RE: Who will win New Zealand conference?
February 27, 2013, 09:28:31
Sitting Bull ... Not sure I agree with the Blues percentage. They impressed this past weekend and certainly seem to be playing with the right attitude. I haven’t seen a hungry Blues team like this for many a year. It’s great to see. A lot of new names will be well known come seasons end.
The Hurricanes underestimated them and paid the price. I’m expecting a lot more from the Canes this year as well. They are a settled side with a good pack. Shields is one I’m hoping to see shine this season.
Highlanders have a bit of an issue at the breakdown this year, especially with Thomson out. Their game plan last season was focused on winning the collision there and obtaining turn over ball. They have a good back line but need quality ball from their pack to loose their magic on the opposition but with Nasi Manu out as well, it’s gonna be a struggle. I expect they’ll once again be bottom loggers even though they have wizards like Nonu and Gear in their ranks.
Crusaders – need to have me a look see at their new game plan. Having said that, Dan Carter gives them a massif advantage. An extra man on the park when he plays. They certainly have a shitload of Whitelocks in their ranks … perhaps they should consider a name change.
The Chiefs looked good. It’s early days though. I think they’ll feel the loss of SBW and Tamalollo (sp) a little later in the season. It’s also important to get Masaga on the park as soon as possible. Awesome player.
I think your conference will be a lot closer than what the stats suggest. You could even find yourself with three teams in the play offs.
In the South African conference there’s only one real viable out come and that’s for the Sharks to walk it. The rest are just not up to the challenge this season.
In Oz, my money is on the Tahs and Brumbies making the play offs. Quade Cooper is hopelessly over rated. A chump if you ask me … and a liability to any team he plays for. The Reds had there time in the spot light but sadly, they're done.
Rebels are a big disappointment so far. I expected a lot more from them these last two games. Beale is out of sorts and if they insist on playing him at 10, will drag this team toward the wooden spoon. Bringing O’Connor in at 10 and pushing Beale back to 15 would alleviate their current stuttering game plan.
Sharks / Brumbies final in Durban.