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Post-RWC All Blacks Team?

smartcooky

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We are going to lose a number of top players from NZ rugby after the RWC; Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Kevin Mealamu, Charles Piutau, Tony Woodcock, Colin Slade, Jeremy Thrush, Tom Taylor, Frank Halai, Ben Franks & Francis Saili

So, based on what you have seen in International and Super Rugby this season, what would your starting XV look like for the first test of 2016 at Eden Park v Wales?

Here is mine

Forwards
1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Dane Coles
3. Owen Franks
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Sam Whitelock
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (captain)

Backs
9. Aaron Smith
10. Aaron Cruden
11. Julian Savea
12 Sonny Bill Williams
13 Malakai Felkitoa
14 Waisake Naholo
15 Ben Smith

and for a bit of fun, the reserves

Reserves 5/3 split
16 Cody Taylor
17 Nepo Laulala
18 Joe Moody
19 Victor Vito
20 Ardie Savea

21 Nehe Milner-Skudder
22 Beauden Barrett
23 T.J. Perenara
 
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Mcfadden

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Forwards
1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Dane Coles
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Sam Whitelock
6. Ardie Savea
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (captain)

Backs
9. Aaron Smith
10. Aaron Cruden
11. Julian Savea
12 Lima Soponga
13 Malakai Fekitoa
14 Nehe Milner-Skudder
15 Ben Smith

and for a bit of fun, the reserves

Reserves 5/3 split
16 Cody Taylor
17 Owen Franks
18 Joe Moody
19 James Broadhurst
20 Matt Todd

21 Waisake Naholo
22 Beauden Barrett
23 T.J. Perenara

*shrug* just kinda having some fun with those selections. I don't know what I'd do about the midfield, honestly. Fekitoa will be there, but we also need someone more calculating and commanding to compliment him. I like Nepo Laulala, and I think after the WC Owen Franks should be made to work for his position.
 
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TRF Mr Fish

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It will be interesting to see how many new players Hansen bloods. There will almost certainly be a bunch of guys who make the team out of one season of Super Rugby (e.g. Retallick and Cane, now NMS) which makes it hard to pick...

Lolagi Visinia looked good last year for the Blues but faltered a bit this season, I still think he has a lot of potential. Moala will come close and Tu'ungafasi has been part of the training sessions. It might be a year early for a guy like Akira Ioane, but it's hard to say just yet.

I think Ngatai and Tamanivalu might both be there from the Chiefs, Graham strikes me as someone likely to improve fairly quickly too. Otherwise Harris is technically capped but is still a newbie, and I think James Lowe will be very close (given Hansen highlighted him as a player that would probably have made the extended extended squad if it weren't for injury). Bird may get a new lease of life moving away from the Crusaders too.

The Hurricanes will be a bit of an unknown next year. The obvious player to get a call up is Ardie Savea, but Goodes may be worth a shot.

The Crusaders will inevitably unearth a talent or two. I expect Moody to get more of a shot next year.

No one in the Highlanders really comes to mind when I think of potential All Blacks. Osborne is a possibility, but I'd be a bit surprised to see him there.

That being said, what do I think we'll see in the first game of the season?

1 Crockett
2 Coles
3 Franks
4 Tuipulotu
5 Whitelock
6 Kaino
7 Cane
8 Read
9 Smith
10 Cruden
11 Savea
12 Ngatai
13 Fekitoa
14 Milner-Skudder
15 Smith

16 Taylor
17 Moody
18 Laulala
19 Retallick
20 Savea
21 Perenara
22 Barrett
23 Naholo

I'm expecting the Chiefs to win the competition ;) which is why Retallick might get a rest
 
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Mcfadden

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Ngatai could be another Kahui with the injury situation. Could be wrong, but I thought I heard he picked up another one recently?

With so many flankers in the mix I think a couple of really good guys will have to miss out entirely, or at best sit on the bench. Perhaps I'd stick with the team I just wrote, but try Jordan Taufua on the EOYT.

I've been thinking about midfield a lot. I almost think somebody will have to be converted from another position to play there. SBW-Fektioa combo doesn't do it for me. Ryan Crotty is solid but not amazing. I'm just not sure about that one.
 

