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 ABs vs Italy

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeTue Jun 23, 2009 4:55 am

Quote :
Ali Williams and Brendon Leonard have been named to start for the All Blacks against Italy in Christchurch on Saturday night.

The team features seven changes from that which started in the second test against France last Saturday.

Changes will see 22-year-old Counties-Manukau and Chiefs winger Lelia Masaga making his Test debut on the right wing alongside Josevata Rokocoko while 26-year-old Canterbury and Crusaders loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett will make his first Test start in the front row alongside Keven Mealamu and John Afoa.

Other key features of the starting XV are the return from injury of Williams (Achilles), who will be playing in his 62nd Test match, and Leonard (hamstring).

Luke McAlister will start at first five-eighth replacing Stephen Donald, who suffered a hamstring strain in last weekend’s win over France in Wellington, while Isaia Toeava is at centre combining in the midfield with Ma’a Nonu.

The loose forward trio of Jerome Kaino, Tanerau Latimer and Kieran Read is unchanged, while Brad Thorn again starts at lock alongside Williams.

Canterbury and Crusaders tighthead prop Owen Franks, called into the All Blacks as prop cover, comes onto the reserves bench, together with fellow front rowers Aled de Malmanche and Tony Woodcock, while Isaac Ross, George Whitelock, Piri Weepu and Cory Jane are also on the bench.

The team will again be captained by fullback Mils Muliaina, who will become the fifth most capped All Black in history in his 71st Test.

Centre Conrad Smith and prop Neemia Tialata, who are carrying injuries following the French Test, were not considered for selection.

All Blacks Coach Graham Henry said: "We are looking for continued improvement after our win over France, but we know that the Italians will be as well after their two losses to Australia, so it will be another physical Test."

The team is.-

Mil Muliaina, Lelia Masaga, Isaia Toeava, Ma'a Nonu, Joe Rokocoko, Luke McAlister, Brendon Leonard, Kieran Read, Tanerau Latimer, Jerome Kaino, Ali Williams, Brad Thorn, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett.

Reserves: Aled De Melmanche, Tony Woodcock, Owen Franks, Isaac Ross, George Whitelock, Piri Weepu, Cory Jane.
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Hendo Maroon
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeTue Jun 23, 2009 5:13 am

Um there seems to be something wrong with that bench. Whats with the 2 Props and only 2 backs??

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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeTue Jun 23, 2009 5:21 am

Italy are a forwards-dominating team, and neither Whitelock nor Afoa can be trusted to handle a whole game - thus 2 props.

With the players in the backline they can cover all spots adequately, just hope for no injuries.

Some really harsh calls here - Weepu still on the bench after all he has done is a total slap in the face. Messam again missing out and Whitelock on the bench sends a pretty clear signal I guess...

Dropping Jane and starting Roks again is pretty harsh as well.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeTue Jun 23, 2009 9:04 am

Yuuuuussssssss Masagas playing
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeTue Jun 23, 2009 9:57 am

Pantherus wrote:
Italy are a forwards-dominating team, and neither Whitelock nor Afoa can be trusted to handle a whole game - thus 2 props.

With the players in the backline they can cover all spots adequately, just hope for no injuries.

Some really harsh calls here - Weepu still on the bench after all he has done is a total slap in the face. Messam again missing out and Whitelock on the bench sends a pretty clear signal I guess...

Dropping Jane and starting Roks again is pretty harsh as well.

Not sure what Messam has done, but he must've seriously pissed off the coaches. Cant understand that one.

I think Jane missing out isnt so bad tho. He did well in the last two games and I'd say this is more a case of trying to play Rokococo into form leading up to the Tri Nations.

McAlister & Toeava really need to step up in this one imo. McAlister because we're screwed if Donald is our only option at 10 for the Tri Nations and Toeava because we need reliable cover in the midfield with Kahui out and so far, Ice has been poor.
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Rozza
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeWed Jun 24, 2009 10:21 am

Can't wait wish i was going .

I look forward to seeing Gower play one of my childhood heroes
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeWed Jun 24, 2009 12:59 pm

Lol - ironically enough, in Blackout Rugby, the WC final is in 3 days between NZ and Italy Smile
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Rozza
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 9:32 am

1 hour to go!
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Rozza
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 12:14 pm

27-6 to All Blacks
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Hendo Maroon
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 12:58 pm

Pretty average performance once again, thought Mils had a solid game made a few gaps and got the backs firing up. Isaac Ross had a great game, definitely deserved his try. Next game up we meet the Wallabies in Auckland, I'm a little nervous Neutral

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Rozza
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 12:59 pm

Hendo Maroon wrote:
Pretty average performance once again, thought Mils had a solid game made a few gaps and got the backs firing up. Isaac Ross had a great game, definitely deserved his try. Next game up we meet the Wallabies in Auckland, I'm a little nervous Neutral

How you rate Luke ?

Better than Donald atless
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 1:01 pm

He was alright, was good to see him run the ball at the line unlike Donald who does useless chips that give the opposition the ball

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Rozza
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 1:02 pm

Hendo Maroon wrote:
He was alright, was good to see him run the ball at the line unlike Donald who does useless chips that give the opposition the ball

Yeh he was better than Donald in all areas i reckon.
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSat Jun 27, 2009 1:16 pm

Leonard was rusty to say the least tonight. His clearance was painfully slow, with most of his passes being floaters going up around the recipients' heads. He made a couple of good runs, but his kicking was woeful.

In comparison, Weepu was quicker and tougher, as well as vastly more accurate.

As for the others - if you add "for a player on debut" you can say Crockett and Masaga did well; but crockett was shown up at the scrum (not helped by Afoa) and Masaga did what we all knew he would, and mixed superb runs with stupid option taking and some very poor defence.

Ross was MOM with Muliaina being the pick of the backs.

McAlister stuttered for a while but settle into the groove well IMO; he's no Dan Carter but thank god he's no Stephen Donald either. Nonu had a mixed night, some bad handling let him down but he marshalled well on defence and did his work on attack. Toeava...how much more does he have to do to be dropped? Seriously!!

Rokocoko picked himself up very well, but will still be nervous about Sivivatu coming back. Jane...didn't really see him in his time on the field but don't be surprised to see the 14 jersey on his back in the 3N games.

Kaino was again the pick of the loosies - Read played well but wasn't nearly as industrious as the likes of So'oialo is, wouldn't be surprised for him to have won the bench spot though. Latimer had a hard night and was shown up by Whitelock on a fine debut.

Mealamu played well around the field but had an absolute shocker in the lineouts!
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: ABs vs Italy   ABs vs Italy Icon_minitimeSun Jun 28, 2009 3:19 am

The allblacks played so bad!

4 top players IMO were: Ross, Kaino, Muliaina and Rocokoco
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