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Otago 2012 ITM Cup Squad

Kiwiwomble

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The following Otago team has been named for the 2012 ITM Cup season.


Sam Anderson Heather - Dunedin
Hugh Blake - Dunedin
Pete Breen - Alhambra-Union
Michael Collins - Taieri
Liam Coltman - Alhambra-Union
Glenn Dickson - Pirates
Tamati Ellison - Maniototo
Gareth Evans - Dunedin
Matt Faddes - University
Tom Franklin - Southern
Tanaka Fumiaki - Zingari-Richmond
Paul Grant - University
Adam Hill - Kaikorai
Shota Horie - Zingari-Richmond
TJ Ioane - Southern
Justin Ives - Taieri
Eben Joubert (Captain) - Harbour
Scott Manson - Alhambra-Union
Kieren Moffat - Taieri
Buxton Popoalii - Green Island
Ben Smith - Green Island
Jayden Spence - Kaikorai
Marshall Suckling - Pirates
Aki Suili - Taieri
Adam Thomson - University
Tama Tuarangi - University
Rob Verbakel - University
Brad Webber - Dunedin
Lee Allan - Kaikorai
Hayden Parker - Taieri
Jacob Ellison - Dunedin


would ask what people though but as it should be most of these guys have never been heard of before! I recognise the Dunedin guys and the ab's...but other than that....

i'm surprised Liam edwards missed out, he always seems to tear it up for for the sharks

Darwin, enlighten us?
 
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Liam Edwards?.. I went to Mataura school with that guy.. If it's the same one.
 
Wow, a lot of unknown guys on that list. I'm sure they'll bring a lot of enthusiasm if nothing else. Looks like they'll cobble together an ok starting line-up, but I don't feel good for their chances if there are injuries.
 
Liam Edwards?.. I went to Mataura school with that guy.. If it's the same one.

how old would he be? i thought he went to Otago Boys....but i'm a bt out of the loop

Wow, a lot of unknown guys on that list. I'm sure they'll bring a lot of enthusiasm if nothing else. Looks like they'll cobble together an ok starting line-up, but I don't feel good for their chances if there are injuries.

there is not alot of experience in the squad thats for sure but TB has has a camp of 40 odd together on and off for a while now. Not the offical squad of course but the "cream" of the club comp so i'm hoping they will all gel well and fitness wont be a problem

good to see they have taken the whole shake up seriously and gone back to the club comp, we wont win anything but it could be the start of somehting good in otago
 
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how old would he be? i thought he went to Otago Boys....but i'm a bt out of the loop



there is not alot of experience in the squad thats for sure but TB has has a camp of 40 odd together on and off for a while now. Not the offical squad of course but the "cream" of the club comp so i'm hoping they will all gel well and fitness wont be a problem

good to see they have taken the whole shake up seriously and gone back to the club comp, we wont win anything but it could be the start of somehting good in otago


Yeah, it is the only way forward for them. I'm not from down there, but I imagine it would have been tough to get in behind the team when they were made up of cast-offs from other provinces trying to get a game.

The same thing happened in Manawatu when Charlie McAlister (Luke's dad) was the coach, he was an idiot an alienated all the locals by bringing in Wellington and Harbour B players. Then (luckily) Dave Rennie came along and started picking the local kids and developing them. Sure we got hammered the first couple of seasons but we managed to start hanging onto our talented young guys (have still lost some e.g. Whitelocks, Kurt Baker, Andre Taylor) and have now developed into a solid team. Something like 20 out of the 25 man squad were schooled in Manawatu last season, which makes it much easier to support for the local people. Good on Otago for going down that route.
 
Interesting there are two Japanese internationals in that squad.

Actually three - though Justin Ives isn't the most Japanese of names :)

Otago coach Tony Brown obviously made some good connections when he was in Japan! Tanaka and Horie are both high quality players, and were in my opinion the pick of Japan's players at the Rugby World Cup. Both are obviously keen to play rugby in New Zealand - they came to Dunedin a couple of months ago without guaranteed contracts and had to play club rugby to earn themselves a place in the squad.

