I thought that Ratima played a big part in the comeback. He brought some energy on which DMac tuned into. The connection between those two was much better and DMac had that extra moment on the ball to wait for the defence to make a decision then try and take advantage.
That first of the three comeback tries was DMac on a good day to a tee. Ball in both hands looking at options then an acceleration through two forwards and a great offload.
Ratima mixed it up quite a bit and also cleaned some critical breakdowns on the verge of isolation.
To me that extra action and energy is what had BOP's storm week problems kick in and errors start.
Will be a cracker game next week.
Higgins was great. You'd have to hope him and Lakai are around for years to come in Canes jerseys.
Really happy we keep the Shield over the summer.
After that Northland performance I thought we'd be struggling to make the 4, but been a real turnaround since.
Congrats on the little one canes4life. Nothing better than watching them grow 🙂
Cheers bro, she’s grown a little already in two weeks haha.
The fact we are unbeaten with Aiden Morgan running the cutter shows how important he is to our run for a title. He definitely has a few work ons as he’s still developing but the way he conducts the team has been brilliant. We look like a different team when he’s playing.
Commanding performance from Fabian Holland in the LO. He is also very mobile. With a few additional kgs of muscle, he could be well in the mix for an AB selection after the RWC. I also liked what I saw of young McClea. He looks to be a good prospect. I would start him ahead of Parapara who is rather slow.
@Bovidae yes. He has been quicker overall in the past. Think there is something going on in his mind about checking options before and after he picks up ball. Maybe just needs to hurry to one pace closer and wait for a call behind him. More minutes will sharpen it up.
Counties have already exceeded my expectations. Beating a solid Otago team and running Waikato and Hawkes Bay close. I hope they can make the Quarter Finals. Awesome that they are promoting local players and coaches. Plenty of talent comes out of the region and the odd one moves to the region. Got to work on the lineouts!!!
@taniwharugby I agree, can't believe he let them get away with that tap. Not sure the try that was ruled out by the TMO came from a pass that went forward out of the hand so swings and roundabouts, maybe...
We were right in line with that at the game. More obvious live than on replay because of camera angles. Definitely forward out of hand.
That said on balance Waikato should have put Northland away a lot earlier given set piece dominance so in the end result a fair reflection of game.
@bovidae agreed on those things. Naholo missed tackle badly for Waaka try. Thought game was won then for Waikato but some bad decisions by F Smith and the loss of Roe's cool tactical head cost them. Mcwhannell was great but whole tight five were very effective.
I'm 50 mins into this game and geez does TJ have money on Waikato to win? Every decision that goes Auckland's way he sulks like a baby and has done nothing but rip into them when they make an error.
It’s painful, hopefully they give Nisbo the final.
I suspect the reason why some don’t hear it is they kind of agree with TJs anti-Auckland stance. Difference is they aren’t paid to basically promote a sport.
Look at that Oz league commentator that makes a basic try seem like it was orgasmic. It’s almost like he likes the sport or something.
I can't speak for others, but I am not anti Auckland, or anyone else for that matter. I just don't care enough for that shit.
I have asked before, but someone give examples on how he is so mean to Auckland/Blues so I can see what I am missing. I recall TJ being critical and sounding frustrated at the Blues a few seasons ago when they were playing dumb rugby, but at the same time just about everyone on here were expressing the same frustrations.
Lately I have been hearing TJ shooting his load over some of the young Auckland players - Rayasi and Sullivan spring to mind.
Auckland does something good, muted enthusiasm. Opponent does the same thing, creams his pants.
Auckland makes a mistake, goes on a multi minute rant. Opponent does the same thing, doesn’t get mentioned.
Example from this game, Auckland player gets shoulder charged off the ball, with the whiplash effect it looked like it nearly knocked him out.
He goes on and on about it was a harsh penalty.
His job is to commentate, not cheerlead his favourites. Every other province gets a local colour commentator, and they generally keep him in check when he starts talking shit.
If we can’t replace this dickhead, then at least pair him with an ex Auckland player that can call him out when he displays his bias, and crucially can sound enthusiastic for the Auckland team in the biggest rugby market in the country.
Yeah I recall him going on about the shoulder charge but saw it as him not agreeing with the penalty, not an anti Auckland thing. But I acknowledge that could come across as anti Auckland if you had a horse in the race.
Reminds me of people saying Justin Marshall favours the Crusaders in his commentary, but from my perspective as a Crusader supporter it seems the opposite. It's like he deliberately goes against the Crusaders to appear neutral. We all see and interpret things differently.
And you would have a point if it was just me going on about his bias, but even non-Auckland fans notice it.
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....
There was also a U20 game on at Beetham Park between Waikato and Taranaki U20s today at the same time as the FPC game.
Firstly, never ask a player involved in a game what the score was. 🙂 Taranaki won 24-19.
Secondly, this wasn't an U20 game as such, but one of a series of games between the academy players from each province within the Chiefs region. The Waikato team is mainly U19 and younger than most of the other teams they are playing.