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 Your thoughts so far.

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Hendo Maroon
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PostSubject: Your thoughts so far.   Your thoughts so far. Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 12:35 pm

We are half way through the Super 14 and its been an interesting competition, no team has looked as dominant as teams in previous years, this really has been a tough competition. Even the Cheetahs still have a chance of making the top 4, (one more loss and they're out)

What are your thoughts so far on this years Super 14? What team has been the most disappointing and what team has been the most surprising?

The Reds for me have been the disappointment, on paper they have a great side especially in the backs but they just cant seem to get anything going.

The Chiefs have surprised me in recent weeks, finally they are using that star-studded back line effectively.

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PostSubject: Re: Your thoughts so far.   Your thoughts so far. Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 12:37 pm

The Blues as per have dissapointed me

Still lacking that first five we so desperately need to lead us to glory

As a whole though I think it would be hard to look past the Crusaders as the biggest flops (relative to expectations) of 2009
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mania
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PostSubject: Re: Your thoughts so far.   Your thoughts so far. Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 9:41 pm

i think we're only jus seeing the effects of all our 1 & 2 tier players going over seas, but we are seeing sometype of hope so the suffering isnt all down hill. nz rugby is slowly recovering, i thought it would take a couple years but we're beginning to see some equilibrium and some players are floating to the top, like Ranger, Slade, Dagg. we just need to double the amount of quality players coming thru npc and club rugby and we may have enough to a challenge on the world stage. i dont think the ABs will dominate though for another 2-3 years.

canes and blues are in the same boat in that they have great talent but jus make too many basic errors. if they can cut those errors down then they'll both b hard teams to beat. canes have all the players they need though they just need to work as a team consistently. blues need a first 5, gopperths too unreliable and lavea's a lesser version of carlos, and a quality forward to lead the the way. mealamu's playing his usual up the guts but you need someone who can be a beacon to rally the forwards.

chiefs, i cant help but think that form is temporary. i've watched their games and i've been surprised with how easily they're scoring tries. i been a big critic of sitiveni in the past couple of seasons specially when he's in a black jersey but i guess credit where credit is due. If he keeps up this form then he deserves again to be an AB

crusaders i reckon are the most dangerous. most people have written them off and so puts them in the perfect posistion to start ambushing teams that don’t take them seriously. Of all the teams they’ve suffered the most from losing players overseas. They definitely need Richie back in the team but more so they need the rookies to step up. Colin slades an awesome find, a great replacement for Hamilton but better imo

highlanders, hmmmm. Showing heaps of guts but dunno if they can raise themselves above underdog status. Jimmy, macintosh and adamThomson have shown that they’re quality players though. any players in this team who can shine show that they play well going backwards and even when losing they never give up. Highlanders I think will go down this season as giant killers.

Waratahs and bulls I don’t think will win the finals. They rely on the opposition making mistakes and kick away possession way too often. So far its been a winning tactic as other teams have been making basic errors but teams are getting better and any team who can cut out the simple mistakes and attack are going to roll over bulls and tahs.

Sharks are a danger as they’ve got good defence and don’t mind holding onto the ball and attacking. My moneys on the sharks to win but my hearts forever backing the canes
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Pantherus
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PostSubject: Re: Your thoughts so far.   Your thoughts so far. Icon_minitimeThu Apr 02, 2009 11:16 pm

Awesome points there guys.

I agree that this surge of form from the Chiefs is going to be temporary, I just can't see them holding it consistently.

Canes need to sort themselves out quickly - they are forever failing the moment any team really muscles up to them and shows any real solidity in their defence - they're the perennial bullies of the Super 14 in that they can usually only beat the weak teams. They have the personnel, especially in their backline - but the forwards really need to start fronting up; I'm always so shocked at how lazy they've been getting around the field. Fortunately guys like Karl Lowe and (surprisingly) Jason Eaton are really stepping up the pace. I know Rodney's being his usual workhorse self and doing an awesome job, but I'm really starting to wonder whether he can last until 2011...and finally with Weepu playing 10, guys like Brendon Leonard, Jimmy Cowan, and even Alby Mathewson are putting the pressure for those precious 2 halfback roles (fortunately Ellis' injuries properly takes him out the serious running, and Moa's just not in the same league). Barring potential injury, 2 of those 4 guys are gonna be disappointed to miss out on the squad this year, and will have to make do with the Juniors. Personally I say take Cowan (stepped up again to reclaim the #1 spot) and Weepu and let Leonard and Mathewson run the Juniors.

Blues are just up one week and down the next - they seem to be in a perpetual daze but guys like Chris Lowrey are stepping up well - there's hope yet.

Crusaders are wallowing without Richie - and that's sad that they're so blatantly a one-man team. But as mania said - they were easily the hardest hit in terms of player loss since last season; although they lost Hamilton too which I see as a plus! Smile

Highlanders are telling their critics to go sit on something tall and sharp, and good on them. They have the most dominant pack in NZ but they are suffering for lack of true talent in their backline, especially since Williams left and Vainikolo just isn't firing like he did last year. No disrespect meant to the likes of Shoemark, Hayward and Bowden - but Cowan is the only real quality in their whole backline. Letting Kawau go was a mistake, as was missing out Pehi Te Whare.

Agree with mania - the Sharks have finally risen to the top and are looking quite settled - I would love nothing more than to hear that the Canes pulled off an upset over them, but with Gear and Waldrom out, and with their current form - I just don't see it happening.

The Bulls could well be on a slippery slope back down the table now - but with Habana and (more importantly) Matfield back into the mix, they could well be preparing for a final charge to the end.

The Tahs are looking decidedly average and are winning games rather ugly. Halangahu at 10 should help them as he can control the game better than Beale, and has a more accurate boot for the posts; but they need to up the ante if they want to make the final 4.

Reds are punching above their weight IMO - they have some real class, but the rest of the team is too far down in overall quality to make them all truly competitive.

I maintain that the top 4 by the end will contain no Aussies at all.
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samthaman15
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PostSubject: Re: Your thoughts so far.   Your thoughts so far. Icon_minitimeFri Apr 03, 2009 2:08 am

The chiefs have finally got off to a good start and there on fire i think they hav a shot at winning this year!
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PostSubject: Re: Your thoughts so far.   Your thoughts so far. Icon_minitime

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