I'm actually pretty happy with that squad. There is some good young talent, mixed with a number of proven players. I think there are far less 'journeyman players' in this squad than in recent years - the squad may not succeed this season, but it has the building block of a very competitive squad in years to come.

The biggest weaknesses in the squad is our tight-fve. Jacob Ellison is serviceable at this level, and Manson looked ok for Otago at times last season. Tuirirangi is an interesting inclusion. He has been around for years (he played a number of seasons for Taranaki), but I've never really rated him - at least he will bring experience. Don't know much about our 4th prop (Seiuli), I wonder whether we may see Kees Meeuws suit up again this season :)

We are very strong at hooker - our top two hookers have very contrasting styles too. Horie is quite small but incredibly dynamic with ball in hand, while Coltman is a much bigger player (he used to be a tighthead prop) who is a very strong scrummager (though I hope he has been working on his lineout throwing). Because of Coltman's scrummaging I'd start him at hooker with Horie providing impact off the bench, but even with Coltman at hooker I expect our scrum to be going backwards most weeks. Sam Heather-Anderson is another handy hooker should either Coltman or Horie get injured.

Our lock are ok - it is good to see Verbakel back from Scotland as he is a solid player, as is Ives. Franklin has some talent too, but he hasn't really stepped up to ITM Cup level yet. We don't really have an other options after those three, which is a bit of a concern - I think we will miss the physicality Ramsey brought last season, and Tom Donnelly's lineout prowess.

Our loose forwards are arguably our strongest asset this season. If Joubert stays fit for more than a couple of matches it will be a massive boost, as he can be quite inspiration as captain. He is backed up at 7 by Hugh Blake, who had a very strong Under 20's tournament. There is a possibility Otago may play dual opensides with Joubert and Blake especially if we play a very expansive game plan (which I think we need to). Thomson is obviously outstanding at this level, but probably wont get many matches if he away with the AB's. Ioane is another good player at this level - he is very quick and powerful with ball in hand, and hopefully he has been working on his ball control and tackling over the summer. Evans has the potential to be a top class number 8 (or 6), and I feel he was unlucky to miss out on a Highlanders contract last season. He has superb ball skills, a good eye for the gap, great speed, and does the basics very well - he reminds me so much of Kieran Read. We seem to have plenty of cover in the loose-forwards too, with Hill, Grant, and Allen also in the squad (not sure why we need 7 loosies but only 3 locks?).

I have no doubt Otago will have the smallest halfback pairing in New Zealand rugby, if not world rugby! Both Tanaka and Brad Weber are tiny - they make Aaron Smith look like Brad Thorn! Despite being similar in stature they are quite different players which I think is good: Tanaka is a superb passing halfback, while Weber is an exceptional running halfback (he is a phenomenal sevens player). I'd look to start Tanaka and have Weber come off the bench to exploit tired defenses with 20 mins to go.

I hope Otago gives Hayden Parker at good shot at 10. He struggled a bit last season backing up Tony Brown, but he certainly has some talent. Dickson is the other option at 10, but I don't think he is ever going to be anything more than a solid ITM Cup player, and he may well be require at fullback (if Smith is away with the AB's) or at 12. Ellison is quality in the midfield, but I suspect he (like Smith and Thomson) will be away with the AB's for most of the season. I'm not convinced about out other midfield options - Spence didn't really impress me last season, and though Moffat is a very good Sevens player, and Collins tremendous promise (he is still only 18 I think), both are rookies.

