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Super Rugby 2019 Predictions - Aussie Conference

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by Brumby Runner, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. Brumby Runner Phil Kearns (64)

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    Less than a week until the first trial matches for 2019. Time to get the crystal balls out again and have a shot at predicting the outcome of the Aussie conference this year.

    The way I see it panning out for the four teams is :

    Waratahs : Finished top in 2018 but were the beneficiaries, witting or not, of some disruptive issues and problems in the three other teams. The Reds had a horrible year with three of their star players on the outer, and a new coaching team unproven at SR level. The Rebels were trying to amalgamate two sides into one and seem to have perennial administrative issues in the club. The Brumbies had a new, untried coach in charge who was trying to introduce a more attacking, unstructured mindset into a team reknowned as one of the most structured outfits in SR.

    In 2019, they will be without their most attacking weapon in Naiyaravoro and they continue to have, at least on paper, the weakest of the forward packs in the conference. 2019 will not be so kind to the Tahs. The Tahs are the only team to field a weaker looking squad in 2019. I expect they will drop down the ladder to fight with the Reds for third/fourth spots in the conference.

    Rebels : Should be more settled as a team than in 2018 and can be expected to finish off close games where they sometimes failed to do so in 2018. Front row still looks to be weak area in Melbourne and they will probably struggle against the better packs. Mafi is a loss, as a player if not as a person, but I do expect Isi to have a big year and take the Wallabies' No 8 spot. Colby will be missed at No 7. The big question, of course, is will Quade succeed or not? My expectation is that the Rebels will contest the top spot in the conference with the Brumbies.

    Brumbies : The Brumbies finished off 2018 on fire and looked to have finally put on the field what Dan MacKellar had been spruiking during the year. They look to have the strongest forward pack in the country, with 10 current or past Wallabies to pick from up front. In the backs, TK looks to be benefiting from MacKellar's new game plan and will be making a very big claim on the Wallaby No 13 jersey again. There will be speed to burn out wide with Banks, Pulu and Speight on the end of a backline playing with flair. The halves pairing are very much under-regarded by other teams' fans but are both good organisers who will shine in the new environment. The Brumbies will contest the top spot in the conference with the Rebels.

    Reds : A very unsettled year in 2018, but with Quade and Slipper (and others) off the books, they will have more time to concentrate on playing the game than on off-field issues that took up so much space and time last year. The question that still needs an answer is will BT make it as a head coach? It looks like he will be supported with a stronger coaching team this year, and the Reds have some of the most promising young players coming through in Aus rugby. I think they will still struggle against the other teams this year, but watch out over the next couple of years. If the coaching set up works they will be a force to be reckoned with.

    Overall, I think the Aussie conference will be stronger in comparison with NZ and SA this year, and I'll not be surprised if two sides make it into the SR finals. The way I see it, those sides will be the Brumbies and the Rebels.
    Mudslider likes this.
  2. Slim 293 Jason Little (69)

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    You're missing a team...
  3. Jimmy_Crouch Jim Clark (26)

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    The cat amongst the pigeons is the resting of Wallabies.
  4. southsider Arch Winning (36)

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    1) Rebels
    2) Brumbies
    3) Tahs
    4) Reds

    Brumbies and tahs interchangeable dependent upon injuries+resting players or if tahs forwards are able to gain parity with the majority of other teams forward packs i think they'll leap frog brumbies
  5. RugbyReg Stirling Mortlock (74)

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  6. southsider Arch Winning (36)

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    always forget about them!

    Unfortunately i think they'll be dead last. Reds will be alot more disciplined and well drilled this year, combined with better natural ability they will finish ahead of the sunwolves
  7. Jamie Fred Wood (13)

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  8. southsider Arch Winning (36)

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    Bold predictions
  9. Jimmyjam Herbert Moran (7)

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    I actually think any of the Tahs, Rebs or less likely the Brumbies can win the conference.

    Tahs most likely due to their very settled lineup and consistency. Whilst losing the big winger means making up for his 15 tries, adding AAC and Hunt to the backs will add a lot more starch to the defense. Adding AAC, Hunt and Dempsey (who didn't play a match last year, they are arguably a considerably stronger squad than the semi finals team from last year. Forwards only need parity and they have the best backs in the conference with the Rebs a close second. If the big unit from SA fires up they could win the conference with room to spare. Depth in the forwards is their big issue. A couple of injuries to say Kepu, Dempsey or Hooper and it will be game over.

    Rebels looking a bit vulnerable at prop, but very strong across the park. If Genia and QC have the team all singing off the same song sheet they could be anything this year. But apart from that, Prop and overall combinations could be the Achilles heel.

