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Super XV wrap: Final pool standings.

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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 7:08 am

So the pool rounds have come to an end and the final dye has been cast.

There were some upsets in the last pool rounds, with the Chiefs controversially going down to the Hurricanes with a last minute "try or no try" decision that would suggest the Chiefs were unlucky not to top the overall log.

The Blues dealt the death blow to Jake White's brave youngsters as they came up with only their 4th win of the season, to allow the door ajar for the Reds to top the Australian conference if they could beat the Waratahs who has been having their worst season since 2007.

Final Log without bye log points.
Spoiler:

Final Conference Log without bye log points.
Spoiler:

So in the first round of play offs the Sharks wil travel to play the Reds and the Bulls will travel to play the Crusaders.

Based on form, I would think the Bulls have little chance of upsetting the Crusaders at home, although it has to be said the Crusaders have shown some vulnerabilities this season. The Bulls have struggled all season to alter their attack against teams that match them physically in the pack.

The Sharks and Reds is harder to call, the Sharks would have had a better chance if Frans Steyn could be there, but due to the fact that he wasn't on the Sharks team roster at the beginning of the season, he is excluded from competing in the knock out rounds.

Stormer will have the week off and wait to see who they meet in the semi finals - Crusaders/Bulls
Chiefs will have the week off and wait to see who they meet in the semi finals - Reds/Sharks.

All to play for now.

I know I have been harping on how I don't like the conference system, but this season proves once again, the guaranteed spot in the play offs has aided the Reds who are in fact 6th on the log, to earn a home quarter final. PErhaps this needs to be revised, is it right to have a home quarter final against a team that is higher ranked than you?
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Post by Guest Mon 16 Jul 2012, 7:41 am

Good rundown biltong. It's all about money isn't it. We need the oz fans to tune in (this year anyway, as it's turned out). Same would apply if NZ/SA had a bad year. Reckon reds are favorites at home but wouldn't be surprised if the sharks won. Crusaders have too much experience at finals time to fall at this hurdle, surely.

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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 10:56 am

Just read Quade Cooper has been suspended for one match, this makes it a little easier for the Sharks.
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Post by Taylorman Mon 16 Jul 2012, 10:56 am

F Steyn continues to be an enigma.
Over the past three seasons hes been all over the place. Comes back 2010 series after no sxv and with an obvious helping of weepus diet played like it in the 3N.

Then slims down and has a good world cup. Then this year doesnt make the team card, and books a wedding on the same say as a test match.

Mixed messages?

Agree with the format. Its more about the presence of poor performing teams boosting the conference results. Oz weak sides allowed their top finisher to gain a home playoff in the same way that SA two weak sides allowed three teams into the six. How many of the twelve local matches did the lions and cheetahs take off the three qualified sides? Thats a potential 60 points up for grabs in the home derbys.

I havnt checked but Id say its a luxury that didnt exist on our side of the fence.

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Post by Taylorman Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:05 am

biltongbek wrote:Just read Quade Cooper has been suspended for one match, this makes it a little easier for the Sharks.

Yes they were expecting this. Cooper hasnt featured greatly but he did look to be coming back well enough.

Thats going to be a good one. Ive enjoyed the sharks matches. They mix it up a lot more.

For the reds genias again the one to watch. He wad full of song last weekend all fired up.

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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:08 am

Taylorman, the biggest enigma is the cheetahs, they have gained only 17 log points in their conference, but 45 outside the conference over the past two seasons.

The Lions have taken the Sharks twice over the last two years.

Sharks only have a 57% win rate in the conference. Yet they make up for it on the road.
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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:10 am

Taylorman, have a look at this article, it provides comparisons of how the team have faired in their conferences and outside of their conferences over the past two years.

Statistics of the past two years.
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Post by Taylorman Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:44 am

biltongbek wrote:Taylorman, the biggest enigma is the cheetahs, they have gained only 17 log points in their conference, but 45 outside the conference over the past two seasons.

The Lions have taken the Sharks twice over the last two years.

Sharks only have a 57% win rate in the conference. Yet they make up for it on the road.

I think youll find 57pc locally is actually very good. That means winning more than half their games. They play 8. Means they win 5. Most teams that qualified won about that...ten from 16 or so. And youll probably find the road wins were either the oz bottom sides if away... Or good home wins against our/ oz top sides.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:55 am

As a neutral I think it's a real shame the 'canes aren't in the mix, they are the most watchable side this season and I've really enjoyed the games of theirs I've seen (well the ones that have been on Sky on Saturday mornings). They just seem to play a really positive (if sometimes slightly inefficient) style of rugby that means the games tend to swing back and forth.

