Sunday, July 5, 2015

Its A Franchise and A Bloody Good One As Of Last Night.

As the lazyboy heroes cry into their cups because their team failed again, they could  think about what exactly a franchise sports team consists of.

It is a "team" assembled by management and coaches to enable them to field that team to win.

The Highlanders is an example of what good selection, good coaching, good motivation and a bit of luck can create.

While some of the Lazyboy specialists bemoan what might have been,  a bit of background could be useful.
 To make for a  fairer and equal competition there is a salary cap and a squad formation protocol that  limits the number of "protected players"  in place to prevent a franchise such as Crusaders with possibly the best development systems and The Blues who have far and away the most abundant talent pool of players,  from dominating.  

Lets take a look at the 23 Highlanders finals team and reserves; Brendon Edmonds Hawkes Bay, Liam Coltman Taranaki, Josh Hohneck Waikato, Alex Ainley Auckland, Mark Reddish Wellington, Elliot Dixon Canterbury, James Lentjes Canterbury, Nasi Manu Canterbury, Aaron Smith Manawatu, Lima Sopoaga Wellington, Malachai Feketoa Auckland, Richard Buckman  Manawatu, Patrick Osborne Fiji, Waisake Naholo Fiji (eligible for NZ and now an AB)  and the lone  Otago native Ben Smith.
The Bench: Ash Dixon Canterbury, Ross Geldenhuys Eastern Province South Africa, Danial Lienart Brown Canterbury, Joe Wheeler Canterbury, Gareth Evans Hawkes Bay, Shane Christie Manawatu, Fumiaki Tanaka Japan and Marty Banks West Coast.
That is by birthplace.

Now for where they Play ITM footy:
Brendon Edmonds HB  I game for Hurricanes in 2014,   Liam Coltman   Otago,
Josh Hohneck Bay of Plenty, 18 super caps with Chiefs. Alex Ainley Tasman
Mark Reddish Wellington  30 Hurricanes caps 2011/14. James Lentjes Otago
Elliot Dixon Southland. Nasi Manu Canterbury, Aaron Smith Manawatu
Lima Sopoaga Southland, Malachai Feketoa Otago,  Richard Buckman HB,
Patrick Osborne Canterbury,  Waisake Naholo Taranaki two super caps for Blues,
Ben Smith Otago  Apparently the only home born, home grown trueblue Lander.
Ash Dixon back in HB after time in Auckland Blues squad, no cap, two years in Hurricanes  15 caps.
Ross Geldenhuys Tasman. Daniel Lienart Brown Canterbury
Joe Wheeler Tasman, 4 caps Crusaders until 2012, Gareth Evans  Otago
Shane Christie Otago  1 crusaders cap 2013, Fumi Tanaka Otago and Japan international.
Marty Banks Tasman 5 Hurricanes Caps 2014.

Seven Otago, two Southland within the franchise area
Five from the Hurricane catchment.
Two Chiefs catchment
Seven Crusaders catchment
Three of them from the Hurricanes discard pile.

Plus the other 17 roster players who got the team to Wellington

Take a bow;
 Jamie Joseph, Marlborough born, Otago, All Black and Japan player, as Head Coach
Tony Brown, Otago all the way, All Black, as  Attack Coach
Scot McLeod, Brisbane born,  All Black, Waikato,  Assistant coach at Chiefs, as Defence Coach,
Clark Dermody Southland ITM, Highlander Three tests All Black, as Scrum Coach.
Jon Preston, Canterbury/Wellington  ITM, Hurricanes Halfback/1st five as HP Development coach.

For two hours last night they were  all 100% Otago Highlanders,  they were one team, one franchise and they wanted to win more than the Home Team.
A classic success story for franchise sport.


pdm said...

Gareth Evans is good Hawkes Bay stock and was only on loan to Otago while at University. He was back with The Bay last year until a serious shoulder injury, the result of foul play, put him out for the season. I think he only started again in late April/early May. Two of his brothers played for Hawkes Bay with Bryn (I think) being a one or two game All Black.

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