Popoali'i is obviously quality at this level, but apart from him there isn't much experience in the outside backs (assuming Smith is with the AB's). Faddes and Suckling (and possibly Moffat) are probably competing for one wing spot - I quite like the look of Faddes so I wouldn't mind him getting a few starts this season. Interesting to see Peter Breen chosen as a fullback - he is a good goal-kicker and a pretty reliable player, but I would have though Liam Edwards (as mentioned by Jabby) would have been given a chance. Like Breen he is a top quality goal-kicker, but he is far more elusive, has genuine pace, and is a few years younger (Edwards would be around 20, while Breen would be 24-25).
 
just what i was looking for Darwin, cheers

I'm looking forward to seeing Coltman get a good run, as a former rake myself i rate him quiet highly and some time at the next level could do him well

...is it wrong i kind of want Thomo, Smith and Ellison to miss out on the AB's? with those guys around these young ones we could really build for the future...i'm afraid if too many young ones mixed with guys who are topping out the tallent level (dickson?) they wont learn what they need to and will get hammered

it's a pitty we couldn't get Hore down for otago too as his leadership would have done wonders...play him and 7 ;)
 
just what i was looking for Darwin, cheers

I'm looking forward to seeing Coltman get a good run, as a former rake myself i rate him quiet highly and some time at the next level could do him well

...is it wrong i kind of want Thomo, Smith and Ellison to miss out on the AB's? with those guys around these young ones we could really build for the future...i'm afraid if too many young ones mixed with guys who are topping out the tallent level (dickson?) they wont learn what they need to and will get hammered

it's a pitty we couldn't get Hore down for otago too as his leadership would have done wonders...play him and 7 ;)

I've got a lot of time for Coltman too - if he can sort out his throwing he has the potential to go a long way (especially with the aging New Zealand hooker population .....that statement just sounded so wrong ;) ). He may struggle to get a starting role for Otago this season though as Horie is a top quality player.

I've just read a bit about out new prop Seiula (here) - I didn't realize he was only 19! He sounds very promising (and he will have a great teacher in Kees Meeuws!), which is great as prop is a bit of area of concern.

The lack of quality experienced players for our young players to learn off is a bit of a concern (as you mention), though Horie and Tanaka both have a bit of experience (and the likes of Meeuws and Brown have a lot of experience from a playing perspective). I don't think this team will be good enough to win the Championship this season, but if they keep there young players together with any luck they could be back in the Premiership before too long....
 
It's interesting Liam Edwards' name has come up, I was chatting to a friend about him yesterday afternoon prior to the squad being named, and as I had been out of town, asked him if he was a chance. My mate then just told me that they'd be silly to select him at the moment, because he just can't tackle, he said Edwards' is one of the best attacking players going around, but would get an absolute hiding against any player who is 'above average' in size. He told me about one clash where he lined up against Kieran moffat, where Moffat just ran past him numerous times. So while he may be a top attacking talent, he isn't there yet defensively.

I'd lie to see Matt Faddes get the first run at 15 and leave Buxton one the wing, Faddes is a top open field runner and Buxton can make magic happen in tight spaces... but both should be in the top team, so who knows where they'll start.

Centre is a massive concern, if Ellison is with the All Blacks, then it looks like one of Jayden Spence or Michael Collins will have to start at centre, which could be interesting viewing. I was rather gutted to learn that Ben Nowell withdrew from ITM cup selection because of work, he could have added some real steal to our backline.

The loose forward battle will be classic, Ioane should have the 6 jersey locked up, Blake by the end of the season could be pushing Joubert, but who knows how long he'll last and it'll be interesting to see the battle between Grant and Evans.
 
It's interesting Liam Edwards' name has come up, I was chatting to a friend about him yesterday afternoon prior to the squad being named, and as I had been out of town, asked him if he was a chance. My mate then just told me that they'd be silly to select him at the moment, because he just can't tackle, he said Edwards' is one of the best attacking players going around, but would get an absolute hiding against any player who is 'above average' in size. He told me about one clash where he lined up against Kieran moffat, where Moffat just ran past him numerous times. So while he may be a top attacking talent, he isn't there yet defensively.