Is the Quade ban for the high tackle? Thought that was a massive cop out by Walsh who was otherwise excellent. Either the YC is enough or man up and provide a red. Waving the white and a yellow at the same time was akin to saying "I dunno, so I'll guess and cover my backside". It was a YC and nothing more for me. Yes, it is high but Barnes is ducking into it which makes it dangerous, it's not even a straight arm as he wraps it as part of the tackle.

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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 11:59 am

Taylorman wrote:
biltongbek wrote:Taylorman, the biggest enigma is the cheetahs, they have gained only 17 log points in their conference, but 45 outside the conference over the past two seasons.

The Lions have taken the Sharks twice over the last two years.

Sharks only have a 57% win rate in the conference. Yet they make up for it on the road.

I think youll find 57pc locally is actually very good. That means winning more than half their games. They play 8. Means they win 5. Most teams that qualified won about that...ten from 16 or so. And youll probably find the road wins were either the oz bottom sides if away... Or good home wins against our/ oz top sides.
Correct, incidentally the Crusaders, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Highlanders all won 5 conference matches, yet two made it and two didn't
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Post by Taylorman Mon 16 Jul 2012, 12:25 pm

Its just that its largely self defeating to have 4 strong teams. If the highlanders lost a few more games chances are the nz teams would more likely benefit, more likely top the table and more likely have three teams in.

But the real reason SA have the three is largely due to oz not having a strong no. 3 and worse not having their top two compete away to any real success.

Any good conference of five should have three teams winning over 50pc. All three should win two out of four at home plus pick up the 4's and 5's of the other conferences and anything else a bonus.

The failure of oz this year to front with 3 fully capable sides meant the format became a nightmare.

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Post by FerN Mon 16 Jul 2012, 12:47 pm

Taylorman wrote:Its just that its largely self defeating to have 4 strong teams. If the highlanders lost a few more games chances are the nz teams would more likely benefit, more likely top the table and more likely have three teams in.

But the real reason SA have the three is largely due to oz not having a strong no. 3 and worse not having their top two compete away to any real success.

Any good conference of five should have three teams winning over 50pc. All three should win two out of four at home plus pick up the 4's and 5's of the other conferences and anything else a bonus.

The failure of oz this year to front with 3 fully capable sides meant the format became a nightmare.

Well Taylor, if you look at it just between the two conferences with their "weaker" teams.

This is how much point they took form the other conference:
Sharks - 10 log points
Highlanders - 9
Hurricanes - 9
Blues - 9 (Surprisingly)
Cheetahs -8 (also surprising)
Lions -1 (not surprising at all)

It just shows that the Cheetahs and Blues aren't all that bad. The Lions on the other hand, not so much.

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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 12:54 pm

Taylorman wrote:Its just that its largely self defeating to have 4 strong teams. If the highlanders lost a few more games chances are the nz teams would more likely benefit, more likely top the table and more likely have three teams in.

But the real reason SA have the three is largely due to oz not having a strong no. 3 and worse not having their top two compete away to any real success.

Any good conference of five should have three teams winning over 50pc. All three should win two out of four at home plus pick up the 4's and 5's of the other conferences and anything else a bonus.

The failure of oz this year to front with 3 fully capable sides meant the format became a nightmare.

Yes to stand a chance of getting in the top 6 you need at least 50% if not more from your conference.

Here is a table of log points and wins by each team in their conference with win percentages.

Spoiler:

The interesting things to note here, is the Waratahs won 7 of their matches in 2011 and the Brumbies 6 of their matches this year.
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Post by Taylorman Mon 16 Jul 2012, 12:54 pm

How many points did the highlanders take from its own conference?

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Post by Biltong Mon 16 Jul 2012, 12:56 pm

Highlanders and Hurricanes both took 23.
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Post by Taylorman Mon 16 Jul 2012, 1:21 pm

And between the the lions and cheetahs won one match over the top three sides. Lions over the sharks.

So its self defeating having one strong conference and one weaker one.

SA sides got more points than NZ sides because they had easier home matches- not necessarily because they were stronger than the nz four.

Because our sides were more competitive the cumulative effect was that the points were shared.

Its a selfish view but it highlights the very problem of the format. Its not necessarily the best teams that form the top of the table. Its those who have the easiest matches.

Its the apples and pears thing again. Is there a similar format elsewhere or is this new?