    Brumbies strong in the forwards, but will probably end up reverting to Jakeball as the entire inside back cohort are not top line. Bit of pace out wide in Pulu and Banks, but Speight etc. are not giving anyone nightmares. However if the 9 -12 fire and prove me wrong then they could go all the way, but I can't see it happening.

    Reds are still 2 yrs away from where they need to be. Hegarty could be a game changer, he is quality and could be the 10 or 15 they need. Once again like the Brumbies, their halves are the weakness. Tight 5 are very strong and will be even better this year, backrow need to step up. However a bit more game management from the 9 & 10 and I tip they'll be the strongest squad in the conference in a couple of years.

    I would say in order Tahs, Rebs, Brums, Reds, Sunwolves.
  10. Jamie Fred Wood (13)

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    Indeed they are :)

    Reds will go alright this year IMO
  11. Brumbieman John Solomon (38)

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    My predictions -

    Brumbies will wipe the floor with the rest if they can keep playing like they were the last 6 weeks this year and I reckon will make the final.

    Reds will do next best - That coaching team is absolutely top notch, and a young pack of hard, no frills players working closely as a team will go a long way IMO.

    Rebels next - wont be far off the Reds but I just think there are too many big names for Wessels to manage effectively. Expecting some huge games at times but also lots of 'eh' performances. Don't have the front row yet to properly get the backs rolling.

    Tahs - Still don't have a decent enough pack to get that backline firing.
  12. Slim 293 Jason Little (69)

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    This year hasn't even run 6 weeks...

    Also missing a team...
  13. RugbyReg Stirling Mortlock (74)

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    a big unknown is the wallaby rest factor. How many games and when being the big question.

    Let's start with the assumption that players who played the most tests last year will be rested.

    Tahs will need to rest:

    - Hooper (Miller as understudy)
    - Simmons (Staniforth)
    - Foley (Mason)
    - Beale (Hunt being shuffield with the likes of Rona and Clark getting starts from it)
    - Folau (as above)
    - Kepu (Vui but with Robertson injured depth is challenged)
    - Phipps (Gordon comes in with Short as back up)

    Rebels need to rest:

    - DHP (Maddocks to fullback, Tupou on to wing?)
    - Korobiete (as above)
    - Genia (Ruru starts)
    - Coleman (Luke Jones to lock and Cottrell to start?)
    - WIll be interesting if Toomua is rested when he comes back from the UK.


    - Sio (Slipper comes in, bench a concern)
    - Pocock (Samu's inclusion helps and McCaffrey is a great back up)

    - Rodda (Hocking or Blythe)
    - Tupou (Smith starts but limited after that. Luka or Fotiuaika

    Tahs obviously will have the biggest challenge and I think it's fair to say they rely more on their big three backs (Foley, Beale and Folau) more than most. Hooper obviously a huge loss but Miller was very good last year.

    The next rung of players would be:

    - 9 tests last year = Toomua, Hodge, Alaalatoa, Samu
    - 8 tests = Hanigan, Latu

    You'd think the rest should be fine.
  14. Jamie Fred Wood (13)

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    Time to get excited guys! Whatever team you support make sure you attend/watch as many games as possible!
    KevinO and Jimmy_Crouch like this.
  15. southsider Arch Winning (36)

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    id be surprised if AAA doesn't get rested at some point, important player in a important position heading into the world cup
  16. Slim 293 Jason Little (69)

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    Most definitely, and that will be more problematic for the Brumbies....

    Sio/Slipper being rotated will be good for both players, and it shouldn't require Sio to be completely rested from matches if he's given limited starting time throughout the season.

    Although not in the same calibre, the Brumbies have some handy backups for Pocock with Samu, McCaffrey and Cusack.
  17. southsider Arch Winning (36)

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    Brumbies, rebels and to a lesser extent reds are all well position to rest players without a drop in quality. Tahs are screwed
  18. Froggy Jim Clark (26)

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    I see a lot more 'what I would like to see' rather than impartial prediction, particularly BR & Jamie.
    On paper the Rebels are by far the best side, even with a suspect front row, so with my best attempt at impartiality I am predicting Rebels, with Tahs & Brumbies to fight out second, Reds are pretty much a development team at the moment (coaches and players) so I've got them 4th and Sunwolves 5th
  19. Jamie Fred Wood (13)

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    Ha ha yep Tahs all the way for me :)

    I will say that the Rebels had a great team on paper last year also and we all know what happened.

    Brumbies vs Rebels first round in (Canberra I think) really keen to watch that one
  20. RugbyReg Stirling Mortlock (74)

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    For me it will be:

    1 Rebels
    2 Tahs
    3 Brumbies
    4 Reds
    5 Sunwolves
    Silverado and dru like this.

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