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8474 Topic: Rugby: Hickey at No10, Marshall back on bench; NZ Herald

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Rugby: Hickey at No10, Marshall back on bench; NZ Herald
March 20, 2014, 06:25:31

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has acknowledged that Simon Hickey is his best first-five in selecting the 20-year-old to run the backline against the Cheetahs at Eden Park on Saturday.

Hickey, a wider training group player, replaces Chris Noakes at No10, with Benji Marshall, who played 80 minutes at fullback against the Lions, back on the reserves bench. Charles Piutau, used on the left wing at Ellis Park, is back in the No15 jersey.

"I thought he came on last week and really showed some spark,' Kirwan said of Hickey. "I'm going to pick on form and he's on form at the moment so he's getting a start.'

"Just a little bit of positional stuff,' was Kirwan's explanation as to why Marshall had lost his starting spot. "I thought for him on attack he was outstanding, he just needs to keep learning that positional play and back at fullback that's not easy to do but he'll pick it up.'

As expected Ma'a Nonu and Jerome Kaino have been selected on the reserves bench, which also includes lock Hayden Triggs for the first time.

While Kirwan wants his side to start with more intent this week after underwhelming starts in their four previous matches, the bench has the potential to add real impact.

"Our bench has been pretty good coming on so far, but I was looking at it today and it's a pretty special bench. With Ma'a and Jerome in there it certainly gives us confidence to use it.'

Blues team to play the Cheetahs at Eden Park on Saturday, kick-off 7.35pm is:Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, George Moala, Jackson Willison, Tevita Li, Simon Hickey, Piri Weepu, Peter Saili, Luke Braid (c), Steven Luatua, Tom Donnelly, Liaki Moli, Charlie Faumuina, James Parsons, Tony Wood[removed]. Reserves: Tom McCartney, Angus Ta'avao, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Jerome Kaino, Hayden Triggs, Bryn Hall, Ma'a Nonu, Benji Marshall.



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RE: Rugby: Hickey at No10, Marshall back on bench; NZ Herald
March 20, 2014, 06:28:07
 Glad Hickey is back as a starter. Benji on the bench makes some sense as he has to learn the game. Hopefully he gets enough game time to do this - it is a balance.

sasuke uchiha

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Posts: 5836
RE: Rugby: Hickey at No10, Marshall back on bench; NZ Herald
March 20, 2014, 07:50:30
good to see hickeys back, but kirwan is still a dumbass for benching him in the first place.

blues wont achieve anything of note with kirwan in charge, but being am aucklan legend means they will stik with one of jafas favourite son.
henry should be making all the crucial decisions for the blues.

am happy to see benji on the bench, he had good last 10 minutes, but a below average 70 minutes.
would still pick benji ahead of noakes for the No10 any day of the week though.

cheetahs will be desperate for a win and this is prob the most 50/50 match of them all.

the blues have some serious advantage with a killer bench though, i would have started taavao and mccartney, as im picking the cheetahs forwards to dominate the blues upfront during the set pieces.

i also would have started maa nonu and kaino, liaki moli is kak IMO and luatua can play lock, so a combo lik this,,,
4 tom donnoley, 5 steven luatua, 6 jerome kaino, 7 luke braid, 8 peter saili
would have given the blues an edge against the cheaters loosies price loo, lap dog and van ginga who while i make fun of their name respecta as one of the best loose trio in the comp.

goof luck blues, ur going to need it.

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