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Post by Taylorman Tue 17 Jul 2012, 4:59 am

Oh dear...

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/our-experts/7288651/Bulls-won-t-change-tactics-for-Crusaders

"Todd Blackadder could have answered this question in his sleep.

What game plan do you predict the Bulls will present in Saturday night's Super qualifying final against your Crusaders at AMI Stadium?

The coach's reply was never going to blow anyone's hair off their scalps.

"They haven't changed one bit of their game plan in the last four years, which is a credit to them because they just keep playing to their strengths all the time," he stated. "We know exactly what we are going to get."

At least the Saders will have no excuse like 'surprise' if they lose...

thumbsup

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Post by Biltong Tue 17 Jul 2012, 5:41 am

I know this is as far fetched as it gets, imagine their surprise if the Bulls pick this game to "surprise" with a revolutionary new game plan.


Yeah I know, people will one day land on Mars and grow vegetables.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue 17 Jul 2012, 5:57 am


I have a feeling that the Bulls will drop the "eye gouging" game plan, if they dont I think youll find that they have to appear before the panel and come up with some evidence.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Tue 17 Jul 2012, 6:06 pm

Damn that TMO decision! If the Chiefs had topped the table, then Crusaders could've played at home then at Hamilton and then in Cape Town. Now if they progress they play at home, in Cape Town then in Hamilton. Much tougher travel schedule.

Oh well, they fell off in far too many games like the Rebels so they deserve their own fate I guess. I expect them to beat the Bulls but if they repeat last year's heroics in Cape Town, I think they'll run out of pufff again in the final. They had an opportunity to be in the driving seat and they blew it. But if Read in particular is able to come back, you can never write them off completely.

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Post by Taylorman Tue 17 Jul 2012, 9:19 pm

Well youre talking about a team that had home matches in Twickenham last year Kia...this is a stroll in the pacific...harden up man! Whistle Hug

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Post by Rob B Wed 18 Jul 2012, 6:44 am

While people are criticizing the table and the weak Aust conference one thing easily overlooked is the influence of bonus points resulting in teams with fewer wins ending higher on the table than teams with more wins. This comp is unique because it uses bonus points. Some sides accumulated enough bonuse point to equate to more than 2 wins. Personally I would prefer 4 points to win, 2 to draw, zero for loss. Adopting that, the final table is about right except Reds would be 4th instead of 3rd.

My prediction for the final is a replay of Reds v Crusaders at Suncorp.

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Post by Taylorman Wed 18 Jul 2012, 7:26 am

Hi ya Rob.
Well I hope so. Means the saders have beaten the stormers in SA.

Reds to beat chiefs in hamilton is a big ask also.


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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Wed 18 Jul 2012, 7:28 am

Meyer is the Bulls' D coach EBOP. Not sure who their defence coach is though. Whistle

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Post by Guest Wed 18 Jul 2012, 8:59 am

Boom, in your face bulls!

Wonder where the upsets will occur? Maybe it's my imagination, but has Cruden been relatively quiet in the last couple of games? Hope he has a blinder in the semis.

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Post by Biltong Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:12 am

Well the draw does favour the Reds, Stormers and Chiefs and obviously the Crusaders this weekend.

Somewhere there will be an upset, in my view there are three likely possible upsets.

Sharks vs Reds, without Cooper the Sharks gain, but lose a bit with Frans Steyn not playing and Lambie in my view isn't too much of a loss, he didn't look comfortable from the outset last weekend. Then again Reds have home advantage, but this sharks team in my view is hungry.

Reds vs Chiefs. The reds know how to beat the Chiefs and the Chiefs looks like they have run a little out of puff, but then they have great forwards, great backs and their collective physicality at the nreakdowns may be too much for the Reds.

Crusaders vs Stormers, the Crusaders know how to play finals rugby, and the Stormers need Burger and Vermeulen back. Stormers have shown their defences are tight and only once got past 28 points this season, but then again 28 points will win you most knock out matches.

Their match against the Crusaders this year in christchurch was one of their best performances and they matches the Crusaders well, losing by only a score.

The rest I think is pretty much sorted.

The Reds have done well to lead the Aussie conference, but lets be honest, their much touted 5 tries against the Waratahs last weekend, two of those tries were gifts from a poorly organised Waratah team. and considering most finals matches doesn't see plenty of tries, without Cooper it is doubtful they will be that effective on attack.
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Post by Rob B Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:41 am

The Reds have snuck in at the last minute but to be honest they are the only OZ team that other sides would be worried about playing. Brumbies are an honest hard working side but have no X factor and actually did not beat any team this year ranked above 8th.

