Richard Ferguson

Blues announce potent backline

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 22 Feb 2012 at 07:48
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The Blues have announced their team to take on the Crusaders in the opening game of this season’s Super Rugby campaign, and what a match it is going to be.

The Blues team is captained by Keven Mealamu, with Michael Hobbs getting his opportunity in the flyhalf slot after speculation that Piri Weepu would be playing at pivot. Weepu will make his impact off the bench, as Alby Mathewson partners Hobbs on the halfbacks.

The second row features an All Black pair in Anthony Boric and Ali Williams, with Daniel Braid and Jerome Kaino adding bulk to the loose trio.

It is the backline that is most exciting though, as we see the return of Rudi Wulf, who will partner debutant David Raikuna on the wings, with the speedster Isaia Toeava rounding off the back three. The centre combination of Benson Stanley and Rene Ranger get a chance to combine before new recruit Ma’a Nonu comes into the selection picture.

Blues: 1. Tom McCartney,2. Keven Mealamu (c),3 Charlie Faumuina,4. Anthony Boric,5. Ali Williams ,6. Chris Lowrey,7. Daniel Braid,8. Jerome Kaino,9. Alby Mathewson,10. Michael Hobbs ,11. Rudi Wulf,12. Benson Stanley,13. Rene Ranger,14. David Raikuna,15. Isaia Toeava

Reserves: 16 Pauliasi Manu,17 Tevita Mailau,18 Brad Mika,19 Luke Braid,20 Piri Weepu,21 Hadleigh Parkes,22 Sherwin Stowers


  • Looks dangerous, suddenly wishing I could change my SuperBru picks

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.02.12 07:54:08 by Die Kriek Reply
  • Crusaders will win this one. Too many holes in this line-up to take on a Crusaders team filled with current and future All Blacks.

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.02.12 07:56:05 by hendrikp Reply
  • @hendrikp (Comment 2) : Depends on who finds their feet first. On paper the Saders rule but homeground advantage might just be enough for the Blues to sneak a win. I wont bet my life (LMS) on either team taking this one, I’m not a brave man….yet 😛

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.02.12 08:41:24 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Hmm not as potent a backline as it may seem. Hobbs is really untested at flyhalf. Benson Stanley has been average to good in recent years. If the Blues forwards can stand up to the Saders it will be a close match.

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.02.12 08:54:04 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 4) : Agreed.
    Wonder why Piri Weepu isn`t starting.

    @JarsonX (Comment 3) : Very tough call first up. Blues at home, Crusers slow starters . . .

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.02.12 09:01:56 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 5) :

    Weepu is apparently a little podgy after too many Christmas puddings..

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.02.12 09:03:19 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 6) : Lets be honest i think he has pudding all year round…

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.02.12 09:19:27 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 7) :

    He will be having some pudding on the bench before taking the field later in the game..

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.02.12 09:21:05 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Michael Hobbs. Strong direct flyhalf but not sure he’s any good for a need for speed backline.

    Really wished the Blues could have played the youngster Villie and Slammerboy were talking about. Hobbs seems a bit past tense and has limited ability.

    I’m keen to see what David Raikuna in like.

    Sjoe! Can’t believe Bradley Mika is still around and good enough to occupy the bench.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.02.12 10:29:28 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 9) :

    Gareth Ainscombe? Must be either too young or possibly injured or they will phase him in later.

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.02.12 10:47:04 by Pat Reply

  • @Pat (Comment 10) : Yes that’s the guy. 🙂

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.02.12 12:13:13 by beet Reply
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  • and when nonu comes back they’ll be even stronger.

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.02.12 15:32:01 by MJ Reply


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