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ITM Cup 2010

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Formally known as the Air New Zealand Cup (or NPC) - starts next week so I think its about time for our tipping competition if members are keen.

Taranaki vs Northland
Canterbury vs Hawkes Bay
Manawatu vs Southland
Counties Manukau vs Otago
Waikato vs Bay of Plenty
North Harbour vs Auckland
Wellington vs Tasman

A couple of big changes to sides from last year - Masaga to BOP, Berquist to Auckland, SBW to Canterbury, Moa to BOP, Fotuali'i to Hawkes Bay for starters. And of course, Tana Umaga's been signed as a player and assistant coach for Counties Manukau.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Taranaki vs Northland
Canterbury vs Hawkes Bay
Manawatu vs Southland
Counties Manukau vs Otago
Waikato vs Bay of Plenty
North Harbour vs Auckland
Wellington vs Tasman
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Had to get back from Europe before August. Can't miss the NPC. Last season was superb. Hopefully we get another close season this year where the smaller teams compete well.
 
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BoyBrumby

Englishman
Be interesting to see how SBW goes; fair to say he didn't cut a swathe through the Top 14 frogside. Where's he going to play? 2nd 5/8 looks the best fit for his skill set, but he generally got plopped out on the wing in France where presumably he could do the least damage but doesn't really have the gas for.

Tana coming back a bit of a surprise too; will he be playing every week or only in extremis?
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Be interesting to see how SBW goes; fair to say he didn't cut a swathe through the Top 14 frogside. Where's he going to play? 2nd 5/8 looks the best fit for his skill set, but he generally got plopped out on the wing in France where presumably he could do the least damage but doesn't really have the gas for.

Tana coming back a bit of a surprise too; will he be playing every week or only in extremis?
Re SBW, I think that Ryan Crotty must start at 12 for Canterbury - hes played there on a regular basis for the Crusaders this year and its by far his best position. Robbie Fruean's one of the best 13's in the competition and surely will start in that spot. Problem with the wing for SBW is that Sean Maitland has one wing tied up and AFAIK the likes of Tu Umaga-Marshall are quicker than him and thus a candidate for the other wing position.

As for Tana, hes reportedly going to be playing each week in the midfield for Counties, though at 37 it'll be interesting to see how he fares.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Re SBW, I think that Ryan Crotty must start at 12 for Canterbury - hes played there on a regular basis for the Crusaders this year and its by far his best position. Robbie Fruean's one of the best 13's in the competition and surely will start in that spot. Problem with the wing for SBW is that Sean Maitland has one wing tied up and AFAIK the likes of Tu Umaga-Marshall are quicker than him and thus a candidate for the other wing position.

As for Tana, hes reportedly going to be playing each week in the midfield for Counties, though at 37 it'll be interesting to see how he fares.
If SBW doesn't get a start there will be huge public pressure on the Cantabs. I think they will play him somewhere because of this.

Given that teams were fighting to get SBW he must have figured that he would be a shoo in to get a starting gig in his preferred position. For his sake I hope that Cantabs release him to play elsewhere if he can't get a starting game. I don't think this will be an issue though.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
If SBW doesn't get a start there will be huge public pressure on the Cantabs. I think they will play him somewhere because of this.

Given that teams were fighting to get SBW he must have figured that he would be a shoo in to get a starting gig in his preferred position. For his sake I hope that Cantabs release him to play elsewhere if he can't get a starting game. I don't think this will be an issue though.
Theres always a fairly high attrition rate of players in the NPC and I doubt that'll be different this season - so he'll certainly be starting (in the midfield, if not the wing initially) at some point though I feel the midfield combination of Crotty and Fruean is the best one for Canterbury to begin the campaign.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Theres always a fairly high attrition rate of players in the NPC and I doubt that'll be different this season - so he'll certainly be starting (in the midfield, if not the wing initially) at some point though I feel the midfield combination of Crotty and Fruean is the best one for Canterbury to begin the campaign.
I am going to have a minor rant here -

You might be right but if they told SBW that was how he would be used then he is a fool for picking Cantabs. He needs game time in every game. Not in 70% of the games.

IF they didn't disclose the situation to SBW then this was false representation to SBW - and given that the NZ rugby authorities spoke to SBW about his chances of becoming an AB - this is a disservice to NZ rugby in general by misleading him. So either SBW is an idiot or Cantabs are at fault. Cantabs have not committed a major crime here but picking SBW as a depth player is not on when he could have been a starter elsewhere.

