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Super XV round 9 preview and live match thread

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Fri 20 Apr 2012, 1:07 am

We are now almost half way through the 2012 Super XV Round-Robin phase and in this post-Rugby World Cup season a few things are becoming abundantly clear:
* The New Zealand conference id hotting up, with everyone except the hapless Blues scrapping hard for playoffs spots
* The Stormers and Bulls remain top dogs in South Africa, though the Sharks may yet challenge
* Australia currently does not have enough depth to sustain five Super Rugby teams. No Australian team has won outside of Australia this season and in 8 games played in Australia by visiting teams from New Zealand or South Africa the score is 4-4.
* Injury rates have soared in the early season. Few teams have escaped the carnage with the Lions and Reds notably the worst
hit.
* Defence is king. Very few teams are picking up four-try bonus points, and around 70% of matches are being decided by 7 points or less.


Australian Conference
Position Team Played Wins Losses Draws Byes Points For Points Against Points Difference Bonus Points Total
1 Brumbies 7 4 3 0 1 174 150 24 4 24
2 Reds 7 4 3 0 1 140 193 -53 1 21
3 Waratahs 7 3 4 0 1 163 161 2 5 21
4 Rebels 7 2 5 0 1 133 211 -78 2 14
5 Western Force 8 2 6 0 0 181 212 -31 5 13

New Zealand Conference
Position Team Played Wins Losses Draws Byes Points For Points Against Points Difference Bonus Points Total
1 Chiefs 7 6 1 0 1 190 136 54 3 31
2 Highlanders 7 5 2 0 1 162 143 19 2 26
3 Hurricanes 7 4 3 0 1 225 195 30 5 25
4 Crusaders 7 4 3 0 1 174 159 15 3 23
5 Blues 7 1 6 0 1 149 187 -38 3 11

South African Conference
Position Team Played Wins Losses Draws Byes Points For Points Against Points Difference Bonus Points Total
1 Stormers 7 6 1 0 1 170 128 42 1 29
2 Bulls 7 5 2 0 1 234 137 97 5 29
3 Sharks 8 4 4 0 0 190 200 -10 6 22
4 Cheetahs 8 3 5 0 0 227 238 -11 5 17
5 Lions 7 1 6 0 1 130 192 -62 2 10


Matches:
Highlanders vs Blues - Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
The embattled Blues travel to Dunedin seeking to end their 4-match losing streak and defend the Gordon Hunter Memorial Trophy. History is on the Blues' side, they have 5 wins from 9 down south. However the men from Auckland have only won one match this season, upsetting the Bulls in Pretoria in round 3. The Highlanders have had a week off to mull over their loss to the Stormers and will be looking for points in the increasingly congested New Zealand conference battle.

The Highlanders have responded to their run of injuries by recruiting a pair of former players out of Japanese club rugby in first five-eighth Mike Delaney and flanker Hale T-Pole, with T-Pole on a three week trial. Delaney will start at 10, pushing Chris Noakes to the bench, while in the only other change to the starting fifteen Tamati Ellison drops to fullback as Ben Smith is still injured, and Phil Burleigh comes in at centre. New Zealand sevens star Kurt Baker is on the bench.

Pat Lam has rung the changes this week. Skipper Keven Mealamu and fullback Rudi Wulf miss the match through injury, replaced by Tom McCartney and Hadleigh Parkes with Luke Braid the stand-in captain. Daniel Braid has not fully recovered from a knock in the Sharks game and drops to the bench. In other changes, Ali Williams returns to the starting fifteen and Rene Ranger moves in to centre, swapping positions with Benson Stanley. Piri Weepu remains stuck on the bench, while Sherwin Stowers and Lachie Munro are unable to make the matchday squad.

The bookmakers like the Blues for this one, which has me baffled; I think the Southerners will be too strong upfront. Highlanders by 7.

Continued here: http://www.v2journal.com/super-xv-2012-preview-round-9.html


Last edited by Kiwireddevil on Sun 22 Apr 2012, 10:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 20 Apr 2012, 1:40 am

For what its worth:
Waratahs to beat Rebels by7,interesting to see this week O'Connor wears the number 12 jersey,is there anything this kid cant do?

Bulls over brumbies by7.

Crusaders by 10 over Hurricanes,in Dan Carters 100th.

Cant see the Reds coming close against the Stormers,North harbours Mike Harris starting at 1st 5 with Quade Cooper still out.

Sharks by 10 over the Chiefs,even though the Chiefs have a good bench.

Blues by 1 over the Highlanders (Im a bit biased),the interest here is the appointment of Luke Braid as Captain,wonder if Pat Lam is sending a messge to his All Blacks?

Probably got it completely wrong...


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Post by nganboy Fri 20 Apr 2012, 1:51 am

Agree Auckland - you've got it completely wrong
nah
Waratahs
Bulls
Hurricanes
Stormers
Chiefs
Highlanders
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 20 Apr 2012, 2:03 am

I'm glad we agree on something,I am utterly hopeless doing Friday morning predictions,i've got more show winning Lotto.and that would fall into the category of highly unlikely.

