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All Blacks: Ma'a Nonu love or hate?

Ma'a Nonu love or hate?


  • Total voters
    28

Kapa O Pango

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Early in Nonu career his only asset was his powerful attacking runs, his ball handling wasn't the best with errors and his passing distribution needed a lot of improvement. He lacked unfitness and questions on his defence ability. Nonu has made a massive improvement over the past eight years. His handling, distribution of the ball has improved exceptionally being able to do accurate long passes. His fitness is at an high standard and his defence solid, also adding an kicking game to his arsenal.

He is equally well known for his explosiveness and powerful attacking runs and regularly breaks the defensive line at will.
Nonu possess an attacking skillset with being a exceptional crash ball runner who excels at breaking the line and creating space for outside backs. Breaking the line, off-load the ball and set up or score tries.

His experience and combination with Conrad Smith and his explosive reliability on the gain line in defence and attack. Nonu used his strong-running ability to up the middle with Smith more elegant, an organiser and support player.
Also questions on his S15 form, having an average or below average Super Rugby season. Put that Black Jersey on him, he transforms into an world class player. Side-stepping, breaking the line with his powerful attacking runs.

Love him or hate him?
 
I think he's been pretty average for the All Blacks this year. Its been a while since he broke the line at will. In 2008 he may have been more one dimensional, but he was incredibly dangerous and was still more refinned then when he started back in 2003. Now - I personally would like to start looking at a new 2nd 5/8th. The fact he has been pretty shoddy for the Highlanders and Blues - and got kicked out of the Canes for insubordinate behavior, as well as his age and fairly average performances makes me think its time to move on. And I'm saying this as a guy who has been a strong supporter of Nonu for years.

Comparing to Umaga is a bit unfair - Umaga was mainly a centre (and in my opinion there is no other centre I rate higher). He was a fantastic leader and intellegent player, had a much better passing game - from doing 30m passes to great offloads - was much better in defense both in more consistent legal hits, making more tackles in matches and his work after tackle to get to his feet and jackal was second to none in terms of other centres. He didn't really kick but to be fair he played with Mehrtens, Carter, McAlister, Evans, McDonald, Mauger, Muliaina etc - so to kick for territory would be stupid when you have better kickers - something that annoys me with Nonu when he elects to kick over Carter/Cruden/Dagg. Umaga could grabber with the best of them though.
 
The KFC option was funny when I saw it but then I had a serious look at the options and I picked KFC lol.

Ma'a should go to League, I think he's suited to the game as a centre or even stand-off. I keep saying it 'cos I believe strongly he'd have plenty of success there.

His last outing was his worst game and it wasn't really that bad. Before that game he was having a string of world class games. I wouldn't doubt Ma'a at the moment, he's got a good team that'll enable him to have a good comeback game.
 
voted for KFC... mmm fillet burger combo :)

I don't love or hate Nonu, I think he's a top player, dangerous on the field. Lately he seems to come across a little "ho hum" with the game, maybe he just needs a break to clear his head.
 
His attitude stinks. I cant stand the whole "but he performs for the AB's" line...and it looks like he thinks that too. I watch three or four times as much domestic rugby as international so i want them to be good games.

hes also become a bit lazy, where have these shoulder charges come from? and so many times if you can get slip past him he want even turn and chase.

What he brings is no longer worth more than securing the next second five. we should be blooding someone new whilst we can still put DC inside them and C Smith outside to help them out
 
The KFC option was funny when I saw it but then I had a serious look at the options and I picked KFC lol.

Ma'a should go to League, I think he's suited to the game as a centre or even stand-off. I keep saying it 'cos I believe strongly he'd have plenty of success there

well yeah but wait a second, he's absolutely deadly in union too, there's no need for the switch. He's clumsy, and that'll show some times. A mistake on defense, bad in-game kicking, and everybody's always criticized his passing game. But though he's a center and it's expected of him, one can't force anything on a player's style. One-dimensional ? Sure, but so what ? That one dimension he has most players don't have in their full game. He breaks defensive curtains with consistency, needs a bunch of tacklers per play, allows for the other AB to get a comfortable position and exploit their numeral advantage the other side...
And he's got both girth and speed.

He may not have cracked the defense as often this year, but for example he had that brilliant kick-pass against France this year that led to an immediate easy try, read the defense perfectly.
 
He's the best 12 in NZ and has been for a long time now so it doesn't really worry me whether people love him or hate him.

