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Armchair Halfback

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Joined December 2019

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Armchair Halfback is the musings of a long time rugby tragic - a devotee and thinker about all things pertaining to the running game.

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Lomax! Only took 2 hours of head scratching….. 😛

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

I think I mixed him up with Jamie MacKintosh….. 😂 Still can’t remember the guy who played for Rebels and then the AB’s…

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

Hairydoggy was some player (back when Biarritz where great), he did a serious number on the Ireland back in 2003 RWC….

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

Doh, thought he was a THP, musta been thinking of someone else… 😂

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

I think Josh Hohneck is back in NZ ? Better than Ta’avao and – – (sorry forgotten his name) son of NRL legend, played for the Rebels??

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

They could field the U16’s against the Tahs…. 😂

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

That French 10 end-Tarmac or Jellybear 😂 I’m sure you were a fan of Imanol Hairydoggy too….

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

I think I’ve only watched 2 SR Aotearoa games so far, such poor commitment! (Haven’t watched the Tahs game from last w/e either…. 😛 )

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

Thanks Nick, good to see McKenzie back to his best, he’s had a tough few years with injuries and the like….

Ten out of tens: What will Super Rugby Trans-Tasman deliver?

Yes, I was impressed with Billy Harmon and Frizell was at his rampaging best. Not to mention – Fakatawa, not many can claim to get picked before Aaron Smith…

In praise of the small men

Nice work Highlander! Often the little blokes have great soft skills and better place over 20 metres plus the capacity to step defenders without losing speed. Nareki’s a lovely player in that mould. I must admit I’ve watched less SR Aotearoa this year just because I’ve been busy elsewhere, so I haven’t witnessed Sotutu’s lapse in form. I watched the Crusaders v Highlanders game a few weeks ago – surprised Marino wasn’t playing – he was amazing in the ITM cup for Hawkes Bay.

In praise of the small men

Hey MZ, I appreciated your comment: “If he were a Leinster man, he may well have had a clutch of Irish caps by now” To be fair Leinster promote talent better than Munster. A good comparison is Ryan Baird and Thomas Ahern. Baird is about 6 months older. Baird has played 21 times for Leinster and has a full contract, whereas Ahern is still in the Munster academy with just 6 appearances for Munster to his name. Ahern is a brilliant athlete, a future test star – so what does JVG do? He buys in (another) SA second row Jason Jenkins!! So next season Baird will be playing for Ireland and Ahern will be knocking around with Munster A. If Ahern was at Ulster (or Leinster) he would be a regular starter.

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

Hey Nick, you haven’t named your Lions XV yet for the Roar? Plus if you can only have Tipuric or Navidi who do you pick? (I’m a Navidi fan so he would be my choice…) There was a snarky comment elsewhere that celtic teams get preferential selection over the English, but the best Lions teams are the ones that have a good mix of the countries. After all the 2005 Lions team has 20 England players plus head coach and we all know how that tour went… 😛

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

England had 17 players on the last one, sounds like a Stephen Jones comment… 😂

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

Will Gats pick bolters?! He had a few back in 2016 (Ben Teo) but he has his old reliables who I imagine he will turn to. For that reason I think Murray could be the test starter – a big scrum half who won’t be physically intimidated by the Boks back row. Perhaps with Gareth Davies of the bench.

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

Poor ol’ George had a tough day at the office against Ireland (lost 6 lineouts?) so that might stick in Gatland’s mind. I would pick Rory Sutherland and Zander Fagerson from the Scottish props, rather than WP Nel. I suspect both Furlong and Porter could travel…

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

Yes, get your drift, stats are a great way of looking at things in specific way. If you haven’t seen it, the Exeter v Leinster game was very interesting. Not an easy thing to go 14-0 down at Sandy Park and come out winners. Ronan Kelleher was excellent, winning collisions and turnovers, plus JVDF, with a massive tackle count and Jack Conan in the form of his life. At least one of them could be a Lions bolter…. 😊

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

Nice work Geoff – I thought the Rebels should have won, the Brumbies try that came from Toomua’s botched clearance was a soft one. Just lacked the composure of the Brumbies…..

The Wrap: Rugby’s devil is in the detail

Nice work Highlander! I thought JGP was ordinary against England in the Autumn Nations Cup and he’s second fiddle to Luke McGrath at Leinster. Also Murray was Ireland scrum half in their best performance since 2018, in their win over England and JGP was an unused sub. So those factors might militate against a Lions berth for him. Re Wales. Pivac favours Hardy & Williams over Gareth Davies, perhaps the scrum half with the greatest x-factor. Nice call on Hendo, very underrated….

The selection trap the British and Irish Lions must avoid

Thanks MZ, I think the challenge of penalty advantage is that often it’s awarded when the opposition slow the ball down, so though you have advantage, play isn’t dynamic. The defensive line is set and the out half might be well behind the gain line – perhaps only the French manage to exploit this scenario thanks to Dupont’s quick mind and quicker feet!

Coach’s Corner Issue 8: Why are the Reds such good finishers?

Excellent as always Nick – I think the interesting thing is that if you go back 3 or 4 seasons, the Reds try scoring abilities weren’t great. Fast forward a couple of years and the Reds now have Jim McKay on board, players understanding of each other is much better and as you alluded to, they value turnover ball much more.

Coach’s Corner Issue 8: Why are the Reds such good finishers?

I should try to watch the Sale v La Rochelle game. Any pointers?

Why Jordan Petaia can be a better rugby player than Israel Folau

We can’t have you disillusioned with rugby!

Why Jordan Petaia can be a better rugby player than Israel Folau

It’s an excellent list you have Unders. Best measure is to get them all up to Murrayfield on a freezing cold January day. 😂 Though he’s not a goal kicker, Stuart Hogg may be one of the best out of hand kickers in cold conditions…

Leathering it: Who has the biggest boot in world rugby?

I have a few strategies for working through less exciting games. Usually watch the game later than day (or next day), skip the first 10 minutes, skip the scrum resets and stoppages and we’re all done watching in about an hour!

Why Jordan Petaia can be a better rugby player than Israel Folau