Super Rugby: Blues vs. Crusaders in Auckland (01/03/2013)

   
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  1. #1
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    Super Rugby: Blues vs. Crusaders in Auckland (01/03/2013)


    Eden Park, Auckland


    Referee: Chris Pollock
    Assistant Referees: Jonathon White & Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri
    TMO: Ben Skeen




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  4. #3
    AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    This should be an interesting match. I expect the Crusaders will employ a much more intelligent kicking game than the Canes did, particularly targeting the Blues wings. It is hard to make a prediction before I see the two sides, but I think the Crusaders should start as favourites despite the Blues good start to the season.

  5. #4
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    First news I've heard on Boric in a long time, I didn't even know he had surgery.


    "Former All Blacks lock Anthony Boric will continue his comeback from neck surgery by playing for the Blues development side on Saturday."

    http://nz.sports.yahoo.com/rugby/new...r-jk/#comments

    Should be a cracker of a game. Crusaders will have had a good look at the blues canes game. Interesting hearing Blackadder talk about his plans it seems we may see a more attacking space targeting game from them this year. have to wait and see.
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  6. #5
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    Great game for round 2. Crusaders are always tough and make a great test for our team. Even if I was a Crusaders fan, I'd still go with the Blues on this one.

    GO BLUES!
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  7. #6
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    Real litmus test for The Blues here.
    If they want to be a quality team this season, they'll need to win on friday night.
    I was going to write that a respectable loss would be sufficient, but that is loser talk, and I heard enough of that last year coming from Pat Lam.

    I'll be interested in how the 2 Knights are going to dismantle the Crusaders attack.
    The Blues did a good job last week on defence against a Hurricanes team that now plays a "Crusaders-lite" style of play under Hammett, but they will need to step it up again on friday.

    Interesting too, will be how the Crusaders go.
    They are a team expected to win with the number of All Blacks they have, yet have not won a title since '08 despite having (roughly) the same number of All Blacks the whole time.
    In my opinion, Blackadder was elevated to coaching at this level without any real pedigree, and is out of his depth. He was chosen over Rob Penney (who has proven success with Canterbury).
    I heard Phil Gifford (noted NZ rugby writer, and unabashed Canterbury & Blackadder cheerleader) state on the radio that Blackadder didn't take the Canterbury NPC/ITM job as he wanted to prove himself with Tasman first (which he really didn't). But then he goes and takes the Crusaders job without proving himself at Canterbury??
    Seems like Gifford was trying to paint Blackadder as this altruistic nice guy.
    But surely he should have actually WON something before getting promoted to such a role??
    In the meantime, Rob Penney has been lost to overseas now.

    Blackadder has survived solely on the pedigree of his players.
    His coaching must be called into question given the title drought the Crusaders have had. Perhaps his only saving grace was (ironically) the Canterbury earthquake.
    Ian Foster aside, no other coach has been given the lee-way for so little success over such a long period of time.

  8. #7
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    After the Blues pretty much dismantled the Canes last week, It's hard to side against them if they play the same destructive running rugby they did last week.
    Blues -12

  9. #8
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    I expect the crusaders to be much better on defense than the canes were, Conrad smith didn't have a good game on defense and the Blues Backs ended up making breaks and half breaks almost at will.

    You would think Carter/Tom Taylor/Crotty would do a much better job but still the blues backline is a who's who of big, fast, young straight running dudes. Saili, Ranger, Moala, Halai, Piutau. All Massive threats.

    As always who gets the better ball from the forwards will have the advantage. It may be a blessing that the blues go in on a role after the big game last weekend. Some of the Crusaders will start pretty cold.
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  10. #9
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    admartian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlukeArtist View Post
    Real litmus test for The Blues here.
    If they want to be a quality team this season, they'll need to win on friday night.
    I was going to write that a respectable loss would be sufficient, but that is loser talk, and I heard enough of that last year coming from Pat Lam.

    I'll be interested in how the 2 Knights are going to dismantle the Crusaders attack.
    The Blues did a good job last week on defence against a Hurricanes team that now plays a "Crusaders-lite" style of play under Hammett, but they will need to step it up again on friday.

