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

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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 Mar 02, 2018 5:01 pm

Blues:
Melani Nanai, Matt Duffie, George Moala, TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Bryn Gatland, Augustine Pulu (c), Akira Ioane, Murphy Taramai, Jimmy Tupou, Scott Scrafton, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, James Parsons, Pauliasi Manu.
Reserves: Leni Apisai, Alex Hodgman, Michael Tamoaieta, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Jerome Kaino, Sam Nock, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Michael Collins.

Chiefs:
Shaun Stevenson, Sean Wainui, Anton Lienert-Brown, Johnny Fa'auli, Solomon Alaimalo, Damian McKenzie, Brad Weber, Taleni Seu, Sam Cane (c), Liam Messam, Michael Allardice, Brodie Retallick, Nepo Laulala, Nathan Harris, Aidan Ross.
Reserves: Liam Polwart, Karl Tu'inukuafe, Angus Ta'avao, Mitchell Brown/Luke Jacobson, Lachlan Boshier, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Tiaan Falcon, Bailyn Sullivan/Declan O'Donnell.

The Chiefs are missing about 15 players so will the Blues get their first win against Kiwi opposition for the first time in ages?
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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 Mar 02, 2018 9:32 pm

I watched the last 30mins of that game -- the Blues just seem to lack basic execution. It was fitting for the last action of the game to be a non-straight lineout throw. Ludicrous.

Well done Chiefs.

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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 Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:08 am

@ivelostmysparky wrote:
The Chiefs are missing about 15 players so will the Blues get their first win against Kiwi opposition for the first time in ages?

The answer was no. Blues did what they do best. Moala butchered 2 tries by being a greedy ball-hog and not passing when there was a 2 on 1. Some crunching tackles on display Shocked
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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 Mar 03, 2018 12:55 am

How much weight has Akira Ioane put on in the off-season?

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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 Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:10 pm

Didn't really notice the size of him. Good on attack but I didn't see him make too many tackles or hit many rucks.
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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 Mar 04, 2018 8:28 pm

Confirmation that Mo'unga did break his jaw and so needs surgery and will be out for a few months Sad
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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 Mar 04, 2018 8:40 pm

I just saw that. Tough luck.

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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 08, 2018 7:30 pm

Hurricanes:
Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Gareth Evans, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields (c), Sam Lousi, Vaea Fifita, Ben May, Ricky Ricciteli, Chris Eves.
Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Fraser Armstrong, Marcel Renata, Michael Fatialofa, Blade Thomson, Richard Judd, Ihaia West, Vince Aso.

Crusaders:
David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Bryn Hall, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Sam Whitelock (captain), Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett.
Reserves: Ben Funnell, Chris King, Oliver Jager, Luke Romano, Billy Harmon, Mitchell Drummond, Mike Delany, Manasa Mataele.

Should be a good clash this one.
Todd is back with his broken thumb in a guard, and All Black Mike Delany comes onto the bench.
Aumua will a chance to show his stuff and Richard Judd after battling away for the Swamp Foxes in the Heartland has got himself in line for a Super Rugby debut.
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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 Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:54 am

Mike Delaney was, at his best, a fringe All Black... and now he is well past his prime. Beaver was always ahead of him in the peaking order for the Chiefs and the All Blacks.

Playing with a broken thumb... I read that...
Match Engine wrote:I hope the Crusaders don't live to regret that decision

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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 Mar 09, 2018 9:19 am

TAB can't pick a winner for the Crusaders-Hurricanes game. Offering $1.90 for both at this time.

A bit shocked with the odds for the Highlanders-Stormers game with the TAB offering $1.12 for a Highlanders victory and $5.85 for the Stormers. I think they've gone too strong for the Highlanders there.

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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 Mar 09, 2018 4:21 pm

Stormers have only won a couple times in Dunedin ever so the odds seem ok to me. The smart money would be on the Stormers beating the points start, or Highlanders 12 and under.

The Stormers are certainly massive up front but are missing Cobus Wiese (no relation) and Schickerling who were both brutish last week. Highlanders axe Tevita Li and replace him with Tevita Nabura for his debut.
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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 Mar 09, 2018 4:32 pm

@tryasta wrote:Mike Delaney was, at his best, a fringe All Black... and now he is well past his prime. Beaver was always ahead of him in the peaking order for the Chiefs and the All Blacks.

Yeah I always make sure to refer to him as a AB because before I moved out of home, my friend 3 mins walk away had sky tv (cable/pay tv) so I watched a heap of Super Rugby with him and his dad. His dad played rugby for a couple of decades at a decent level and knew a hell of a lot about rugby and loved to pick out bolters for the ABs.

One of his picks was Mike Delaney based on a couple of adequate games for the Steamers. I told him he'd never be an All Black and fade away from the NZ game. So while my friend's dad was technically correct, he didn't achieve anything of note and left for up north where I don't think he achieved much either. Certainly not in the Gopperth mould anyway. A nice memory, and an in-joke which has been going on for far too long Razz
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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 Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:30 pm

I remember his games for Bay Of Plenty... It was around 2009?? Pretty much then a good NPC campaign was a ticket to the All Blacks EOST but that has changed since and the current mantra is "NPC is 2 levels below Test Rugby". I believe the last one to get that ticket was Charles Piutau?

