Rugby Round 7 March 26, 2013

Highlanders V Reds
I at least thought the Highlanders turned up trying to pay to a plan
last start, after previously doing nothing. They have certainly
returned to oblivion.. But here I think they can beat the Reds,whom I
think are quite pathetic looking.. Genia is making a difference looks
wise, but the team looks totally out of focus.. If you were to play
any team in NZ it would be the highlanders, as they are a side that
loves to muck it up and lose, so I suppose that give the Reds a hope,
but the Reds just look shocking. They have no enthusiasm based on
excitement and more excitement, and are mentally looking very dulled
to me. But seeing this match is in Dunedin, and its absolutely their
last chance to salvage anything other than death threats, I am going
to tip Poki to score 2 tries and really cause some headaches for the
slowish Reds back line…Nonu is also back, and he and Smith may also
be powerful and with captain Hosea Gear also powerful, surely at home
they can fire it up… finally…. The Reds are going too badly for
mine, and the Highlanders showed glimpses, and maybe their passes will
stick? Highlanders 13+

Hurricanes V Kings

Well now its the Hurricanes turn to line up and run thru and around
this new mob, who were quickly humbled to gentle obedience by the
Crusaders last weekend. Hurricanes will win 13+

I can see the Chiefs taking the cleaners through the Blues. The Blues
turned up in Sydney and with their white sox toddling around the field
they gave up the ghost badly in the heat.. and when their captain Ali
Williams walked of hot,I thought these blues are super soft. Their
whole body language was screaming I want to have a cold shower… My
point here is that even if the conditions were shocking and stifling
and totally wrong for rugby, you still had to act the play out with a
sense of reason and purpose…2 hours later after they had long
recovered, I believe a heavy load of guilt would have set in with
thoughts like..”We could have tried harder”… Ranger made a volley of
handling errors, Piutea did pretty much nothing, and the whole side
wandered around the field looking tired and beaten..which they
successfully acted out it seemed to me… I am sure Sir John would
have been into them about it..unless he did not want to totally lose
it… But I love the Chiefs, they play chaos rugby better than
anybody else, but with both teams having great back lines, massive
excitement looks assured…But its the Chiefs forwards whom I trust
way more… Liam Messam is strong and reliable and his captaincy is
far more vibrant than Ali Williams, whom I have never rated highly was
he has given away way to many penalties for my liking.. Chiefs to win

Brumbies V Bulls…
The Bulls were very stupid last week when they sent out their reserve
team to play the Reds. They obviously kept to a plan that was devised
long ago..It was dumb and showed no imagination. They should have, and
would have easily beaten the Reds had they played a better chosen team.. So
now they will revert I Imagine to their stronger side, and try and
catch the Brumbies off guard after a long trip… The health of Mighty
Mogg is very important. He is pretty much the form player in
Australian rugby…along with a number of other Brumbie players… NIc
White should also return here, and he is a terrific competitor, and
with George Smith playing like a 26 year old champion, and captain
MOwen leading in fine style, the Brumbies are still hard to beat at
home… It was only a few careless errors that cost them deeply last
week… Sam Carter and Stephen Moore gave away penalties and surely
they will learn from that… and with Henry Speight in surprise
packet form, the locals have loads of scoring potential playing in
their best team work form…THat is what they HAVE TO REVERT TO, EVERY
respectable form, excepting their weak effort in Canterbury where they
seemed not interested.. I may be biased, as I really have loved what
the Brumbies have done so far this season, and I believe their coach
Jake White is a top class combatant…look for the Bulls Deon Stegmann
to give away 3 penalties and cost his team loads. Brumbies 1-12.

Cheetahs V Rebels

Talk about the gift that keeps on giving… The Cheetahs get home
after their best ever tour, and are met up with the rabble of all
rabbles in the rugby world,in the guise of Rebels! So the Cheetahs
will get another victory
and seriously threaten their supporters with a rough chance of making
the finals…. If they were in the Australian conference they would be
making the finals for sure… In fact this conference style table is a
fix, a joke and a robbery to truth… it must have politics
involved… Cheetahs win,while Rebels go plugging anything that looks
like a potential leek.Radio man Leo Schlink was saying this morning
what a great coach Hill is for the Rebels.. I wonder on how many
drinks he was given to say that..On what was he basing that
statement?? A tennis writer… Cheetahs 11-30…They will be a touch
tired after long flight and satisfied feelings..

Stormers V Crusaders

When it comes to big games I much prefer the team coming off a serious
tough contest than the one who has a resounding victory…I have seen
the massive winners bite the dust the following week so often over the
decades it is truly almost a cliche! It also fits nicely into my
wanting the Crusaders to bite the pillow after taking a pounding. The
Stormers were pretty good accepting with gratitude the cheap errors
the Brumbies handed to them… but take them they did. The Crusaders
behaved like bully boys toward the visiting Kings, and while many
would have been foaming at the mouth about how great the Crusaders
are looking, I am still selecting them to slide down the fire mans
pole out of control… The go forward power of the Stormers is now
very real. They have now done it 3 times this season, and getting good
at it..They are also at home getting hometown decisions go their
way,if referees are at all predictable! Dan Carter is back in form
with the boot, so the Stormers cannot take things for granted and just
be disrespectful, they will be tough and hard for sure… but I see
them as being a bit faster in the forwards than the Nzers, and by 60
minutes I expect to see the Stormers getting on top… They will be
tougher for the victory last week, and I expect them to win… 1-12…
If I am really unbiased I do concede Crusader players like Fruean and
Dagg can cause serious problems when right.. and if wet do not forget
to back Zac Guildford as most tries scored.. He is best wet tracker I
have ever seen. Top class match this.

Waratahs V Force

The Tahs are now in the enviable position of beginning to get on a
roll.. Instead of being embarrassed,as they should be,after the Blues
capitulated in the desert like sun, they thundered home pretty well to
over run the walking and bemoaning Blues… Now the Force, who were
terrific V the Reds let themselves down against the Cheetahs where
they should have won, but fell apart with poor skills..Dellit was
guilty, and his kicking cost them the match.. I hope for the Forces
sake, that Sias Ebersohn is back, as his goal kicking is a feature of
rugby in Australia. I love watching him kick.. A great left footer is
always a delight to watch… I remember having a kick with Olly
Barkley in Bath some years ago, and I could have watched him strike a
ball for hours a day… Had he been coached differently, I think he
could have been extraordinary..The David Gower of goal kicking… but
his coach made him kick off about 1- steps and made it too hard under
big game pressure to make him have any freedom about it all.. It was
tragic to my eyes.. Barkley had extraordinary talent at ball
striking… and Ebersohn is in magnificent form… I look forward to
the ref blowing his whistle so he can have a shot… dare I wish for a
try, so he can convert…But Ebersohn is kicking as well as anybody in
the world I believe ( know) .I hope he can keep it up… Gee The Force
let themselves down last week,and now Foley has to return under
certain duresses to the NSW home of rugby to try and make them feel
rotten.. The energies are not going to be right for him… But if they
start well, and get to a lead, that is their only chance of
victory..The elephants will build up if allowed to settle into a
rhythm… Looking to see the back line of NSW click even better
here.. If they can they may be good to watch finally… lot will
depend on what happens up front… Tahs 1-15 Important Alby Mathewson
plays well around the rucks..I think he will.

best games to watch Stormers Crusaders Reds Hurricanes ( intellectual
experience) Chiefs Blues.. Brumbies Bulls ..for comedy Rebels versus

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