    Interesting too, will be how the Crusaders go.
    They are a team expected to win with the number of All Blacks they have, yet have not won a title since '08 despite having (roughly) the same number of All Blacks the whole time.
    In my opinion, Blackadder was elevated to coaching at this level without any real pedigree, and is out of his depth. He was chosen over Rob Penney (who has proven success with Canterbury).
    I heard Phil Gifford (noted NZ rugby writer, and unabashed Canterbury & Blackadder cheerleader) state on the radio that Blackadder didn't take the Canterbury NPC/ITM job as he wanted to prove himself with Tasman first (which he really didn't). But then he goes and takes the Crusaders job without proving himself at Canterbury??
    Seems like Gifford was trying to paint Blackadder as this altruistic nice guy.
    But surely he should have actually WON something before getting promoted to such a role??
    In the meantime, Rob Penney has been lost to overseas now.

    Blackadder has survived solely on the pedigree of his players.
    His coaching must be called into question given the title drought the Crusaders have had. Perhaps his only saving grace was (ironically) the Canterbury earthquake.
    Ian Foster aside, no other coach has been given the lee-way for so little success over such a long period of time.
    Politics.


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    Return of the Jane.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlukeArtist View Post
    Real litmus test for The Blues here.
    If they want to be a quality team this season, they'll need to win on friday night.
    I was going to write that a respectable loss would be sufficient, but that is loser talk, and I heard enough of that last year coming from Pat Lam.

    I'll be interested in how the 2 Knights are going to dismantle the Crusaders attack.
    The Blues did a good job last week on defence against a Hurricanes team that now plays a "Crusaders-lite" style of play under Hammett, but they will need to step it up again on friday.

    Interesting too, will be how the Crusaders go.
    They are a team expected to win with the number of All Blacks they have, yet have not won a title since '08 despite having (roughly) the same number of All Blacks the whole time.
    In my opinion, Blackadder was elevated to coaching at this level without any real pedigree, and is out of his depth. He was chosen over Rob Penney (who has proven success with Canterbury).
    I heard Phil Gifford (noted NZ rugby writer, and unabashed Canterbury & Blackadder cheerleader) state on the radio that Blackadder didn't take the Canterbury NPC/ITM job as he wanted to prove himself with Tasman first (which he really didn't). But then he goes and takes the Crusaders job without proving himself at Canterbury??
    Seems like Gifford was trying to paint Blackadder as this altruistic nice guy.
    But surely he should have actually WON something before getting promoted to such a role??
    In the meantime, Rob Penney has been lost to overseas now.

    Blackadder has survived solely on the pedigree of his players.
    His coaching must be called into question given the title drought the Crusaders have had. Perhaps his only saving grace was (ironically) the Canterbury earthquake.
    Ian Foster aside, no other coach has been given the lee-way for so little success over such a long period of time.
    Have to agree. I could have coached the Crusaders to the semi finals with their talent pool.

    The one thing that worries me about the Blues is how much they're patting each other on the back. Campbell Live or some other show did a feel good story on how they're such a different team etc, all after one win against the Canes who didn't even play that well. Hopefully Ted and JK keep them grounded or they could come crashing back down pretty quick against the Crusaders.

    Between Fruean and Ranger who are both amazing on attack and patchy on D there could be some line breaks to be had. This one should be good for the neutral I reckon.

  12. #11
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    I hear ya Dom.

    Though Kirwan came out straight after the win and said "we've achieved nothing" (see below)
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/s...ore-from-Blues

    I don't think Ted or JK would let these guys get carried away.
    I don't think (or at least, I hope) they aren't getting further ahead than the next game, and will know that they are facing a huge challenge whenever they face the Crusaders.

  13. #12
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    Well, it's unfortunate that us Crusaders fans have had to wait until week 3, to see our team start, but it should be interesting to see how they go against a Blues team that seem to be in good form, are motivated, and are playing with some confidence this year ... hard to pick a result, as any of the NZ franchises seem to have the ability to knock each other over on the day.

    As a Crusaders and Tasman supporter, I can't really let the Blackadder comments slide by without putting my twocents worth in ... I don't think the comments are entirely fair, it's been pointed out that thee Crusaders haven't won a title since 2008 ...well, aside from the Chiefs, who has? ... they always seem to make at least the semifinals, and came pretty close to winning the title, the year of the quake, despite racking up all of the airmiles ... yes they have always had a number of All Blacks in recent years, but how often has he been able to consistently play the likes of both McCaw and DC ... does he get any credit for giving the younger guys a go? ... probably not

    At the very least, he's probably no worse than any of the current NZ super rugby coaches, with the possible exception of Dave Rennie ... and if he'd been judged on his time as assistent coach with the Hurricanes, he wouldn't have been given the NZ under 20, let alone the Chiefs

