The old dogs keep flooding back

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 08:30
Large mose tuiali i Large brad thorn highlanders h s Large jake paringatai Large tony woodcock

Struggling Super Rugby side the Highlanders have been forced to send another SOS to an aging All Black in Japan, this time bringing back former Crusader Mose Tuiali'i.

Struggling Super Rugby side the Highlanders have been forced to send another SOS to an aging All Black in Japan, this time bringing back former Crusader Mose Tuiali'i.

The 32-year-old Tuiali'i, who played nine Tests for the All Blacks and has been in Japan since 2008, returns to replace injured No. 8 Nasi Manu.

He becomes the fifth New Zealand player brought back from Japan in the past two years to bolster the Highlanders, who are the only winless side in this year's Super Rugby competition.

Last month the  Dunedin-based  franchise brought back Neil Brew, 34, seven years after the journeyman centre went offshore to play first in Bristol, England, and then in Japan.

During the off-season, Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph picked up 32-year-old loose forward Jake Paringatai and former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn, 38, who were both playing in Japan.

Last year, he brought home 30-year-old Tamati Ellison, who was with Japanese club Ricoh.

The Highlanders started the year as one of the more fancied New Zealand sides following their recruitment of Tony Woodcock and Ma'a Nonu from the Blues to put 11 past or present All Blacks in their ranks.

However, they have been hit by injuries to several key players and also the loss of All Blacks  flank  Adam Thomson, who has quit New Zealand rugby to play in Japan.

The return of a number of players from Japan seems to be the problem for Joseph and the Highlanders as a lot of the teams in Japan do not play to the same intensity as Super Rugby which means that these players have not experienced the physicality and pace of Super Rugby for a number of years.

The reason for this is that these players are on their way out of the international rugby spotlight - heading into the twilight of their careers.

The professionalism of a lot of the teams does not match that of Super Rugby and it seems that Japanese champions Suntory Sangoliath is the one side that could, potentially, match-up to a Super Rugby franchise.

This is not the reason why the Highlanders have been battling this season but with the pace of the play increasing every season, these older players are being left behind and drop off the pace during the 80 minutes on the field.

SAPA

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sat, 20 February 2016
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Gloucester 15h00 Allianz Park
Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sixways
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 0 0 0 0 0
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Cheetahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 0 0 0 0 0
Kings 0 0 0 0 0