I'd lie to see Matt Faddes get the first run at 15 and leave Buxton one the wing, Faddes is a top open field runner and Buxton can make magic happen in tight spaces... but both should be in the top team, so who knows where they'll start.

Centre is a massive concern, if Ellison is with the All Blacks, then it looks like one of Jayden Spence or Michael Collins will have to start at centre, which could be interesting viewing. I was rather gutted to learn that Ben Nowell withdrew from ITM cup selection because of work, he could have added some real steal to our backline.

The loose forward battle will be classic, Ioane should have the 6 jersey locked up, Blake by the end of the season could be pushing Joubert, but who knows how long he'll last and it'll be interesting to see the battle between Grant and Evans.

Great input there. I had a feeling that defense ability (or lack there-of) was the a major reason for Edwards omission, but I haven't watched enough club rugby over the last couple of years to confirm this suspicion. The make-up of the back three will be interesting - they are well stocked with fullbacks (Faddes, Breen, Dickson, and of course Smith when/if he is available), but don't have that many genuine wings. Like you I'd definitely keep Popoali'i on the wing (especially given our shortage of wings), as he is equally effective whether on the wing or at fullback.
 
This time, it's official, and Fumiaki Tanaka Tanaka Shorie play well ITM Cup! The coach of Otago,
Tony Brown, has unveiled a list of 30 players which contains the names of two Japanese international.
Competition commencing on August 23 and ending on 27 October (the final), the international
Japan should miss a big part of the Top League championship, as well as their teammate
Panasonic, Justin Ives, with whom they also evolve in Otago. Note that Tom Donnelly, as shown
in a previous article, has the opposite direction and evolve League Is A in Sagamihara Dynaboars
alongside a former Wales international winger Shane Williams named.


Here is the list of 30 players of Otago:


Allan Lee, Sam Anderson-Heather, Hugh Blake, Pete Breen, Michael Collins, Liam Coltman, Glen Dickson, Jacob Ellison, Tamati Ellison, Gareth Evans, Matt Faddes, Tom Franklin, Fumiaki Tanaka, Paul Grant, Adam Hill, Shota Horie, TJ Ioane, Justin Ives, Eben Joubert (c), Scott Manson, Buxton Popoalii, Ben Smith, Jayden Spence, Marshall Suckling, Aki Suili, Adam Thompson, Tuarangi Tama, Rob Verbakel, Brad Webber.
 
Right, I'm bored, so I thought I'd selected my preferred match-day squad (not necessarily the squad that I think will be picked though...). I'm not going to include Thomson, T Ellison or Smith as they will likely be with the ABs:

1. J Ellison
2. Coltman
3. Manson
4. Verbakel
5. Franklin
6. Ioane
7. Joubert
8. Evans
9. Tanaka
10. Parker
11. Popoalii
12. Collins
13. Moffat
14. Suckling
15. Faddes

16. Horie
17. Suili
18. Tuirirangi
19. Ives
20. Blake
21. Weber
22. Breen
23. Dickson

The tight-five looks a major area of concern, and the backline is incredibly inexperienced! Grant is probably the most unlucky player to miss out. I'm not quite sure what to do with the backs cover on the bench - Breen and Dickson are versatile, but both cover similar positions (Breen 10 & 15, Dickson 10, 12, and 15).
 
Right, I'm bored, so I thought I'd selected my preferred match-day squad (not necessarily the squad that I think will be picked though...). I'm not going to include Thomson, T Ellison or Smith as they will likely be with the ABs:

1. J Ellison
2. Coltman
3. Manson
4. Verbakel
5. Franklin
6. Ioane
7. Joubert
8. Evans
9. Tanaka
10. Parker
11. Popoalii
12. Collins
13. Moffat
14. Suckling
15. Faddes

16. Horie
17. Suili
18. Tuirirangi
19. Ives
20. Blake
21. Weber
22. Breen
23. Dickson

The tight-five looks a major area of concern, and the backline is incredibly inexperienced! Grant is probably the most unlucky player to miss out. I'm not quite sure what to do with the backs cover on the bench - Breen and Dickson are versatile, but both cover similar positions (Breen 10 & 15, Dickson 10, 12, and 15).

