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[2019 Super Rugby] Round 18 (14 & 15 June 2019)

Dave Davies

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I was excited for about 14 seconds that the Highlanders magically snuck in to the quarter finals, until I realized the essentially earned the right to get their butts handed to them by a truly frightening Crusaders team...

I feel like there will be some sort of upset out of the four matches, so I'll go with

Crusaders easily over the Gosh-We're-Just-Happy-to-Be-Here-Highlanders;
Hurricanes to prevail in a tight one over the Bulls;
Jaguares win convincingly over the Chiefs; and
Brumbies get shocked on their home field by a surprisingly feisty Sharks team

Wouldn't it be great if, after both seasons, we could have the winner of Europe play the winner of Super Rugby? Just imagine a Crusaders / Saracens matchup, what an epic contest that would be!...

Anyway, all predictions 100% accurate or double your money back!
 

Jabby

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i'm hoping ours will still be a good game, guys like frizzel, squire, Ioane, Hemopo and Naholo all have a lot to prove, if all fire this could be epic
 

Captain_Az

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Who's seen or listens to this podcast (Super Rugby Podcast)

Super Rugby Podcast - (also on all other podcast apps)

Just found these guys they're classic.

Anyone else know any other Super Rugby podcasts worth listening to?
 

Larksea

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But remember the playoffs is more than half of the teams. If you finished 7th in super 12 it wouldn’t have been considered a good result, not bad but not good. And it’s easier to finish 7th in this competition with the Aussie teams and the sunwolves pretty poor.

I kinda agree about the all blacks resting but at the same time the likes of retallick, cane, squire, sbw, read, coles, naholo have had long rests through injury, while a number of other players have had shorter rests through injury too plus obligatory all blacks rests. Ardie, s barrett, s Whitelock, Laumape, alb, goodhue, a smith, tj could have done with some more rest though, Ione and the other blues guys obviously will get some rest.

All in all we will probably come in reasonably rested with a few games practice under our belt. Not too bad really. I think Hansen wouldn’t mind players having playoff experience too. There is probably a position or two that will be decided in the playoffs as well.
I know there are arguments against my logic but I constantly see the opposite happening.
We say players need gametime and it makes sense. But I dont see it so much, more so with props than anything else it does take a bit more time for front rowers to get upto speed.
But I'm constantly seeing players come back from injury layoffs and hitting their straps very early and looking great and even looking better than when they left like the layoff, like the layoff has done them a lot of good, they recover from their injury and other niggles they mite have while also getting a chance to work on their base fitness. And I'm always seeing the Aussie test side looking really good after the majority of their players get the super rugby finals off and the test side by virtue of that get extra weeks to prepare for the test season.
The selectors will say they like to see players in the finals but the reality is the vast majority of spots have been selected already there may be 1-2 spots out of a 32 man squad which could swing on finals rugby but I very much doubt any more than that. or that there are core match day 23 spots still up for grabs.
And I feel that no matter what happens the players will need to stop regather in the All Blacks and start building again, I think it would be difficult for players to try and carry their super rugby form into the world cup. It would be best to reset and build up through TRC and into the WC to the point where they dont want to peak too early in the WC.
Splitting hairs though, the reality is the players and coaches job is to make best with the situation they are handed.
 

Umaga's Witness

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I know there are arguments against my logic but I constantly see the opposite happening.
We say players need gametime and it makes sense. But I dont see it so much, more so with props than anything else it does take a bit more time for front rowers to get upto speed.
But I'm constantly seeing players come back from injury layoffs and hitting their straps very early and looking great and even looking better than when they left like the layoff, like the layoff has done them a lot of good, they recover from their injury and other niggles they mite have while also getting a chance to work on their base fitness. And I'm always seeing the Aussie test side looking really good after the majority of their players get the super rugby finals off and the test side by virtue of that get extra weeks to prepare for the test season.
The selectors will say they like to see players in the finals but the reality is the vast majority of spots have been selected already there may be 1-2 spots out of a 32 man squad which could swing on finals rugby but I very much doubt any more than that. or that there are core match day 23 spots still up for grabs.
And I feel that no matter what happens the players will need to stop regather in the All Blacks and start building again, I think it would be difficult for players to try and carry their super rugby form into the world cup. It would be best to reset and build up through TRC and into the WC to the point where they dont want to peak too early in the WC.
Splitting hairs though, the reality is the players and coaches job is to make best with the situation they are handed.
Fair. My biggest concern is Ardie and the halfbacks.

