Hertford Highlander

New Zealand’s Rugby Week


Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, RWC 2011, Stormers, Super Rugby on 30 Jun 2011 at 01:17
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This week Down Under has seen only two sides preparing for a weekend of rugby action – The Blues and the Crusaders. Both have tough tasks away from home and against the odds to beat the in-form Reds and Stormers. History is also against the visitors with no away side winning a Super Rugby Semi-final since 2000, so it looks an uphill battle for the kiwi lads this weekend.

We have also seen the first All Black camp in operation with players invited from the other 3 Super franchises to attend. As has been outlined before the only real selection headline was the omission of Stephen Donald from the training squad with Aaron Cruden and Colin Slade likely to slug it out for the right to back up Daniel Carter during the Tri Nations and ultimately the RWC. Many armchair punters think that the All Black squad is done and dusted and there will be little in the way of a surprise inclusion or a bolter come RWC time. However there are sure to be some additional All Blacks capped during the Tri Nations. This is likely with the extended season that either the Blues or more likely the Crusaders may have. With this in mind it was with great interest that we saw Highlander’s favourite Jarrod Hoeata rolled out in front of the media to talk about his chances of becoming a debut All Black in 2011. We were lead to believe that due to his versatility at blindside flanker as well a lock, he could be a chance. Hoeata would have been 1000/1 to make the RWC squad at the beginning of the season, but suddenly he looks the heir apparent to Brad Thorn who is drifting off to Japan post RWC. It will be interesting to see if Thorn is put in ‘Cotton –Wool’ similar to the Springbok tactics during the 2007 Tri Nation’s.

Speaking of Japan, a little birdie told me that Ma’a Nonu had an enjoyable week there last week with his agent. I’m not sure if he enjoys authentic sushi or maybe he was being wined and dined by a certain Ricoh Black Rams Rugby Club in Tokyo. Every club including the Sharks and dare I say it my beloved Highlanders are in the race for Mr Nonu’s signature. He along with fellow team mates, Piri Weepu, Corey Jane, Aaron Cruden and Hosea Gear are all yet to decide where they will play their rugby next season. It looks like it could be a tough season looming for not only Mark Hammett but all Hurricanes supporters in 2012 if these chaps don’t put pen to paper.

We also welcomed home the Under 20 Junior World Chamionship title and hats off to the players and the huge amount of backroom staff that made it a successful defensive of the title. The names and specialist coaching staff behind this team is incredible and really illustrates how seriously this side is to the NZRU and New Zealand rugby in general.

My final word must be a quick – ‘Good Luck’ to the Crusaders in Cape Town. As most will be aware this is Week 20 of the Super Rugby Season and the Saders have been on the road for the duration of that time. Slowly they have accumulated points and along with it respect from much of the on looking rugby watching world. They may not have a home but the vibes coming out of Cape Town this week make it seem that they will not be short of supporters on Saturday at Newlands. The All Blacks have always been well supported in Cape Town and visiting New Zealand teams have enjoyed that same luxury. Many of the Newlands faithful have encouraged everyone in the cauldron to get in behind the home side. However come Saturday don’t be surprised to see the odd Cantab’ chest puffed out when the going gets tough spurred on by their New Zealand Cape Town fan base. A fan base that has been around the Cape for not just this match but for a very long time.



27 Comments

  • Hey HH, Graham Henry said in an interview on Reunion that one off his reserve flyhalves will be as good if not better than Dan carter one day. Who do you think he was talking about? Slade or Cruden?

    BTW the Sharks have already signed Nonu so what’s all this speculating about?

    Just kidding :)

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.06.11 01:34:46 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Ben (Comment 1) :

    Ben, that’s a big call from Ted. There is nothing between the last four Baby Black Under 20 flyhalves in my opinion, Daniel Kirkpatrick 2008, Aaron Cruden 2009, Tyler Bleydendall 2010, Gareth Anscombe 2011.

    I would put Patrick Lambie, Colin Slade, Mike Harris (Reds) and Lima Sopoaga in that group as well. However when I look at that group they are all really small guys maybe Bleydendall (No 3 at the Saders) the biggest of the bunch. Another guy that is the same age is Robbie Robinson who made his flyhalf and Super debut in the same game as Lambie….he has since worked it out himself and moved to fullback, Beauden Barrett is another one that has done that at the Hurricanes.

    In fact these 10 guys would make an interesting casestudy they are all about the same age – well 3 years between them. Yet some (no names mentioned) seem to be lauded as the next great thing and some have never been heard of by those same folk that are beating certain players drums.

    My call the best of that bunch……definitely a goal kicker and a tackler – I’ll go Bleydendall. :shock:

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.06.11 02:02:21 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 2) : Did you manage to watch the U20′s final? Gareth Anscombe is one hell off a player. Great goal kicker under high pressure and isn’t he the U20 Coach’s son?

