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Reason's the Blues won't win Super 14 2007



Lack of a decent flyhalf...neither Nacewa or Holwell are ***le winning 10's...especially against the really good teams and if conditions aren't perfect.
Good For You Son, Good For You.

Ignore the fact that Holwell has been money whenever he's actually played, and ignore the fact Nacewa has looked like Gold whenever the Backline is Full Strength (i.e. when Luke McAlister is playing) and why weren't you saying this in all the other bad weather games the Blues have won? You couldn't be basing your whole arguement on one game could you? I mean, the Crusaders have probably had more bad games this year...
It pains me to say it........but the Blues won't win this year.

Reason: Lack of a home final, and on a more minor note Atiga isn't a fullbacks ass.

Just on Nacewa, teams have worked him out now (and he is somewhat limited in that position) hence he is far less effective than earlier in the competition.

I would look to put Howell into the role (Nacewa to fullback) for both his tactical kicking ability and the fact he is basically a 'catch and pass merchant' that may allow the backline to function as it should.
If this wasn't World Cup Year I would say put Toeava at Fullback, Tuitavakie at Centre and get it over with, but with Toeava needing all the time at 13 he can get, I agree with the move Holwell to 10/Nacewa 15 idea... but doing something like that is probably beyond Nuciforas capabilities.

9. Devine
10. Holwell
11. Rocokoko
12. McAlister
13. Toeava
14. Tuitavakie
15. Howlett

Would also do me.
yeah toeava i think would be much better from fullback as he would have alot more space and time to work with, he's an awesome runner with the ball.
What was wrong with George Pisi? He's been a lot better than Ben Atiga..

I'll make my judgments once I see the All Blacks starting for the Blues.. And after the 14th round, we should have a fair indication on how we'll do.
Holwell looked really good when he came on. imo, he should have come in a lot earlier, as he's the go to man in that sort of game. Nacewa would be suited to a dry track, where they can run the ball from anywhere. But when it comes to control, Holwell is more experienced than Nacewa.

With McAlister injured, I'd like to see this:

9. Devine
10. Nacewa/Holwell
11. Rokocoko
12. Toeava
13. Tuitavake
14. Howlett
15. Pisi/Nacewa

Toeava has the distribution skills, and we've already seen Tuitavake run off him as well, so that should make a lethal midfield combination.

Add to that, Tuitupou will come off the bench as an impact player. But some holes when the defensive lines get tired.
I have said before that Nacewa's best position is at fullback. That's where his counter-attacking will be more utilised. At 5/8, he isnt given much room to operate and stumbles at the pressure.

Start Holwell at 5/8 and replace Atiga with Nacewa. Leave Toeava at centre, he needs to build his character in tough matches and that was one of them.

The way we're going now, it looks like we might finish either at 2nd or in 3rd place. The Crusaders will win all their respective last games with bonus points guaranteeing them a home semi & final matches. :ranting:
McAlisatar playing at 12.
If the Blues don't have him then they are in trouble.

Nacewa's been a standout all year, one bad game where he's play a stupid kicking game... whatever - it's only one game.
The Blues attacked with everything...yet often came up short. This reminded me of the Auckland NPC squad of 97 when they played Canterbury in the final and they hit a brick wall. It was the end of an era and the Auckland team that day many years ago got frustrated and lost the plot.

In truth you could see it coming from last week when they struggled to get their fourth try. They can't finish it off when they need to do.

Their tries of late have been real struggles....they don't seem to score with ease like the Brumbies of the past or the Crusaders....especially the Crusaders currently. Toeava can be shut out of a game as well as many of their other players.

Their attacking gameplan does NOT create space. It is more hard grafting and hard yards with someone breaking through the line thorugh individual strength. Creating overlaps and putting players into space or gaps seems to elude the Auckland team. This was apparent in their first game against the Crusaders where a lot of their tries were bullied through. However when they play a team with a resolute defence they realise they can't seem to find an answer.

They have no seriously good tactical kickers except MacAlister and Howell yet they choose not to start those two at 10. The kicking from the back 3 is also pathetic.

In short at the moment the Blues are very "workmanship" as a team rather than the traditional guile and creativity of past winners.
McAlisatar playing at 12.
If the Blues don't have him then they are in trouble.

Nacewa's been a standout all year, one bad game where he's play a stupid kicking game... whatever - it's only one game.
Yeah, Nacewas been good, but whenever Holwell's had a chance, has done even better IMO, probably too late to make a change now but it would be nice if Holwell was used more, not saying he has to start, but at least get more of a run, at least in the final 20 when more than anything his superior (to Nacewa's) punting will come into it's own, especially if McAlister has gone off.

Either way, McAlister should be back the week after this game shouldn't he, aslong as Nucifora doesn't do something stupid and not take him to South Africa (why does't that sound like a thing Nucifora would do? :unsure: )

For mine it's a shame they didn't use Holwell at 12.
McAlistair has the 'tactical distribution' thing under control (see GG's comments), Holwell could fill the spot (was really impressed with his effort, running at the line for someone of his size is suicide but he kept on going at it, tried his ass off), Sammy however hasn't got that same tactical distribution thinking (although great punch from him on the weekend, even if it did cost him 10 mins... good on him).

Will be interestng to see who the Blues backline is next week, id go with;

9. Devine
10. Nacewa
11. Rokocoko/Tuitavake
12. Holwell
13. Toeava
14. Howlett
15. Pisi
I'm a great believer in Pisi, but for mine he is an inexperienced confidence player and the Blues had to play him in the fullback role basically every chance they could - I think that opportunity has been missed now it's this late in the competition.