With or without Cooper, Reds at home against a Sharks which has to travel a long way and which has injuries - I like the Reds chances.

Except to say that Kaplan is the ref - and no secret Aussie sides tend to be caned by him relentlessly. Reds generally concede 9-10 penalties a game. Kapaln reffed the Reds Highlanders game: 17 - 7 penalty count againt (Much like the Bryce penalty fest when Reds played Crusaders - I think that was 17- 7 as well).

Just flabbergasted with SANZAR's judgement calls on this. It is a final, yet Kaplan who is from sharks land is the ref. for Reds v Sharks. Why would n't they appointed a NZ ref to take away the contoversy?? Then again they would probably plow in good old Bryce Lawrence - hard to see what would be worse.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:58 am

Rob you don't want a NZ ref trust me! They have been shockingly poor. Steve Walsh has been the pick of them and that says it all.

If the Reds line up against the Chiefs then they have their work cut out. The Reds are not the only team to have eluded the rub of the green with the ref's calls and two games in a row where the Chiefs have been denied by dodgy calls might see them come out angry and focused on revenge. Playing at home will help and I expect Cruden to have a big game with no Cooper opposite him. It's going to be a great game. I expect some huge forward collisions in the Crusaders Bulls match as well.

Lasly, sometimes a week off can be a curse for the top sides. The other teams have to play an extra game but momentum can be key at this stage and while bodies get rested so too sometimes minds get rested too much and the top teams are off the pace like what happened last year with the Stormers and the Crusaders.

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Post by Guest Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:06 am

No Read for eliminator

CRUSADERS: Israel Dagg, Adam Whitelock, Robbie Fruean, Ryan Crotty, Zac Guildford, Dan Carter (vc), Andy Ellis, Richie McCaw (c), Matt Todd, George Whitelock, Samuel Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Corey Flynn, Wyatt Crockett. Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ben Franks, Tom Donnelly, Luke Whitelock, Willi Heinz, Tom Taylor, Sean Maitland.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:13 am

That's a big blow but on the other hand I'm glad he's not being rushed back before he's right. He is in danger of becoming a man who gets injured on a regular basis. We don't want him to turn into Juan Smith. It's bad enough having a player of Smith's quality kept from the game. Read is too good to be on the sidelines as well. It seems sometimes bad luck can follow a player when it comes to injuries. Kahui's nickname should be Lego Man from the amount of times his shoulder has become detached.

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Post by Rob B Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:16 am

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:Rob you don't want a NZ ref trust me! They have been shockingly poor. Steve Walsh has been the pick of them and that says it all.

If the Reds line up against the Chiefs then they have their work cut out. The Reds are not the only team to have eluded the rub of the green with the ref's calls and two games in a row where the Chiefs have been denied by dodgy calls might see them come out angry and focused on revenge. Playing at home will help and I expect Cruden to have a big game with no Cooper opposite him. It's going to be a great game. I expect some huge forward collisions in the Crusaders Bulls match as well.

Lasly, sometimes a week off can be a curse for the top sides. The other teams have to play an extra game but momentum can be key at this stage and while bodies get rested so too sometimes minds get rested too much and the top teams are off the pace like what happened last year with the Stormers and the Crusaders.

I think Walsh has been ok. If the Reds get through this weekend, Cooper will play against the Chiefs as his suspension is for 1 game. Read today that QRU is thinking about lodging an appeal....

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Post by Biltong Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:21 am

It is fine if tey lodge an appeal, but who then?

Bryce Lawrence, Chris Pollock, who?
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Post by Guest Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:21 am

Rob, have the oz media made anything of the refs appointment yet? Always a good start and it's worked before, you guys are experts of the mind.

Yeah, shame about Read. Heard Steve Devine talk about the repercussions of too many head knocks, sounded terrible. Constant headaches and lethargy for over a year, stuff that! Crusaders still look strong and I reckon they're peaking at the right time.

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Post by Guest Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:26 am

Biltong, Lambie out as well as F Steyn? Thought Lambie was the one, are the replacements much cop?

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Post by Biltong Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:40 am

EBOP, the Aussie media did make a fuss about the refereeing appointments, like you say, put pressure on the referee and let him be under pressure during the match to prove he isn't biased, then add to that the crowd who will call for every possible infringement they deem fit, it is only going to go one way. And it ain't the sharks way.

