Blues 2017



  • @KiwiMurph said in Blues 2017:

    Rieko played mostly/all Mitre 10 Cup at 13 for Auckland and was easily the best player in a woeful team. He runs attacking lines of a classic centre. Outside SBW offloads he could be a weapon. He still has work to do on his distribution but so does Moala. His pace makes him a short term option at wing agreed.

    A Moala 12, Rieko 13 combo would be effective as well.
    I know Umaga is expected to use Francis at 12 to provide another set of tactical eyes for West but maybe it would be better to force West to step up.
    Having Moala, Ioane and SBW all in the 23 provides a lot of gameplan options.



  • @taniwharugby said in Blues 2017:

    be interesting to see where Tana goes at 7, cos Pryor was very good last year when Gibson was injured and the last couple of games Gibson came off the bench with Pryor starting.

    Kaino is ancient in loose forward years. I'm sure his workload will be managed.. so there will be plenty of rotation in the loosies

    The trio that started the trial game might be a hint:
    7 Gibson
    8 Akira
    6 Pryor

    The main thing Pryor needs to improve on this year is his ball security. Way too many miracle balls last year.



  • @Tim said in Blues 2017:

    I'm not a Duffie fan, and would prefer Vaega (and maybe Collins), but he does seem to be popular with the coach.

    Yeah Duffie seems to be a favourite of Tana's I would pencil him in to start

    I disagree with a few of his outside back selections (Declan O'Donnell, Ambrose Curtis) but that does seem to suggest he wants pace out wide. Duffie and Ioane?



  • @Tim said in Blues 2017:

    I'm not sure how Ranger fits into a back three without a Ben Smith type player.

    When was the last time Ranger played a good game?

    He was up and down last year.. he hasn't played a second of the last two NPCs.. his time in France was a mixture of him being injured or shit.

    2013?

    I have no problem with him getting chances from the bench. However he should not walk into the starting XV when there are good options who have shown form in the last 3.5 years



  • Now with Luatua off i'd like to see Akira get gametime ahead of Steven. As has been mentioned Kaino will be managed so Luatua should still get plenty of opportunities - and Akira hopefully takes a step forward with a lower error rate and higher work rate.

    Agreed on Ranger - there's a nagging feeling he is done - but hopefully a run of not being injured can mean he can show his stuff.



  • @Duluth yeah that has been an issue with Kara Pryor alright, if he had the error rate of his brother he would be outstanding.

    Although some of that may just be trying too hard at times.



  • @KiwiMurph

    I was wondering if Luatua shipping out was also related to his standing at the Blues?

    Pure speculation, but if Tana had made it somewhat clear that Ioane was his long term first choice 8, perhaps Luatua saw his opportunities limited, in which case, AB selection gets even harder?



  • @gt12 said in Blues 2017:

    I was wondering if Luatua shipping out was also related to his standing at the Blues?

    Pure speculation, but if Tana had made it somewhat clear that Ioane was his long term first choice 8, perhaps Luatua saw his opportunities limited, in which case, AB selection gets even harder?

    Kaino and Tuipulotu start when fit, Jimmy Tupou is an Umaga favourite and Ioane is rated as the next big thing..

    The addition of Tupou may have put the squeeze on a bit. Sure, he's more of a lock than Luatua but he also covers 6/8. The same job Luatua does in the 23

    I doubt its the main reason but uncertainty about his starting spot wouldn't have helped



  • @KiwiMurph said in Blues 2017:

    Rieko played mostly/all Mitre 10 Cup at 13 for Auckland and was easily the best player in a woeful team. He runs attacking lines of a classic centre. Outside SBW offloads he could be a weapon. He still has work to do on his distribution but so does Moala. His pace makes him a short term option at wing agreed.

    In attack he was good but defensively seemed well off the reading and footwork needed even at NPC level. If he can correct those then he should make a decent go at it. But I would keep him on the wing.

    However, given we've seen Naholo given time at test level in the midfield when required, I expect he will be given an opportunity in the midfield.



  • @ACT-Crusader Yeah personally I think that is simple coaching - the Auckland team looked v poorly coached combined with the truncated format of Mitre 10 Cup - for example by contrast his defence was impressive when he came off the bench and played the whole second half at centre for the ABs v France - that looked to be the impact of a few weeks in ABs camp. Having Umaga as coach and the ability to actually work with him (not having him bugger off to 7s) will surely only help.



  • I would prefer Francis at 10, with Perofeta at 15 as the 2nd playmaker ala Dagg
    Nanai/Duffie on the wings
    Moala/Ioane in the midfield

    Thats purely from being so disappointed in West..



  • @mimic Francis prefers 1st 5 as well according to the TV news tonight.

    If I was a Blues supporter I wouldn't be confident West can get the best out of the backline.



  • @Bovidae said in Blues 2017:

    @mimic Francis prefers 1st 5 as well according to the TV news tonight.

    If I was a Blues supporter I wouldn't be confident West can get the best out of the backline.

    I'm surprised Francis didn't injure his back from carrying West last year..



  • What will be interesting is when SBW returns in round 5 or 6 - that may force them to make a decision on West vs Francis at 10.



  • @KiwiMurph Yep hope to see Akira getting more starts now with Luatua chasing the money. Starting to get annoyed at us constantly losing ABs before their prime.



  • @African-Monkey said in Blues 2017:

    @KiwiMurph Yep hope to see Akira getting more starts now with Luatua chasing the money. Starting to get annoyed at us constantly losing ABs before their prime.

    Why would Tana do that if he felt Luatua was the best option to play? Sure, later in the season or against certain teams he may want to invest in the future, but his primary aim is to win games this year, not next.



  • First team selection named in two days! Any guesses for shock starters/omissions for our first game?

    Michael Collins might be a shock starter. He started at 12 against the Canes in preseason and started at fullback against the Chiefs. He also looked to have played quite a bit of fullback later in the Canes game as well.

    Mafileo could be a starter in the first game as well. Looking at one of the pictures posted early in the game against the Chiefs on the Blues twitter, it was Mafileo and Manu who started at prop. They've destroyed both the Chiefs and Canes scrums together so I think there's a high chance they'll give Mafileo a start against the Rebels.

    I have a feeling Moala will be a shock omission from the starting line-up. I don't recall him playing in the Canes game and I don't think he started the Chiefs game. He was also in the 10s team, where it was almost all lower half of the roster guys. I hope this doesn't mean much and he's in the starting team.



  • @Dice sure the team isn't named on Thursday :)



  • Yeah I could see Collins starting at fullback. Looks like Rieko might have played 13 v Chiefs going by photos.

    I'm heading along to the game on Thursday night - cannot wait.



  • Looks like Faiva started at hooker against the Hurricanes. Anyone know who started against the Chiefs?


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