I like Rippers other idea though (i.e Howlett to fullback ala last time we won the super 12) as this would mean a more attacking approach suitable for South African conditions.

That would mean slotting Nacewa into second five until McAllister recovers enough.

9. Devine
10. Holwell
11. Rokocoko
12. Nacewa
13. Toeava
14. Tuitavake
15. Howlett
Works with me.

Having Nacewa at 10 and not having a really good distributor at 12 not good for the Blues.
I'd say Nacewa would also enjoying playing at 12 for a bit.
"Lack of a decent flyhalf...neither Nacewa or Holwell are ***le winning 10's...especially against the really good teams and if conditions aren't perfect."

dont be silly billy...just because of one position we cant in a final?..necewa and holwell aint exactly carters or spencers but they do enough...

so you watch one game and think instantly "oh...its raining they lose.." weather conditions defeat every team in gameplay aspects so it really comes down to who transforms to meet the conditions better..the sharks did..and won...

if history says anything blues can win more then the next team infact the only team thats won more is the crusaders..we diffinitely have the players...gay guy is just a defiant hater hahaha...

you havent seen a tactical kicking game yet from the blues so you cant really comment on that part of the blues game plan..necewa aint a great tactical kicker,but he can punt and play for corners,holwell is a proven kicker and so is mccalistair..in any event that all 3 play on the same game then you can expect to see more structure to the kicking...the general structure of the blues has always been to play to their strengths which is the fast running and all out attack game..nucifora added some structured gameplans that he brought from the brumbies and it is evident in the "switch" set moves they use from ruck,line out or scrum..(of the style that larkham would use by using multiple decoy runners)...there attack can break any defence..toeava can be shut down..he aint the best but he certainly is better than laulala,ralph or whoever the crusaders can field in the 13 jersey...individually brilliance from the blues in history has always gifted them victories..and they have the most talented backline players that can break a game down on their own...i see it still as a work in progress...

now everyone saying that the crusaders and brumbies are picking up the moment and hitting their peaks at the right time..well i dont reckon the blues haven any peak of that kind...i still their forwards in a tangle and now that mealamu and williams have returned they will continue to grow stronger over the next 3weeks...

get the f*** outta here with that quality individual player nonsense...we dont need that..we need a class quality team performance..and if the blues can figure out how to do that then they will win the super14...likewise with any team in contention it comes down to who strikes better on the day...
Toeava is not fast enough to be a world class centre. If he is this slow at this age he will only get slower in the future because speed is something you slowly lose with age. However at the moment the Blues really have no one else.

Atiga sucks as a fullback....they need Howlett there if the Blues are going to get back on track.

Rokocoko needs to start now....actually he should have started earlier to try and get more game time. Same with Mealamu. Now it may be too late for Joe to get in form come playoff time.

Nacewa is ok at 10 but really they need an experienced 10 if Luke is not there at 12. So if there is no Luke playing then Howell should be at 10 and Nacewa back at fullback. Basically the team should revolve around whether Luke is playing or not. If he is NOT playing then the backs should be.
10 - Howell
11 - Rokocoko
12 - Tuitupou
13 - Toeava
14 - Howlett
15 - Nacewa

If Luke is playing it should look like this
10 - Howell
11 - Rokocoko
12 - MacAlister
13 - Toeava
14 - Howlett
15 - Nacewa

This setup will give them a chance to win the S14 as it has Howell's experience guiding it tactically with his kicking, Luke taking the running pressure off Howell with his jinking runs and also giving a second option kicker....Toeava will have MORE SPACE to run good lines because Luke's running style will draw more defenders infield, Howlett and Rokocoko are true finishers and will feed off the midfield....Nacewa at the back is very steady and can run well when he counter attacks, passes well to use the wings for counter attacks, can return kicks well and has a sound rugby brain with little unforced errors.

The Blues are finding it hard trying to create space because of the wrong players in certain positions.
i partly blame the forwards who got they assess kicked at the ruck..and steve devine who's delievary of the ball from the ruck was very slow...
with that how can a backline even start to move fluidly?...

its not the backs fault entirely....when they did get the ball and used their key players they made good yardage,if you get quick ruck ball you make even better yardage and in cases of that sort the otehr team eithers commits a penalty or the blues score the eventual try..with an added flash of brilliance from backline players

lets put this into better perspective...blues have never had a flyhalf like howell,who is the more traditional 10....we were raised up in the spencer sense and always have those 10's with flamboyancy...(lavea tried and failed)

now if you look at the blues attack plan entirely it revolves around the fast attack patterns and razzle dazzle flair...that is where necewa comes in as that 10 that can do that..im not saying that howell cant but he wont add what necewa has in that position..which is the instigator or the ball carrying 10..if howell was to take over it would mean for the blues to change some dimensions in their game..especially the backline attack..tactical kicking may be the best strategy but if you look at this year the majority of our tries have come from 30metres and back...instigated by midfield running..we need to keep that!..and ive always said atiga was pretty slack...he belongs in the dave gibson basket of players that should leave to the north instead of guys like tuitupou..if luke is fit then he is the perfect balance between howell and necewa..he has pratically both of their skill sets combined and if he is fit id rather see him with necewa so we have a 10 and 12 playmake combo like carter and mauger..

my backline would be(if luke is fit)..


bench backs..howell and tuitupou
lol, gay_guy, the 2 teams you wrote are the same except for swapping tuitupou with mcalister lol

Toeava was faster, but the added beef seems to have slowed him down.. He looks like Carl Lewis compared to Conrad Smith thou :p

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