Blues 2021 SRA ratings

Righto, a quick comment on SRA.

Overall, I’d give us a pass mark, but only just. We didn’t deliver results-wise, but we put some decent effort.

Top of my head thoughts

Tight 5: B+/A-
One of the stronger packs in the comp. Didn’t deliver at some critical times. Massive improvements in defence of mauls and actually in setting mauls too. Still plenty to work on though - rugby nous isn’t quite there. Scrum was a weapon in the early rounds, but seemed to struggle later … not sure why.

The prop rotation should have been one of our big strengths. Not much mobility outside Ofa though.
Plenty of minutes for Darry (who should keep building nicely), and we really missed Pat T. GCT was consistently good for us, without being outstanding.

Hookers improved on last year, and went fine, just not outstanding.

Would score higher, but didn’t dominate like they should have given the talent.

Loosies: A
Strength area with significant depth. Dalton was immense, Choat looked good at the end, and Tom R was massive for us. Hoskins took a few games to come up to speed. Akira was good without being the massively dominant figure of the last few years.

Halfbacks: D
Too much changing, not enough game plan clarity to allow any one of them to succeed. I think all the halfbacks have clear work-ons.

10s: D
Marginally harsh perhaps. Otere needs to get his mojo back (from games 1-2) and learn to goal kick. Plummer just needs to lift his game.

Midfield: C
Rieko B to B+, 12s consistently D. Distribution a big issue. Combinations an issue. Plenty to work on. Rieko is building nicely I think. 12 was a real issue for us. Really not sure why TJ wouldn’t be keeping that backline together

I think Rieko’s B+ and knocking on the door of the ABs. He brings solid defence and a speed opportunity that is rare. He’s on the way up. Distribution took a step up again, and I’d say is one of the easier things for a good coaching group to keep improving. If you have to trade off an inexperienced 12 or 13 at the top level, I prefer ALB/RIoane to Havili/ALB… but ultimately it’s up to the coaches.

Back 3: D
Workrate too low, finishing too low, creation too low. Defence OK. Didn’t create much at all, or feel super dangerous. Shut down consistently.

Coaching: C
Forwards went OK in general, backs were very average this season. Leadership and IQ on the field not great.

Moment of the season: Disallowed maul try against the Chiefs. The ref and TMO don’t overturn it (wrongly, in my view) and you’ve got a winning season and are off to the final.

So, yeah. Promised plenty, didn’t deliver enough. Still better than we’ve been, but (hopefully) not nearly as good as we’re going to be.

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