2012 Super 15 Thread

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by NCC1701, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't see a thread on this yet, and with the competition now into week 6, I thought it was high time one was created. Surely I'm not the only Rugby Union fan in New Zealand, Australia or South Africa on these boards?

    The matchups this weekend are the Highlanders vs Rebels (I'm not picking the Rebels as putting up much of a fight, especially in Invercargill), Hurricanes vs Cheetahs in Wellington (should be a bit closer in full time scores, judging from last weekends Crusaders vs Cheetahs), Chiefs vs Waratahs in Hamilton (Chiefs should see that one through considering the form they are in this season), Brumbies vs Sharks in Canberra (I'm hoping the Sharks produce an upset but not likely seeing how well the Brumbies usually play at home), Western Force vs Reds in Perth (again, hoping for an upset but Reds will be too strong for the Force), Lions vs Crusaders in Johannesburg (Crusaders should pull through, especially with Dan Carter in the starting 15), and Stormers vs Bulls in Cape Town (South Africa's two strongest teams going head to head? Looking at table points, I'm hoping the Bulls pull through that one).

    So far this season is going pretty interestingly, at least from a Kiwi perspective. Our two strongest teams, the Blues and Crusaders, are at the bottom of the conference so far. While I think the Crusaders will claw their way back up the ladder, especially with Richie McCaw still to play a match this season, the Blues - who are also my local team - are playing without any luster so far, despite the big names they have attracted this year. I'm hoping the Chiefs have what it takes to get through to the finals this year, it would be nice for them to win for a change. The Highlanders and Hurricanes are also looking pretty good at this point, here's hoping the interesting season we've had so far continues!

    EDIT: Appears I'm just talking to myself in this thread, but hey. As expected, the Highlanders completely obilterated the Rebels in the second half, not before finishing 12 all at the end of the first half, which I sure wasn't expecting. And as much as I try to hate the guy and especially his ridiculous Justin Bieber haircut - being a New Zealander and All Blacks supporter first, after all - James O'Connor just is a class act through and though, his kicking game was pretty much the only thing going for the Rebels in the second half. Now on to the other six games for this weekend!
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  2. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Seems like we got some nice upsets this weekend at least! The Hurricanes were beaten by the Cheetahs 38-47, the Brumbies lost 26-29 to the Sharks and the Reds got another thrashing for the second week in a row, the Force beating them 45-19. The Chiefs won as expected against the Waratahs 30-13, as did the Crusaders who beat the Lions 23-13. The Stormers and Bulls had a close match as expected, with a slotted penalty bringing the Stormers out in front 20-17.

    Looking at week 7, the Blues are facing the Rebels at their home in Melbourne, the Hurricanes vs Sharks in New Plymouth, the Reds vs Brumbies in Brisbane, the Force vs Chiefs in Perth, the Highlanders vs Stormers in Dunedin, The Cheetahs vs Lions in Welkom, and the Bulls vs Crusaders in Pretoria. Can the Blues finally scrape together a second victory this season? Will the Sharks repeat their performance this weekend and come out on top? Can the Reds be pummelled into oblivion for the third straight week? Will the Chiefs continue their winning streak in Australia? How will the Stormers fare outside of South Africa? Who will win in South Africa's battle of the lowest-ranked? Can the Crusaders get back to their usual form? Guess we will find out next weekend!
     
  3. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm a Brumbies supporter and have to say I expected nothing out of this season after 2011 and the personnel turn over in the off season. So I'm glad they are leading the conference, but I expect that to change. Their home form has been good so far and they have shown the possibility of been able to win the majority of their home games, but how they go away is still up in the air and I think this young and inexperienced team will not fair great away from Canberra. In the wrap up I'll be happy if they finish 3rd in the conference and very happy if they come any higher.

    On the Sharks game this weekend, it was an up and down performance by the Brumbies and while they did lose the fact that 5 minutes after the final siren they were pushing for a try to steal a win is encouraging and shows that the team has far more fight in it than last year when the coach infamously tore the team to shreds for lacking heart in a post-match interview.
     
  4. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    I follow the frelling Waratahs. If there's a more completely frustrating experience available in any sport anywhere on the face of this planet, or the known universe, I feel terribly sorry for those people.

    That's all for now, really. :D
     
  5. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    ^ Try being a Blues supporter this year! Good god, what a terrible performance all around. Granted, their injuries so far aren't helping things at all, but when even veterans like Piri Weepu are completely mangling ball play five weeks into the competition, there's a long way to go to find some form. The only thing they have going for them so far is their win over the Bulls, if they can get up to that level of performance again I'd be a happy camper!
     
  6. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    And the Blues follow up their bye with a fantastic game, losing against the Melbourne Rebels, 34-23. At this stage I'm not sure if the Blues are capable of beating anyone anymore :brickwall:
     
  7. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Never mind. They'll probably flog the Wobblytahs by 50 points.
     