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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 Mar 09, 2018 11:14 pm

Asafo Aumua got called up last year to the All Blacks without any Super Rugby... (though if memory serves, he didn't actually play any test matches)

Anyway Highlanders-Stormers, obviously pleased with a bonus point win for the Highlanders but it should have been better. Too many unforced errors and penalties. Stormers showed a fair bit of spirit considering how injury-ravaged they were. Some good performances from their 19 year olds.

Highlanders will need to step up next Saturday if they want to beat the Crusaders.

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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 Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:57 pm

Delany got his cap in EOST 2009 against Italy so it must have been 2007ish when my friend's dad predicted he would be an AB.

Yeah Aumua and many others like Perry and Duffie got a non-test cap on the EOST against the French XV.

Highlanders played alright but there were some seriously wild passes which missed their target - one lead directly to a try.
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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 Mar 10, 2018 7:47 pm

Watching HUR-CRU

I hate NZ derbies.

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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 Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:50 pm

Ryan Crotty.... Sad

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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 Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:52 pm

Crotty and Whitelock gone Mad Easy win for the Canes.
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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 Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:01 pm

Damn. Hurricanes on a rampage.

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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 Mar 12, 2018 1:26 pm

I was wondering who had the most difficult schedule out there (triggered by the realisation that every NZ team gets to face the Sunwolves except for the Highlanders) -- so using the ranking points at the bottom of the linked page as a proxy on degree of difficulty I came up with this list. Higher points means more difficult schedule.


  1. Blues - 84.77
  2. Highlanders - 84.58
  3. Hurricanes - 83.64
  4. Chiefs - 83.18
  5. Crusaders - 83.14
  6. Jaguares - 82.78
  7. Bulls - 82.66
  8. Stormers - 81.77
  9. Sunwolves - 81.66
  10. Sharks - 81.59
  11. Brumbies - 80.93
  12. Lions - 81.53
  13. Waratahs - 80.70
  14. Reds - 80.29
  15. Rebels - 80.02


So, probably not too surprising that the list clusters like this with the conference system and there being a significant drop in average quality as you go from the NZ conference to the South Africa conference and the Australia conference.

If we take out the first four rounds and look at what's to come. Here's the list ranked by the difference in quality (positive number means their schedule gets easier from here, negative number means it gets harder)

  1. Stormers +1.10 (they taken some solace from their 1-3 start to the season -- they've got their NZ tour over with)
  2. Blues +0.98
  3. Chiefs +0.97
  4. Crusaders +0.82
  5. Jaguares +0.48
  6. Bulls +0.44
  7. Hurricanes +0.08
  8. Waratahs -0.04
  9. Highlanders -0.59
  10. Lions -0.61
  11. Reds -0.65
  12. Sharks -0.73
  13. Sunwolves -0.76
  14. Brumbies -0.91
  15. Rebels -1.17 (Their time at the top of the table will likely not last)


What does it all mean? I don't know, just thought it was interesting.

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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 Mar 12, 2018 2:38 pm

I think it means that no team likes playing NZ teams - especially in on their home turf. Might also mean that it is better for overseas teams to get their NZ tour out of the way early so can build up momentum later in the season.
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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 Mar 16, 2018 5:38 pm

Definitely excited for the Highlanders vs Crusaders game tomorrow. Gives the Highlanders a shot at determining their own destiny by taking the top of the table. I am a bit gutted to see that the Crusaders have lost Sam Whitelock at the last minute though. Never happy to see a quality player like that not being able to play.

Highlanders faring pretty well injury-wise. That's only one Barracuda away from being their top XV.

Crusaders: David Havili, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Tim Bateman, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Luke Romano, Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Manasa Mataele, Brett Cameron, Bryn Hall, Billy Harmon, Quinten Strange, Oliver Jager, Chris King, Ben Funnell.

Highlanders: Ben Smith (captain), Waisake Naholo, Rob Thompson, Tei Walden, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Aaron Smith, Luke Whitelock, Dillon Hunt, Liam Squire, Tom Franklin, Jackson Hemopo, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Aki Seiuli.

Reserves: Ash Dixon (co-captain), Daniel Lienert-Brown, Kalolo Tuiloma, Shannon Frizell, Elliot Dixon, Kayne Hammington, Fletcher Smith, Matt Faddes.

TAB is refusing to call it. Offering $1.90 for both teams.

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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 Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:48 pm

On the face of it the Highlanders should really win this one. Pretty average looking lineup from the Crusaders.
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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 Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:56 pm


Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Murray Douglas, 3 Ben May, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Chris Eves
Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Fraser Armstrong, 18 Jeff To'omaga-Allen, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Reed Prinsep, 21 Richard Judd, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Vince Aso

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Colman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Shannon Fizzell, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Joshn Ioane, 23 Matt Faddes

Should be a great game! What a great backline from the Hurricanes. Damn.

TAB has Hurricanes at $1.44/Highlanders at $2.75

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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 Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:47 pm

Bloody Beauden Barrett, that beautiful bastard.

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