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All Blacks v Tonga (NZ amateurs of Tongan heritage)

Umaga's Witness

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ALL BLACKS (15-1): Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Quinn Tupaea, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Brad Weber, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Akira Ioane, Sam Whitelock (c), Scott Barrett, Angus Ta'avao, Dane Coles, Karl Tu'inukuafe

Reserves: Asafo Aumua, George Bower, Tyrel Lomax, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ethan Blackadder, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett

TONGA (15-1): James Faiva, Hosea Saumaki, Fine Inisi, Nikolai Foliaki, Penikolo Latu, Kalione Hala, Sonatane Takulua (c), Sione Tu'ipolotu, Solomone Funaki, Mateaki Kafatolu, Zane Kapeli, Don Lolo, Sila Puafisi, Sam Moli, Duke Nginingini

Reserves: Siua Maile, Jethro Felemi, Tau Koloamatangi, Harrison Mataele, Viliami Taulani, Nasi Manu, Leon Fukofuka, Walter Fifita
 
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I don't understand how Tau Koloamatangi can play for Tonga as he is already international for Hong Kong
103257330_3089575994455346_312472595905408124_n.jpg
 
I don't understand how Tau Koloamatangi can play for Tonga as he is already international for Hong Kong
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Maybe it wasnt a test?

I kinda get the selections except for leaving brodie retallick out of the 23.

jacobson was simply the best all round 8 in super rigby this year and must be one of the options we are looking at for trucking it over the gainline, as hes do e well at that, especially when hitting the line flat and picking good lines when doing so. Hoskins linking game is clearly better, with a great skillset, but whether we ultimately end up with hoskins or jacobson or savea (just play him at seven please) at 8 will depend on the makeup of the team, in partixular who else we have to give us go forward ball. I suspect theyll want at least two or three players who can give us that initial go forward, so i think hoskins is more likely to start if tuipolotu starts, perhaps if ardie is at 7, jacobson or akira at 6, tupaea at 12 may help a bit too.

i can see why they play tupaea straight away. It should be an easy test and they know what theyre going to get from havili such is his experience and rugby intelligence. I do feel bad for havili though.

i can understand akira starting. Although he hasnt been that good in his limited opportunities this year, he did play well fir the all blacks last year. Hes another one theyll be looking at to carry, but mire importantly they need some enforcers in the team and theyll be hoping he can be that. Ethan blackadder has been the best 6 this year, but theyll be a bit unsure about how that translated to test level (not that this test will be), and they probably doobt he can play an enforcer role. Id presume theyll be thinnking its unlikely theyd want to start both blackadder and sotutu in a big test, for example. Both these players will no doubt be wanting to deomstrate their physicality when they get their opportunities.

i imagine they like the look if blackadder as a utility player. Inwouldnt be surprised if he comes on for sotutu, to guve him a go at seven and to give akira game time since hes been starved of it this year.
 
bookies have the AB but like +70, I am all for the AB's playing the PI teams more often....but not when they are so understrength

I'm a highlanders fan so i think the most annoying omittance is Nareki, on paper the form 11 of SRA and SRTT, compared to Bridge who (in general i actually like) was injured for big chance of SR
 
bookies have the AB but like +70, I am all for the AB's playing the PI teams more often....but not when they are so understrength
Absolutely agree. I can see why we are doing it, because we wanted to support them and tongan, fijian, and samona rugby unions wanted to play us. But so many players arent playing by choice of their own. I know there are factors involved, but if the players dont care enough to do their quarantine time, then why should we care enough to help them out? Im not saying the players dint have a right to make thise decisions, but given theyve made those decisions then theres no point in us playing them. How much are they going to gain really, a bunch if players here will potentially play the only tests theyll ever play. It wont make tongan, samoan, or fijian rugby stronger for the experience. Sure theyll get some money for it, but id rather we did something like playing nz pacifika and nz maori teams against them and then have a possibles vs probables match and kust give them a share of the proceeds fron all thise matches

for example, to show we could still field 4 strong sides

Possibles probables maori ABs and nz pacifica
Im not going to think this through deeply, so not suggesting these should be the teams, but below is an example of how this could look this weekend

Probables (ill just assume the 15 they named for the all blacks, even though i know its nit the best 15, but im going to choose the possibles 15 before choosing the benches, as i think that gives a mire fair opportunity to the best non starters).