In terms of Super Rugby, particulalry if you are from certain franchises you might not love the guy, but if we are judging the guy as an All Black, I would argue people who are overly negative on Nonu are letting their biasses take over good judgement. As I said the reality is he is not only NZ's #1 option at 12, but he has been for a long time. He's also been part of an All Black team that will go down in history as arguably the best ever and you can't deny he has been a significant part of that, and by the time his career is done I htink he will be remembered as one of the worlds better 2nd 5s. I agree his form has slumped a bit, but for the All Blacks he is reliable, he still domindes his opposition, and despite what some are saying he is still a game breaker.

Don't Love him but hugely respect him as an All Black!
 
6 people voted for the KFC thing....uh..guys...*sigh*....seriously ?

uhhh.....
 
He's the best 12 in NZ and has been for a long time now so it doesn't really worry me whether people love him or hate him.

In terms of Super Rugby, particulalry if you are from certain franchises you might not love the guy, but if we are judging the guy as an All Black, I would argue people who are overly negative on Nonu are letting their biasses take over good judgement. As I said the reality is he is not only NZ's #1 option at 12, but he has been for a long time. He's also been part of an All Black team that will go down in history as arguably the best ever and you can't deny he has been a significant part of that, and by the time his career is done I htink he will be remembered as one of the worlds better 2nd 5s. I agree his form has slumped a bit, but for the All Blacks he is reliable, he still domindes his opposition, and despite what some are saying he is still a game breaker.

Don't Love him but hugely respect him as an All Black!

you should have to earn the Black jersey (or any other international team) end of, its no ones by right, and thats where we've gone wrong
 
you should have to earn the Black jersey (or any other international team) end of, its no ones by right, and thats where we've gone wrong

Haha, so in your world experience counts for nothing, not to mention track record in the Black jersey, or the importance of squad depth?

Even if I play along with your logic, you drop Nonu out of the ABs and what does your depth at 12 look like? Outside of shifting Carter to 12, which is not a viable long term option, I can think of one guy, Saili, that you could legitamately argue has "earned" a chance, but even Saili is a risk at this stage. After that you have a very short list of realistic alternatives, most of whom can't even hold down a Super Rugby starting spot and none of which has set the world on fire.

Who do you want in there, Crotty, Aki, Bateman, Treeby, Taylor.... have I forgotten anyone? None of those guys jumps out at me and says pick me I've "earned" an AB call up.

My point is there is a much bigger picture than picking soley on Super Rugby form. You do that and you are making a massive mistake - hence why the selectors stick with him.
 
I prefer Tana Umaga but I love Nonu too!!!!!!!!!!!
 
first thing looked at should be form and if you have to decide between two guys then the right experience should then be looked at..against italy for example i would go for youth and blood them...in the world cup final you would go with experience.

i would be looking to the future whilst you can still have carter inside and smith outside and nonu on the bench, we shoud be avoiding a situation where we have to replace both centres at the same time.

nonu has been no where near his best this year...even for the AB's baring that one game against the french.

So, hes not the long term future due to age (and no one wants him)....its not a world cup we're playing for...the bledisloe is locked up....he's not in form (generally)....why is he starting? (obviously injured at the moment)
 
I really loved Tana. And I always liked Ma'a, but I have been disappointed with him this past year or so...and then there was this:




das
 
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first thing looked at should be form and if you have to decide between two guys then the right experience should then be looked at..against italy for example i would go for youth and blood them...in the world cup final you would go with experience.

i would be looking to the future whilst you can still have carter inside and smith outside and nonu on the bench, we shoud be avoiding a situation where we have to replace both centres at the same time.

nonu has been no where near his best this year...even for the AB's baring that one game against the french.

So, hes not the long term future due to age (and no one wants him)....its not a world cup we're playing for...the bledisloe is locked up....he's not in form (generally)....why is he starting? (obviously injured at the moment)


Because the selectors trust him, because he has never really let them down, because he has 81 test caps, because even in his form slump he is still performing adequately for the All Blacks, and most importantly because the alternative is a bunch of rookies.

If you dump Nonu, you are taking a massive risk. So long as our depth at 12 is weak (and let's not kid ourselves, it is easily our weakest position), the selectors will keep Nonu in the mix. He will start sometimes, he will rest sometimes. The other thing is, and you said it yourself, in the big games you go with experience, that is what the AB selectors have done - there is not really another experienced option at 12 in NZ. You dump Nonu now and ho is your experienced player to start at 12 for the next big game? Nonu is injured now, but he has been carrying his injury for a while. If we were playing SA for the RC on Saturday, Nonu would be starting....it's a no brainer.

