2015 Super Rugby Grand Final: Hurricanes vs Highlanders

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by Jaguares, Jun 27, 2015.

?

Who will win?

Poll closed Jul 4, 2015.
  1. Hurricanes

    54.2%
  2. Highlanders

    45.8%
  1. TRF_nickdnz

    TRF_nickdnz Super Moderator

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    By 'us' do you mean like-minded reactionaries?

    Barrett didn't have a great game, but to be honest I think that has nothing to do with his vision or skillset. I don't think many 10's would have performed better in those conditions.

    The Highlanders were putting Peranara under a lot of pressure every breakdown, and the rush defense of the Highlanders meant he had to stand deep, because Peranara's passes just weren't coming quickly enough. It's difficult playing on the back foot.

    His goal kicking was poor, and I'm skeptical it has much to do with his leg injury, but the way people are writing him off is simply crazy...As if he wasn't a huge part of winning the joint most SR games in a season ever..
     
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  3. donmcdazzle

    donmcdazzle First XV

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    those 'most wins' stats are a bit meaningless now the structure has changed so much and they're playing a different number of games to previous seasons.

    Yes there was plenty of pressure on Perenara, but he was still standing way too deep. He killed a lot of front foot ball by being so far back I thought.
     
  4. Car

    Car Academy Player

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    I wasn't basing that on yesterday's match only, but in general. If you compare that to what the commentators predicted when he first started playing, you would have expected more than that.
     
  5. Larksea

    Larksea First XV

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    epic game, wow that was something. In fact this final and the semi-finals were all epic.

    Lot of talk about the Savea miss or what Barrett did or didn't do or the Dixon try. The reality is this game was won by the highlanders smart game plan and forward pack dominance. IMO Perenara & Barrett actually did pretty well considering how crap their service was all night up front. Smith & Sopoaga had a silver service in comparison.

    Highlanders forwards have been on fire, there aren't any real standouts amongst them other than maybe Elliot Dixon, they are just all operating on the same wavelength and are obviously really well coached & drilled. Using really good technique. Dixon IMO has elevated himself well up the pecking order for that 6/8 area which is a huge logjam of talent in NZ. In my view he's ahead of Luatua & Vito now. I'd actually say the same thing about Brad Shields.

    I know I'm hard on Vito, but for me this game is just another example of why I'm hard on him because it follows a pattern. He always starts games strong with a big hit and a strong carry maybe a line out take and in games where his tight 5 dominate he shows a good straight running game out wide and can offload. But in big games & tighter games as the game rolls on you forget hes there and when the pressure really goes on he vanishes. Compare his performances in games like this to Kaino & Messam... When the heat goes on these guys absolutely throw themselves into it, you can't keep them out of the game and they often provide the winning edge in close games.

    IMO Vito is a "set piece player". Pass him the ball and he will take it up and offload. Run right at him and he will tackle you, throw him the ball in the line out and he will catch it, And he will do all those things really well. But when structure breaks down in a game he wont be there to make the important tackles, he doesn't get stuck in and take the ball and run it, he wont push the boundaries of the law or anything else to try and shift the momentum of a game. He's very good going forward in a straight line but he's poor at turning, going back and moving laterally. He used to be a 6 who could play 7 and sometimes 8 in a pinch but IMO now he's a straight up 8 and has no business playing 6 or 7. And actually his best asset his is his line out game and he's best used in combination with a lock who plays more like a loose forward.

    Lastly I've been a bit slow to buy into Naholo, up till a few weeks ago he had not impressed me on defense. But the last few games I think he's really lifted in that area. He does actually really work quite hard on defense. It's an interesting area because while jane is quite small and struggles against big guys he is very smart on defense and can often cover multiple attackers and diffuse tricky situations by being in the right place and by being really good at moving laterally and accelerating when needed. Jane was kind of behind the 8-ball and needed a couple of really good performances to earn the 14 jersey last WC, I think the competition maybe to hot for him this time.

    Ben Smiths Legend is almost complete, just needs a world cup victory now to make him NZ's very own Jesus... Actually while they say Jesus walked on water (I have my doubts lol) and had cool party tricks like turning water into wine (not that flash my mate steve can do that, and I can turn wine into yellow water at the drop of a hat...) I don't think he could take a high ball, beat defenders and clock up running meters like Ben Smith can....
     
  6. Jabby

    Jabby First XV

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  7. Five Meters Out

    Five Meters Out Academy Player

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    When you go inside the Oppositions 22 in these big games you must take your chances. The Highlanders did and the Hurricanes did not.
    Like us at home, Dixon knew he hadn't scored that try, but he'd done enough to deserve it.
    Barrett's knee is not right and he was down on confidence. However, I watched early games (pre injury) and thought he was a bit jittery back then (e.g. vs Stormers). He can be great to watch, but would not be my pick for All Blacks starting 1st five.
    I agree with Larksea's comments on Vito and reckon the AB's selectors do as well.

    All in all the Highlanders were terrific and deserved their win.
     
  8. austingtir

    austingtir First XV

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    I agree about Shields for me he was an absolute shinning light in that canes pack. His defence at times was incredible and his carrys were all up there. Only the Savea missed try is the obvious bad mark against him as I do think it was his rubbish pass that cocked that up.
     
  9. smartcooky

    smartcooky Referee Coach and Advisor

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    I would also like to put forward accolades for Broadhurst. He has been huge for the Canes this year, and must be near the top of the forwards ball carries/metres run stats for Super rugby.
     
  10. Kiwi_

    Kiwi_ BANNED!!!

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    Larksea is right about Victor Vito. I'd like to see Dixon make the AB's next season. He could be our #8 in 2019 RWC, great at 6 or 8.
     
  11. Larksea

    Larksea First XV

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    Yip. he had just another epic Broadhurst game. IMO he is now our #3 lock and right up there with Retalick & Whitelock with his ability, I can't wait to see him play test rugby.

    While the hurricanes likeout was shakey that is almost always a pack problem rather than individuals. He is a ball carrying machine, links well, tackles well, he's a workaholic and he's a fricken beast at breakdowns, clearing bodies and slowing opposition ball down.

    Thrush served the AB's well when we needed someone to come in and help cover. He deserves some loyalty for that but it would be crazy to select Thrush ahead of Broadhurst. Broadhurst outplays Thrush on a weekly basis, he's just on a whole other level above Thrush this year.
     
  12. Shaggy

    Shaggy First XV

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    I think the Canes really missed Ardie Savea in this game; it just shows how much he's grown as a player this year, he's pretty unlucky to have missed out on that big AB squad.
     
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