New probables bench becomes

De groot
Aumua
Lomax
Vaai
Blackadder
Christie
Hunt
Faingaanuku


Possibles

Bower
Taylor
Laulala
Retallick
Tuipolotu
Frizell
Kirifi
Sotutu
Smith
Beuden
Nareki
Havili
Umaga-jensen
Reece
Jordie
Ross (at the point of naming the bench i thought it would be easier not to disturb the maori 23 too much)
Coltman
Jager
Strange
Boshier
Flanders (6-2 split as havili, beauden and jordie can play multiple positions)
Drummond
Sullivan

Maori all blacks as selected this week except ill remove josh ione so he can play for pacifica, replace him with trask

Nz pacifica then becomes

Hodgman
Taukeiaho
Mafileo
Ah kuoi
Cowley tuioti
Fifita
Kirifi
Sowakula
Tahuriorangi (if desperate, this team is allowed to borrow maori players who werent needed for nz Maori)
J ione
Rayasi
Faiane
Aso
Mark telea
Alaimalo
Numia
Vikena
Mafileo
Havili-Talitui (fifita can cover lock)
Iose
Ruru (again, borrowing from unneeded nz maori)
Tiatia (i reckon he can cover 10)
Punivai

that team will clearly still beat tonga, and what a celebration of the pacifika it will be to get all these guys playing together
 
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Well there is the answer to the question "How do you stick DMac, Richie, Jordan, Jordie and Beaudie all in the same side...?"

Some seriously crazy talent in that group. The midfield is going to be the biggest area of focus, no ALB, Goodhue or Laumape. I think there would have been more balance with Havili there, He and Quinn look like the most complementary combo but they are both considered 12's I guess.

Bridge is lucky but I'm also a huge believer in him, to me he's almost a spiritual successor to Ben Smith i guess.

In the end its not really going to matter too much, Tonga will do well to be within 70 points of this All Blacks side.
 
Well there is the answer to the question "How do you stick DMac, Richie, Jordan, Jordie and Beaudie all in the same side...?"

Some seriously crazy talent in that group. The midfield is going to be the biggest area of focus, no ALB, Goodhue or Laumape. I think there would have been more balance with Havili there, He and Quinn look like the most complementary combo but they are both considered 12's I guess.

Bridge is lucky but I'm also a huge believer in him, to me he's almost a spiritual successor to Ben Smith i guess.

In the end its not really going to matter too much, Tonga will do well to be within 70 points of this All Blacks side.
welcome back!

I think bridge suffers, as well as to injuries, from not being lomu...esk, lots of people have got use to the all black left wing being either a big dude, or flying fijian (Lomu, Savea, Ioane, Roko etc)...where for several years the RIGHT wing has been a second fullback (smith, Jane, NMS)...and even now, Bridge is up against Ioane and Clark for the 11 jersey...and he stands out as being different, i dont think he would get anywhere near as much flak if he was on the right
 
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for those around the world interested watching this


New Zealand

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This festival of pacifica rugby is turning out to be a massive fail. All this hype and expectation, talk about a big crowd fir the samoa v maori game but turns out noone want to pay overpriced tickets to watch a second string samoan team play the nz maori at the home of rugby league (bug surprise, not). Will be interesting to see how many come along to watch e amateurs fronting up to guve the all blacks a training run.

in the first half samoa have actually played exceptionally well given their makeshift team. A pretty good contest really.
 
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Can i ask you guys a rather awkward question? Hope you don't mind. Given this day and age and given how progressive NZ is on most issues, is there anyone crying foul when people of no Maori descent perform the haka? You know cultural appropriation and that.
I ask because not that long ago I was watching a game and an American at the able mentioned how it would come across if a white American of say, Italian or Irish descent would perform a native American dance. It wouldn't look good. I know it's not the same, but it's not that different either. Made me curious.
Thanks in advance.
 
Haven't seen 100 up in international rugby for a very long time, looking very likely here unfortunately with 15 to go.
 
That was a bit embarrassing really. 102-0 and The ABs had a 15 minute lull in the first half with no tries. I do question the wisdom of having test matches like this when Tonga are so massively under strength and underprepared. That was a glorified training session for New Zealand. The All Blacks looked quite slick but it's hard to make a judgement when the opponents are so poor. There were some good performances though, Tupaea and Papalii were the standouts for me.
 
Nice for New Zealand, but poor for international rugby to have one of the top teams putting 100 up on a team that is sitting 13th in the world.

