Yeah its no doubt howlett, NZs record test try scorer mustve felt a bit peefed off at this, clearly the coaches liked sivivatu from when he played against the ABs for the PI's, im pretty sure he'll be back to face the wallabies assuming if they do make it to the semi's but i got a feeling he'll miss out again if eng progress..
I voted for Howlett, because he's just had a blinder of a tournament, but I understand why they left him out in favour of Sivivatu. You just have to think back to the end of last year when Sivi ripped the French a new one. It's an understandable selection.
I also feel Greg Sommerville was hard done by. He's played consistently all tournament, unlike Tialata who has had terrible games against Portugal and Romania.
Conrad Smith has done little this tournament so it's understandable why he missed on selection. Aaron Mauger has just been average. Sometimes he impressed but nothing to write home about and no where near his top form. Reuben Thorne I thought played remarkably well recently, but he's not the type of player to come off the bench against France. You need that Lauaki-type player who can make powerful breaks in the midfield and make players think twice when they are on the attack.
EDIT: Well apparently Lauaki isn't in the team. Masoe is a much more versatile and more effective player than Thorne anyway.
Howlet was a bit unlucky aye. If you go on recent for, real unlucky, and by the way Henry was rotating his A team B team it looked as if Dougie would get a start. So for me a suprise. However looking at the bigger picture you can see where Henry s ging here. It wasnt that long ago Sivi would have been the first choice wing so....
I noticed Chris Jack wasnt on that list!! Hes probably the unluckiest of them all no?? The victum of a Henry tactical plan I guess. Hes been NZs number 1 lock for years now. FOr me its Jack.
Howlett isn't a strong attacking runner. He's more of a support player. I guess Rok and Sivi's style of play appealed more to the cartel for the French. I won't be surprised to see Howlett back later in the tournament, if we get that far .
Don't think this is our strongest team. They're still rotating. Watch Ali and Jack rotate starting roles, again, if we make it that far .
Lauaki imo is unlucky he got cited. Would've been interesting to see if he'd make this team.