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

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

Post by Bren on Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:28 pm

Highlanders-Blues kicks off the (proper) start of the Super Rugby season tomorrow! Any thoughts on who'll take it out and why it's going to be the Highlanders?

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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 Feb 22, 2018 7:29 pm

Your title would read very differently if it had a comma or apostrophe in it.
Highlanders should beat the Blues easily although their centres are a bit mediocre with the Barracuda injured.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by tryasta on Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:09 pm

@ivelostmysparky wrote:Your title would read very differently if it had a comma or apostrophe in it.
Laughing Laughing

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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 Feb 22, 2018 8:14 pm


A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. After he finishes eating the sandwich, the panda pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter, and then stands up to go. "Hey!" shouts the manager. "Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn't pay for your sandwich!"

The panda yells back at the manager, "Hey man, I am a PANDA! Look it up!"

The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: "A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves."

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

Post by tryasta on Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:24 pm

@Bren wrote:
The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: "A tree-dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterised by distinct black and white colouring. Eats shoots and leaves."



Guys, I have been missing this. @Bren , bless you for being back Smile

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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 Feb 22, 2018 8:42 pm

@ivelostmysparky wrote:Highlanders should beat the Blues easily although their centres are a bit mediocre with the Barracuda injured.

Yeah, Walden and Thompson are both solid but unspectacular. Good tacklers, they run hard lines, but can't quite set the world ablaze like the Barracuda. I hope Faddes gets a decent run out there -- Faddes is bae after all (DID I USE THAT RIGHT?)

Blues have a pretty good backline with Pulu, Duffie, Williams, Moala, and Ioane in there. Gatland and Collins are the potential weak links. I doubt that their forward pack can get them quality ball against the Highlanders though. I haven't heard of many of those Blues forwards while the Highlanders have the luxury of Liam Coltman and Elliott Dixon on the bench.

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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 Feb 22, 2018 11:08 pm

I don't like Faddes at centre actually - he is a bit soft with his front on defense and is much better with his positioning at fullback rather than in the midfield. Looking forward to seeing Jackson Hemopo who was excellent against the Lions and what big boy Tyrel Lomax can do off the bench.

Starting Blues pack is ok but has anyone heard of Glenn Preston? The starting Blues blindside. Less said about their bench bar a couple of players the better.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by Elsteveo on Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:08 am

Liam Squire for a Hattrick!

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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 Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:42 pm

Very entertaining game! Have to say that the Blues are looking pretty good. They should break that drought of wins against NZ teams this season (2 years! yikes!)

Despite dropping the number of teams down to 15 this season, they've kept the playoff teams at 8. Conference winners qualify and the rest go through based on their competition points. This means theoretically that every team in a conference can go through -- something that was impossible last season. We could be in for an outside shot of that happening in the NZ conference this year I think.

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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 Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:33 pm

Great first up game with not too much rust on display. The Highlanders midfield got the better of the more highly rated Blues although Walden did miss a few tackles. Blues were reasonable overall.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by tryasta on Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:15 pm

The Crusaders vs the Chiefs is exactly what you would expect of those two teams. Looks like a clear win for the Crusaders so far.

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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 Feb 25, 2018 1:25 pm

That was a seriously error-ridden game Mad Whitelock vs Retallick is always fun. Sam Cane was a beast as usual and Alaimalo was slippery as ever.


The options for BB's back up for the All Black #10 shirt are now very dodgy with Cruden/Slade/Tom Taylor/Marty Banks etc all overseas and Sopoaga joining them. I ever saw Hayden Parker and Robbie Robinson turning out for the Sunwolves. Dare I say we are missing Gareth Anscombe?

Damien McKenzie showed last night that he is a long way from being a Super level 10 let alone an international one. Yet the Chiefs have nobody else considering how poor Marty McKenzie was for the Crusaders as their 3rd stringer.

Crusaders have Mo'unga and Hunt.

Highlanders have nobody of note with Banks gone and Soppy going.

Hurricanes have Ihaia West, and I guess Garden-Bachop but he was shockingly bad for the Rebels. Possibly Jordie Barrett but he has barely played at 10 ever.

The Blues have a bunch of near-rookies in Black (serious injury), Gatland, and Perofeta.

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

Post by tryasta on Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:52 pm

I like Mo'unga. I saw him 2 seasons ago when he started playing for the Crusaders )or was it three seasons ago?) and I had similar thoughts like when I first saw Quade Cooper: "good touches, needs polish". The thing is that unlike Quade Cooper, he seems to be maturing and becoming a better player.