I also question the point of this game if Tonga couldn't/weren't going to be able to put out a stronger team, especially when they would be expected to lose by a decent margin with a full strength squad. This type of performance is not going to encourage tier 1 nations to play against lower tier nations in the international windows and is totally unfair for the likes of Georgia who are actually putting in the effort, being relatively competitive with tier 1s over the last two years.

What was the issue with Tonga not being able to put forward a strong team exactly?
 
Nice for New Zealand, but poor for international rugby to have one of the top teams putting 100 up on a team that is sitting 13th in the world.

I also question the point of this game if Tonga couldn't/weren't going to be able to put out a stronger team, especially when they would be expected to lose by a decent margin with a full strength squad. This type of performance is not going to encourage tier 1 nations to play against lower tier nations in the international windows and is totally unfair for the likes of Georgia who are actually putting in the effort, being relatively competitive with tier 1s over the last two years.

What was the issue with Tonga not being able to put forward a strong team exactly?
European teams holding top Tongan players because of Covid(can't be blamed), NZR still holding claim on talent that could play for Tonga even after they're done with them... That's mostly it. Oh... And the rest of the Tongan talent play in Japan and become Japanese national players.
 
Not much we can learn from this. Main thing i did was count mistakes. A few too many penalties at ruck time. Jordan made four or five miatakes for mine, so probably one of if not the worst players out there. Obviously has the rare talent like a cullen to sense the opportunities from the back, but still has a bit to work on before he becomes a superstar unfortunately. Jacobson made a couple of mistakes in his decisions out wide that youd expect hoskins wouldnt. Again, doesnt mean the end if luke, just means hes got things to work on. He was absolutely the best all round 8 in super rugby, but for this all blacks style theyll want him to improve there.

dalton was good i thought.


Can i ask you guys a rather awkward question? Hope you don't mind. Given this day and age and given how progressive NZ is on most issues, is there anyone crying foul when people of no Maori descent perform the haka? You know cultural appropriation and that.
I ask because not that long ago I was watching a game and an American at the able mentioned how it would come across if a white American of say, Italian or Irish descent would perform a native American dance. It wouldn't look good. I know it's not the same, but it's not that different either. Made me curious.
Thanks in advance.
Depends on the context. Generally if those performing it are doing it with understanding and respect then its encouraged. For exampe, My primary school won the national haka competition three years running and everyone in the school, not just maori, were encouraged to participate. The all blacks haka is for the all blacks. To be honest, cant say i know for sure how widely supported amongst maori the all blacks performing the haka is, its definitely not universally supported, but it generally is. So i would say if any all blacks fan is performing the haka, for the purpose of supporting the all blacks, that will generally be thought of as ok. Better if you understand what its about though.
 
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Nice for New Zealand, but poor for international rugby to have one of the top teams putting 100 up on a team that is sitting 13th in the world.

I also question the point of this game if Tonga couldn't/weren't going to be able to put out a stronger team, especially when they would be expected to lose by a decent margin with a full strength squad. This type of performance is not going to encourage tier 1 nations to play against lower tier nations in the international windows and is totally unfair for the likes of Georgia who are actually putting in the effort, being relatively competitive with tier 1s over the last two years.

What was the issue with Tonga not being able to put forward a strong team exactly?

I am in two minds over this, on one hand our players do need warm up matches and I would like us to play the PI teams more often, on the other hand there is nothing to be gained (for either team) from scores like this.

As it goes I still think integrating PI national teams into the Super Rugby competition is probably a better reflection of where they are at currently.
 
European teams holding top Tongan players because of Covid(can't be blamed), NZR still holding claim on talent that could play for Tonga even after they're done with them... That's mostly it. Oh... And the rest of the Tongan talent play in Japan and become Japanese national players.

I dont think european clubs had much to do with it. There were some who coildnt make it on time after the european comps, given quarantine requirements. , i dont know for sure, but as far as ive read the majority were personal decisions. Its probably somwthing like if they get injured or get covid then their club has an out clause in the contract.
 
Can i ask you guys a rather awkward question? Hope you don't mind. Given this day and age and given how progressive NZ is on most issues, is there anyone crying foul when people of no Maori descent perform the haka? You know cultural appropriation and that.
I ask because not that long ago I was watching a game and an American at the able mentioned how it would come across if a white American of say, Italian or Irish descent would perform a native American dance. It wouldn't look good. I know it's not the same, but it's not that different either. Made me curious.
Thanks in advance.
The country likes to try and celebrate the culture as much as possible, by getting as much involvement as possible. And people are encouraged to further the reach and understanding of it, no matter the colour of your skin or your heritage.
 

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