I'm all for blooding in new players, and in NZ we are lucky that we have good guys coming through, but more importantly that our team is so good we can afford to take the odd selection risk against even some of the better teams in world rugby. But when you have only have one expereinced guy in an already weak position you have to look after him, keep up his game time, hope his form comes good, and at the same time look to build depth around him. That's what the ABs are doing in my opinion.

Not the long term future?? Nah mate, I think you are off the mark there. When it comes to AB rugby, the long term future effectively runs as far as the next world cup, and there is no doubt Nonu is in the selectors minds for 2015. He might not be the number 1 by then but at this stage he is without doubt a top 3 prospect and so long as he is, he will be in the squad and get game time.
 
we shoud be avoiding a situation where we have to replace both centres at the same time.
Just on that point, Nonu and Smith are both only 31, both could eaasily make the next RWC. The ABs wont be too worried if they have to replace them both at the same time post RWC.
 
To be honest we really need to be putting guys like Saili up against teams like the Boks. I really hope we don't run the risk of what South Africa did in 2011 - using the bulk of what was in 2007 was a very experienced squad, one WC too many. It's pretty clear Nonu isn't setting the world alight and it's still a wee while before 2015. South Africa and Australia are bringing in new guys pretty consistently, and its not like we haven't, but I think we need to step it up by building depth at 12. With SBW looking likely to return we at least have one decent reserve (and if its the three year deal I'll be happy enough) - but Nonu isn't as good as he was in 2011 - so it stands to reason he'll be even worse by 2015.
 
To be honest we really need to be putting guys like Saili up against teams like the Boks. I really hope we don't run the risk of what South Africa did in 2011 - using the bulk of what was in 2007 was a very experienced squad, one WC too many. It's pretty clear Nonu isn't setting the world alight and it's still a wee while before 2015. South Africa and Australia are bringing in new guys pretty consistently, and its not like we haven't, but I think we need to step it up by building depth at 12. With SBW looking likely to return we at least have one decent reserve (and if its the three year deal I'll be happy enough) - but Nonu isn't as good as he was in 2011 - so it stands to reason he'll be even worse by 2015.
Yup I agree, but if possible it would be preferable to give him at least a run against a weaker opposition first.

On RWC 2015, I agree - I expect Nonu will be at best 3rd choice 12 by then with at least SBW and Saili preferred, BUT at this stage SWB aint here yet, and Saili et al haven't payed started a single game yet between them. It is wise therefore to keep Nonu in the mix for a while yet.
 
I really hope we don't run the risk of what South Africa did in 2011 - using the bulk of what was in 2007 was a very experienced squad, one WC too many.

If you think about it though are you actually truly worried about that?
For example here is a list of all the new All Blacks since the 2011 RWC:

Brodie Retallick, Julian Savea, Aaron Smith, Sam Cane, Luke Romano, Beauden Barrett, Charlie Faumuina, Dane Coles, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Ben Afeaki, Jeremy Thrush, Steven Luatua, Charles Piutau, Matt Todd, Ryan Crotty, Tom Taylor, and then add Saili from Saturday.

In that list you have, I guess, 5 first pick starters, another 5 or 6 who you could argue would deserve a starting spot if it weren't for better players existing in their position, and then the rest are being groomed to come through.

On top of that the list excludes the likes of L Whitelock, Coltman, Halai, Shields who have been brought into the wider training squad as either injury cover/apprentices... no doubt there are a few others as well which I can't recall off the top of my head.

Were SA doing that post 2007? England post 2003?? To be honest, while I'm not sure of the answer, I expect not, certainly not to the extent the ABs have done anyway.

My point, I don't think we have much to worry about.

I think people get concerned when they see the lengths the NZRU goes to keep players like DC, McCaw, Nonu, Smith, even Mealamu... But they would be mad not to. On top of the fact that these guys are still all playing very well, they bring a massive amount of experience and mana to the team which should never be underestimated. They are integral in bring these new guys up to speed and getting them ready to take over. And then there are the obvious commercial benefits from having some of these guys around as well.

Don't worry the ABs are in very good shape.
 
when Nonu plays next to a good flyhalf, then nonu is good... next to an avg one, nonu is avg...

its weird... so I don't know if carter/cruden brings out the best in nonu or if they make him look good...

lol on a good day nonu is good... on a bad day he's bad... so I don't know...

best 2nd 5 8 in my books is still Aaron Mauger...

don't know why Tana is mentioned as he played wing and centre..nonu is a 2nd 5 8
 

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