    ... if you want to look at the under performing Super Rugby coaches, with great talent pools, you'd be struggling to go past Colin Cooper, with the Hurricanes ... what did have ... nine seasons without a title? (not sure, it might have been seven)
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  14. #13
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    Crusaders team named as per stuff article : http://www.stuff/sport/rugby/super-r...-against-blues

    As the article title indicates, Israel Dagg is indeed named on the wing ... the team is:

    Tom Taylor, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Dan Carter, Andy Ellis, Kieran Read(c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Cory Flynn, Wyatt Crockett reserves: Ben Funnell, Joe Moody, Dominic Bird, Luke Whitelock, Willie Heinz, Tyler Bleyendaal, Tom Marshall.

    ... a pretty strong side named, by all accounts
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  15. #14
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    I expect a somewhat different approach from the Crusaders with extra flair and keeping the ball in hand.
    Now take them playing a Canes/Blues/Cheetahs style of rugby, add their defensive capabilities and quality players...
    They might be a devastating side in 2013

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gena_ZA View Post
    I expect a somewhat different approach from the Crusaders with extra flair and keeping the ball in hand.
    Now take them playing a Canes/Blues/Cheetahs style of rugby, add their defensive capabilities and quality players...
    They might be a devastating side in 2013
    The squad hasn't gotten any better from last year infact it's been depleted, they'll still be contenders obviously but that backline has lost a lot of it's flair sbw...maitland..guildford. Crotty, Taylor and Whitelock are all "solid" players but don't offer raw speed/acceleration etc your maitlands and guildfords do.

  17. #16
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    I am referring to an offensive attitude rather than playing the percentages
    Let's see if my gut feeling is right or not

  18. #17
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    It will be won in the forwards if the crusaders are polished in their first game of the year i think they will do it relatively easy. If there forwards dont turn up then the blues will probably get alot more chances.

  19. #18
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    As has been mentioned (or has it?) the Blues have named an unchanged lineup:
    Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Rene Ranger, Francis Saili, George Moala, Chris Noakes, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Ali Williams (capt), Culum Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons, Tom McCartney.
    Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Angus Ta'avao, Liaki Moli, Brendon O'Connor, Bryn Hall, Baden Kerr, Jackson Willison.

    This is not surprising given there strong performance last weekend.

    The Crusaders lineup it reasonably predictable, I'm just not convinced about the make-up of the back three. They have limited options with Guildford and McNicholl out, but I don't think a Whitelock/Dagg (out of position)/Taylor combination is going to scare anyone. I'm surprised Tom Marshall wasn't included, as he is a talented young player, and a genuine attacking threat.

  20. #19
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    I think Taylor is probably a safer option on defence, which could be what the Crusaders need against this sizeable Blues team.


  21. #20
    AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Invictus View Post
    I think Taylor is probably a safer option on defence, which could be what the Crusaders need against this sizeable Blues team.
    He might be a better defender 1-on-1, but I'm worried about his lack of experience in the 15 jersey (therefore his defensive positioning may be a bit suspect...).

  22. #21
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    Didn't Taylor deliver a sublime performance last time he stood in for DC?
    Man of the match if I recall, think he is underrated

  23. #22
    AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gena_ZA View Post
    Didn't Taylor deliver a sublime performance last time he stood in for DC?
    Man of the match if I recall, think he is underrated
    He spent a bit of time at 10 at the start of last season when Carter was out injured. He did a pretty good job - his goal-kicking is exceptional - but I don't think he was as good as many people suggested. The Crusaders backline seldom fired with him at 10, and he didn't really control the game that well (it was his first season of Super Rugby though...). His versatility (he can play 10,12, and 15) is an advantage in some ways, but I do it would be better for him of he was able to concentrate on only position...

  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gena_ZA View Post
    Didn't Taylor deliver a sublime performance last time he stood in for DC?
    Man of the match if I recall, think he is underrated
    He is pretty fairly rated like Darwin mentioned.

    His pace may be an issue, especially with Whitelock on one wing. That is a real lack of excitement in the outside back division.

  25. #24
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    Shaggy,

    I hear what you are saying, but I'm of teh opinion that Blackadder inherited a champion side.

    IMO, he was (and still remains) an unproven coach.
    I was quite suprised to hear him named as head coach at the time, especially when you consider Rob Penney had been bringing the titles back to Christchurch for years.

