General Covid Virus fun 1980s to present Kiwis Draft to pass time

Shuffled again on my final pick.

Put JFH back into the 13 jersey and moved Eastwood into 12 where he started his career at the Broncos.

So went up front again,had one of the quickest play the balls no matter how many came in on him.

Biggest legs I ever seen,but had knees like mine always on ice.

1- Dave Watson
2 - Richie Barnett
3- Jarrod McCracken
4- Clinton Toopi
5- Krisnan Inu
6- Frano Botica (G.K)
7- Clayton Friend (C)
8- Brent Stuart
9- Brandon Smith
10- Terry Hermanson
11- Tony Puletua
12- Greg Eastwood
13- James Fisher Harris

Coach - Graham Lowe

Thank you Wrighty and my Warriors brothers.
Missed out on many like we all did but pretty wrapped with what I came up with and happy for all yall.

Rynos pack = Ouch.

Nice team weno!
 

wrighty

Guest
Coach doesn't have to be a New Zealander Warriors - said as long as they have NRL super league or test experience
 

wrighty

Guest
Ken - whatever not the greatest pick but getting towards the end.
Coach is Bellamy

1 D Watene Z
2 Nightingale
3 K Iro
4 James L
5 Maumalo Ken
6 Shaun Johnson (gk)
7 Freeman (c)
8 Bromwich
9 Mann
10 NAS
11 Sorensen
12 Graham
13 Tapine

Thanks all

If any of the neutrals want to weigh in on their fav picks or teams after Wizards makes his final post that would be cool. All the contestants are welcome to analyse and discuss as well.
Thanks all for giving this a go and being open minded to jumping in.
Glad you liked it.

Cheers
 
  • Love
Reactions: Weno and Defence
Final choice is 2012 Ben Matulino from the shoulder charge era after serious consideration to my colt hero - Hitro Okasene

Coach: it would be easy to slot Trent Robinson in here but that’s to easy. I’ve gone Geoff Toovey who has an impressive 57.6% coaching winning percentage. Tests are more motivational which suits Toovey and his style suits what i am trying to achieve.

1- Brent Webb
2- Sean Hoppe
3- Steve Matai
4- Dean Bell (c)
5- Francis Meli
6- Kieran Foran (Manly era)
7- Stacy Jones (gk)
8- John Lomax
9- Howie Tamati
10- Ben Matulino (shoulder charge era)
11- Marty Taupau
12- Tohu Harris
13- Jason Taumalolo

Coach: Geoff Toovey
 
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: Weno and Defence
Break down of Wizards Rages team:

This is a team of size and intimidation with point scoring ability all over the park. The haka will be lead by Taupau who will replicate his famous throat slitting gesture on Sam Thaiday. We have passion across the field lead by hard men in Lomax, Taupau, Matai, Matulino’s shoulder, Tamati and even Foran who commits his body at the line. The sum of the parts is magnified as they are relentless in defence. Toovey as coach has been bought in specifically to motive an intimidating and aggressive team.

This forward pack will never be dominated with a significant weight advantage over most other forward packs. And even allowing for eras, I have purposely favoured big dominant players from their time.

8 - Lomax 108kgs
10 - Matulino 107kgs
11 - Taupau 112kgs
12 - Harris 112kgs
13 - Taumalolo 113kgs

That’s a big pack but additionally it is a ball playing and offloading pack and very mobile.

The halves are arguably the best halves pairing who can unleash competent and skilful backs. Jones provides the direction and Foran is a classical number 6 playing at the line. Jones as kicker has a highly respectable 82.76% kicking record for the kiwis, well above his club average. Tamati was a combative but intelligent player at hooker and the spine is complimented by the under rated but consistently outstanding performer in Brent Webb.

The backs are well rounded in attack and defence with a back 5 with a whopping 689 first grade tries between them. Hoppe and Meli are complete wingers and Bell and Matai are rock solid on defence.

The team boasts plenty of experience with strong leadership across the park including 4 former nz captains and multiple Dally M and golden boot winners.
 