Louis Ludick is a very able replacement for Lambie, Frans Steyn can't play becuase he wasn't on the team roster in april.
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Post by Guest Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:50 am

Ah, there ya go, thanks biltong. Reds get an edge maybe, but this usually works best on kiwi/NH refs. Kaplan may be stubborn and take offence, and take it out on the reds. Funny if it did. Kaplan always seems pretty level headed so can't see his appointment affecting his call. Anyways, looking forward to this game.

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Post by blackcanelion Wed 18 Jul 2012, 1:52 pm

Good day all. Just some thoughts about the weekend. Both games are re hashs of close run games from earlier in the year. In both cases the venue is different.

The Reds at home are a real challenge. Their only loss in Brisbane this year was to the Stormers. They're coming off 6 wins. Sure they're without Cooper but they've played most of the year with Ben Lucas at 10, so I think they're still a good shout.

If I was going to pick a team to go to Queensland based on climate it would probably be the Sharks. However, I'm not sure how they'll go. Dig beneath the stats and they've had a relatively benign draw. Like the Reds they are in the finals on the basis of their home record. They're a chance, but I'm guessing the Reds.

It's hard to go past the Crusaders in the other game. They've improved as the season has progressed. With most of their stars back on deck and playing ay home it would be a brave person to bet against them.

I have my doubts about the Bulls. They haven't been that great on the road against decent opposition (they beat the Waratahs, Lions, Cheetahs and Rebels). I'm picking the Crusaders.

Can't see past a Stormers win overall though.

It strikes me that current format really favors some teams. It's not just the strength of the pools (where NZ teams are at a disadvantage), it's also who you don't face, and the foreign teams you play at home or away. The Blues for example probably had one of the toughest draws. They play in the NZ conference, 3 out of 4 foreign away games are very hard. Added to which the two teams they didn't play were near the bottom of the table. The struggled anyway, but it's not a level paying field.


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Post by FerN Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:47 pm

This is probably the year most Stormers supporters I know feel negative about their team and we are on top of the log. I don't know, they don't have an awe inspiring feeling about them. Traditionally Western Province (Stormers) was the most free running team in SA (or one of the most). Now we are the least in three countries put together.

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Post by Taylorman Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:10 pm

FerN looking at the way the Stormers have won so many matches without even needing to score many tries, plus the home venue I'd rate them as clear favourites. No one has been able to beat them easily as they just can't outscore them on the board.

In finals that and home advantage is huge. The Crusaders, who I believe will easily beat the Bulls for the same reasons will have to be at their very best against the Stormers. Hopefully Read will be back for that one.

Blackadder hasnt won a title yet and the saders have lost big playoffs over the last 3-4 years.

The Sharks and Reds seem to have the most momentum of all the teams but theres something about Suncorp and the Reds and players like Genia who revels in opening huge holes in defences there.

Thats going to be a cracker match this weekend whereas the Saders, even though not playing their best, I think will know how to deal with the Bulls both up front and certainly at the back. And that will be moving them around the field as much as possible, scattering them so they can't apply their mob tactics.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:49 pm


I cant remember the last time the Crusaders have played the Bulls with home advantage.

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Post by Taylorman Thu 19 Jul 2012, 4:21 am

aucklandlaurie wrote:
I cant remember the last time the Crusaders have played the Bulls with home advantage.

Does look a bit ominous for them...

9 Apr 2011 Crusaders v Bulls 27-0 Timaru
3 Apr 2009 Crusaders v Bulls 16-13 Christchurch
17 Mar 2007 Crusaders v Bulls 32-10 Christchurch
20 May 2006 (Semi ) Crusaders v Bulls 35-15 Christchurch
24 Apr 2004 Crusaders v Bulls 40-21 Christchurch
6 Apr 2002 Crusaders v Bulls 49-15 Christchurch
28 Apr 2000 Crusaders v Bulls 75-27 Christchurch
5 Apr 1998 Crusaders v Bulls 31-20 Christchurch




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Post by FerN Thu 19 Jul 2012, 7:50 am

Seeing that in 2009 that was probably the best Bulls team ever and they still lost away, it does look really bad for the Bulls.

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Post by Biltong Thu 19 Jul 2012, 8:10 am

The reality is home team has historically won 90% of the time.

Sharks beat the Reds Away in the 1996 semi final
Crusaders beat the Blues away in the 1998 final
Crusaders beat the Reds away in the 1999 final
Crusaders beat the Brumbies away in the 2000 final
Brumbies beat the Waratahs away in the 2002 semi final
Bulls beat the Sharks away in the 2007 final
Crusaders beatthe Stomers away in the 2011 semi final.