TobesHodges

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What does your post-RWC All Blacks starting XV look like?

1. Crockett
2. Coles
3. B.Franks
4. Whitelock
5.Rettalick
6. Vito (Todd personally)
7.Mccaw
8.Read

9. A.Smith
10. Carter
11. Savea (Personally Piutau)
12. Nonu
13. C.Smith (Personally Fekitoa)
14. Milner-Scudder
15. B.Smith

I much prefer Ben Franks to Owen, he just comes across for more aggressive, in the contact for me..
 

Tony Manx

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What does your post-RWC All Blacks starting XV look like?

1. Crockett
2. Coles
3. B.Franks
4. Whitelock
5.Rettalick
6. Vito (Todd personally)
7.Mccaw
8.Read

9. A.Smith
10. Carter
11. Savea (Personally Piutau)
12. Nonu
13. C.Smith (Personally Fekitoa)
14. Milner-Scudder
15. B.Smith

I much prefer Ben Franks to Owen, he just comes across for more aggressive, in the contact for me..

Would you like to revisit your selection bearing mind, inter alia, Conrad Smith, Carter and McCaw will not be available as set out in first post of the thread?
 

Kiwiwomble

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Forwards
1. Wyatt Crockett
2. Dane Coles
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Sam Whitelock
6. Ardie Savea
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (captain)

Backs
9. Aaron Smith
10. Aaron Cruden
11. Julian Savea
12 Lima Soponga
13 Malakai Fekitoa
14 Nehe Milner-Skudder
15 Ben Smith

and for a bit of fun, the reserves

Reserves 5/3 split
16 Cody Taylor
17 Owen Franks
18 Joe Moody
19 James Broadhurst
20 Matt Todd

21 Waisake Naholo
22 Beauden Barrett
23 T.J. Perenara

*shrug* just kinda having some fun with those selections. I don't know what I'd do about the midfield, honestly. Fekitoa will be there, but we also need someone more calculating and commanding to compliment him. I like Nepo Laulala, and I think after the WC Owen Franks should be made to work for his position.

I do like the idea of sopanga at 12, you need to have some loosies punching holes but we try that anyway, carter start at 12 for the abs and I think it gave him a slight different perspective
 

Kiwi_

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Sopoanga at 12 is an interesting idea. Our midfield definitely is our biggest question mark next season, aside from Fekitoa. I think guys like Ngatai and Crotty deserve a mention and look in. Moala will be considered as well if he continues to develop. Personally I like Ngatai the most, cool head, professional, intelligent player. But looking at it, it kind of makes you wish Nonu could go forever.
 

Kiwiwomble

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regardless of who,if we do got for fekitoa at 13 then we need a playmaker at 12, i'm thinking aaron mauger kind of player, two guys both trying to punch holes could really hamper the flow to the outsides, you need someone who can make the cut out pass to the wing or fullback or the grubber its its called for.

lots of people were talking about how quiet Fekitoa was for the highlanders this year, i think they missed the fact he was drawing 2-3 defenders every time so there was room for smith and naholo (not directed at you Kiwi as i'm sure you noticed)
 

smartcooky

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I have my doubts about Sopoaga at 12. His tackle stats simply aren't good enough.

In seventeen Super Rugby matches this season, Sopoaga has only made 64 out of 83 (missed 19). That is only a 77% success rate, and that rate continued in his only test match so far, against South Africa, making 7 from 11 (missed 4) for 64%. This is in no way good enough to play in an All Blacks midfield.

SBW is a much better prospect defensively. In his 26 match All Blacks career so far, he has made 119 of 130 tackles (missed 11) for a tackle success rate of 92%; he has only once missed more than one tackle in a match! Add to that astonishing tackle rate, his ability to take the ball to the line and offload beyond the advantage line. I don't care what the haterade drinkers out there say, I'd have him ahead of anyone at 12 after Nonu goes.
 
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Kiwi_

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Yes the stats. I don't really like to turn to them unless they're extremely bad/good. Simply isolating a stat and applying it to whether you should pick the player or not doesn't work all the time, given the different teams they have played, the part of the game they're playing, the match ups they have. There's so many more elements to the game. I understand the importance of making tackles, but there's so much creativity and other positives that Sopoanga and Fekitoa both have over SBW. Showing up in a big fixture is one.