  8. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Brumbies are looking every bit an inexperienced side. Poor decision making and some poor handling didn't help and it isn't great they lost at Suncorp where they have a great record and is one of their easiest road trips in terms of going well away from Canberra. The only good thing is they kept it to 7, the bad thing is they lost to Team Douche Bags Australia (oh, the Reds are one of my most disliked teams).
     
  9. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    I detest the Brumbies but I dislike Queensland even more, so last night's result didn't do anything for me at all.

    At least NSW can't screw up this week; even they couldn't lose a bye, surely.
     
  10. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Put the hapless Rebels to the sword...at least in the first half. The Brumbies looked like they were just going through the motions during the 2nd half. Now for the tough yards with a trip to SA...not expecting favourable results.
     
  11. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Bulls beat the Brumbies, as I expected. They put on 36 points, but it was the fact the Brumbies managed to score 5 tries to lose by only 2 points over in SA really surprised me. I'm wishing for a win in their last game over there next week, but I'll consider it a decent tour if they lose and leave with a bonus point or two.

    Only bad news is that the team lost Hooper to the Tahs for next season. He has looked like a good back up for Pocock.
     
  12. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    ^
    NSW has finally made (what looks to be) a decent buy, so I'm stoked. They let a quality player like Mowen go to sign that arsehole Elsom (who screwed NSW over by going to your lot after NSW let him out of his contract to go overseas), so this is a step in the right direction for once. Hopefully.

    Leave it to us to make such hard work of beating the Rebels. The Rebels, for God's sake. :rolleyes: Horne, who's finally managed to stay on the field for an extended period after a horrible run with injuries, could be in some suspension trouble for a lifting tackle. It didn't look all that flash.
     
  13. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^You're welcome to Elsom. He was a giant waste of money for the Brumbies as he played like 6 games over his 2-3 seasons there...though he managed to still play nearly all of the tests in that time.

    Brumbies leave SA with 7 points, which is...7 more points than I thought they would have. They still lead the conference.

    But the real news is Genia going to the Force. Hopefully for them Pocock stays, the next best thing is he comes to the Brumbies. :p
     
  14. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    The Australian seems to be suggesting that Genia is having second thoughts (already) about the move. It's so-called "premium" content so I can't read it online and probably won't buy a paper either (assuming "premium" content actually makes it into print in the first place), but if it's true...well, words fail me, really. Hopefully he'll go across and Pocock will stay, and they'll get a top-notch coach to take them forward. It can only be good for Australian rugby to have that happen.

    I couldn't care less about Queensland if I tried but I'm surprised they signed Richard Graham; the Force have gone backwards since he took over as head coach. Methinks McKenzie will still be running the show.

    I suppose losing by four to the Crusaders counts as an improvement from NSW, but realistically we're going to miss the finals unless something remarkable happens. Fair enough, too; we don't deserve to be there, even given the significant injury toll.

    Good results for your mob in SA. Much better result against the Lions this time around, anyway. :p
     
  15. StarMan

    StarMan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another win for The Crusader... .off we go again! :techman:
     
  16. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    According to the reports he changed his mind after singing the team song following beating the Blues, yet he told McKenzie that he was leaving after the game. It smells a lot like a bid to try and force QLD to up their offer at the last moment. Since QLD apparently didn't it looks like the bluff failed.
     
  17. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    I've gotta say my opinion of him has dropped quite a bit after this mini-saga. This kind of game-playing isn't impressive.

    I'm still hopeful Pocock will stay. Let's face it, the Force is doomed if he leaves.
     
  18. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The Brumbies beat the Tahs but in horrible luck Lealifano broke his ankle/leg in the final minute of the game. That means they have lost their two main flyhalves for the season. Luckily they have the bye next week so that will give whoever steps in some time on the training pitch to gel with the team, but it will be interesting to see how this impacts them.
     
  19. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Another surprise Brumbies win. They came back from 9 points down with 20 minutes to go and overran the Hurricanes. The game against the Reds next week might very well decide which of those two teams will represent Australia in the finals.
     
  20. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, seems like opposite world in the Super 15 at the moment, with the Blues winning a game last week, the Crusaders being beaten by the Rebels as well, the Chiefs losing against the Reds, and the Hurricanes going down to the Brumbies tonight. Obviously that last result wasn't really what I wanted to see, but if it keeps the Reds from securing a conference leader spot this year I guess I'm okay with it. As for tomorrow, as much as I hate to say it as an Aucklander, the Crusaders need to win against the Blues to secure a spot in the finals. And it'd be nice if the Highlanders won against the Bulls, but I'm not feeling that optimistic about their chances against the table leaders.