run at 100%, but so far it's not looking good on the park against better prepared teams.
The coaching team can genuinely point to injuries. I suppose it's hard to know how much preparation comes into some injuries, or not.
@Rapido Great impartial comments , 9 times out of 10 , I support the Magpies , but when the Taniwha played them for the shield .
Fakatava threw at least 3 forward passes off channel 1 runners
I was alongside 2 guys from the Hawkes Bay media and even they were shaking their heads , if you miss one forward pass, that’s one thing , but 3 of them in practically the position on the field , 🤦♂️..did not effect the result at the end of day , but certainly was not what the quality off officialdom you be getting at this level.
Am away this weekend so miss the BOP v Harbour match. What a huge one that will be! Back in time for the final v Waikato though. That is assuming that Tasman and Auckland maintain their current approach through semis. I can dream....
Much better effort from Tasman this week, with everyone contributing.
Christie especially looked like he'd shaken off some rust and things flowed better from there.
However, as above, the forward packs seemed reasonably evenly matched. The Tasman backs just had more firepower and played with more adventure.
I think it will be a lot better for TTT to stay in NZ and play some rugby rather than sitting in an Australian grandstand watching the ABs. On that performance, I wouldn't want Otere Black very near an AB jersey either.
Yes, its strange to think that, but for a poor conversion and stupid pass to Ioane, we could possibly be unbeaten at this stage. In reality I really don't think that we deserve to be unbeaten however. We just can't seem to capitalize on the advantage and "put a team away".
And yes, that decision to continue scrumming rather than take a penalty kick was odd in retrospect. Some of the tactics in general were odd actually and ultimately unsuccessful. One thing that is noticeable this year is the chip (or grubber) kick beyond the defensive line out to a waiting player which seems to be working for some teams. I saw them practicing it in the warmup using Narawa but was never used during the game.
Despite my negativeness and cynicism there is plenty to be happy about this year. It would have to rate as the best year for a long time with many players excelling and a minimum of injuries (possibly).
Like Kiwipie said, the permutations for the finals are beginning to become apparent. I still think that on our day we can beat anyone but no win is guaranteed but this year we seem to be more consistent .
@JK interesting that Northland who had a club day at the Magpies game on Saturday attracted over 7;000 people,.probably the best crowd of the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup ..it was promoted vey well..;with free buses laid on for all the clubs that were able to attend.
Wasn’t a huge amount of promotion for the harbour one and certainly none from our club given the game clashed with junior prize giving which was a very well attended affair.
I imagine it would be the same for many other shore clubs given junior rugby finished on the Saturday for the season
@Stargazer A lot of attacking talent in the back line for the bay Ravouvou had a good game and was replaced at half time By Narawa who was just as dangerous when he came on. Forward pack was really dominant and I never felt like Waikato would get back into it. The Waikato Centre had a great game defiantly got the better of Webber.
Squad named Tuesday hence they played under Wasps banner today. Team looked good today, B Team against Wellington was competitive, thought Collier played particularly well. Half against Counties & likely top team next week was Ross Harris Thwaites Wardlaw Carroll Blake Karpik Papalii Judd Hollinshead Fuatai Garland Webber Narawa Tiatia. 34-0 win, defence brilliant. Three tries through defensive pressure forcing silly passes on their own goal line for intercepts. Tiatia was exceptional, talk huge could always hear him barking & menacing on attack. Papalii definitely what we needed with his big abrasive style. Everybody played well in second half except Webber, dropped a few balls & looked rusty.
Oh what could have been. If we played with the acuracy we showed today, we'd be in the semis. Though another game where we leaked points in the last 20. Fitness needs to be looked at next year. Narawa looked great on the wing. Plenty of positives from the pack. We needed a better centre (shame Foketi was injured all season) this year. A new backs coach too. We were too predictable. Shame we didn't have Monty Ioane this year. He was electric. I'm still dumbfounded how he missed out on a super contract.
All very quiet in here as Bay of Plenty are trying to achieve the seemingly impossible, losing to Southland.
We really gave it a good go. Despite setpiece dominance and a maul that was walking them back and winning a penalty every time, we contrived to keep handing Southland opportunities and they have some dangerous runners. If we had lost, it would have been peak choke. With the hooter gone, be a man up, have your own 5m attacking scrum, win the scrum, have the ball in the half-back's hands about to kick it 10m into touch - and still finish the game frantically defending your own line is quite an achievement.
Definitely has the potential to be a great Super Rugby player, he’ll be in and around the squad but another year with NZ 20’s & M10 before Super Rugby wont hurt. Love how he keeps things straight & attacks the line constantly, better first five defender than most. Looks to be trying too hard to win like most Steamers at the moment, hopefully they can just let loose against Southland and will see his best. Goal kicking definitely a major work on struggled at Jock Hobbs as well as M10.