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Post by Full Credit Fri 20 Apr 2012, 6:51 am

I'm not too sure how it can be any more 'abundantly clearer' this week than last that the Oz conference can't field 5 teams given we had 2 local derbies and a bye last week unless we're referring to the minor blowout in the Brumbies Rebels game which isn't entirely unexpected given it was the conference leaders (at home) Vs the cellar dwellers. I read an article the other day about how Aussie teams have fared better (albeit marginally) than South African teams since the Super Rugby inception but suddenly it's very en vogue to bash all things Australian because so far this season we've been a bit below par. It is only half way through the season.

Anyway, I like the Reds at home tonight. The rest last week will have done them good, they're getting some injured players back, at home, against a side that's nearing the end of a tough away tour. Unfortunately the game's on at the same time as the Kangaroos so hopefully some people can tear themselves away from the TV and get down to Suncorp.

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Post by Biltong Fri 20 Apr 2012, 6:56 am

I went against the grain, Hurricanes over Crusaders, Stormers over Reds.
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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 8:35 am

Cmon the Bluuuuuuuueeeeesss!

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 8:43 am

try no.1 thumbsup

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 8:54 am

Good kick Delaney. Good try Highlanders.

Always had a lot for his game. In the Doug Rollerson, Tony Brown mould. Reliable all round.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Fri 20 Apr 2012, 9:36 am

Full Credit wrote:I'm not too sure how it can be any more 'abundantly clearer' this week than last that the Oz conference can't field 5 teams given we had 2 local derbies and a bye last week unless we're referring to the minor blowout in the Brumbies Rebels game which isn't entirely unexpected given it was the conference leaders (at home) Vs the cellar dwellers. ...

Sorry mate, it was 1am when I got to that so I "recycled" most of last week's intro Whistle
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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 9:44 am

Kiwis started well too. Nothing on the League thread for it...
Breakers are on soon as well...

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Post by Full Credit Fri 20 Apr 2012, 9:54 am

No worries KRD. It's not so much on this forum anyway but in several others it's all I ever hear about.

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Post by Full Credit Fri 20 Apr 2012, 9:57 am

Taylorman here in Aus we don't even get a live telecast for the league. Have to wait another 35mins for the 'kickoff'! mad

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:06 am

Geez thats no good.
Here we have Blues n Highlanders, Oz Kiwi's then Breakers going for their twopeat hopefully.
Wont spoil it then.
Blues unbelievably error prone all year. Drop this and that...every time they get it I expect them to drop it...and they do!
Hopeless.

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Post by Biltong Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:08 am

We get it all live, and I am stuck in the office. mad
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Post by Full Credit Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:12 am

Heaven forbid anyone misses the news, current affairs, and some cruddy home renovation show.

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:16 am

Blues going for gold...yikes

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:35 am

Reds Stormers next after that pitiful Blues effort. Mistakes cost them again.

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Post by Biltong Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:41 am

That result was a little closer than I predicted.Super XV round 9 preview and live match thread Banghe10
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Post by Full Credit Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:45 am

Somebody, somewhere has put a voodoo curse on the reds 10 jersey.

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Post by Guest Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:46 am

Kiwis v kangaroo game shaping up to be a good game, not a blow out, yet Very Happy Won't spoil with a score. Glad I missed the blues by the sounds. I'm beginning to feel sorry for them, but not too sorry.

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Post by Biltong Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:47 am

Oh, booy, I see Walsh is the referee
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Post by FerN Fri 20 Apr 2012, 12:16 pm

Hmm, don't think the Stormers will get a 4 try bonus point this season, they just lack that killer instinct that the other top teams have.

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Post by Biltong Fri 20 Apr 2012, 12:16 pm

I see Walsh is a bit trigger happy here in the second half.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Fri 20 Apr 2012, 1:00 pm

2 exact margins out of 2 so far in SportsGuru for Boomaranga - nice work!
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Post by yappysnap Fri 20 Apr 2012, 4:52 pm

Blimey the Reds were tonked! Was it that the Stormers were that much better or injuries or a bit of both?

That's two very big losses to the top two SA teams now for them, could be a sign of things to come for the quad nations?

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Post by Biltong Fri 20 Apr 2012, 5:08 pm

Gio Aplon had a very good game today, he was all over the place, poaching ball, hitting the gaps scoring tries, wow.
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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Apr 2012, 10:43 pm

Reds losing yet another match to a SA side is really making it tough for the Oz sides. Should the Brumbies lose tonight to the sharks with no bonus points Brumbies could drop to 9th if Saders beat the Canes. Probably both the fave results. Tahs lose to Rebels and Oz sides occupy some fairly cheap real estate on the table.

Clearly greed rather than the logistical possibilities of the Rebels entering the tournament and the conference set up have dominated the thinking. These scenario's should have been considered earlier.

Some people will have some explaining to do years end if this continues and theres a risk of fans turning away, particularly in Oz. Sensible thing to do now would be to start recruiting the best of the Argie players for next year. That is the only way I can see the playing level increase with the current format and teams involved. The Lions, Cheetahs and perhaps all the Oz sides should start chasing now.

What a mess...