    Just my opinion, but I guess this year will be make or break for Blackadder
    ... possibly anyway; he might have an "out" with Richie McCaw being on sabbatical.

    As a Blues fan, I am getting more and more nervous about this game as the days go by.... looking forward to heading to Eden Park tomorrow night, i've got a feeling its going to live up to the hype...
    Aaaahhh Rugby season... bring it on!!

  26. #25
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    I'm not reading too much into Blackadders claims that the Crusaders are looking at playing a more expansive, running style. Because he said this before the pre-season game against the Waratahs and they failed to deliver this so called plan. The Crusaders play the way the Crusaders play and it works, don't change the formula.

    With that said, The Blues weren't THAT impressive last week. Up until the last quarter they were trailing that match and yes they won I'll give them that BUT, the Hurricanes lost that match just as much as the Blues won and the Crusaders aren't a team that blows their leads. They are very cynical in ever aspect of the game and put points on you when it matters, and most importantly, THEY'RE THE BLIMMIN' CRUSADERS!...

    So I think the Saders will come out with a good old fashioned Crusaders victory here.

  27. #26
    AKA Dingo_Darwin

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    I'm really looking forward to this match. The Crusaders are traditionally slow starters to the season, and I'm sure the Blues will be wanting to continue their momentum from last weekend. However I feel the Crusaders will be a much harder match-up for the Blues. The Canes were tactically very naive against the Blues last weekend, and I don't expect the Crusaders with the likes of Ellis and Carter to make the same mistakes!

    Up front I see the Crusaders having the edge, though much will depend on Owen Franks. If he can give McCartney a hard time in the scrum the Blues will struggle to get a solid platform to work from. On the other side both Faumuina vs Crockett is a really interesting match-up, and both will be looking to have big seasons to push there cases for AB's selection. The Crusaders have an obvious edge in the locks with their AB's combination, though the Blues locks both had solid performances last weekend. Williams vs Whitelock at lineout time will be good to watch! I'm particularly looking forward to some of the match-ups in the loosies. Todd vs Braid at 7 will be particularly interesting, and could have a big impact on the match. Saili needs to repeat last weekends performance against the best 8 in the world this weekend, while likewise Luatua will want to continue his strong form. I see the loose-forwards as being pretty even.

    Ellis vs Weepu is an interesting battle at halfback, with both having a lot to prove. Both players read the game very well, and I expect to see Ellis do quite a bit of tactical kicking this match. I'm looking forward to seeing the Blues midfield in action again, though I suspect Crotty and Carter will be much better equipped than the Canes inside backs were to nullify the Blues inside runners. It will be interesting to see how Fruean goes defensively - he is usually fine if he can get hold of the attacking players, so may be ok against a Blues team that relies more on pace and power rather than guile. Outwide I'm expecting Dagg to cause Halai a lot of problems, as he is still suspect in defense (and Dagg is pretty handy!). On the other wing it will be interesting - Whitelock will contain Moala as long as he closes down his space quickly, but if he gives him any room it will be all over (and Moala is very quick, and Whitelock is slowwwwww.....). I do expect both Blues wings will be targeted with high balls this week....

    Overall I'm picking the Crusaders to come away with the win due to their advantage up front, and in the halves (read: Dan Carter). It should be a pretty close game though - maybe a 5-10 point margin.

  28. #27
    Kanko Krazy!!!

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    Still at work for another 3 hours (watching NY Rangers at the moment) and when I get home, I will get ready for this cracker! Will have to get some sleep afterwards though

  29. #28
    South Taffrican

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    Just finished a three hour drive, don't feel like sleeping.
    Bring it on!

  30. #29
    Kanko Krazy!!!

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    How the hell did Ashwin Willemse ever get a job with SuperSport? He cannot even put 2 sentences together in English.

  31. #30
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    The Blues are my 2nd team this year and I hope they do well.

    Their front row may not be the best at scrum time but McCartney and Parsons are fun to watch in the loose. Parson's is mid twenties apparently, where's he been hiding, looks like a bit of a find to me. (Suppose in Harbour a team I never have liked to watch)

    Big strong runners in abundance, plenty of flair. The fact that they are going to be unpredictable makes me want to watch them.
    My head says Crusaders by 5-10, but I'd love to see the Blues get up here.

    Piutau, F Saili and Halai are some of my favourites at the mo, Especially Piutau.

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