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Thread: Round 5 Crusdaers v Force

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Round 5 Crusaders v Force

    CRUSADERS v FORCE in Christchurch, Friday 5.35pm AEDT

    CRUSADERS coach Scott Robertson has named a monster pack for Friday’s home game against the Force.

    Robertson has named three All Blacks locks in his pack, with Luke Romano introduced to the starting side alongside captain Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett — at 1.98m and 116kg — switched to blindside flanker.

    “Scott Barrett has been training at six for a number of weeks now, to give a bit of depth in our squad in that area,” Robertson said.

    “He is a great athlete.

    “It gives another lineout option.

    “For him it is something he can add — maybe at a level up (All Blacks) if he needs to create an extra opportunity to be selected.”

    All Black Matt Todd returns at openside flanker, Jordan Taufua starts ahead of Whetu Douglas at No 8 and Test prop Wyatt Crockett comes in for Joe Moody at loosehead.

    In the backs, winger Digby Ioane returns from a finger injury in place of Manasa Mataele, veteran Tim Bateman gets the nod at No 13 for Jack Goodhue and Mitchell Drummond is the halfback ahead of Bryn Hall.

    The Crusaders are 4-0 this season after engineering three dramatic comebacks from large deficits.

    Of the Force, Robertson said: “They are fighting for a lot more than the points

    “There is all that stuff going on over in Aussie at the moment and they want to represent their family and their people.

    “We are expecting everything from them.”

    CRUSADERS (15-1): David Havili, Digby Ioane, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock (c), Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett

    Reserves: Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Michael Alaalatoa, Mitchell Dunshea, Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Marty McKenzie, Manasa Mataele

    FORCE (TBC)

    Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (AUS)

    http://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/su...35e1d106f03a42

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    Last edited by The InnFORCEr; 22-03-17 at 11:45.
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

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    Player yungfen's Avatar
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    We better keep the ball in play as by the sounds of it we will struggle to compete at the lineout.....

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Bloody hell, If the game was played on paper we shouldn't bother even turning up.

    Fortunately the game is played 50% on grass and 50% in the Crusaders' heads. We'll have to be at the top of our game to even have a chance.

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    C'mon the

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    Is that ex Wallaby/QLD Red Digby Ioane?

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeansyjive View Post
    Is that ex Wallaby/QLD Red Digby Ioane?
    Yes

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    Champion Contributor todd4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeansyjive View Post
    Is that ex Wallaby/QLD Red Digby Ioane?
    Yes

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    Scott Barrett's surprise shift to No 6 for Crusaders has potential to add value for All Blacks


    RICHARD KNOWLER
    Last updated 16:43, March 22 2017


    Scott Barrett's shift to blindside flanker could ensure the All Blacks' selectors add another gold star beside his name.

    Barrett, who made four test appearances as a lock on the northern tour late last year, has been told by Crusaders coach Scott Robertson he will be wearing the less-familiar No 6 jersey for the Super Rugby match against the Force at AMI Stadium on Friday night.

    Placing Barrett on the side of the scrum doesn't mean the Crusaders will field a depleted forward pack as they aim to keep their unbeaten streak against the Western Australian side in Christchurch intact; Luke Romano will make his first start of the year in the second row alongside fellow All Black Sam Whitelock, while Jordan Taufua, who usually fills the No 6 slot, moves to No 8.

    Robertson, who has made eight positional changes to the side that defeated the Blues 33-24 last weekend, indicated the decision to run Barrett at blindside flanker could prove to All Blacks selectors Steve Hansen, Ian Foster and Grant Fox that he can be a useful swingman in the pack.

    "Scott Barrett has been training at six for a number of weeks now, to give a bit of depth in our squad in that area," Robertson said.

    "He is a great athlete. It gives another lineout option. For him it is something he can add - maybe at a level up if he needs to create an extra opportunity to be selected."

    There is merit in giving Barrett, 24, a dart in a fresh position. In addition to being a solid operator in the set pieces, he isn't shy of running the ball and passes accurately.

    With Steven Luatua, who could play at lock, No 6 or No 8, set to join English club Bristol later this year there is now scope for Barrett, who stands 1.97m, to show he can offer added value by playing in several positions.

    Even with Robertson making five changes to his pack, he couldn't stand accused of fielding a weakened line-up.

    All Blacks No 7 Matt Todd returns after missing the last two games because of a calf strain, while loosehead prop Joe Moody and rookie No 8 Whetu Douglas, a tireless worker in the opening four rounds, have been given the weekend off.

    Mitchell Drummond is rotated back in at halfback ahead of Bryn Hall, Tim Bateman replaces Sean Wainui at centre and Digby Ioane has recovered from a finger injury to return to the right wing.

    Resting Moody and Douglas will ensure they can refresh themselves ahead of the match against the Waratahs in Sydney on April 2, prior to the Crusaders having the bye.

    Earlier this week assistant coach Leon MacDonald admitted the Crusaders could have a 1-3 loss/win record. They have relied on spectacular second-half comebacks against the Blues, Reds and Highlanders to have a clean sheet, and everyone accepts this has to stop.

    Sooner, or later, the Crusaders' luck will surely run out and keeping the Force, who have ruled out Wallabies Dane Haylett-Petty and Ben McCalman, on a tight leash will be paramount.

