Maybe Kidwell worked out in a few weeks that Cappy couldn't work out all season - Kata might pass better to the right than to the leftDoes anyone have a handle on why Kata is named at right centre since he has played left all year/career?
Same with SKD, he has been playing on the right side of the field but named left centre.
Seems a bit weird to me, anyone else?
Or is there a plan that I can't see? defensive combos, or experience paired with a rookie?
1 less big bopper to worry about..
I like that Kidwell named his side early.Meninga will name his team on Friday morning with Valentine Holmes and Shannon Boyd in line to make their Kangaroos debuts...
Have I missed the Aussie team announcement? Cant find any info on the team they've named for this test. Mals mind games maybe.
That's the squad....not the team....New Zealand: Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Jesse Bromwich, Lewis Brown, Greg Eastwood, David Fusitua, Tohu Harris, Shaun Johnson, Jordan Kahu, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Thomas Leuluai, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering, Te Maire Martin, Manu Ma'u, Jason Nightingale, Kevin Proctor, Jordan Rapana, Joseph Tapine, Jason Taumalolo, Martin Taupau, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
Australia: Cameron Smith (capt), Darius Boyd, Shannon Boyd, Boyd Cordner, Cooper Cronk, Josh Dugan, Blake Ferguson, Jake Friend, Tyson Frizell, Matt Gillett, Valentine Holmes, Greg Inglis, David Klemmer, James Maloney, Josh Mansour, Trent Merrin, Michael Morgan, Matt Moylan, Justin O'Neill, Josh Papalii, Matt Scott, Sam Thaiday, Johnathan Thurston, Aaron Woods.
I agree with most of your points especially the bench rotation isnt providing the impact we need.My concerns are with the lack of out and out class in the backs, primarily fullback and the selections of starting and bench forwards.
I understand why Adam Blair is there with Eastwood and Mannering missing. However, I do not see him as adding value from the bench. He has played his best footy for NZ as a starter with aggression, footwork and a bit of niggle. I have really liked what Kearney has been doing over the last few seasons with his bench, where he introduces the meaty shock troops of Eastwood and Taupau... Blair from the bench can't do what those guys do.
Harris and Proctor together is pretty good but if Manu Ma'u is in the team (as he is) I would like to see him start instead of coming from the bench. Despite his look and his fearsome reputation I actually think his game is more recently about finesse rather than hard impact, which I want in my bench. To me, even though they play really well together at club level, Harris and Proctor are almost too similar and I would like to a little more variety in our back row at Test level... and I believe Tohu Harris is the perfect bench player in international footy.
From this current 17, I would have Bromwich and Blair start in the front row. Proctor and Ma'u in the second row with Taumalolo at lock.
The bench would then be Warea-Hargreaves, Taupua as impact players, the second wave of thrust. Harris is your backrow cover who also covers a halves or backline injury and Brown is probably the best cover we have available for Luke.
If Eastwood and Mannering were available for this 17 then Eastwood to the bench, Warea-Hargeaves to the front row and Ma'u and Blair miss out for me.
I have gone on about Kahu ad nauseum so won't write too much, but I think he lacks the attacking class required of a Test fullback. I like his effort on defence but also am very sceptical of his durability in a physical match.
I don't think our forwards are going to be as dominant as some are predicting but they will give us a decent platform if they turn up. The issue is whether we have enough points in our backs and I am a little worried about that.
I see a 4-8 point Australian victory... just based on their superior backline.
It's Saturday nite at 9:50. Mis-print in one of the articles.I still think thats a competitive squad we have. Might be missing 2 of our best, but a lot better than when we had to play a front rower in the halves lol.
Stoked to see Rapana named. Hes the type of guy the warriors need, he says he gives 110% every game because in this sport you never know when your last game is. He had a heck of a season.
Hope Taupau adds some aggression to the pack, thats what the warriors lack and Id love him in the warriors.
I think Leuluia whilst not as good as Lolohea or Ata, his experience and reliability was required.
And Fusitua earnt that naming. Same with Kata. Kata's only weakness is greed, holding onto the ball trying to steam roll close to the line, he needs to learn to draw and pass more often, of course he needs to steam roll when its on, but he will learn when is where the best option is.
Im pretty hopeful.
Now just so I dont miss it, its 9:50 our time Sunday right?