damn, its a bit scary when you actually try and put the team together! I cant een attempt it as i just dont know enought about...most of them. i have very few goals for this season, one of the big ones is for joubert to have a full season, i think he's great and deserves it
 
damn, its a bit scary when you actually try and put the team together! I cant een attempt it as i just dont know enought about...most of them. i have very few goals for this season, one of the big ones is for joubert to have a full season, i think he's great and deserves it

One thing that struck me going through the team is the number of 7's players we have - Grant, Suckling, Weber, Popoali'i, Moffat, and Faddes were all part of the Otago team that shocked everyone by finishing 2nd in the National 7's at the start of the year. Clearly being good 7's players doesn't mean they will be good 15's players, but I do think this side is suited to playing a pretty expansive game-plan, which should bring the crowds in if nothing else!

Oh, and one warning Jabby - I know Pete (Breen), and Rob (Verbakel) personally. I just thought I should disclose that before you start abusing them... we wouldn't want a repeat of the Bronson Murray incident ;)
 
One thing that struck me going through the team is the number of 7's players we have - Grant, Suckling, Weber, Popoali'i, Moffat, and Faddes were all part of the Otago team that shocked everyone by finishing 2nd in the National 7's at the start of the year. Clearly being good 7's players doesn't mean they will be good 15's players, but I do think this side is suited to playing a pretty expansive game-plan, which should bring the crowds in if nothing else!

Oh, and one warning Jabby - I know Pete (Breen), and Rob (Verbakel) personally. I just thought I should disclose that before you start abusing them... we wouldn't want a repeat of the Bronson Murray incident ;)

i only abuse people they have proven to be no good....but i will keep that in mind :fool:...i hope this is an even playing field though and you have told them if they dont want to get abused by someone they will never meet and who's opinions are completely irrelevant then they had better perform! ;)

under the roof could be just the place to play some expansive rugby
 
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i only abuse people they have proven to be no good....but i will keep that in mind :fool:...i hope this is an even playing field though and you have told them if they dont want to get abused by someone they will never meet and who's opinions are completely irrelevant then they had better perform! ;)

under the roof could be just the place to play some expansive rugby

You are right - Bronson did really bring the abuse onto himself by being a poor rugby player.... I'm glad he doesn't read this forum, as he is so much bigger than me ;)

I expect Rob Verbakel will get plenty of time for Otago this season, and should be a pretty handy ITM Cup player by the end of the year. Hopefully he learned a bit in his time in Glasgow. Not sure whether we will see Peter Breen much this season - he is a pretty good club player, is able to play either 10 or 15, and is a good goal-kicker. However I think he will be stuck behind Parker and Dickson for the 10 jersey, while Faddes and Dickson (I'm assuming Smith will be away with the AB's) are probably ahead of him in terms of the 15 jersey.
 
You are right - Bronson did really bring the abuse onto himself by being a poor rugby player.... I'm glad he doesn't read this forum, as he is so much bigger than me ;)

I expect Rob Verbakel will get plenty of time for Otago this season, and should be a pretty handy ITM Cup player by the end of the year. Hopefully he learned a bit in his time in Glasgow. Not sure whether we will see Peter Breen much this season - he is a pretty good club player, is able to play either 10 or 15, and is a good goal-kicker. However I think he will be stuck behind Parker and Dickson for the 10 jersey, while Faddes and Dickson (I'm assuming Smith will be away with the AB's) are probably ahead of him in terms of the 15 jersey.

I was pretty impressed with Verbakle last year so happy to see him back, seems to have a bit of steel

Breen lit it up for Alambra on the weekend didn't he? seen his name around a bit so hope he gets out there, see how he goes. I wonder if he is related to a bloke i went to school with, Robert Breen
 

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