S5 Provincial Final: New Zealand vs. England - Completed

Discussion in 'Matches' started by HeathDavisSpeed, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

    New Zealand

    DJ Edwards
    Alan Izett
    Kovana Solosolo
    Jason Denton
    Heath Davis
    JD Hurricane
    Dexter Astele
    Samuel Yates
    Sam Bakkum
    Dan Larkinson
    Matt Dorn
    Gareth Weaver
    John Heads
    Lucas Schaw
    Regan Hutchinson

    Joshua Ritchie
    James Torres
    Mike Martyn
    Simon Humble
    Matt Scoble
    PM Jackson
    Geoff Smith


    Eddie Morris
    Okoudou Gbagbo
    Jonny Ridd
    Sam Verigotta
    John McGrath
    Zinzan Brumby
    Jake Howe
    Marcuss Deane
    Ben Hornby
    Ed Ames
    Chris Warrington
    Sam Graham
    Bobrad Smith
    Jordan Logan
    Bobby Blunder


    16. David Dafter
    17. Yeeb!
    18. Lee Sweetman
    19. Matthew Mitchell
    20. Oscar Wood
    21. Michael Edwards
    22. Alex Mediocre
  2. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

    Note: England's submission was a day late.
  3. Gazza GJ Weaver

    Carn lads
  4. Hurricane JD Hurricane

    Yeah with Eds playing we will be lucky to still be in touch at half time. Hopefully he pulls a hammy in warm ups.

    Still anything can happen.

    Fire up Black.
  5. Athlai JJD Heads

    NZ will romp this.
  6. Furball G Furball

    New Zealand insane value there. England ridiculously over-priced considering the BaaBaas were one kick away from the final.
  7. Furball G Furball

    Will this be before or after the club final btw? This is vital for my vCash.
  8. Bobrad Bitty B Smith

    What's the penalty for this?
  9. Weeman27bob BE Force

    A violent flogging.
  10. BoyBlunder BOY Blunder

    He said penalty
  11. Jabba HJ Bots

    Alright team bus is leaving the backpackers at 7pm
  12. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis


    This one is all set up to be a cracker. Both round robin games contested between these two teams were thrillers. Firstly, New Zealand were defeated at home 17 - 22 thanks to the boot of Ed Ames and good performances from hooker Eddie Morris and utility Jake Howe. In the return fixture, England were beaten by New Zealand 27 - 28, despite a hat trick from Bobby Blunder. The shortcoming for England in this game was the injury forced absence of Ed Ames - England missing 5 out of 6 place kicks as they scored 4 tries to New Zealand's 3.

    The final has New Zealand with home advantage, but with key pivot Ed Ames returning for England, surely England regain the advantage.

    Now, comparing both teams there is a relatively mixed bag on display.

    In the front row, New Zealand have been suffering from regular props - Joshua Ritchie and Cattwat Smith being out of form and they've both been dropped. In comes Samoa born Kovana Solosolo and his propping partner will be DJ Edwards - more at home in the back row than the front. This pairing is a real punt for New Zealand selector Haydos Bots who has opted to back form rather than longer term class. There was no doubts, however, over who would take the rake spot as veteran Alan Izett retains his spot. They face the set of Morris - Gbagbo - Ridd who should best their opposite set.

    In the 2nd row, England will be missing the injured Bruce Force, but can still boast the experienced Sam Verigotta alongside the workaday John McGrath. Here it is advantage New Zealand as star lock forward Heath Davis is in exceptional form and can boast 4 POTS points against this very opposition. He will be scrumming down with a familiar partner in the form of Jason Denton who played with Davis at the Spartans in Season 3.

    The back row should be advantage England, but for some reason Dexter Astele tosses away his average club form when he dons the black jersey. His back row partners JD Hurricane and Samuel Yates are decent enough, but should in theory be outclassed by the English combo of Howe - Deane - Brumby. The England team will certainly miss the injured Geraint Martyn as the luxury of being able to bring Brumby off the bench for a bruising final 20 has been stolen away from them. Don't expect fireworks from the mediocre Lee Sweetman, Martyn's replacement.

    In the pivots, New Zealand again rely on the rookie Dan Larkinson to face down much more experienced opposition. Larkinson has been serviceable for the New Zealanders, but I'm sure they would prefer a classier option here than either Larkinson or the tiring Matthew Scoble. New Zealand have a marginally better half back option than England - as Sam Bakkum looks to take down Ben Hornby, but Ed Ames massively outclasses either New Zealand first-five option.

    In the backs, it's just about advantage to New Zealand. They have some incredible attacking verve in Lucas Schaw, Gareth Weaver, John Heads, Regan Hutchinson and, to a lesser extent Matt Dorn. They also have a quality option to call off the bench in the form of Geoff Smith. Don't get me wrong here, the England team have quality options of their own to call on - especially Bobby Blunder; who New Zealand will still fear after his hat trick in their last meeting. Chris Warrington is on the improve, but Jordan Logan is out of form, and Sam Graham's creaking frame is unlikely to generate many thrills for the red rose fans.

    So - adding it all up, what is the prognosis. Well, both teams here can score tries from out of nothing. There's plenty of attacking prowess which is likely to take the field in a Seasonal Rugby test series, so expect plenty of tries. Wet weather would suit the England team more as more scrums means more opportunity to put pressure on the New Zealand front row. In the dry and in open play, the bookmakers may disagree - but this one is a 50/50 call.

    Key Players

    Dan Larkinson: Softly put, we know what the stars of the New Zealand team are capable of - you know what Davis or Schaw bring to the party - but Larkinson is the risk. Play needs to revolve around him and seasoned RRC watchers will know he's highly susceptible to kicking errors. So far, he's managed to avoid a vast volume of howlers for New Zealand, but if he reverts to RRC type, then the New Zealand team will give too much ball away and they'll lose.

    Bobby Blunder: Will the fear factor remaining from his three-try burst in the last meeting still haunt the New Zealand team here? One of the New Zealand forwards will want to hit Blunder hard and hit him early in the game. New Zealand need to make sure Blunder is aware that their defence does exist and it's taking him seriously. Can Blunder exploit the tackling turnstyle that is Lucas Schaw's defensive technique? If so, there's only one winner here.

    Verdict: Bet on the unders here. Neither team is going to win by a large margin. Given the strength in the pivots, I'm picking England by under 7.

    New Zealand 18 - 21 England

    The National Anthems will be coming soon, and then join us for the haka and kick off shortly after. Play is scheduled to start in a little over half an hour.
  13. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

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  14. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

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  15. Magrat Garlick M Garlick

    Provinces have their own anthem? Cricsim is a weird place.
  16. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

    Every province has an anthem. Wellington's was written by the Muttonbirds.
  17. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

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  18. HeathDavisSpeed HT Davis

  19. Gazza GJ Weaver

    Great start!
  20. Weeman27bob BE Force

    Ffs who let Athlai score.

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