To give you something to chew on (or laugh at), a few of the G&GR pundits have put their rocks on the block and the table below is what we came up with. Interestingly, while it was all done independently of one another, the results look remarkably similar. Seems that being north of the border only put you out by 1 place, but retains a deathwish for the Force. Well, it’s understandable to not want to be last….
|Team||Noddy||Juan Cote||Gagger||Sean Maloney|
|Brumbies||1st. The George factor kicks it over for me. Add to it the impact of Gits and Rocky and it’s their year.||3rd – With Alexander returning from injury early, the planets seem to be aligning||2nd: Many big names congregating in Canberra this year, question is, can they all gel in a season? I reckon they’ll go damn close||2nd – Mix one part Elsom and one part Giteau with a pending George Smith fairytale and you’ve got yourself a top two finish.|
|Waratahs||5th. I worry about their depth in some positions. Out centre, and lock, namely.||5th – I still think the lack of a decent no.13 will disrupt their backline. Why have NSW never had a decent no.13?||4th: There or there-abouts because of the pack alone, there are still some big question marks through the backs||4th – Hickey’s more settled, Phil Waugh’s pumped knowing Smith’s packing his bags at the end of the season and Berrick’s on track to become the S.F.S’s new favourite son.|
|Reds||9th. That’s optimism my friend. It’s up to the pack big time, and that’s where Link comes into play.||8th – Improvements will be made but it won’t be good enough. Absence of a bench player who can cover lock & six a big problem||10th: Link’s already making inroads, but you can only go so far without an engine. Just too much youth to compete||10th – Seemingly always one injury away from disaster. If they have a winning season Link should be given a tickertape parade through ‘The Valley’.|
|Force||11th. Pretorius is a massive blow. That can’t rely on Barto the whole year. No hooker is also an issue.||9th – Pek at hooker, Sheehan at 9, no 5/8 with JO’C to shoulder too much of the burden. Starting XV looks OK but it drops away quickly after that.||9th: On trials showing they’re up for it, but are one injury away from oblivion.||7th – Can cause plenty of headaches – rock solid front row, Wallaby backrow – the baby faced assassin at 10/11/12/13/14/15 and possibly on the side of the scrum at some stage|