2017 Blues squad named

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by Shaggy, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. Shaggy

    Shaggy Senior Member

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    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...sters-blues-squad-for-2017-super-rugby-season


    Dare I say it, but this looks a particularly strong Blues squad, particularly with Augustine Pulu at half back, and SBW in the midfield , lots of other exciting additions, and many players from their regions. Auckland came close to the NPC semi finals this year, Counties were in the premiership semifinals, and North Harbour won the Championship
     
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  3. jessta

    jessta Senior Member

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    Where is lolagi Visinia?
     
  4. Shaggy

    Shaggy Senior Member

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    Good question; I know he is off contract, and has also been quite injury prone, limiting his chances for Auckland in the Mitre 10 cup. He's not listed with the other departing players either. Maybe he's in the development squad ... Tried a google search, but didn't come up with anything really
     
  5. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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  6. The Jones Boy

    The Jones Boy Senior Member

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    Whats happening with Tuipulotu?
    Has he had some kind of mental breakdown?
     
  7. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    Apparently looks like he might have taken PED's.
     
  8. auzziedave

    auzziedave Junior Member

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  9. Larksea

    Larksea Senior Member

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    strongest blues squad in a long time. Blues finished last season arguably the strongest team, that makes them a serious threat this year.

    I would almost bet my house on SBW having a good season. The long layoff has probably done him some good. Pulu & Manu are also very good signings.

    The Visinia thing is interesting. I think the guy has huge potential but yes obviously is prone to some errors.

    Much will depend on Ihaia West.

    IMO going from their form late last season and the signings made in the off season they are arguably looking like the strongest NZ team.

    Much will depend on Ihaia West. because willing super rugby requires a genuine world class 10, I think west has been slow to establish himself in super rugby but did finally show he has what it takes the later half of last year. he genuinely looked on a level with the big 3 (Crud, Barrett, Lima).
     
  10. Larksea

    Larksea Senior Member

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    seeing double
     
  11. The Jones Boy

    The Jones Boy Senior Member

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    SBW is a huge boost for the Blues. He's a calm professional and he will rally the youngsters.
    Tana has been building toward better results. Last season we finished last from the Kiwi franchises, again, but we were no easy beats anymore and we could have nicked a few of those games against Kiwi opposition.
     
  12. auzziedave

    auzziedave Junior Member

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    Yeah Its a better squad, however they played their best two games last year when it didnt mean anything...that worries me. Trouble is like THE JONES BOY said, there are no easy games.... at tleast this year there is a chance that all 5 teams form NZ make it, unlike last year.
     
  13. The Jones Boy

    The Jones Boy Senior Member

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    Its a new season and one where Tana has his troops bedded in now and a platform to go forward from.
    The Blues were the last of the 5 Kiwi franchises last year, but there wasn't a lot in it.
    If they can turn some of the home results around then it will change everything because they will find themselves still in some kind of touch with the leading pack at the halfway stage instead of being out of sight down the back straight playing for pride with a lot of travelling to get through.
    Early games, like the first up match with the Rebels away in Melbourne are a must win target for the troubled franchise.
    Tana needs to get another 10 points this season (including at least one win more than last season against Kiwi opposition) on top of what the Blues managed last season. That might only put them in 4th out of 5 positions in their own conference but a little incremental growth is a big step in such a difficult league. It gives them something to build on again for the next season as the kids grow into their roles.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
  14. The Jones Boy

    The Jones Boy Senior Member

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  15. Larksea

    Larksea Senior Member

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    Chiefs missing some key players too but my early feeling is that the blues are going to make the finals this year, be top 2 in the NZ conference.

    Tana's influence is clearly starting to make a positive impact and the squad is looking stronger, arguably the strongest squad on paper right now.

    lock is going to be interesting, They have PTP but they need a couple more players to stand up. I rate Tupou, good potential but this year will be a big test for him. Will be interesting to see what they do at fullback, I wonder if Nanai will get a run there on a regular basis. They have lots of options in Midfield which may force the likes of Moala or Ranger out to the wing. O’Donnell is an interesting signing, looked pretty good in the 10's.
     
  16. The_Blindside

    The_Blindside Senior Member

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    I don't rate West at Fly half: too inconsistent. Blues aren't going improve a great deal without a decent flyhalf.
     
  17. Larksea

    Larksea Senior Member

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    West has potential. He was very good towards the end of last year. its fair to say that he has taken his time to get up to speed at super level but they guy has the goods. Out played the likes of Cruden & Barrett at times last year. having SBW there is going to be a big bonus for West. With the depth the squad has if west struggles Francis is likely to get a go. He was very impressive at 12 last season.
     
  18. The Jones Boy

    The Jones Boy Senior Member

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    He's only young, he's maturing into the role. He certainly has talent. Tana must rate him because he's still in the mix. I'm worried that size wise he's a bit little.
     
  19. Gena_ZA

    Gena_ZA Senior Member

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    Would we see SBW and RR as centers and 1st choices?
    That could be awesome
     
  20. SomeOke

    SomeOke Senior Member

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    I wonder if it was between Moala and Ranger who would play 13 and who would shift to the wing? I would guess Moala at 13, which is still pretty sexy.
     
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