    Reports stating the Force could be wiped-out if a proposal to cut Super Rugby to 15 teams will also add to their motivation.

    "They are fighting for a lot more than the points," Robertson noted. "There is all that stuff going on over in Aussie at the moment and they want to represent their family and their people. We are expecting everything from them."

    Crusaders: David Havili, Digby Ioane, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock (c) , Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Mike Alaalatoa, Mitchell Dunshea, Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Marty McKenzie, Manasa Mataele.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/s...for-all-blacks

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Force Named for Christchurch Crusade


    By Fraser Smith on Wed 22nd March 17


    The Road Safety Western Force have made several changes to the side to take on the Crusaders this Friday in Round Five at AMI Stadium in Christchurch at 2:35PM AWST on Friday, 24 March.

    In the forward pack Ben Daley comes back into the starting loosehead position, with Pek Cowan moving to the bench, Wallaby hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau earns his first start and excitement machine Isireli Naisarani is set to make his run-on Vodafone Super Rugby debut at blindside flanker. Tighthead Jermaine Ainsley also returns to the starting XV.

    Experienced utility back Marcel Brache makes his first appearance of the season at inside centre. Luke Morahan shifts to fullback with young outside back Alex Newsome named on the right wing for his maiden start.

    Flyhalf Jono Lance has been named to captain the Road Safety Western Force for the first time and becomes the 11th player to skipper the West Australian side.

    Club legend Matt Hodgson will make his return from a hamstring injury off the bench while 208cm lock Richie Arnold (twin brother of Wallabies lock Rory) is in line for his long awaited debut.

    Head Coach Dave Wessels says that the match against the Crusaders is an exciting opportunity for his team to win away from home against a challenging opposition.

    “Playing New Zealand teams in New Zealand is the ultimate test of our progress over the last few months. There’s great energy in the group and we’re looking forward to Friday night.”

    2017 Vodafone Super Rugby – Round Five
    Crusaders v Road Safety Western Force
    AMI Stadium, Christchurch
    Friday, 24 March 2017
    Kick-off: 2:35PM AWST

    Road Safety Western Force Team
    1.Ben Daley
    2.Tatafu Polota-Nau
    3.Jermaine Ainsley
    4.Ross Haylett-Petty
    5.Matt Philip
    6.Isi Naisarani
    7.Kane Koteka
    8.Richard Hardwick
    9.Ryan Louwrens
    10.Jono Lance (C)
    11.Chance Peni
    12.Marcel Brache
    13.Curtis Rona
    14.Alex Newsome
    15.Luke Morahan

    Reserves
    16.Heath Tessmann
    17.Pek Cowan
    18.Tetera Faulkner
    19.Richie Arnold*
    20.Matt Hodgson
    21.Michael Ruru
    22.Ian Prior
    23.Robbie Coleman

    *Denotes possible Super Rugby Debut

    https://www.westernforce.com.au/arti...urch-crusade-0

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeansyjive View Post
    Is that ex Wallaby/QLD Red Digby Ioane?
    Ex Wallaby/Western Force/Qld Red Digby Ioane. He made 20 appearances for us, scored 4 tries and won his first Wallaby cap based on his play for us.

    The Crusaders don't look to be treating us lightly with that selection. Hopefully starting Isa means lots of running rugby from the Force, but I'm not sure we'll tire out their big boys

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    Senior Player Muddly's Avatar
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    Don't mind the look of line up at all!

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    My thoughts on the lineup:

    Interesting to see that Jono got the (C) next to his name. I completely agree with it but was a bit surprised. I would have guessed Daley or TPN. And a bit surprised to see TPN now starting. I thought Heath was playing well.

    I hope Marcel is ready for a fight because Crotty has been in top form this year and I'm sure will test him at 12. To go from not playing this year to starting at 12 will be quite a jump.

    The biggest thing that worries me about Luke playing 15 is his tackling. He's been poor this year. Hopefully there won't be too many line breaks for him to have to tackle.

    I'm excited to see Isi play substantial minutes. He has done well coming in late, and I hope he can sustain it for 80 mins.

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    Champion MI5_Dog's Avatar
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    The way the Crusaders are playing you'd want your best team coming on in the last 30 or so to try and match them.

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    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yungfen View Post
    We better keep the ball in play as by the sounds of it we will struggle to compete at the lineout.....
    Yes, not kicking away too much ball again, and hopefully lineouts will be more reliable. Interesting to see Richie finally in. Did anyone notice a pretty clever lineout manoeuvre that the Lions did on the weekend, thought it was really well done - a variation on setting up a rolling maul by a quick throw to the front.
    The Reds got close to beating the Crusaders so maybe we have a chance?

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    Player kipper_mckinnon's Avatar
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    completely agree with your comment agrugger apart from the fact that I don't believe Morahan has EVER been able to tackle.
    Great going forward but very easy to run through.
    I have a bad feeling about this game.
    Did I miss Meakes being injured?

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipper_mckinnon View Post
    Did I miss Meakes being injured?
    That was my first thought. Unless he copped an injury in training it's a mystifying omission. He and Rona have combined so well in defence from day one that I'd have thought the pairing a no-brainer.

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