Really good on paper.
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@Dip wrote:Bit of Broncos bias but I think Blair will go close. Maybe prop with Taupau to the back row. Not convinced with Taylor either. You probably need someone to play hooker off the bench, but I'm not sure he has much to add. If Niko gets a couple of games off the bench he perhaps adds more for a 25 minute stint. Not sure what other hooker options there are.
@leaguegod wrote:strong team, i'm sure blair will be there but it is becoming harder for NZ to fit all their forwards in when healthy
Australian doesn't often change to much from the year before, incumbent team is:
1 Darius Boyd
2 Blake Ferguson
3 Greg Inglis
4 Josh Dugan
5 Valentine Holmes
6 Johnathan Thurston
7 Cooper Cronk
8 Matt Scott
9 Cameron Smith (c)
10 Shannon Boyd
11 Boyd Cordner
12 Matt Gillett
13 Trent Merrin
14 David Klemmer
15 Michael Morgan
16 Tyson Frizell
17 Sam Thaiday
don't agree with all of them but i think 13 of these guys are pretty locked in
obviously 2 forced changes for GI & Scott
and i don't think S Boyd and holmes would be locked in yet. Papali was always meant to be part of the make up, so i wouldn't be surprised to see papali come straight back in but it seems we'll at most have 2 legitimate props if thats the case
@leaguegod wrote:probably a fair call, tho guys like dugan and fergo were there for the mid year test last year
our middle is gonna be a worry, lolo, jbrom, tapau, jwh etc is gonna be hard to stop and we've seen gal and parker retire and scott injured.
Napa has always been a bloke on the rise but i don't think he'd fit in time anyways.
Merrin and woods are probably gonna both end being there but neither fill me with confidence for winning that battle. i think klem and mcguire could do a job but its hard to see us winning that battle, especially if we end up with like 4-5 second rowers who play more on the edge
Australia is gonna have to rely on their spine's brilliance more then ever moving forward if the kiwis can finally stay healthy
@leaguegod wrote:i'm ok with incumbency being a preference given the short turn around but merrin is incredibly lucky, been very poor for penny and still hasn't performed that well in rep footy yet for mine (unlike some of the other out of form incumbents )
holmes probably in the same ilk but his start to the year was delayed by an injury so i can live with it
gonna be a tough game against a strong kiwi team tho, they may actually be better on paper but i am actually starting to believe that Mal may just get Australian players caring as much about this game then origin and with them celebrating smith 50th, i think we'll get up
@Dip wrote:Even with incumbancy preference, Merrin, Morgan and Thaiday would have to consider themselves very lucky. Thaiday has played well for us this year but at the moment Bennett prefers Glenn, McGuire and Ese' Ese' to him, so to me that indicates he's lucky.
Bennett has stated he's doing the job off the bench. He's also started a few times as well, so it's 6 of one, half a dozen....
He's shored up our middle after the starters have come off, and he's done it well. We were getting creamed when all the experienced big boppers started. Having Sam come in fresh, and pushing in made a difference in my opinion. (Yes, for some reason, I've been keeping half an eye closely on the big unit this season).
No way he gets a starting gig for the Aussies anymore, but off the bench makes sense. You can make a case for the impact style impact player, but you've already got two of them in Friz and Papi. Sam brings the experience. He won't let you down.