Some cracking clashes await this weekend in Round 2 of the GPS comp.
Scots head to Parramatta, Shore host Joeys and New take on View at Stanmore. All three matches should be fast, fierce and furious, with this year’s comp looking like being the closest in ages.
If you missed what happened in Round 1, check out the match reviews, as well as “sidesteppas” highlights video of the View v Joeys Ist XV game.
The fast forward
This week, ”Crackerjack“ outlines who he thinks is going to win and why. For a man that knows nearly as much about rugby as he does about pies, his analysis and predictions are going to fire up your appetite.
Round 2 Pre’s
With the dust barely settled into the chasm between the Round 1 prognostications, hoped for but impassioned guesses, and the actual results, the Round 2 match-ups provide collective opportunities for consolidating a solid start for View, Kings and Scots, and getting ‘back on track’ for Joeys, New and Shore.
Newington v Riverview
For mine, the match of the Round will be fought out at Stanmore when New host the lads from Iggies.
Those View boys won’t need any more “Pump Up” videos to “believe” in 2016, after coming from behind at half-time to nick off with the chocolates from the Old Foe, Joeys. Instead they’ll just put on an endless loop, the game day video from the 2nd Half and immediate afters last Saturday.
Those full time scenes at Hunters Hill attest to just how much that win meant to the lads in Blue & White.
So we can expect View to carry it forward into the clash against New? Or will they be so stuffed from the physical, mental and emotional ride from last weekend’s effort that they are flatter than The Pancake Manor’s best buckwheat numbers.
Newington only lost narrowly last weekend in a score-a-thon with Kings, so will be super keen to atone at home and get back on track. By spies’ accounts, young James Turner (10) admirably filled the size 13s of the injured Kuenzle, so contrary to some predictions of imminent disaster for New in the early games of this year’s comp, the Wyvern lost nothing in the flyhalf department, and their other ‘stars’ also played well.
So, this one is up for grabs.
Prediction: View to channel the best of their highlights reel to pinch more chockies away from home and win 7 or less.
Shore v Joeys
Despite the preseason hype of a resurgent and more steely Shore side than in most recent years, I am a tad worried for them hosting the Cerise & Blue.
Despite last Saturday’s gut-wrenching loss to View, the Joe Boys credentials of talent, skill and passion right across the park, are undiminished. And given their acknowledged depth in the opens, that’s even if some of their injuries from last weekend (Yates (3) – shoulder? Dalton (7) – ribs?) haven’t come good in time for the hostilities with Shore.
I expect the boys from Hunters Hill will seek and exact some measure of ‘revenge’ for the perceived slight of losing to their Old Foe last week.
And if the Shore Mum’s, as a minimum, don’t quadruple their ‘Best in the Business’ Az Pie supplies to feed their own regulars as well as the Hunters Hill Boarding House hordes that’ll descend on Northbridge, then the pitch invasion at HH last week will pale as a teddy bears’ picnic to the scenes that’ll unfold at the Shore Canteen this coming week.
Prediction: Joeys to open their account in Season 2016 in grand, take-no-prisoners style, by 30+.
Kings v Scots
By next Saturday evening, one of these teams will be 2 & Oh, the other in the middle of the pack.
Kings had a mighty win away at Stanmore in Round 1, which spies reported was based off a platform of a rock-solid scrum, some ferocious loosies ripping in at the breakdown, and a flowing back line.
Scots too, had a win away from home, but would not have been happy with some of their less than sharp-as ball handling which hampered continuity and go-forward.
On Round 1 form alone, and with Kings back at home this week, advantage Kings?
But the lads in Gold showed in their win out at Kings in the near full strength final pre-season trial just two Saturdays ago that they’ve got puh-lenty of tenacity and adaptability to the occasion.
No word yet on possible impacts from Round 1 plus earlier injuries, but expect those might impact the teams that do take the park on Saturday.
Prediction: will go with my heart, as well as stir up The Azzuri, and call it for the Bellevue Hill boys by an at-the-death, sphincter-puckering, 2 points.