The Fekitoa Sopoanga midfield combination might leak line breaks because of those tackle stats, but I'm sure they can work on that part of their game, given how young they are, and you never know until you try.
 
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Mcfadden

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I agree that ideally Lima's tackling could be a lot better. But the stats swing in roundabouts. In Super Rugby, proportionate to the time spent playing, SBW's and Sopoaga's accuracy in tackling is very close. We probably do need a tackling aficionado there though. Fekitoa is a very aggressive guy who can absolutely fly out of the line and batter you, but I think we need a safe option like Conrad Smith who'll tackle a guy around the bootlaces each time to compliment Fekitoa's raw power. My other concern would be the size of our backline. If we were to play Cruden, Sopoaga and Skudder together that feels very small to me, and too heavy on the twinkle-toes aspect.

The advantage would be rather than persist with SBW, Sopoaga is going to be in it for the long term. You're not going to wake up to a headline about what he's doing next and have to worry about all the crap that comes with it. He's less injury prone than Ngatai. So out of both players theres more potential to build him up, give him experience and work on him. He'd be a great playmaker figure, do wonders for our territorial game and probably has a better step + more speed than SBW.

He'd have to make a lot of adjustments to his game to fit the mold of a center, but there are definitely benefits he could bring to the role. With 10 try assists this season, he definitely can make things happen for other people. He also may not have a wicked offload game, but he has beaten many defenders with his speed. Nonu is Nonu, and it will take awhile to reach that quality. And even when the stats are improved on, he would be a different type of 12. But there are some advantages for sure.
 

Kiwi_

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What's Crottys tackling stats like?
 

TRF_Peat

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I like Crotty - got a lot of time for players who do the simple things very well and pick the right options, they might not look too flash themselves but they're gold for getting the best out of the rest of the guys.

Also, aren't SBW and Barrett both going to be unavailable due to Olympic 7s?
 
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TRF_nickdnz

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I like Crotty - got a lot of time for players who do the simple things very well and pick the right options, they might not look too flash themselves but they're gold for getting the best out of the rest of the guys.

Also, aren't SBW and Barrett both going to be unavailable due to Olympic 7s?

Looks that way. Vito, Messam and the Savea's may well be as well.
 

Mcfadden

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What's Crottys tackling stats like?

Made 93 tackles, missed 20 for an accuracy rate of 82%. More accurate than Sopoaga and SBW. Not quite as good as Nonu and Conrad. In terms of accuracy, it'd be hard to get much higher than 91.3% by Ngatai.

I mean, it's interesting. But stats are stats. Just because one guy has higher numbers on a bit of paper doesn't mean I'd select him for certain types of opposition. It all hinges on what that player can bring to the table in the context of the match.
 

goodNumber10

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Did sopoaga play 12?

If not it's a pointless stat comparison as tackling at 10 isn't the same as tackling at 12.

Also stats are fine but effect is more important.
 

Mcfadden

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Not that I know of. Just thought I'd throw it in there anyway for interest sake. As you allude to, stats can be explained through all sorts of logic. Different defensive patterns for that team, who your partner is and how you adjust your game, etc. As I mentioned earlier, I'm sure Sopoaga could be trialed in that position and be told by the coaches to go away and work on things so he fits into the mold a bit better if that's what they really want. They've done that before with players.
 

TobesHodges

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What does your post-RWC All Blacks starting XV look like?

Would you like to revisit your selection bearing mind, inter alia, Conrad Smith, Carter and McCaw will not be available as set out in first post of the thread?

1.Crockett
2.Matu'u
3.Franks
4.Retallick
5.Whitelock
6.Vito/Kaino
7.Todd
8.Read

9.Smith
10.Barritt
11.Savea
12.SBW (if he stays, otherwise Crotty/Ngatai/Fekitoa(Try him at 12)
13. Fekitoa (I have a feeling Hurracaines will maybe try and push NMS to 13 next season because of Nonu and Smith going, so maybe scudder here also, anyone else have any thoughts on that?)
14. Naholo
15.Smith

Thanks Tony, i need to read topic before replying ay :p:lol:
 
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