I don’t think they need 5 midfielders in the World Cup squad so they’ll be still determining which 4 to take. They also don’t know which of them will start. They don’t know who their third starting back three player is. There is still an outside back and or first five choice to make for the squad. Maybe they are unsure on their third halfback. A backup 6/8, 4th lock, 3rd seven. Of course all 3 of those could be the same person. I know Hansen has spoken before about super rugby playoffs being the real test of young players abilities under pressure so I think some of those places will be determined during the playoffs.
 

Captain_Az

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Larksea

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Fair. My biggest concern is Ardie and the halfbacks.

I don’t think they need 5 midfielders in the World Cup squad so they’ll be still determining which 4 to take. They also don’t know which of them will start. They don’t know who their third starting back three player is. There is still an outside back and or first five choice to make for the squad. Maybe they are unsure on their third halfback. A backup 6/8, 4th lock, 3rd seven. Of course all 3 of those could be the same person. I know Hansen has spoken before about super rugby playoffs being the real test of young players abilities under pressure so I think some of those places will be determined during the playoffs.
Yeah Midfield is a lottery right now. The selectors are likely to favor SBW, he will at least get a chance to show some form before the WC or at the beginning of the WC to show he can do the job. Crotty has so much experience and is so reliable he will be hard to leave out. ALB has been the pick of the chiefs backline this year and he deserves a lot of credit for his test performances the guy has never put a foot wrong for the All Blacks and probably hasn't been given the gametime he deserves, Goodhue has done enough to hold his spot in the squad. I've not seen many canes games this year but by all accounts Laumape has been in great form as well.
But there is no way they can carry 5 midfielders and they are all genuine midfielders as well there is not a lot of utility there. ALB is the one player that has the build/skillset and a bit of extra heal to maybe over wing, SBW did cover wing a while ago but I dont see that happening now. Seems most likely Laumape will be the unlucky one but whoever it is should keep their phone on as a potential injury call up. Crotty is likely to be used a fair bit and he has been injury prone, so has SBW.

IMO they have to take Weber, he's on an amazing run of form. He sparks the attack, he finishes, his clearance is on point and his defense has been awesome and that speed he has makes him a finisher as well. I think its totally fair to say that he is the form 9 in NZ right now. he just has to be in. TTT is a good player and Hall as well, thier time will come but as far as I know Smith, TJP and Weber are sticking in NZ so its a position that will continue to be a logjam.
 

Umaga's Witness

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Yeah Midfield is a lottery right now. The selectors are likely to favor SBW, he will at least get a chance to show some form before the WC or at the beginning of the WC to show he can do the job. Crotty has so much experience and is so reliable he will be hard to leave out. ALB has been the pick of the chiefs backline this year and he deserves a lot of credit for his test performances the guy has never put a foot wrong for the All Blacks and probably hasn't been given the gametime he deserves, Goodhue has done enough to hold his spot in the squad. I've not seen many canes games this year but by all accounts Laumape has been in great form as well.
But there is no way they can carry 5 midfielders and they are all genuine midfielders as well there is not a lot of utility there. ALB is the one player that has the build/skillset and a bit of extra heal to maybe over wing, SBW did cover wing a while ago but I dont see that happening now. Seems most likely Laumape will be the unlucky one but whoever it is should keep their phone on as a potential injury call up. Crotty is likely to be used a fair bit and he has been injury prone, so has SBW.

IMO they have to take Weber, he's on an amazing run of form. He sparks the attack, he finishes, his clearance is on point and his defense has been awesome and that speed he has makes him a finisher as well. I think its totally fair to say that he is the form 9 in NZ right now. he just has to be in. TTT is a good player and Hall as well, thier time will come but as far as I know Smith, TJP and Weber are sticking in NZ so its a position that will continue to be a logjam.
Check my post in the thread about the 31 man World Cup squad, not my last post but the one before where I provided my prediction of what the selectors will choose rather than what i would choose. Would be interesting to see if you agreed.
 

Dave Davies

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The weird but cool thing about watching these games in the US is, even though they start Friday night, they are usually over before I get to work on Friday morning. In this case, the game in Argentina changes that, but at least I can watch my beloved Highlanders right when I get in!...
 
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