Last edited:
From my perspective all the teams are pretty awesome. Obviously some have far better halves or fullbacks as we have never had the depth of the aussies in those key spots. This draft has shown that we have always been fairly stacked in the wing, prop and backrow departments. Some notable ommisions i noticed. Adam Blair, Sam Perret, Paul Rauhihi, David Solomona, Roy Asotasi, Dene Halatau, Bronson Harrison, Sam Moa, Jeremy Smith, Richard Swain, Logan Swann, Gene Ngamu, Tony Kemp. Just goes to show the quality we have had over the years.
 
Defences sales pitch.

Well I think it’s fair to say any of these teams could beat each other on any given day.
Unless you’re playing my team- then you’re farked ☠👿
It all starts at the top folks and my leadership group is unmatched.
I got the best coach - Bennett ( his record speaks for itself), the best captain- cayless (likewise) and even the best goal kicker - filapaina (check the stats:cool:).
I got the best fullback- Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and two wingers - skd and Fusitua who have scored over 200 tries between them yet their strength is the way they bring the ball back.
My back 3 will have u on the front foot every set.
The centers are like beauty and the beast.
Manu the big body with amazing footwork and beautiful ball distribution in contrast to carrolls hard running big hitting style- he was made out of bricks.
Mercurial halves in Robbie Paul and Olsen who both excelled in the black jersey (Wally who?).
Jwh and sst have set the platform for consecutive premierships- throw in the super consistent cayless and they’re a match for any middle forward combination u could dream up.
Henry Paul would rip shit up outta dummy half with that platform.
The edge edge forwards are from another planet- Frank the tank had it all- a menacing ball carrier who can offload and hit like a Mac truck and the incomparable sbw who can do everything frank does- only better!

Just hand us the trophy 🏆

Good fun guys- thanks wrighty
 
Break down of Wizards Rages team:

This is a team of size and intimidation with point scoring ability all over the park. The haka will be lead by Taupau who will replicate his famous throat slitting gesture on Sam Thaiday. We have passion across the field lead by hard men in Lomax, Taupau, Matai, Matulino’s shoulder, Tamati and even Foran who commits his body at the line. The sum of the parts is magnified as they are relentless in defence. Toovey as coach has been bought in specifically to motive an intimidating and aggressive team.

This forward pack will never be dominated with a significant weight advantage over most other forward packs. And even allowing for eras, I have purposely favoured big dominant players from their time.

8 - Lomax 108kgs
10 - Matulino 107kgs
11 - Taupau 112kgs
12 - Harris 112kgs
13 - Taumalolo 113kgs

That’s a big pack but additionally it is a ball playing and offloading pack and very mobile.

The halves are arguably the best halves pairing who can unleash competent and skilful backs. Jones provides the direction and Foran is a classical number 6 playing at the line. Jones as kicker has a highly respectable 82.76% kicking record for the kiwis, well above his club average. Tamati was a combative but intelligent player at hooker and the spine is complimented by the under rated but consistently outstanding performer in Brent Webb.

The backs are well rounded in attack and defence with a back 5 with a whopping 689 first grade tries between them. Hoppe and Meli are complete wingers and Bell and Matai are rock solid on defence.

The team boasts plenty of experience with strong leadership across the park including 4 former nz captains and multiple Dally M and golden boot winners.
What does this guy know, we would come to a test and Lomax and Matai would be out suspended... then the whole team would have to default as there are no reserves 😉
 
  • Haha
  • Wow
Reactions: Weno and Defence
Assessments on other teams:

Wrighty
: well balanced side with strengths in the halves and at prop (Love the storm influence). As discussed, several players I would have chosen. Thanks for organising, it’s been a blast!

Weno: very 90s/2000 inspired! Love your centre pairing and would score plenty of points. Good mix of players with strengths in key areas. Nice

warrior 55: you started with a hiss and a roar with some inspired selection but felt you couldn’t maintain that exceptional quality towards the end. Some absolute legends mixed with a few I personally wouldn’t have chosen but a well rounded side. Not the best forwards not the best backs but probably the best team for overall balance.

Ryno: could say this for most teams but again mix of legends and players I’m personally a little iffy about. Potentially the best overall forward pack but weaker in the halves. Great to see a 90’s focus - my favourite generation.

Defence: strong set of forwards and particularly like that back row - potentially the best (next to mine😜). Strength across the park but potential weaker again relatively in the halves. Great side
 

wrighty

Guest
Wrighty's XIII

While my back 3 are probably pretty meh Nightengale notwithstanding my centres halves are formidable. Keven Iro in his day was legendary and while is he only ranked as our second best centre ever behind Dean Bell, he was more dynamic and a better option for creating line breaks.

My halves compare well with Wizards Rage's and in the argument for being the best on show.

My forwards are missing an ATG lock to round them off but am thrilled with the second row and props.

Not enough love for Mark Graham shown by the preliminary analysis - he was our player of the century and was a hard man's hard man.
I went searching for a youtube clip of him and find the following. It shows his collossal frame while being interviewed by Phillip Leishman.

Here is a 15 minute clip that is must watching for fans of 80s league

 
Ryno's strategy:

Forward Pack:
Built on toughness, power, mongrel and fight, these forwards will shatter opponents on defense, and skillfully overpower on offense. Wiki on one edge gives you power, speed and bone crushing defense. Kearney is on the other edge providing ball playing ability and one of the best offloads ever seen. And if you try and go through the middle you will meet the scariest trio ever united on a football field in Pongia, Tamati and Nikau. When the boogeyman has a nightmare this is what he dreams of!

8. Quintin Pongia
10. Kevin Tamati
11. Ruben Wiki
12. Stephen Kearney (c)
13. Tawera Nikau

Spine:
This spine is built to play a simple game, get the forwards around the park, get repeat sets, build pressure and defend.

1. Lance Hohaia
6. Fred Ah Kuoi
7. Nathan Fein
9. Syd Eru

Tactics:
Defensively solid across the park there wont be too many points scored against us. We will play field position with long kicking options from Fien and Timu. When we are close to the line we will have options from Syd Eru at dummy half, or brute force down the right hand side in WIki and Vatuvei. If we choose to play an expansive game we will rely on the Polynesian flair of Ah Kuoi, the offloading ability of Kearney, hole running from Timu, and the support play from Hohaia. Halligan will kick all of the conversions from anywhere on the park, and we will also take the 2 points when it is on offer.

Right Edge combination
11. Ruben Wiki
4. Simon Mannering
5. Manu Vatuvei

Left Edge combination
12. Stephen Kearney
3. John Timu
2. Daryll Halligan

Thanks everyone and especially to Wrighty again! Had a blast with this, can't wait for the Warriors draft!
 
Will give a brief summary of my side as well.

Back Three - At full back I have the extremely tough Matthew Ridge. Made his NZ debut after only 6 games in the NRL. Elite goal kicker, good defender and leader. On the wings I have the expert finisher (in the air and along the turf) Jordan Rapana and the tank Lesley Vainakolo - the most powerful winger to have played the game with a 100% try scoring strike rate with the Kiwis.

Centres - I have the MULTIPLE Daly M centre of the year and strike weapon Nigel Vagana. Not many centres better than him in his prime. My other centre is the hugely experienced Richie Blackmore. 15 tries from 25 games with the Kiwis. They complement each other nicely.

Halves - I have the mercurial and biggest x-factor player in history Benji Marshall (who can forget that try at the death he created against Australia) along with the calm head of Thomas Leuleui. I feel they complement each other well. One to steady the ship and one to create scoring opportunities.

Hooker - Isaac Luke in his prime is by far the best hooker NZ has produced in the modern era. Really happy to have him in the team. Needs no introduction.

Front Row - Here I went with the very tough no frills player in Brent Todd. 2 NRL premierships and a mainstay in the Kiwi's front row. I have paired him up with Joe Vagana, the very experienced and powerful former Warrior and Bradford Bull.

Back Row - This is perhaps my strongest position. At 11 I have the enforcer David Kidwell. No one will be fu*king with my pack with him there. I paired him up with possibly the most naturally talented and skillful back rower to play the game in Ali Lauitiiti. At 13 I have the incomparable Hugh Mcgahan who was a Daly M backrower of the year and captain of the Roosters and Kiwi's. He will lead my team.

I feel that my forward pack can match any other and lay a good platform. Luke will get my pack rolling up the field. Then with Benji pulling the strings my back line should have a field day whether it is in the air or ground from kicks to Rapana, or Vagana and McGahan slicing through the defensive line or Lauitiiti and his offloads creating point scoring opportunities. Running it on the last is also an option as if Vainakolo finds himself 1 on 1 with a defender near the line it's lights out. With Ridge kicking my goals most tries will be 6 pointers.

On defence Kidwell will be stopping players in their tracks. Todd will be making a lot of tackles and not taking a backward step. My pack will do everything they can to stop the opposition getting easy metres. If the opposition get through my line Ridge will be ready to put his body on the line to stop them. Ridge's good positional skills will mean he can cover most kicks that come his way on the last tackle as well.
 
Last edited:
Assessment of other teams:

Wizards rage

Probably my favorite team by a whisker.
Your halves set u apart- stand out centers and back row as well.

Wrighty
Started of with a hiss and a roar and was probably the early front runner- like wizard u put together two dominant halves- maybe paid for that a bit down the home stretch struggling to put together your outside backs.

Weno
My favorite team to watch unfold- never knew who u were gonna get.
What I loved about your team is there wasn’t any consideration given to reputations or statistics- it was “Ive been watching league for 40 years and this is the best players I’ve seen with my own 2 eyes”.
Particularly loved the Brent Stuart pick- being a fellow halswell hornet 🤜🤛.

Warriors55
Best spine, best backline and a good mix of solid and spectacular in the forwards.
Probably the best balanced team and very hard to separate u and wizards.

Ryno
That forward pack. When I imagine playing against them it’s a cold dingy day on a bog of a field in the howling wind, pouring down with rain- it would be a fight for life and your pack would be right in their element.

Well done to all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: warriors55
Final choice is 2012 Ben Matulino from the shoulder charge era after serious consideration to my colt hero - Hitro Okasene

Coach: it would be easy to slot Trent Robinson in here but that’s to easy. I’ve gone Geoff Toovey who has an impressive 57.6% coaching winning percentage. Tests are more motivational which suits Toovey and his style suits what i am trying to achieve.

1- Brent Webb
2- Sean Hoppe
3- Steve Matai
4- Dean Bell (c)
5- Francis Meli
6- Kieran Foran (Manly era)
7- Stacy Jones (gk)
8- John Lomax
9- Howie Tamati
10- Ben Matulino (shoulder charge era)
11- Marty Taupau
12- Tohu Harris
13- Jason Taumalolo

Coach: Geoff Toovey
This pack and Ryno just makes me say ouch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Defence
I also whipped up a bit of team of players who didn’t make the cut- still some quality there.

1 perrett
2 maumalo
3 whare
4 whatuira
5 t iro
6 ngamu
7 Gordon smith
8 blair
9 Wayne Wallace
10 moi moi
11 solomona
12 guttenbeil
13 Jeremy Smith
I had a hard thought on Jeremy Smith as he is in my mind another Mannering.
But with JFH and Eastwood I already had two who are always around the top of tackle counts.
 
I had a hard thought on Jeremy Smith as he is in my mind another Mannering.
But with JFH and Eastwood I already had two who are always around the top of tackle counts.

I was tossing up between him, tutta, Blair and sst for my last spot.
Just felt taukeiaho was the best fit looking at the balance of my team and the other packs it would be matched against.
 
  • Like
Reactions: warriors55 and Weno
Assessment of other teams:

Wizards rage

Probably my favorite team by a whisker.
Your halves set u apart- stand out centers and back row as well.

Wrighty
Started of with a hiss and a roar and was probably the early front runner- like wizard u put together two dominant halves- maybe paid for that a bit down the home stretch struggling to put together your outside backs.

Weno
My favorite team to watch unfold- never knew who u were gonna get.
What I loved about your team is there wasn’t any consideration given to reputations or statistics- it was “Ive been watching league for 40 years and this is the best players I’ve seen with my own 2 eyes”.
Particularly loved the Brent Stuart pick- being a fellow halswell hornet 🤜🤛.

Warriors55
Best spine, best backline and a good mix of solid and spectacular in the forwards.
Probably the best balanced team and very hard to separate u and wizards.

Ryno
That forward pack. When I imagine playing against them it’s a cold dingy day on a bog of a field in the howling wind, pouring down with rain- it would be a fight for life and your pack would be right in their element.

Well done to all.

Nice assessment Defence! Might do my own summary as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Defence