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Thread: Super 14 Team of the Season- "Tahs to the power of seven equals one team to beat"

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    Veteran Swee_82's Avatar
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    Super 14 Team of the Season- "Tahs to the power of seven equals one team to beat"

    Tahs to the power of seven equals one team to beat
    Greg Growden Chief Rugby Correspondent | May 20, 2008


    OVERSEAS critics may still laugh at Australia's scrummaging prowess, but the fact their pack has been a dominant force over the past four months has been a crucial factor in the Waratahs' embarking on their fourth Super finals campaign.

    The Waratahs have had the best Australian pack, and it is not surprising seven NSW forwards have made the Herald's Super 14 team of the tournament. This team comprises those who made the Herald's Super 14 team of the week most often during the season.

    Each week, Rupert Guinness and I chose a form Australian side from that weekend's round. It revolved entirely on how each player performed in that round.

    Some weeks it was easy. Some weeks it was near impossible, especially if, in some positions, no one in the four Australian teams had performed - and, sadly, that was often.

    But in several positions there were constant standouts. Quite often the two second-rowers were Dan Vickerman and Nathan Sharpe. Phil Waugh was so consistent as the openside breakaway he made the team eight times, compared with George Smith's five, while Wycliff Palu had good performances all season to win the No.8 position.

    The halves were easy. Matt Giteau and Luke Burgess performed well above everyone else, while Lote Tuqiri, after a quiet start, found his form in the final two months to be easily the most consistent winger.

    However, at fullback, inside-centre and the other wing, the options were relatively limited. The form of many midfielders fluctuated wildly.

    Whether this is Robbie Deans's first Wallabies starting line-up is highly unlikely. But at least 13 of them should make the first Test squad. And Deans could do far worse than devising his Test pack around the so far successful Waratahs scrum.

    TEAM OF THE SEASON

    15 Mark Gerrard (ACT) (4)
    14 Lote Tuqiri (NSW) (7)

    13 Ryan Cross (Force) (6)

    12 Tyrone Smith (ACT) (3)

    11 Adam Ashley-Cooper (ACT) (3)

    10 Matt Giteau (Force) (7)

    9 Luke Burgess (NSW) (6)

    8 Wycliff Palu (NSW) (6)

    7 Phil Waugh (NSW) (8)

    6 Rocky Elsom (NSW) (6)

    5 Dan Vickerman (NSW) (8)

    4 Nathan Sharpe (Force) (7)

    3 Matt Dunning (NSW) (5)

    2 Tatafu Polota-Nau (NSW) (5)

    1 Benn Robinson (NSW) (7)

    Brackets indicate number of times a player has been picked in the Herald's Australian Super 14 team of the week.

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    Senior Player Contributor gustafsl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swee_82 View Post
    Each week, Rupert Guinness and I chose a form Australian side from that weekend's round. It revolved entirely on how each player performed in that round.

    Should have a little asterisk after it saying *as long as your team won.

    With the exception of weeks where no Australian team won you could probably count on two hands the number of players picked from non-winning teams.

    I know rugby is very much a team game and often forwards don't stand out on their own but rather as a 'pack' per se. But some of Growden's omissions throughout the year were ridiculous.

    I know there are those 4 South African guys that pick their Super 14 team of the round for the whole comp. And it was quite funny when all four of them would pick a player as the best at a position and yet the guy wouldn't make Growden's team of just Australian players.

    It should also be noted that Drew Mitchell was also selected three times on the wing. Considering most commentators agree he had a better season than Tuqiri, I'd like to know how Ashley-Cooper was listed ahead of Mitchell. At the very least they should be listed as tied? Who knows how many other ties there are?

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    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    That shits me to death, Two dads ahead of Mitchell, I want to burn down your house pie man!

    Tyrone Smith was absolutely dominated last week, most consistent, yeah right...