Looking at this only the Crusaders have managed to win a knock out match outside their country, and then only once in the last decade. So away wins are very tough to achieve.
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Post by Rob B Thu 19 Jul 2012, 8:20 am

EBOP wrote:Ah, there ya go, thanks biltong. Reds get an edge maybe, but this usually works best on kiwi/NH refs. Kaplan may be stubborn and take offence, and take it out on the reds. Funny if it did. Kaplan always seems pretty level headed so can't see his appointment affecting his call. Anyways, looking forward to this game.

Could not see Kaplan getting influenced by anyone. If anything he would probably get his back up and make it even harder!

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Post by Taylorman Thu 19 Jul 2012, 8:58 pm

biltongbek wrote:The reality is home team has historically won 90% of the time.

Sharks beat the Reds Away in the 1996 semi final
Crusaders beat the Blues away in the 1998 final
Crusaders beat the Reds away in the 1999 final
Crusaders beat the Brumbies away in the 2000 final
Brumbies beat the Waratahs away in the 2002 semi final
Bulls beat the Sharks away in the 2007 final
Crusaders beatthe Stomers away in the 2011 semi final.

Looking at this only the Crusaders have managed to win a knock out match outside their country, and then only once in the last decade. So away wins are very tough to achieve.

Yes biltong and that gives hope to repeating last years effort. Chiefs losing the last two matches the way they did possibly flatters a very defensive topping stormers side hopefully.

Saders have a history of going against the perceived home advantage in the same way the ABs do and that needs to happen again here. They are strangely a bit flat though. They've really got to stamp their authority on the bulls this week or they'll get taken out,

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Post by Taylorman Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:03 pm

Carter looks good to go...Geez he has a knack of missing the big ones through injury...not only TWO world cup knockouts but sxv semi's as well (Bulls 2009 semi as well)...

http://www.allblacks.com/news/19937/Carter-fighting-fit-for-Bulls-clash

For me the new Saders 'home' ground didnt feel like home when we played the Irish this year second test, the close in crowd roars almost putting as much pressure on the AB's as the Irish did themselves.

Carter seems to be saying the right things and Biltongs view of get them up front and the rest is easy looks to be the approach. How Steyn comes out of this will be of HUUUUUUGE interest to Meyer...

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:21 pm

A real top notch fly half can get the most of the parts moving when things are out of sorts. The Bulls have the backs to play well. An absolute tonne on Steyn's shoulders. Possibly more than at any time as a pro. Will be interesting.............

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Jul 2012, 12:09 am

biltongbek wrote:The reality is home team has historically won 90% of the time.

Sharks beat the Reds Away in the 1996 semi final
Crusaders beat the Blues away in the 1998 final
Crusaders beat the Reds away in the 1999 final
Crusaders beat the Brumbies away in the 2000 final
Brumbies beat the Waratahs away in the 2002 semi final
Bulls beat the Sharks away in the 2007 final
Crusaders beatthe Stomers away in the 2011 semi final.

Looking at this only the Crusaders have managed to win a knock out match outside their country, and then only once in the last decade. So away wins are very tough to achieve.

Crusaders beat the Highlanders in the 1999 final away in Dunedin (The Reds was a semi final...that stood out as I know the only offshore win is the Saders Brumbies in 2000).

Quite amazing really. Follows the 3N results quite closely as well.

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Post by emack2 Fri 20 Jul 2012, 2:11 am

Two points worth mentioning Dan Carter at Super Level goal kicking is only 66% or there abouts.Steyn and Earl Grants is much higher Crusaders to win it will probably have to go thru the Chiefs and Stormers away.THAT is a BIG ask also the Bulls have been scoring a lot of tries so taking the kick/chase option for granted.Could blow up in there face,a strong set piece and keeping key players on the park the full 80 will be the key.Then versus a rested team away whoever wins that is a big ask too.

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Post by Taylorman Fri 20 Jul 2012, 2:35 am

Steyns kicking lately, tests included has been average at best. An unfit Carter is usualy the reason for his poor kicking- as hes usually unfit. He's saying hes 100% for this match so no worries there.

The rest doesnt favour everyone either. Many of the Chiefs were rested during the Irish tests so even though they got tough workouts with the Canes and Crusaders matches they had 3 weeks off before that.

Its the Crusaders that really could have done with the rest- many involved in the tests- which is why McCaw and carter came off early against the Force when wrapped up at 32-3.

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