Mealamu critical of unfit Weepu


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    All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu wasn’t in shape at the start of the season and as a result hasn’t done enough for the Blues, team captain Keven Mealamu says.

    The Blues have underperformed in Super Rugby with just one win from six games and many people have pointed the finger at Weepu, recruited after falling out with Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett last year.

    Mealamu, who admitted he was lacking confidence in his own game, says Weepu was needed by the Blues but his fitness was letting him down.

    “He’s probably not in the top condition that he’s been in in his career and that’s what we really need from him, to be at that top fitness level,” he told Radio Sport on Wednesday.

    “If he’d turned up in better condition then he’d be able to contribute more to us.

    “That’s something he’s going to have to look at, we’re going to have to look at as well. We’re all professionals here, we should never have to turn up in that sort of shape.”

    Weepu has not had as much game time as might have been expected but Mealamu said the halfback was “a player that we can definitely do with out there”.

    Mealamu hasn’t been in peak form himself and said he was “lacking a bit of confidence at the moment”.

    “I think that’s across the board in our team. As the season’s gone on, in lacking a bit of confidence, the boys have sort of made errors that we’re all dropping our heads at the moment,” he said.

    “It hurts that I haven’t been able to lead this team in getting those results. I don’t think we’ve ever been in this position before.”

    Blues coach Pat Lam has also been under fire but Mealamu said the team backed him and were committed to performing for him.

    The Blues play the Sharks at Eden Park on Friday night.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (18)

    • April 12th 2012 @ 3:20am
      bluerose said | April 12th 2012 @ 3:20am | ! Report

      thank you Mealamu for your honesty

    • April 12th 2012 @ 7:58am
      Riccardo said | April 12th 2012 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Oh God, don’t get me started!

      Good on you Kev for telling it how it is, particularly given how much this would hurt. Would recommend you give some consideration to addressing this to the team tho mate, verciforously. This rabble will not simply follow your lead; think Fitzy or Zinzan yelling at the team under the posts as the opposition converts a try.

      The players MUST be accountable and there MUST be consequences but Piri’s and Maa’s performances are only symptoms. This is a culture issue stretching back past Nucifora and Howarth and as such is something that needs to be addressed throughout the organisation. The affable Pat Lam’s position has become untenable and the end of the season will see his departure.

      How much of the franchise needs to be dismantled though? Only time will tell. One can only hope the media scrutiny may finally light a fire underneather certain protected derrieres. Improved performanmces as a team may limit the damage but there are plenty of pundits over here calling for a complete cleanout and rebuild.

    • April 12th 2012 @ 8:13am
      mania said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      cant help but feel that mealamu’s comments are more directed at Lam

    • April 12th 2012 @ 8:14am
      Moaman said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      Riccardo—–“but Piri’s and Maa’s …” Hang on a sec,mate.Did Mealamu say anything about Nonu? Did Nonu turn up at the Blues unfit? I may be missing something here but I think it’s dangerous and irresponsible to lump players together merely because they left Wellington together.Weepu is a repeat offender as far as showing up early season below the minimum standard of fitness required.I don’t blame him particularly for doing that.If he feels that it’s helpful for him to have some downtime off-season relaxing and not worrying about his weight-in order to pace himself through a long and arduous season—well that’s fair enough.However—if his team at first port-of-call,in this case the Blues, deem him “unfit” then the onus is on them to sideline him and dock his pay accordingly.Surely? Mealamu should have spoken up before the first game-and probably wishes he did so.The buck stops with the Blues management for mine.

      • April 12th 2012 @ 8:28am
        Riccardo said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Guilty Moaman.

        Got carried away as this Team I have supported from the beginning is causing my hair to fall out and I don’t have much more to lose mate. Particularly distressing given they should be there or thereabouts on roster alone.

        “The buck stops with the Blues management for mine”. Agree, both with Piri’s situation and general state of the franchise.

