Why do the blues keep on sucking?

Umaga's Witness

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So the blues have been the worst nz team for some time now. Why? Ok, change that, because you could just say the other teams have been good, but why have the blues not been better?

when I look at it there have been a number of things you can point to, different factors over time, but the one consistent factor has been poor decision making.

but why?
Just a culture that went bad that the coaches haven’t been able to turn? Leading players to have little composure, little trust in their team mates?
Or is it just for whatever reason they never have the right players who can make good decisions? Certainly it seems that way, but why would that be? Just the rugby culture in the region doesn’t develop smart, natural players? Each successive coach is making the same selection mistakes? I can sort of see this, that the coaches keep thinking it’s an immaturity problem of the players, as they do stupid things, take too many risks. But the reality is they don’t take as many risk as any other nz side, they just make the wrong decisions at the wrong time. In fact their tendency to create less opportunities means they get more desperate when there are opportunities. I do feel like each successive coach is trying to train them to be conservative, when being calm, confident and composed may be a better bet. But you can’t necessarily train just anyone, they have to have the ability to look outside themselves, play as a team. They haven’t seems to have many such players in a long time. And No longer do blues teams have the X factor players, certainly we haven’t seen any good playmakers in some time.

Are all the good players from Auckland going to league?
 

TRF_heineken

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From my point of view, it seems like the Blues are a bit in denial in regard to identity. They keep on talking about the past when they were the fronttunning NZ team, which was such a long time ago, but they don't seem to adapt to play style.

They've always had below par front rowers, with the exception of Mealamu and Woodcock. And the areas such as lock, flanker and scrumhalf there appears to be a one-dimensionality as to the type of players they put in certain positions. Like they always have a lock that is better with running with ball in hand, than at lineouts, or a flanker that is good at the rucks, but nowhere else.

The personnel might change, but the style seems to stay the same.

If that makes sense?
 

East Coast Bayzboy

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1/2 back for a start. Not biased but how do you allow Bryn Hall to go to Crusaders? Just on tonight's game,if your lineouts no good why does the hooker throw in with no gap? No midfield talk, no midfield backs!!
 

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From my point of view it has to do with three factors.

Firstly they should be commended for sticking with Tana for so long, it would not have helped their cause to drop the axe.

I think firstly their culture needs to be identified. When i think of the Higlanders, Hurricanes and Crusaders then i have a clear play style in mind. With the Blues i dont get that. I have not feared a blues side since 2010.

They bought a trump card in BB but then they gave him a sabbatical. You cant carry a team on the sidelines.
Simply their squad is not off the standard required to be a playoff contender.

There is lots of talk every year that this would be their year but every year its not. They just dont seem to have that magical ability to sneak a win that other NZ teams does.


What the blues need now is to spend some serious money and get great players to come in and support BB, bring in TJ, bring in Retallick, get Itoje on the plane from England with the Saracens stuff happening. This will at least make up for their lack of culture in the short term.
 

East Coast Bayzboy

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The blues have a culture, it's called "we throw any pass at anytime ". Oh,commentator just mentioned holding on to ball.
 

TheOvalBall

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The Blues have not done proper rebuilding for a while now. They need a complete clean-out as their rucks are messy. :D
 

Umaga's Witness

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From my point of view, it seems like the Blues are a bit in denial in regard to identity. They keep on talking about the past when they were the fronttunning NZ team, which was such a long time ago, but they don't seem to adapt to play style.

They've always had below par front rowers, with the exception of Mealamu and Woodcock. And the areas such as lock, flanker and scrumhalf there appears to be a one-dimensionality as to the type of players they put in certain positions. Like they always have a lock that is better with running with ball in hand, than at lineouts, or a flanker that is good at the rucks, but nowhere else.

The personnel might change, but the style seems to stay the same.

If that makes sense?
Absolutely they don’t adapt, that’s the odd thing compared to other New Zealand teams in particular. It feels like the coaches keep trying to stop them taking risks rather than trying to make them more accurate with their risk taking. They’ve been taking far fewer risks than other New Zealand teams for many years now. Simplifying their game did look like it was starting to work, but they haven’t built on it. They haven’t gotten better since Umagas fisrts year in charge.

I’m not sure about the front tow comment as they have ofa and Karl, had Charlie Faumuina prior to that, and Mealamu.
The blues have a culture, it's called "we throw any pass at anytime ". Oh,commentator just mentioned holding on to ball.
More like they throw any pass at the wrong time. Other teams throw more offloads and more passes in general, they just do so with more skill and at the right time. The blues throw bad passes in desperation but don’t take a risk when they should, and are often blatantly tunnel visioned, not taking easy overlap opportunities.
From my point of view it has to do with three factors.

