Super 15: Round 9

Game of the Week: Bulls v Brumbies @ Loftus Versfeld

The Brumbies were very impressive last week in their win over the Rebels racking up a bonus point win and showing why they are a force to be reckoned with this season. Fly-half Charlie Lealiifano has been the stand-out performer and with McCabe also hitting form the ACT Brumbies could prove a handful for their South African opponents. It is, however, very well known that both New Zealand and Australian teas do not travel well to South Africa and the Brumbies will have to be at the top of their game to overcome a Bulls side coming off two straight victories. Im tipping the Brumbies to scrape home in an ugly contest by a penalty goal.

Highlanders v Blues @ Forsyth Barr Stadium


Highlanders by 12

Reds v Stormers @ Suncorp Stadium

Reds by 14

Hurricanes v Crusaders @ Westpac Stadium

Crusaders by 10

Waratahs v Rebels @ Allianz Stadium

Waratahs by 3

Sharks v Chiefs @ Mr Price Kings Park

Chiefs by 7

Lions, Cheetahs, Force - Bye

NRL: Representative Round

New Zealand v Australia @ Eden Park, Auckland

This will be one of the ANZAC tests in the past decade. The New Zealand pack looks menacing with the likes of Warea-Haargreaves, Matulino and Pritchard and they finally have an exciting halves pairing that they can lock in for the next 5 to 10 years. Its the best kiwi team I have seen on paper for a very long time. However, the only thing that stands between them and their first victory in fourteen years is the superstar Storm trio, Slater, Cronk and Smith.

Both teams have made stupid selections in the centre position. Both Inglis and Hodges for the Aussies are proven performers at this level but had they been fit both Josh Morris and Michael Jennings definitely deserved both centre spots. Kearney’s decision to move Simon Mannering from his preferred back row position to the centres is simply stupid. It would have made more sense picking Jerome Ropati or even move Vatuvei there (despite his poor handling). Shaun Kenny-Dowel will be the only in-form centre in the contest and I’m tipping he will score a double.

I think the Kiwis will win by 2 to 10 points as the Aussies will be complacent going into the match with the belief that they will walk away with an easy win. Shaun Kenny-Dowell will be first try scorer.

City v Country @ Mudgee

One of my favourite fixtures of the NRL schedule, the city/country match is always hotly contested and gives some of the younger stars a look-in at representative footy. The position that will be critiqued heavily this weekend is the halves. Pearce should be a walk-in for the halfback position but the number 6 jersey is still very much up for grabs. I’m tipping Carney to get the jump on the rest of the competition as he already has a brilliant combination with Pearce from his time at the Roosters.

Country are looking really strong with the likes of Creagh, Scott, Leroyd-Lars and especially the Morris boys. However, I like the rise to stardom of Leilua for the Country team and it would be great to see him accompany either Morris or Jennings in the centres for the Blues later in the year.

I think the Country boys will be simply too strong for the City-slickers with an impressive forward pack and an in-form back line in the Morris boys and Blake Ferguson. However, one can never know in this inaugural match. It will be another close contest as tradition suggests.

NRL: Round 7

Game of the Week: Roosters v Cowboys @ Sydney Football Stadium

The resurgent Roosters see themselves at four wins from six games and equal third on the ladder after six rounds of competition. Many people continue to dismiss the Roosters wins as ‘lucky’ but you don’t win four games of football simply through luck, and as was said on www.nrl.com the Roosters are only a few passes sticking away from claiming some big scalps and I’m of firm belief that this will happen on Saturday night when they face a strong Cowboys teams reeling from a big loss to the Storm. Im tipping a Roosters victory by at least ten points.

Dragons v Knights @ WIN Jubilee Oval

Dragons by 10

Broncos v Raiders @ Suncorp Stadium

Broncos by 18

Storm v Bulldogs @ AAMI Park

Storm by 12

Sea Eagles v Titans @ Brookvale Oval

Sea Eagles by 18

Warriors v Rabbitohs @ Mount Smart Stadium

Warriors by 2

Sharks v Eels @ Toyota Stadium

Sharks by 20

Panthers v Tigers @ Centrebet Stadium

Tigers by 4

Super 15: Round 8

Game of the Week: Force v Waratahs @ NIB Stadium

A fiery encounter in round four saw the Force outmuscle the Tahs and limp away with a one point victory. Expect just as close a game here in round eight as the under performing Waratahs outfit will look to resurrect their dismal start to the season. I am tipping the Force to again walk away with the win in what will most likely be dire conditions at a cold and wet NIB Stadium. It will be a great game for the forwards.

Blues v Sharks @ Eden Park

Sharks by 4

Crusaders v Stormers at Rugby League Park

Stormers by 2

Brumbies v Rebels @ Canberra Stadium

Brumbies by 12

Cheetahs v Chiefs @ Free State Stadium

Chiefs by 7

Lions v Bulls @ Coca-Cola Park

Bulls by 16

Highlanders, Hurricanes and Reds - Bye

NRL: Predicted ANZAC Test Team

These are my predictions for the Australian and New Zealand test sides for the ANZAC test team coming up after Round 7. The teams were picked on current form and also includes players injured or suspended who would otherwise deserve a test spot. 