He needs to get used to rugby and he can't do it by watching.

He is out for the first week anyway isn't he due to injury?
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Be interesting to see how SBW goes; fair to say he didn't cut a swathe through the Top 14 frogside. Where's he going to play? 2nd 5/8 looks the best fit for his skill set, but he generally got plopped out on the wing in France where presumably he could do the least damage but doesn't really have the gas for.

Tana coming back a bit of a surprise too; will he be playing every week or only in extremis?
Why did they offer him all that cash for this season and next if he wasn't a star player?
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Ins/Outs for the 2010 season:

Auckland: Ins: Ben Atiga, Matt Berquist (Hawkes Bay), Daniel Braid (Qld), Ash Dixon (Hawkes Bay), Toby Morland (Ireland), Brent Ward (France)
Outs: Daniel Bowden (England), Taniela Moa (Bay Of Plenty), Paul Williams (England)
Bay of Plenty: Ins: Luke Andrews (Italy), Lelia Masaga (Counties), Brett Mather (Otago), Taniela Moa (Auckland), Grant McQuoid (Japan)
Outs: Nigel Hunt (France), Junior Poluleuligaga (England)
Canterbury: Ins: Robbie Fruean (Wellington), Sonny Bill Williams (France)
Outs: Tim Bateman (Japan), James Broadhurst (Taranaki), Tyson Keats (Taranaki), Casey Laulala (Wales), James Paterson (Southland), Michael Paterson (Wales)
Counties-Manukau: Ins: Jonathan Owen (ACT Brumbies), Tana Umaga (France)
Outs: Josh Hall (Europe), Matt Holloway (England), Tasesa Lavea (France), Lilia Masago (BoP)
Hawkes Bay: Ins: Kahn Fotuali'i (Tasman), Dan Kirkpatrick (Wellington), Kas Lealamanua (France), Anthony Perenise (Wellington), Grant Webb (Wales)
Outs: Matt Berquist (Auckland), Ash Dixon (Auckland), George Naoupu (Japan), Matt Egan (Europe), Sam Giddens (Europe), Jason Kupa (Europe), Thomas Waldrom (England), Sona Taumololo (Injured)
Manawatu: Ins: Craig Clare (France), Shannon Paku (France)
Outs: Andre Taylor (Taranaki), Kurt Baker (Taranaki), Davide Te Moana (Wellington), Johnny Leota (Injured)
North Harbour: Ins: Alipati Fatafehi (RSA), Grayson Hart (Auckland)
Outs: Viliami Ma'fu (Japan), Anthony Tuitavake (Japan), Rudi Wolf (France)
Northland: Ins: David Holwell (from Retirement!), Aaron Bancroft (Otago), Mark Berman (BoP), Cameron Goodhue (Otago), Iwi Hauraki (Sydney Roosters)
Outs: Nick Collins (Australia), Karl Haitana (Manawatu), Damien Fakafanua (Aus), Justin Collins (Injured, as always)
Otago: Ins: Josh Tatupu (Western Force), Tomasi Palu (Wellington)
Outs: Brett Mather (BoP), Steven Setephano (Waikato), Michael Witt (England)
Southland: Ins: James Paterson (Canterbury), Kane Thompson (France)
Outs: Jason Kawau (Japan)
Taranaki: Ins: Kurt Baker (Manawatu), James Broadhurst (Canterbury), Tyson Keats (Canterbury), David Smith (Wellington), Andre Taylor (Manawatu)
Outs: Shayne Austin (Retired), Tony Penn (Retired), Paul Perez (France), Jason Eaton (Injured)
Tasman: Ins: Chris Jack (RSA), Poutasi Luafutu (Qld), Fai Mika (Southland)
Outs: Kahn Fotuali'i (Hawkes Bay), Mark Bright (England), Daniel Perrin (BoP), Andrew Goodman (Japan)
Waikato: Ins: Christian Lieliifano (ACT Brumbies), Steven Setephano (Otago)
Outs: Callum Bruce (Japan), Roimata Hansell-Pune (Auckland), Sione Lauaki (France), Kevin O'Neill (Melbourne)
Wellington: Ins: David Te Moana (Manawatu)
Outs: Tamati Ellison (Japan), Robbie Fruean (Canterbury), Dan Kirkpatrick (Hawkes Bay), Anthony Perenise (Hawkes Bay), David Smith (Taranaki)