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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 6:07 am

Tahs lose to Rebels and Oz sides occupy some fairly cheap real estate on the table.

More like abandoned lots Taylorman. Wink

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Post by Taylorman Sat 21 Apr 2012, 9:16 am

Crusaders coming into some ominous form. They time their season well i must say.

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Post by chewed_mintie Sat 21 Apr 2012, 9:22 am

god we are playing awfully....joubert called Coles for a forward pass but 2 mins later the crusaders score off one...how the hell did this bloke get the wc final gig?? thank god for taylor's try on halftime....

where's that dog....

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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 9:25 am

Apart from Joubert declining a Hurricanes try for a marginal forward pass, he then lets a Crusaders try for a much more blatant forward pass.

That is a 14 points swing in my book.

BUT.

One thing I have noticed about the difference between other New Zealand franchises and the Crusaders.

The Crusaders has finesse, execution and class, whereby the other teams apart from the Highlanders to an extent use physicality more than finesse.
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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 9:27 am

It is frustrating to see a team win a ruck and then a player who enters the ruck carelessly kicks the ball into the hands of the opposition.

Same with the finer details of the law, a player has turned over the ball, yes the Crusader didn't release so there should have been a penalty to the hurricanes, but when the first player then loses the ball, a second Hurricane enters the ruck and goes for the ball illegally, voila, penalty in front of the posts.
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Post by chewed_mintie Sat 21 Apr 2012, 9:58 am

This is grotesque now.....we're effectively being shafted by players who should have been playing at the Hurricanes (Dagg, Fruean, Guildford, Whitelock bros).

This is a bitter pill to swallow

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:12 am

chewed_mintie wrote:This is grotesque now.....we're effectively being shafted by players who should have been playing at the Hurricanes (Dagg, Fruean, Guildford, Whitelock bros).

This is a bitter pill to swallow

The Whitelock family moved south when one of the boys opted to study at Canterbury Uni rather than as a rugby move. The rest I'll grant you.
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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:21 am

Well irrespective of where these players come from, but this Crusader team keeps turning out this class year in and year out.

I can see the match against the Stormers last weekend was a catalyst for them to really build momentum for the rest of the season.

Few will stop them from here. They only have Waratahs, Chiefs and Rebels away for the rest of the Tournament.

They should end top of the table and win it from here.
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Post by Taylorman Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:37 am

Was interesting to hear blackadder about last week where they just kicked everything back at the stormers. Then he says weve moved on from that. Canes are a different matter. Then they just destroy them through the middle.

They do seem to have a good grasp of how to play this game.

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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:41 am

absolutely.
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Post by Pal Joey Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:44 am

"Say Holmes... did you hear the Army beat the Navy again in the curtain raiser?"

"That was to be expected my dear Watson.... when you consider the Navy have to train on timber decks, whereas the Army have use of more modern facilities..."

Smile



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Post by Pal Joey Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:46 am

Nice start.

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Post by chewed_mintie Sat 21 Apr 2012, 10:46 am

I can't really complain about it KRD...the Crusaders are simply the most well-managed, most consistent performing provincial/club team in the World. They been performing more or less since 1998 now...

Why wouldn't anyone want to play there?

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Post by Taylorman Sat 21 Apr 2012, 11:10 am

Fruean as well. Born and bred Porirua. Difference is Hammet has brought some saders structure to the canes so theyll go on from here. I think Eaton may have put himself with whitlock as the two premier locks such is his form.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat 21 Apr 2012, 11:35 am

Evenan all.

From the the Crusader/Wellington game one of the noticeable things for me was the form of both number 8s. I know I'm repeating what Justin Marshall said but it isnt that long now till Hansen has to throw the pencil away and start using pen.


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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 11:37 am

Yeah, Kieran must be the best 8 in world rugby at the moment.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat 21 Apr 2012, 11:40 am

Biltong
I agree,but also vito did play well in a pack that was going backwards.I have a similar attitude for the Cheetahs loose forwards.

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Post by yappysnap Sat 21 Apr 2012, 12:15 pm

Hurricanes 6 with the mohawk looked really impressive, made loads or yardage in heavy traffic all game long and was a constant nuisance at the breakdown.

Crusaders really impressed at the rucks. When not trying to slow the ball down they actually properly rucked over the ball and ignored it completely, leaving it for the follow up player to grab. So much more effective then the usual dash to fall on it that occurs.

Do the Rebels have an academy or any home grown players? They all seem to be from other regions...

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Post by boomeranga Sat 21 Apr 2012, 12:16 pm

Rocky back. Shoulder and leg reco's, but he comes out with his elbow strapped?

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Post by Pal Joey Sat 21 Apr 2012, 12:20 pm

Rebels in again. 30-21. Switching off yet again. steam

Boomer... did you hear? NSW 18 -Qld 14 in U20 S.O.O. Very Happy

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Sat 21 Apr 2012, 12:22 pm

Lots of love for the Crusaders on this thread! That's all good. It means they're recovering from their woeful start and are starting to look ominous again.

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Post by Biltong Sat 21 Apr 2012, 12:36 pm

Won't call it love Kia, merely huge respect. Hug
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