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.06.11 02:08:54 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Ben (Comment 3) :

    Yeah I was glued to it.

    Yes Anscombe looks a real propect, he will play ITM Cup for Auckland this season and yes he is the Coach’s son – there on merit though. :lol:

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.06.11 02:13:58 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 4) : Will he be the 1st choice FH at Auckland this season? Which province does Stephen Brett play for?

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.06.11 02:17:12 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Ben (Comment 5) :

    Yes he will play for Auckland he played last season as well.

    Stephen Brett plays for Canterbury, but is off to Japan however I’m not sure when he goes, hopefully Bleydendall gets the Canterbury nod.

    Woops… I forgot about Slade he will play for Canterbury until he breaks his jaw. :oops:

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.06.11 02:28:53 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 6) : So how does these stuff work in NZ? How does Brett play for Canterbury but when it comes to SupeRugby he plays for the Blues?

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.06.11 02:34:42 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • Sometimes it is a little hard to keep up with but under normat circumstances Brett should have been in the Crusaders after all he has been up until now. He either transferred to Auckland or left or applied for a dispensation or was not protected by the draft by Canterbury or asked for a release.

    Basically where you play your ITM Cup …you are picked up by that Super Side, unless you are not wanted. :roll:

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.06.11 02:50:38 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • I can honestly only see the reds winning the comp, they gonna beat the blues this weekend and whoever travels from SA wont have much of a chance against them in front of a full house, especially as they’ve beaten them both so far this year

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.06.11 03:57:48 by RuckingFun Reply

    RuckingFunTeam captain
     
  • @RuckingFun (Comment 9) :

    I tend to agree. I do think that the Saders probably have more chance of beating the Reds than the Stormers.

    However I still think the Stormers will win this weekend.

    Reds v Stormers Final :???:

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.06.11 05:14:39 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 10) : I agree

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.06.11 06:31:03 by franshark Reply
    Author
    FransharkTeam captain
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 10) : At least the Stormers have a chance of winning the Final then. If they play the Blues, Bryce will surely spoil the party. :evil:

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.06.11 07:26:59 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Ben (Comment 12) :

    Nothing wrong with Bryce! :oops:

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.06.11 07:29:35 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 13) : I agree! It’s all in the mind. :lol:

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.06.11 07:40:31 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Ben (Comment 14) :

    He is a ref ….his mind is never going to be that sound! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.06.11 07:41:51 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford HighlanderSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 15) : I were talking about our minds (spectators). :)

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.06.11 07:43:30 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    BenAssistant coach
     
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 13) : Yeah, all gentleman and pure class.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.06.11 08:57:46 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Hertford Highlander:good afternoon(in sa it is pm).dan carter is 1.78m.bleyendaal is 1.90m
    On that point,I think it is interesting to note his last name.seems he is of dutch stock.always wondered what could be if dutch played rugby seriously?they are the tallest nation(with norwegians)the last time I checked.prof naokes also mentioned this fact couple years ago when asked in an article how to compete with polynesian rugby players.he said the dutch ancestry in sa is an advantage because of the size.but dutch immigrate to nz and aus,so that adv could very well be slipping.the point is:it is a shame the dutch are not taking this great game of rugby seriously ..but what is even sadder is the usa not taking rugby that seriously:-(

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.06.11 12:23:56 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 18) : Wait till the Russians decide to take the game seriously (if ever)

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.06.11 13:01:52 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid:I’m also surprised to see the size of some south korean competitors in k1 kickboxing(heavyweights).2 guys that are 2.18m and 150kg plus,1.98m 110kg.1.85m 115m.
    And there big guys in mongolia_and they grow up doing mongolian wrestling.

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.06.11 13:33:02 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 20)
    : :shock:
    I wonder if Rudy watches kickboxing.
    A few years ago Paul Roos had a 150kg prop, I wonder what happened to him.

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.06.11 13:43:05 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 21) : Maties

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.06.11 13:47:08 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • 150kg schoolboy prop..!!let me google the name of the heaviest rugby player(pro) quickly.played for hurricanes and wellington(fijian).something like 165kg 1.90m.

  • Comment 23, posted at 30.06.11 13:48:43 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 22) : Do you know how his rugby career is going on. I felt uncomfortable watching him play.

  • Comment 24, posted at 30.06.11 13:49:26 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the SubtleAssistant coach
     
  • @bergshark (Comment 23) : @Salmonoid (Comment 24) : He’s trimmed down to 130kg. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 25, posted at 30.06.11 13:50:52 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid (Comment 24) : Played varsity cup for Maties this year.

  • Comment 26, posted at 30.06.11 13:53:26 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @Salmonoid:bill cavubati
    @McLovin:was he on “sa’s biggest loser”? :-D

  • Comment 27, posted at 30.06.11 13:54:34 by bergshark Reply

    bergsharkSuper Rugby player
     

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.