Some interesting movements there. Wellington & Canterbury have lost a significant number of 'big' names, but with their player production lines, they'll still be fine. North Harbour, Manawatu & Tasman seem to have lost some key players and not replaced them, whilst Auckland are trying to bargain their way back to a decent level. Bay of Plenty, Taranaki & Hawkes Bay may have improved their squads whilst Northland & Southland have a great deal of consistency in their squads. Not sure that Otago look to have improved their chances too much.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
I am going to have a minor rant here -

You might be right but if they told SBW that was how he would be used then he is a fool for picking Cantabs. He needs game time in every game. Not in 70% of the games.

IF they didn't disclose the situation to SBW then this was false representation to SBW - and given that the NZ rugby authorities spoke to SBW about his chances of becoming an AB - this is a disservice to NZ rugby in general by misleading him. So either SBW is an idiot or Cantabs are at fault. Cantabs have not committed a major crime here but picking SBW as a depth player is not on when he could have been a starter elsewhere.

He needs to get used to rugby and he can't do it by watching.

He is out for the first week anyway isn't he due to injury?
I doubt Canterbury would've offered a contract which guaranteed him starting places in their side every week - moreso an offer that allows him to play in the best provincial side in the country and receive sufficient game time, providing hes good enough. As I said before, Crotty and Fruean are an under-rated but highly effective midfield pairing at Super 14, let alone provincial level, and I don't see the need to break that combination up to cater for SBW just because, well, hes SBW. For the record you're correct in that he'll miss the first game (he also hasn't appeared in either of Canterbury's pre-season matches due to injury).
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Some interesting movements there. Wellington & Canterbury have lost a significant number of 'big' names, but with their player production lines, they'll still be fine. North Harbour, Manawatu & Tasman seem to have lost some key players and not replaced them, whilst Auckland are trying to bargain their way back to a decent level. Bay of Plenty, Taranaki & Hawkes Bay may have improved their squads whilst Northland & Southland have a great deal of consistency in their squads. Not sure that Otago look to have improved their chances too much.
Tasman, North Harbour and Otago seem to be in much worser positions that last year, especially Tasman who I feel has a much weaker side particularly in their forward pack - Chris Jack will be hugely relied upon. Taranaki and the BOP appear to have made the most progress from last season and if I were in either of those two camps would be pushing for a top four finish. Southland look to be in a strong spot too. I'd be surprised if Counties, Manawatu and Tasman didn't fill positions 11-14 and can't see Northland doing much better than about 9th.

I have my doubts over Hawkes Bay though, they've lost a number of key contributors (Dagg to the ABs, Berquist, Waldrom, Naoupu, Kupa, etc. and Taumololo is injured). Fotuali'i is a great gain but IMO theres an area of concern taking aside Guildford and Shoemark in that backline which was brilliant at times in 2009.

Looking to the big sides, I'd say Auckland will perform much better than last season with Berquist a massive acquisition from Hawkes Bay, Braid, Atiga and Ward (all highly effectively players at domestic level) returning, and the remainder of the best XV having played together last season. Interested to see how Lealiifano (from the Brumbies) goes with Waikato. Canterbury and Wellington will make the top 4 without too much trouble even without their All Blacks.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Ins/Outs for the 2010 season:


Waikato: Ins: Christian Lieliifano (ACT Brumbies), Steven Setephano (Otago)
Outs: Callum Bruce (Japan), Roimata Hansell-Pune (Auckland), Sione Lauaki (France), Kevin O'Neill (Melbourne)
Wellington: Ins: David Te Moana (Manawatu)
Outs: Tamati Ellison (Japan), Robbie Fruean (Canterbury), Dan Kirkpatrick (Hawkes Bay), Anthony Perenise (Hawkes Bay), David Smith (Taranaki)

Some interesting movements there. Wellington & Canterbury have lost a significant number of 'big' names, but with their player production lines, they'll still be fine. North Harbour, Manawatu & Tasman seem to have lost some key players and not replaced them, whilst Auckland are trying to bargain their way back to a decent level. Bay of Plenty, Taranaki & Hawkes Bay may have improved their squads whilst Northland & Southland have a great deal of consistency in their squads. Not sure that Otago look to have improved their chances too much.
Waikato is my team. They are losing some good players as well. Doubt we will make the finals again this year.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Waikato is my team. They are losing some good players as well. Doubt we will make the finals again this year.
I think O'Neill's a major loss and it leaves the Waikato second row fragile, but I think they've gained from the other major changes - I'd take the consistent Setephano over the erratic Lauaki any day, and I've liked the look of Lealiifano from what I've managed to see in Super 14. I probably wouldn't rank them in the top four at present though see no reason why they couldn't build momentum and be a candidate for a semifinal spot come the end of the season.
 

Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
I think we (Otago) will go alright this year. Apparently, despite there being an awful lot of anger around former Reds coach Phil Mooney getting the coaching job ahead of David Latta a few months ago, Mooney has impressed everyone in Otago rugby circles and the NPC squad is being picked on form for the first time in years.

If we make the top seven, that'd be lovely. We just need to avoid injuries.
 

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
Taranaki vs Northland
Canterbury vs Hawkes Bay
Manawatu vs Southland
Counties Manukau vs Otago
Waikato vs Bay of Plenty
North Harbour vs Auckland
Wellington vs Tasman
 

_Ed_

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Not at all confident about Harbour this year. I think Tuitavake and Wolf are big losses, and you can never guess what you're going to get out of McAlister. Somewhere slightly above the bottom three or four is my realistic prediction.

The guys on the other side of the bridge seem to be in store for a better season than last year, though...not that that's difficult.
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
I think we (Otago) will go alright this year. Apparently, despite there being an awful lot of anger around former Reds coach Phil Mooney getting the coaching job ahead of David Latta a few months ago, Mooney has impressed everyone in Otago rugby circles and the NPC squad is being picked on form for the first time in years.

If we make the top seven, that'd be lovely. We just need to avoid injuries.
Interesting one, Otago. Their squad shows some stability from last season, and I guess the question is whether they can build on their performances last year. Setephano is a significant loss, though.

Taranaki & Bay of Plenty have made some significant acquisitions and Waikato are hardly the worse off for losing Callum Bruce.

I'd just like to add that it's great to see David Holwell in the Northland squad list again.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
Doing the whole tipping blind thing again...will be dissapointed if i dont run last

Taranaki
vs Northland
Canterbury vs Hawkes Bay
Manawatu vs Southland
Counties Manukau vs Otago
Waikato vs Bay of Plenty
North Harbour vs Auckland
Wellington vs Tasman



I am going to have a minor rant here -

You might be right but if they told SBW that was how he would be used then he is a fool for picking Cantabs. He needs game time in every game. Not in 70% of the games.

IF they didn't disclose the situation to SBW then this was false representation to SBW - and given that the NZ rugby authorities spoke to SBW about his chances of becoming an AB - this is a disservice to NZ rugby in general by misleading him. So either SBW is an idiot or Cantabs are at fault. Cantabs have not committed a major crime here but picking SBW as a depth player is not on when he could have been a starter elsewhere.

He needs to get used to rugby and he can't do it by watching.

He is out for the first week anyway isn't he due to injury?
Why does SBW deserve the right to just walk in to any team he so chooses? If he's not the best player then stiff ****, and I disagree with your depth argument as well. SBW is no different to any other player, name alone does not get you picked, I'd wager Umanga won't be a starting fixture much if at all this year. If i was SBW i would prefer to be with the best so i could learn from the best and if Canterbury are the best then that prvides the best opportunity for him to learn and then break into the Crusaders and possibly ABs...but honestly i don't think he has the skills to do it. he can learn alot at Canterbury but the depth in NZ rugby is such I can't see him finding a place in an AB squad in the centres or the wings...the likes of Nonu, Smith, Dagg, Maitland, Jane, Rokococo, Mils Muliianianianana, Sivivatu, Crotty, Kahui...Williams fighting an uphill battle tbh.
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Taranaki vs Northland
Canterbury vs Hawkes Bay
Manawatu vs Southland
Counties Manukau vs Otago
Waikato vs Bay of Plenty
North Harbour vs Auckland
Wellington vs Tasman

Waikato vs. Bay of Plenty could be the game of the round. Mind you, Cantabs vs. Hawkes Bay could be a decent game if they both play to their potential.
 

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