So I really like the idea of him being Barret's backup.

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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 Feb 25, 2018 10:14 pm

Yeah, I don't really buy McKenzie as a 10 -- not too sure what to do with him -- talent to burn, but doesn't really fit anywhere on a rugby field.

With no Sopoaga, there is a big dip at that 10 position if Beauden Barrett was to get injured. Richie Mo'unga would be my pick to take up the slot. Lots of potential there so should be fine in a few years but don't think I'd want him in a big game this season for the All Blacks.

I'm a bit worried what the Highlanders are going to do at the 10 position next season without Sopoaga. Fletcher Smith is the next in line at the moment and definitely isn't ready to be a starter for a Super Rugby team.

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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 Feb 25, 2018 10:31 pm

Yeah I think Mo'unga is the back up by default.

But who is the 3rd stringer? Do they gamble on McKenzie?
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by tryasta on Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:51 pm

McKenzie looks perfect for test rugby. He's got everything. Nevertheless, he needs to polish his decision-making, especially at first-five. Hopefully a full Super Rugby season at first five with the Chiefs + the game time at test level he had last year will help him.

Also, and perhaps I am asking for trouble with @Bren :S :S, we don't know what will happen to Ben Smith. As much as we all like him, his test future might well depend very much on how his Super Rugby season goes, injury wise. Any head knock and we will all be fearing asking the same questions, so McKenzie could perhaps end up playing at fullback, despite everyone saying he is a first five...

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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 Feb 26, 2018 1:10 am

I've figured it all out.

Bren = Bren the accountant
Ben Smith = Ben from accounts
Bren = A 31 yo male
Ben Smith = A 31 yo male
Bren = from Otago
Ben Smith = from Otago
Therefore Bren = Ben Smith

His sabbatical away from rugby obviously included staying away from BR too. It was so obvious I can't believe I didn't see the connection right from the start.
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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 Feb 26, 2018 9:09 am

Oh no! my ruse has been unrused! Very Happy

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

Post by tryasta on Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:45 am

Finally some common sense around SBW

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/101756440/sonny-bill-williams-reportedly-set-to-return-to-nrl-after-super-rugby-season

Other than his tackling, which is ok, he's got nothing that justifies his place in 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 Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:06 pm

I'm struggling to believe that. SBW started pretty much every game last year and now they say he won't be picked for the WC?
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

Post by tryasta on Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:19 pm

I don't know what to believe. While what you say it's true, it is also true that he has offered very little in attack and I had the feeling that he no longer is comfortable playing union.

But it seems it is not to be believed, after all http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/news/article.cfm?c_id=80&objectid=12002134

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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 Feb 28, 2018 11:54 am

Well, Williams might not be going anywhere but Jerome Kaino is.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/351433/kaino-says-au-revoir-to-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 Feb 28, 2018 6:41 pm

If he kept his dick where it belonged I still think he had a good shot at the #6 shirt at the WC.

What is the blindside pecking order now?
Squire
Fifita
Ioane

Messam too old, Dixon's stocks have plummeted, Taufua is seen as too small, Luke Whitelock is a specialist 8, Shields & Thomson going up north,
Would have been great if Vito and Luatua had stuck around.

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

Post by tryasta on Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:59 pm

But Vito was seen as an 8 that also covered 6, and Luatua... well, I believe he needed a different attitude towards the game. I really like Ioane but I guess both Fifita and Squire should be ahead of him.

In fact, the choice may well depend on Kieran Read. With Read, there are three lineout options, but when/if he is not on the field, would not you want to use Fifita as the third lineout option ahead of Squire?

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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 Mar 01, 2018 2:28 pm

I really rated Vito just before he left. Luatua could certainly play on his day - his performance for the baabaas against the ABs was awesome.

Yes, Squire has been used as the 4th choice lineout option at the Highlanders with Dixon more commonly used in the loosies. But now Elliot has been dropped to the bench so will get more use. Fifita is comfortable at lock - at least at Super level.

If they are worried about the lineout then have Barrett as the bench lock who can cover six, then the reserve loosie can be Todd/Savea/Luke Whitelock/anyone. You're not going to sub off Retallick or Whitelock unless they are injured, or the game is in the bag, or the 75th minute clear the bench.
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Re: Super Rugby 2018: Or Why It's Going To Be The Year Of The Highlanders Bitches

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