Category: National Provincial Championship

Super Rugby Aotearoa preview: analysing Clayton McMillan’s style of play

On Monday 22nd February, I’ll be co-hosting a webinar with Brian Fitzpatrick of BF Sports Analysis previewing the upcoming Super Rugby Aotearoa season. If you’re interested in attending this event, you can sign up to receive more details here.

We’ll be collaborating to dive into the detail of some of the tactical and technical trends that are likely to be prominent in the 2021 edition of the competition, taking a look at each of the 5 teams in the process.

One of the questions we’ll be addressing is what to expect from the Chiefs, who went winless during Super Rugby Aotearoa 2020 and have appointed Clayton McMillan as their interim head coach for the year in Warren Gatland’s absence.

McMillan has been the head coach of the Maori All Blacks since 2017, and led the Bay of Plenty Steamers in the Mitre 10 Cup between 2015 and 2020.

In this article, we’ll briefly discuss what his 2020 Steamers side (who made it to the Premiership semi-finals) looked like on the field — but be sure to sign up for our webinar on the 22nd to discover how this tactical approach might play out on the field in Hamilton in 2021.

Continue reading “Super Rugby Aotearoa preview: analysing Clayton McMillan’s style of play”

2016 Mitre 10 Cup preview

New Zealand’s National Provincial Championship – this year branded as the Mitre 10 Cup – is always one of the most enjoyable competitions in club rugby, performing a key role in the nation’s talent development process. Nehe Milner-Skudder’s performances for Manawatu in 2014 served as a springboard to Super Rugby and international recognition in 2015, while the part played by Seta Tamanivalu in Taranaki’s championship victory that same season led to a place in the Chiefs squad and a cap for the All Blacks in June 2016. The competition also provides an opportunity – arguably unparalleled in world rugby – for age-grade players to prove themselves against top competition. The NZRU will undoubtedly be disappointed with a fifth-place finish in this year’s U20 World Championship, but the manner in which the side rebounded from sloppy pool-stage performances against Ireland and Wales to score nineteen tries in two emphatic knockout victories was indicative of the attacking talent at Scott Robertson’s disposal, and many of these young players will be heavily involved with their provinces over the coming weeks.

Continue reading “2016 Mitre 10 Cup preview”