        • April 12th 2012 @ 8:39am
          mania said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          as good a captain as mealamu is he’s not inspiring or feared. respected yup but feared nah. they need some insprirational players. kev leads by example but i feel he’s not the kind of player to knock some team mates around if he feels they’re not contributing. right now they arent and need to brought down a peg or two and made to see what fools they’re making themselves look.
          and keven didnt say that blues malaise was piri’s fault. all he said was piri should’ve been fitter.
          in piri’s defence nonu spoke up and said piri had injuries that the public didnt know of.
          also if all goes well for piri (and cant see why it wouldnt as he’s always unfit at the start) he’ll have a much longer season than most rugby players this year so needs to be careful not to peak too early. big bledisloe games this season. AB’s can make it 10 years of bledisloe dominance if they hold onto it again

        • April 12th 2012 @ 8:43am
          Moaman said | April 12th 2012 @ 8:43am | ! Report

          Riccardo; The way the Blues are going was probably foreseeable to those who kept a keen watch on them off the field(I’m not one of those btw).We all remember certain people appearing to get preferential treatment in teams we have played in and the sense of injustice this engenders.At least I do 😉 And I can see why you lumped Nonu and Weepu together given the ruckus at The ‘Canes last season.Maybe Mark Hammett has been vindicated of late? Certainly I haven’t heard anyone cmplaining about him in Wellington the past few weeks. I’m lucky(and unlucky ) in a way inasmuch that I don’t feel a particularly strong allegiance to one franchise.I watch the teams that play a style I enjoy in Super Rugby.I might only watch two games a weekend so I pick and choose but with a kiwi bias.Still get frustrated though!!

          • April 12th 2012 @ 1:02pm
            Riccardo said | April 12th 2012 @ 1:02pm | ! Report


            Right up till Suncorp in July last year the signs were ok, maybe not great but definitely ok. They surrendered to the Reds in that semi but at least they were in the finals again. However, I concede these issues with the Blues have been around for quite some time.

            I don’t really follow them off the field either mate but the Wellington signings were glad tidings indeed. 2 high profile AB’s on the back of the uplifting of Bill. Who wouldn’t be positive and I was fervently so.

            The whole competition should take notice of Hammett, Moa. What he has done is extraordinary and took real guts and belief. I applaud the guy. The only concern is whether they can sustain this form. Last week’s win over the Sharks may have answerd that question for now given the previous week’s wake up call loss to the Cheetahs (who have to be the bolter of the season IMO) .

            Love that last comment dude. Comfortable viewing from your pozzy on the fence?

            • April 12th 2012 @ 3:44pm
              Moaman said | April 12th 2012 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

              Riccardo; I hail from Horowhenua-Kapiti…..but never bought into the franchise system with it’s new-fangled team names that smacked of a doffed hat to american football and the merchandisation of team colours etc.For whatever reason,the Hurricanes never grabbed me–even when Tana was running around and so I tended to watch whatever team played a game I could admire and relate to.In the early 90s eg I loved Main’s Otago side and have had periods where the Blues & Chiefs appealed.Just figure that life is too short to watch more than a couple or 3 matches per weekend so I want to see games that I’ll enjoy.I don’t advocate this approach-it’s just the one that works for me.Completely different story when the national side rolls out though!

              • April 13th 2012 @ 6:18am
                Riccardo said | April 13th 2012 @ 6:18am | ! Report

                Amen brother.

                Got bless the mighty All Blacks (hand on heart, tear in eye)…

    • April 12th 2012 @ 10:24am
      Karen's said | April 12th 2012 @ 10:24am | ! Report

      Back off, leave him alone. He has had an injury you know. So back off. He will be ok soon

      • April 12th 2012 @ 12:26pm
        RebelRanger said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        But the Blues won’t be ok soon. I do agree we should all back off Piri a bit he’s not losing the games single handedly (although he did miss the drop goal against Crusaders by standing to close and kicked the ball back to the Hurricanes for them to set up the game winning try) and more of the Blues players need to be called out as under performing (under statement of the year).

        • April 12th 2012 @ 12:43pm
          Riccardo said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

          Not to mention the misses on Cory and Barrett RR.

          They were beneath ordinary…

          • April 12th 2012 @ 12:49pm
            RebelRanger said | April 12th 2012 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            I know. I couldn’t believe that was Mr. Fix It from RWC a few months prior.

            Imagine how Mathewson feels working hard all season then an unfit Weepu comes on and starts almost as soon as he was avaialble?

            • April 12th 2012 @ 1:06pm
              Riccardo said | April 12th 2012 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

              Sucks to be him right now.

              Poor barsteward had already left Wellington to get out of the Piri’s considerable shadow!

    • April 12th 2012 @ 4:08pm
      Photon said | April 12th 2012 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

      Personally I don’t think Piri has looked like a scrumhalf for two seasons, fella left for the off season and returned a hooker, they got him down to a flank by the end of the season and what does the fella do, he outdoes himself and returns as a prop the following season. He was injured, yeah right, not being able to lift your leg to kick the ball caus you ate to much is not a injury

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