After a well deserved two week break the happy hunting ground of Auckland was a massive opportunity to cement a big top four break on the table. Would we deliver?
Peter Hiku: Obviously spent the fortnight break catching loads of bombs. Massively improved performance, safe all day and ran very impressively for 165 metres. Well done.
Jorge Taufau: 13 great metre gaining runs for a total of 188 metres.
Steve Matai: Tried hard all day despite hobbling for most of it.
Jamie Lyon: The once so reliable conversions have been off course for some weeks and it was a matter of time before one would bite us badly. Sure it was a tough kick from the sideline but you have to nail those at 18-16 with the game on the line. Unusually quiet game in attack too.
David Williams: Where was he? 7 runs and 40 metres way too few. Note Jorge's stats.
Kieran Foran: Tried hard to get the left side going all day where our points came from, but we needed more.
Daly Cherry-Evans: Defence was great as per Foran, but just not taking the opposition on enough like a great halfback needs to do.
Glenn Stewart: A shadow of the former damaging player, disjointed sideways running yet again for very few metres. Our right side attack has log jammed since his return. Toovs urgent attention needed NOW.
Justin Horo: Once again one of our best on field. Never stopped.
Anthony Watmough: The usual couple of howler mistakes again but as always never stopped working after a tough origin back up.
Brenton Lawrence: Tried hard but not the usual impact.
Matt Ballin: The usual 47 tackles but back in the shell in terms of dummy half running.
Brent Kite: The Landcruiser worked hard as always but lacked real impact.
Tom Symonds: 24 mins for a grand total of 1 run and 6 metres. Is this a joke? Ever since Glenn returned his talent and role have been totally lost. Toovs what is going on?
James Hasson: Worked hard but no real impact in his 20 min spell.
Jamie Buhrer: I just can't see why he continues to get picked when Symonds is also on the bench. Tries hard and tackles well but his runs up the guts are like watching a kid run at the adults.
George Rose: Looked even bigger after the two week break (if that's possible) but despite that was one of the best forwards surging up the middle for just shy of 100 metres.
We're still 4th.
Same as I wrote last time. Once again our attack is just not there without Brett and the lack of points on the board is the stark truth. 50% completion of sets in the 2nd half is more than bad.
Same as I wrote last time. The relentless epidemic shooting ourselves in the foot. Too many penalties, too many stifled attack misfiring chances. All of which added up to the loss that was looming. A badly wasted opportunity to put a big gap on 5th place. Can't help wondering if we took it all way too lightly, especially after leading 12-0 so easily early on.
Yet another example of being seemingly way off the boil with one eye on a big home game just 5 days away. If we come out on Friday and play to 100% of our ability to belt the Dogs all will be forgiven, but let's hope that's not just a pipe dream. We must hit back hard, and no better time to do it than against the Desdogs.