19 Jul

Get on Board
by WAJ
19 Jul 2007

Not one to blow my trumpet, but come on guys lift your game. Or is it
that being exposed to 7 games of rugby a week you are confused by it all
- mind you if you are a Southland or Taranaki supporter you bloody
should be. I see the lower divisions start this week – how the hell do
you a draw a line through that lot? Usual suspects I suppose, with a
good dose of guess work in the early rounds to back it up.

What is up with the likes of Wellington and North Harbour. Stacked with
S14 players, plenty of pedigree, but up and down like whore’s drawers.
No Umaga retiring or Weepu dropping occasion to fire up Wgtn this week,
and they seem to need that sort of spark, and NH continue to be bloody
awful, all class – no substance perhaps, though I suppose in fairness
they do have some very young players – a short RS reign though methinks.

The Aus provincial champs started last weekend using modified
Stellenbosch rules. Went OK too, though will reserve judgement until I
see a game played live – go the mighty Melbourne Rebels!!

This weekends games:

Northland v Tasman – Can Nthld continue their impressive start to the
ANZC? They have a good mix of old S14 heads and local players and in
typical no nonense Nthld style get on with it. Tasman have also been
solid this year but without Jack and away from home will struggle here.
Northland 13+

Waikato v Counties-Manukau – A good win to Waikato here. C-M are another
one of the erratic sides around, good one week, average the next. This
is the poor week, and whilst they will start with a hiss and a roar, the
all round strength of Waikato will see them through to a comfortable
victory. I see Messam is on the bench, even with Lauaki gone – needs to
show he can play it in the tight consistently as well as the loose stuff
I reckon.
Waikato 13+

Hawkes Bay v North Harbour – Hell this is a toughie. Harbour have been
crap away from home so far this year, well they didn’t look that flash
at home either to be fair, and Hawkes Bay have been a revelation. But
you would think Harbour have just enough class to see them home in a
close one.
North Harbour 1 – 12

Southland v Auckland – Plenty of changes for the mighty Auks and that is
probably the most interesting thing about this game. How will Taumopeau
go at hooker especially with his lineout throwing, will big Troyser have
some of his dash back, is using the back up loosies and 1 5/8 too much
of a risk, and great to see another Stanley out and about. Weather looks
OK, so Auckland by plenty against an improving Southland side who will
be out-paced and out-classed
Auckland 13+

Taranaki v Otago – Taranaki will want to make amends for last weekends
poor performance, and they have the opportunity against an average Otago
side. Home town wins are extremely valuable and Taranaki won’t want 2
home losses in a row. But Otago still may be to strong here and will win
in a close one.
Otago 1 – 12

Canterbury v Wellington – the game all Canterbury supporters dread -
will their bogey team strike again. I think not. It is looking more and
more like an Akld v Cant final already as both teams continue to post
impressive victories on the back of their huge player depth. This is a
good Cant team and, and they get to add Gear this week. Wellington are
too erratic, have lost their AB’s, and Umaga, and will struggle.
Canterbury 13+

Manawatu v Bay of Plenty – A pretty even match up this and very tempted
to go for Manawatu at home. But they just struggle to win at all. BoP -
well they are at the bottom of a rebuilding phase, but retain some
players who can guide them through this sort of game and for that reason
am backing them, again in a close one.
Bay of Plenty 1 – 12

Regards Waj

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