From an Aussie perspective, last weekend’s super 14 was an unmitigated disaster. The Brumbies gave the Lions their 4th ever S14 win and both the Force and Tahs lost at home. Even worse was the error strewn manner in which all three teams gave away their matches.
So what about this week? I’ll go with Juan’s close run game for the Reds vs Chiefs, but as for the other two? (Force can’t lose this week – they’re on a bye).
Auckland Blues vs NSW Waratahs
In the history of the world the Tahs have never won a Super game in Auckland, and that ain’t about to change.
Watching the cricket score the Chiefs ran up against them last week, it was only 30 minutes into the game when the Blues realised this wasn’t going to be their night and called it quits. Every half-arsed pass the Chiefs threw stuck and the ball bounced all one way. So it’s not like the Blues are a team of clusterf*cks, ready for the taking. I’d say quite the opposite.
The likes of Toeava, Tuitavake and smokin Joe are ready to go apeshit on a Tahs backline which doesn’t know which way is up. Good luck Hangers. The Tahs only hope is that their back row fire up and pretty much win it for them. Otherwise, this could get ugly
Gagger says: Blues by 10
Blues: Paul Williams, Anthony Tuitavake, Isaia Toeava, Jamie Helleur, Joe Rokocoko, Jimmy Gopperth, Taniela Moa, Jerome Kaino, Onosa’i Auva’a, Chris Lowrey, Ali Williams, Kurtis Haiu, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Tevita Mailau. Reserves: Tom McCartney, Charlie Faumuina, Anthony Boric, Peter Saili, Chris Smylie, Michael Hobbs, Rene Ranger
Waratahs: Sam Norton-Knight, Lachie Turner, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Lote Tuqiri, Daniel Halangahu, Luke Burgess, Wycliff Palu, Phil Waugh (captain), Ben Mowen, Will Caldwell, Dean Mumm, Dan Palmer, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Chris Thomson, Luke Doherty, Brett Sheehan, Kurtley Beale, Timana Tahu.
Sharks vs ACT Brumbies
If the Brumbies had done the bizzo last weekend, like they should have against the Lions, I might give them more of a hope. But lets face it, they were very fuggen ordinary. And against this Shawks outfit, now back at home after a stint on the road that ended with the pantsing of the Force, they seem to have buckleys.
While it looks like warhorse Mortlock is going to play (although I’m sorry, I definitely have questions over his defensive alignments) the glaring problem for the Brumbies is 10. It may be fixed for next year, but it seems to me they’ve got even less backup and more of a problem in this area than even the much maligned Tahs do. Last week they didn’t trust anything to Lealiifano. You can’t carry a guy in an important spot like that against quality like the Sharks.
Gagger says: Shawks by 15
Brumbies: Mark Gerrard, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Stirling Mortlock, Tyrone Smith, Clyde Rathbone, Christian Lealiifano, Joshua Holmes, Julian Salvi, George Smith (captain), Mitchell Chapman, Mark Chisholm, Ben Hand, Guy Shepherdson, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander. Reserves: Huia Edmonds, Salesi Maafu, Shawn Mackay, Peter Kimlin, Patrick Phibbs, Gene Fairbanks, Alfi Mafi, Matt Toomua (one to be omitted)