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swee_82 View Post
    Tahs to the power of seven equals one team to beat
    Greg Growden Chief Rugby Correspondent | May 20, 2008

    Whether this is Robbie Deans's first Wallabies starting line-up is highly unlikely.
    Translation " Robbie Deans is probably the best Rugby coach in the world and really knows his stuff whereas me and Smiffy are just a couple of SFS pie eaters who wouldn't know our @rses from our elbows. That's the reason why our picks are probably not gonna match up with his. Most of our readers are in NSW so we just pick a heap of Waratahs every week and that ensures they dominate the Team of the Season."

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    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David

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    GO SHARPIE!!!!

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    Champion Moses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krusher View Post
    GO SHARPIE!!!!
    Clearly pushing in the scrum isn't a metric they care about. on current form would have to be Horwill and Vicks.

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    Clearly pushing in the scrum isn't a metric they care about. on current form would have to be Horwill and Vicks.
    Come now Moses, and how do you measure one's "pushing" prowess?

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    Last edited by KenyaQuin; 20-05-08 at 14:54.

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    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    Clearly pushing in the scrum isn't a metric they care about. on current form would have to be Horwill and Vicks.
    Horwill is a bloody thug, and not one of the good ones who is actually smart about it, one of those types who'll get to the biggest stage and get himself yellow carded just as the momentum is turning out way...Sharpie however is Wallaby captain material, he doesn't whinge like Mortlock constantly does, backs should not be captain.

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    Champion Moses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenyaQuin View Post
    Come now Moses, and how do you measure one's "pushing" prowess?
    having your scrum not collapse is a good start

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    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    having your scrum not collapse is a good start
    How many collapses were in the Reds v Tahs match Moses?

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    Champion KenyaQuin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    having your scrum not collapse is a good start
    A 2nd Rower? C'mon Moses, you can do better than that

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    Champion Moses's Avatar
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    wasn't counting, perhaps a better measure would be scrums won against the feed.

    I was quite happy at the one we got against the Reds... even though it was down from two against the Stormers the prior week.

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    Last edited by Moses; 20-05-08 at 15:10.

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    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    where's drew??? wheres cam??? wheres brownie??? wheres dave??? wheres staniforth??? wheres tapian??? NOT ENOUGH FORCE BOYS! IF WE WALK OUT WITH A LINEUP LIKE THAT AGAINST IRELAND WE ARE BEYOND SCREWED! WE NEED SOME MORE IN THIS MAN!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moses View Post
    Clearly pushing in the scrum isn't a metric they care about. on current form would have to be Horwill and Vicks.
    Moses I expect better from you. Do you honestly believe the crap coming out of NSW media circles that Al Baxter wouldn't drop scrums if it wasn't Sharpie behind him?

    Horwill or not our scrum will go backwards. But can Horwill play the full 80 like Sharpe can? Can stay disciplined and provide quality leadership to the team like Sharpe can? Can he keep our line-out the second best in world in rugby? Fact is to not get killed by the Springboks we need to match their line-out, which despite what Springboks supporters will tell you Sharpie and Vicks can match Botha and Matfield. And to beat the All Blacks destroying their line-out helps a lot which looking at their 2nd row stocks won't be as hard as in previous years. Sharpie is as vital to the Wallabies as Vickerman. Which is a good thing too since Vickerman is pissing off like all those other Tah-rats from their sinking ship.

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    Horwill or not our scrum will go backwards. But can Horwill play the full 80 like Sharpe can? Can stay disciplined and provide quality leadership to the team like Sharpe can? Can he keep our line-out the second best in world in rugby? Fact is to not get killed by the Springboks we need to match their line-out, which despite what Springboks supporters will tell you Sharpie and Vicks can match Botha and Matfield. And to beat the All Blacks destroying their line-out helps a lot which looking at their 2nd row stocks won't be as hard as in previous years. Sharpie is as vital to the Wallabies as Vickerman. Which is a good thing too since Vickerman is pissing off like all those other Tah-rats from their sinking ship.
    I think he only get one yellow card this season, and that was before he was captain.

    i believe Horwill played 80min of most of the Reds games, as for the leadership, well he is captain of the Reds, if he is in a forward pack with either Waugh/Smith or Vickerman, the leadership skills wont be quite as essential.

    From what i saw in the Force - Reds game, Horwill did a pretty decent job at matching and outplaying sharpie in many facets of the game.

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