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Thread: Force v Canes - a NZ perspective

  1. #1
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    Force v Canes - a NZ perspective

    Ripia to run the Canes'



    By TOBY ROBSON - The Dominion Post


    Last updated 05:00 09/04/2009


    Photosport
    OUT INJURED: The Hurricanes will have to do with out Piri Weepu's guiding hand and deft boot against the Western Force.






    Piri Weepu's dodgy hamstring has handed Taranaki's Willie Ripia a belated chance to reclaim the Hurricanes No 10 jersey against the Western Force in Perth tomorrow night.
    Ripia will start in the director's chair for the first time since last year's semifinal loss to the Crusaders in the only confirmed change to the side that started last Sunday's loss to the Sharks.

    Lock Jeremy Thrush is bracketed with Bryn Evans and will come back into the fifteen if his sore elbow does not flare up at training today.

    Cooper said Weepu's strain was minor, but the risk of playing outweighed the importance of being fit for the remainder of the season.

    Weepu was flying home yesterday in a bid to be fit for next Saturday's home match against the Stormers.

    For Ripia it is a chance at redemption after being largely overlooked this season, but Cooper was adamant he had not lost faith in a player who finished last season as his first-choice pivot.

    "I've got confidence in Willie. He's been there before, has done all the training, knows everything we do," Cooper said.

    That faith was missing when Weepu was injured early in the season and Dan Kirkpatrick was tried with mixed results.

    Ripia has made three brief cameos off the bench and looked sharp in scoring a late try against the Sharks. It will be intriguing to see what effect his style has on the Hurricanes' rhythm.

    In truth, Ripia is unlikely to hold the key to beating the John Mitchell-coached Force.

    The TAB has been unable to separate the sides at $1.87, but the Hurricanes should be disappointed if they do not win.

    The Hurricanes pack is travelling well around the park and, in the Force, faces a weak scrum and an eight susceptible to driving mauls and the pick-and-go.

    The Force's main threat is their ability to play quick running rugby, which centres on first five-eighth Matt Giteau.

    Openside David Pocock and No8 Richard Brown are a formidable loose duo, while out wide young Cameron Cross is solid at centre and wing Nick Cummins has pace to burn.

    They are also riding high after wins over the Sharks and Reds, but Cooper is adamant his side is on the brink of firing after being buoyed by a review of the Sharks match.

    "Even though we lost I was really pleased with how we tried to play and the opportunities our pattern was producing.

    "We didn't take them and we didn't get the rub of the green ... but there were opportunities and I feel we can get even better. It was encouraging."

    The Hurricanes committed 25 turnovers in Durban, but won the rucks 98-32 and stole the ball 11 times at the breakdown. A similar effort should be enough in Perth.

    But Cooper said the inconsistent set piece and the ability to better read the referee remained the missing links and would be the major focus in the leadup to the Force.

    The change has also forced a reshuffle on the reserves bench, where Cooper has reverted to the traditional five-two forward-back split.

    Prop Jacob Ellison drops out of the squad, with Kirkpatrick brought in to cover first five-eighth and Jason Kawau the midfield backs.

    The Hurricanes have played the Force only three times since their inception, winning twice, including a 21-10 victory in Wellington last season. The sole loss was an 18-17 thriller in Perth two years ago.

    HOW THEY LINE UP

    Venue: Subiaco Oval, Perth
    TV: Sky Sport 1, 9.40pm tomorrow
    Referee: Stuart Dickinson (Australia)
    TAB: Force $1.87, Hurricanes $1.87

    Hurricanes: Cory Jane, Zac Guildford, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, David Smith, Willie Ripia, Alby Mathewson, Rodney So'oialo (captain), Karl Lowe, Faifili Levave, Jason Eaton, Bryn Evans/Jeremy Thrush, Neemia Tialata, Andrew Hore, John Schwalger. Reserves: Dane Coles, Tim Fairbrother, Evans/Api Naikatini, Victor Vito, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Jason Kawau, Tamati Ellison.

    Force: Drew Mitchell, Scott Staniforth, Ryan Cross, James O'Connor, Nick Cummins, Matt Giteau, Josh Valentine, Richard Brown, David Pocock, Matt Hodgson, Nathan Sharpe (c), Tom Hockings, Ben Castle, Tai McIsaac, Pek Cowan. Reserves: Luke Holmes, AJ Whalley, Sam Wykes, Tamaiti Horua, Chris O'Young, Junior Pelesasa, Haig Sare.


    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/s...-run-the-Canes

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  2. #2
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    The Hurricanes pack is travelling well around the park and, in the Force, faces a weak scrum and an eight susceptible to driving mauls and the pick-and-go.

    The Force's main threat is their ability to play quick running rugby, which centres on first five-eighth Matt Giteau.
    Thanks for highlighting the errors Gerry, but you missed a couple, I've fixed them up for you

    I think we're sporting a light scrum which is now punching above their weight. Whilst the 'Canes will provide a real challenge in the set-piece, they're a big set of buggers and I'd hope we can tire them out pretty quickly.....Got my worries about Hore though (Nightmares surround that boy for me, how the hell does a Hooker step around EVERYBODY in our team to score from the 22 off a LINEOUT?)

    Anyhoo, It'll be an interesting match!

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    C'mon the

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    Champion Rex Messup's Avatar
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    Ben Castle has stepped up at TH. Very impressed with his work. Our scrum turns to toilet if he or McIsaac go off. Then we are really exposed and vulnerable. Good attacking ball disappears and the game goes pear shaped.

    The Canes lack a quality 10 and are a misfiring, spluttering 2 cylinder engine. If our pack meets their physical challenge, we can win. If the dominate the tackle contest and intimidate us and slow our ball down, we will get beaten.

    Both teams are very inconsistent and it is hard to pick a winner. If the Force brings their A game they are very capable of a win. Which team will turn up is the mystery

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    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Messup View Post

    Both teams are very inconsistent and it is hard to pick a winner. If the Force brings their A game they are very capable of a win. Which team will turn up is the mystery
    I guess thats why TAB has them at even odds

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    Generally speaking you arenít learning much if your lips are moving!!!

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    Champion oxleymoron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandgroperrugby View Post
    I guess thats why TAB has them at even odds
    The TAB get their odds from the vbookies, so its just the vbookies sitting on the fence again

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    Veteran Contributor The EnForcer's Avatar
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    Obviously we need to be on our game in all areas but the key for me is the ruck. We dominate that and we win, but it will be hard. The Hurricanes are ferocious in the ruck and we need to match that with equal or greater ferocity. There is no doubt we have the skill. It's gonna be a bruiser of a game.

    This is it, we win this and we are genuine contenders.

    Go The Force.

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    Just happy to be here

  7. #7
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    The vBookie has the at $1.75 favourites and the Canes at $2.10

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  8. #8
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    "The Hurricanes pack is travelling well around the park and, in the Force, faces a weak scrum and an eight susceptible to driving mauls and the pick-and-go."

    Our scrum didnt look to weak to me........didnt see too many pick and gos either.
    I hope this clown watched the game last night

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    Champion Rex Messup's Avatar
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    The Canes scrum is a pretty impressive unit. It also had it's @rse handed to it by the Force. The Force 8 was magnificent until the changes came at the end. Whalley is built like a prop but he can't scrum too well. Holmes just isn't good enough for this level.

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    Senior Player Contributor Cowboy's Avatar
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    Does Holmes just need to bulk up? or do you think that he will never quite make the grade?

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