SBW out? Rieko to 12!
There's been some comments in the media that the current situation is similar to all the other Blues coaches. I thought I would check out the win percentages vs other NZ sides
Yes, the form of the NZ teams has ebbed and flowed but they are generally strong. Also, they are the one constant across the various number of teams, competition structure etc
15 games 1 win
The one win was the first game vs the Highlanders (33-31)
If his team the next 5 NZ games (2 vs Crusaders, 2 vs Hurricanes, 1 vs Highlanders) he can just edge in front of Kirwan
24 games 7 wins
(3 Hurricanes, 2 Highlanders, 2 Crusaders)
24 games 9 wins
(4 Highlanders, 2 Chiefs, 2 Hurricanes, 1 Crusaders)
I think there has to be a note about the injury crisis in Lams fourth season. Crazy number of injuries, players with no NPC experience starting... locks in particular, we were starting our 7th choice lock with a loosie next to him etc
First three seasons prior to that injury crisis:
This included the best streak since Henry: 6 in a row versus NZ teams. The streak Included all other NZ sides. That season was the last time the Blues made the playoffs
(2 Chiefs, 2 Highlanders, 1 Hurricanes, 1 Crusaders)
A bad first season cemented reputation then his team went ok (0-4 in that first year)
(3 Crusaders, 2 Chiefs, 2 Hurricanes, 2 Highlanders)
Yes, even Jed Rowlands
13 in a row before losing the final in 98
Clearly Henry belongs in his own category.
From 1999-2011 all of these coaches had a minimum of 50% success rate against NZ teams:
Sure, thats not good enough, but they were competitive. They all got a lot of criticism in the press compared to the current coach.
Then came the injury crisis in Lam’s fourth season. I have never been convinced the right action was to sack Lam after that amount of injuries. He had very little support in the media and from the board so he had no chance.
The new normal of shittness has settled in under Kirwan/Umaga
At the moment the only punishment is some public humiliation and going to whatever anger management course his lawyer enlists him in.
I would like to see him removed from the current AB squad. At least then there would be a financial penalty. It also serves as a warning to others
We have a perfectly good squad replacement in Robinson. He should've made the original squad IMO
After that I don't really care. It sounds like a low level incident - he can come back later if he's good enough (..and based on his efforts at Test level so far, he is not good enough)
Zarn Sullivan is the obvious guy to try.
-he won't get game time there because of BB playing for Auckland
-he is being used at fullback
-Fozzie is way too conservative to think outside the box and pick him
I think this is getting a bit silly. Sullivan hasn't even had a single start as a ten at NPC level
He's unlikely to get a run at ten because he's been very good for the Blues at fullback. MacDoanld (a decent fullback himself), has raved about Sullivans natural lines from fullback. Maybe his best position is actually fullback?
Maybe he becomes a ten, maybe he doesn't. But the rating he is getting in thread based on almost no adult rugby in the position is over the top
Beehre has been very good since getting a chance (mostly because Vest forced his way out of the side)
There's a lesson there for Ieremia. We have talented youngsters in the squad who will perform if given the chance. They are definitely better than Aussie journeymen
Auckland continue their pattern of playing 30-40mins of good rugby at most.
That was a hell of a second half though considering the injuries, the scoreboard and the weather.
I hope Choat is good and we finally see a Choat/Ekuasi/Peita trio with Gibson on the bench in the QF. However, the chances of Alama picking that are almost nil
Beehre got through a shitload of work
Peita got better and better as the game went on. Good to see him perform after a below par performance in an earlier game
Funaki had some good touches under pressure
Close to getting a vote were the reserve props and AJ
Auckland player of the match voting: