Here's another post about the Warriors use of their dummy halves. Thoughts? I'm now on twitter @playtheballnz so feel free to hit me up. https://bit.ly/1KPDIqz
A rather dumb half-measure
For the past two weeks the Warriors have started Siliva Havili at hooker for the first 13-15 minutes before replacing him with Nathan Friend for the majority of the match.
I don’t really understand the thinking behind it. It seems pointless having a guy on the field for impact for such a short period – especially when the opposition is not really fatigued at that stage. I could see the rationale of starting Friend and bringing Havili on just before halftime to try and expose a tired defensive line – in the same way most coaches use a bench hooker. Havili seems the more creative and better suited of the two hookers to use as an impact player.
Surely Havili isn’t in need of a break after just 15 minutes of play? It appears to be a complete waste of an interchange. With a forward pack that isn’t exactly dominating opposition packs at the moment the extra interchange could be a way of keeping the forwards fresher and therefore a little more competitive.
I’d like to see McFadden give Havili an extended run in the number nine jersey now that Thomas Leuluai is on the shelf. Havili was the best player on the field in the 2014 ANZAC Test match and I’m surprised he hasn’t seen more first grade action since. Sure, there will be teething issues, as there are with any young player, but the upside appeals to me.
With Sam Tompkins and Konrad Hurrell to return to the side in the next fortnight, coach McFadden has some decisions to make as to who misses out on a back-line spot. One option would be to utilise the versatile Tuimoala Lolohea on the bench but they’d need to back either Friend or Havili to play 80 minutes most weeks.
McFadden has been pretty clear with the reasoning, he is bigger. I.e. McFadden doesn't think we can afford to have the opposition take 15metre hitups by targeting Friend at the start of the game and get the whole team exhausted from getting marched up and down the field in the opening exchanges. One thing is clear, we really miss Leuleuais steel in the middle on defence.
Like everyone else, I'm baffled by the Havili/Friend rotation vs the Bunnies. Seriously, what was the point of waiting 15 minutes before bringing Friend on to dazzle the bunnies with his blistering running game? Was it to deceive the Bunnies into thinking he was more of a threat, since they'd been watching Havili plod along for the opening quarter of an hour? Please explain, Cappy. While you're at it, switch them the fuck around, PLEASE! Failing that, drop Havili, have Tui on the bench (assuming ST doesn't shatter pre-match in the fact of a strong breeze), and then bring him on at 6 for the back 10 of each half, moving Chad to 9. Not that he's shown much of it recently, but he's got more zip than Havili and Friend combined (the most likely combination being Friend inside Havili after the latter eats the former). I thought these guys had been doing navy seals training in the off season or some shit? Were Havili and Seb away that day?
On the rest of the team, I'd drop Seb for practically anyone (Lousi, Gub, Peyroux, Marriner), but since we're probably going to have two bring in two of these anyway as soo replacements, we're beyond thin and Seb might have to survive due to a lack of options. Too much of that lately. Maumolo holds his spot (just), Manu drops to the bench for Hurrell, with Manu playing a second row role off the bench (not long-term, just as a 'see what I fucking did there, bitchs!' warning from Cappy). That being said, Hurrell's fitness is going to be tested after his break, so Manu might have to slot back in to wing for the 2nd half and then we can use Hurrell as a siege weapon off the bench (though we probably can't afford Havili and a non-specialist forward on the bench).
Essentially, I've got no idea. Whoever plays, I just want 100% more energy and application (regardless of whether we fall behind or if the refs decide to give us a rectal exam again). Despite the Rooter's soo losses, we're going to be hard-up to win this one.
So we're missing Laumape, Lillyman, Rapira, Lousi, Hoffman, Henry, Leulaui, Fish, Fusitua, hell let's throw Matagi in too, and on top of that have 6 rookies in the team not including Ikahihifo and Gubb who barely are out of rookie school themselves.
Good lord that's a patch job of a team. Good luck to us.