Firstly they should be commended for sticking with Tana for so long, it would not have helped their cause to drop the axe.

I think firstly their culture needs to be identified. When i think of the Higlanders, Hurricanes and Crusaders then i have a clear play style in mind. With the Blues i dont get that. I have not feared a blues side since 2010.

They bought a trump card in BB but then they gave him a sabbatical. You cant carry a team on the sidelines.
Simply their squad is not off the standard required to be a playoff contender.

There is lots of talk every year that this would be their year but every year its not. They just dont seem to have that magical ability to sneak a win that other NZ teams does.


What the blues need now is to spend some serious money and get great players to come in and support BB, bring in TJ, bring in Retallick, get Itoje on the plane from England with the Saracens stuff happening. This will at least make up for their lack of culture in the short term.
I agree sticking with tana was a good move, problem is they’ve had so many injuries in recent times they haven’t been able to build. And, if you aren’t winning it’s hard to build a culture unless like you say there is something to identify the culture as and there is some promise for building it. Maybe as Heineken says they’re trying to hold on to the past. Fact is they don’t have the players of the past. If you look at the backs in 2003, including the reserves, they probably had 9 backs who were better decisions makers than the best of the current crop. If they can’t rely on c factor players making play out of nowhere, and smart players instinctively knowing how to run support, they need a different culture. It’s kinda ironic really that two of the best ever opportunity identifiers and support runners are their coaches.

unfortunately I don’t know that bb will fix them, as he can be quite tunnel visioned himself, although maybe that will help them define their new culture rather than trying to regain the past. I don’t think Marchant was a good choice either. They had a chance to grow a culture of being the enforcer team when Umaga first started with big tacklers and carriers like kaino, Faumuina, etc. would have been good for them to try and build on that. itoje would have helped with that for sure. I don’t mind the idea of bringing English locks in, but not English backs.
 

mania

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has the team had their season blessed by the local iwi's komatua? i know that NZ 7's never won a game in wellington until they got blessed by the ngatiToa komatua's
 

Jabby

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I listen at the "Rugby Bricks Podcast", its run by former Highlander/Otago/Northland 1st Five Peter Breen.

Largely it is about promoting his range of kicking tees and a lot about coaching, I think hes a coach with the Aussie womens team here in Melbourne now

He's had some great guests though, really leveraging on the other guys he played with, Aaron Smith, lima sopoaga etc

his most recent was with kees meeuws, kees was long before peters time with the highlanders and Otago but he was a coach with Otago when we won the ranfurly shield in 2013.

It was a really good podcast, Kees was able to talk about the original Otago/Highlanders culture, the one that got us to the 1999 super rugby final and drew comparisons to the culture that reformed under Jamie Joseph. he then compared it to the culture at the blues when he moved there in 2002ish...this was the Blues team that won in 2003

He said they were very similar cultures, maybe not the go out pig hunting with half the team kind of deal in otago but definitely they were mates, everyone went out after the games, win or loose, bit of bonding and debrief etc, bbq's on the sunday with families...then back into it on monday. didn't quite say it outright but alluded to the fact it isn't like that at the blues now and hasnt been for a long time

He talked about how the coaches took a back seat because they had so much leadership and professionalism that the team would lead a lot of the sessions/meetings, coaching team (which included Graham Henry) just came up with the game plan based on the oppo research and the team took it form there

im not even sure its an on field culture they need to find....it seems to be a club culture...just kind of feel they all walk off the field and go home and dont think about rugby until monday training session

they also need to stop letting talent get away, their scouting and development is horrendous
 
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I ask this question every day about the Reds lmao.
 

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So suddenly they start performing and all is good and well, did all the bad stuff just disappear in two weeks time??
 

mania

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So suddenly they start performing and all is good and well, did all the bad stuff just disappear in two weeks time??
nah when the canes were reduced to 13 men blues were no where near ruthless and clinical enough. floodgates shoulda opened when jordie was sent off but blues imo were still working hard to win it.

still blues were better disciplined than the canes
 
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Umaga's Witness

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So suddenly they start performing and all is good and well, did all the bad stuff just disappear in two weeks time??
Yeah. It does seem that way a bit. In the last few weeks they have shown signs, at times, of taking the right risks, playing fast when the opportunity is on, rather than taking the wrong risks in desperate situations. They’ve looked more confident too. It’s the best I’ve seen in years. Still, that’s only for periods of the game, and was against teams who played poorly. Will have to wait and see. Two weeks of success won’t heal those deep wounds
 
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