Australia

1 Billy Slater - Melbourne Storm

2 Brett Morris - St George Illawarra Dragons

3 Michael Jennings - Penrith Panthers

4 Josh Morris - Canterbury Bulldogs

5 Akuila Uate - Newcastle Knights

6 Johnathon Thurston - North Queensland Cowboys

7 Cooper Cronk - Melbourne Storm

8 Matt Scott - North Queensland Cowboys

9 Cameron Smith - Melbourne Storm

10 Sam Thaiday - Brisbane Broncos

11 Ben Creagh - St George Illawarra Dragons

12 Tony Williams - Manly Sea Eagles

13 Paul Gallen - Cronulla Sharks

Sub

14 Luke Lewis - Penrith Panthers

15 Tom Leroyd-Lars - Canberra Raiders

16 Jayson Bukuya - Cronulla Sharks

17 Todd Carney - Cronulla Sharks

18th Man Greg Inglis - South Sydney Rabbitohs

New Zealand

1 Juston Hoffman - Brisbane Broncos

2 Joseph Leilua - Sydney Roosters

3 Shaun Kenny-Dowell - Sydney Roosters

4 Steve Matai - Manly Sea Eagles

5 Jason Nightingale - St George Illawarra Dragons

6 Benji Marshall - West Tigers

7 Shaun Johnson - New Zealand Warriors

8 Jared Warea-Hargreaves - Sydney Roosters

9 Isaac Luke - South Sydney Rabbitohs

10 Ben Matulino - New Zealand Warriors

11 Simon Mannering - New Zealand Warriors

12 Sika Manu - Melbourne Storm

13 Alex Glenn - Brisbane Broncos

Sub

14 Frank Pritchard - Canterbury Bulldogs

15 Fui Fui Moi Moi - Parramatta Eels

16 Russel Packer - New Zealand Warriors

17 Keiran Foran - Manly Sea Eagles

18th Man Sam Perrett - Sydney Roosters

Surprise picks:

Australia - Jennings/Morris, traditionally the centre position for the Australian test team has been dominated by Queensland stars. Despite this, Jennings and Morris have far outshone all of their test rivals and thoroughly deserve spots. Greg Inglis, however, has had a wonderful beginning to the season in the fullback position for the Rabittohs and had Billy Slater not had such a great beginning to the year also he would be a walk-in to the Australian fullback position.

New Zealand - Shaun Johnson, Many would say that Keiran Foran should be Marshall’s halves partner, however, with Johnson’s current form and New Zealand’s need for a full-time halfback coach Kearney will probably choose him to lead the side. Foran will also be a great addition later in the game and could prove a handful for tired forwards.

Deserved Debutants:

Australia - Jayson Bukuya, Australian coach Tim Sheens is known for picking a side on form and as a result the largely in-form Bukuya could see himself as a huge surprise pick for the Australian test side.

New Zealand - Joseph Leilua, I have huge wraps for the baby-faced assassin BJ Leilua. Has been in fine form for the Roosters and I thought he was unlucky not to receive man-of-the-match honours in their win over the Titans. Could be a huge X-factor for the Kiwi’s and deserves to hold a spot over Manu Vatuvei.

Football's Fastest Man

Jarryd Hayne, Lachie Turner, John Grant, Greg Inglis, Ben Barba or Josh Morris?? Who will be rugbys fastest player??

NRL: Round 6

Game of the Week: Cowboys v Storm @ Dairy Farmers Stadium

The Storm are flying high as the only team not to concede defeat after five rounds of competition. Their spine (Slater, Widdop, Cronk and Smith) have been playing out of their skins and look almost unbeatable. However, a rude awakening may shock the Storm in the form of a performing North Queensland. The Cowboys will have to play out of their skins to be considered a chance but the home crowd advantage could see them limp home. Look for a Storm victory by 4 points.

Souths v Bulldogs @ ANZ Stadium

Souths by 6

Tigers v Broncos @ Sydney Football Stadium

Broncos by 16

Titans v Roosters @ Skilled Park

Roosters by 10

Sharks v Dragons @ Toyota Stadium

Dragons by 4

Raiders v Warriors @ Canberra Stadium

Raiders by 18

Knights v Eels @ Ausgrid Stadium

Knights by 20

Manly v Penrith @ Brookvale Oval

Manly by 6

Super 15: Round 7

Game of the Round: Highlanders v Stormers @ Forsyth Barr Stadium

Th Highanders have been the surprise packet thus far this season, vastly exceeding expectations, and the Stormers have had a 5 and 0 start seeing these two at one and two on the ladder. The Stormers are yet to be pressed this season and have coasted to several easy wins but the Highlanders have pushed hard to be where they are. Look for a highlanders victory by 5 points. In such a hotly contested match they should out last their opponents.

Rebels v Blues @ AAMI Stadium

Blues by 10

Hurricanes v Sharks @ Westpac Stadium

Hurricanes by 16

Reds v Brumbies @ Suncorp Stadium

Reds by 2

Force v Chiefs @ NIB Stadium

Chiefs by 12

Cheetahs v Lions @ North West Stadium

Lions by 7

Bulls v Crusaders @ Loftus Versfeld

Crusaders by 5

10 Lessons to Learn Before you Play Rugby

This is a compilation I found of some of rugby’s biggest fails! I implore you to watch if you think your the next Sonny-Bill or Benji Marshall.

I saw this and reposted it on Facebook. It’s so true!!

I saw this and reposted it on Facebook. It’s so true!!