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Thread: Super Rugby 2011 predictions from Maximus

  1. #1
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    Super Rugby 2011 predictions from Maximus

    Kurtley will be our SuperTah

    Brendan Cannon From: The Sunday Telegraph February 13, 2011 12:00

    FORMER Wallabies hooker Brendan Cannon runs his eye over every Aussie Super 15 team and predicts who will rise and fall in a World cup year.


    Why they can win the Super 15 title:

    The Waratahs have their most experienced playing group in a number of years. Consistency has been a challenge in recent seasons, but if they can maintain some momentum in their performances and clearly define a Waratahs style of attacking play, they can be serious contenders.

    Why they will struggle:

    If external expectations become a distraction, if they lose a couple of key men, it will seriously halt any momentum.

    The man they can't afford to lose:

    Kurtley Beale. In the last 12 month, he has realised his natural ability as a footballer.

    Keep an eye out for:

    Ben Mowen. An increase in size over the off-season will allow this already large human to mix it with the big boys.

    Where they will finish:

    Top four.


    Why they can win the title:

    After last year's efforts, this young group will have more confidence in 2011. Boast the biggest pack of the Australian teams. Large, mobile, skilful forwards and a backline littered with Wallaby stars.

    Why they will struggle:

    If arrogance replaces confidence, if they don't stick to the values and the foundations they showed last year, they could suffer second-year syndrome. The opposition are well aware of what the Reds are capable of and will really try to pick them apart.

    They can't afford to lose:

    Quade Cooper. He ignited the Reds last year with his own individual brilliance. At other times, his unselfish play allowed other players to benefit. Last year was his first as a fully fledged international player. The 2011 version will know what to expect.

    Keep an eye out for: James Slipper. He started in only three games for the Reds in 2010 but finished the international season as a Wallabies front-rower. Slipper is exceptionally skilful and mobile for a modern-day prop.

    Where they will finish:

    Top three.


    Why they can win the title:

    The Real Madrid of the Australian franchises - and undoubtedly the biggest disappointment last year. They still boast one of the most experienced sides, but the real reason they can challenge for the Super 15 title is that Stephen Larkham has returned as their backs coach. He may not be out there on the field, but he will be able to instil that great sense of awareness he possessed as a player.

    Why they will struggle:

    They didn't appear to be a happy group in 2010 with rumblings of leadership struggles. They need to be a cohesive unit. They need to back their ability or face the same fate as last year.

    The man they can't afford to lose:

    Adam Ashley Cooper. Rugby's answer to Mr Cricket has played in a number of positions, not just for the Brumbies but also for the Wallabies. He has never let his teammates down.

    Keep an eye out for:

    Julian Salvi. His second coming at the Brumbies since returning from overseas. Salvi is a highly respected back-rower who always gives his best.

    Where they will finish:

    Between sixth and ninth.


    Why they can win the title:

    They have managed to recruit an impressive list of highly valued and respected players, while ex-Wallaby coach Rod Macqueen does have that X-factor.

    Why they will struggle:

    The void between their starting XV and the rest of their squad is too big. They have next generation players in their squad, but there is a lack of experience.

    The man they can't afford to lose:

    Danny Cipriani. The man with the Hollywood reputation will need to appear in every game to provide the spark, direction and opportunity for his teammates.

    Keep an eye out for:

    Cooper Vuna. The former Newcastle Knights winger is an excitement machine. He has that instinctive Islander ability with the ball to sense an opportunity.

    Where they will finish:

    Bottom of the table.


    Why they can win the title?

    The Force are one of the most spirited sides running around. But passion is only one part of the mix.

    If they minimise injuries to their key squad and settle into a clear style of play under new coach Richard Graham, they present the unknown element of the Australian franchises.

    Why they will struggle:

    If they suffer the same fate as 2010 with injuries, it will be one long season.

    The man they can't lose:

    Nathan Sharpe. The veteran, the warhorse. The man who has been at the helm of the Force from day one was inspirational in 2010.

    Keep an eye out for:

    Ben McCalman. This hard-hitting country boy relished his opportunity in Wallaby gold in 2010 and will be looking to press his claims ahead of the World Cup.

    Where they will finish?


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  2. #2
    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Interesting that all the pics have the players in their Super club outfits, except McCalman, who is in Wallabies gear.


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  3. #3
    Veteran robyn <3's Avatar
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    Bit harsh on the Force. I rate us above the Tahs any day of the week!

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  4. #4
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I thought it was pretty fair. Look at the tahs, they've quietly built a team littered with wallabies in important positions, some they've built, some they've bought. They're powerful and have plenty, of speed and skill. They are well better than us on paper.
    They are, however infected with tah stink, administered by the most interfering and ass-minded board in international rugby and have Phil Waugh as captain. Chris Hickey is there because he's Sydney Club material and a bit of a yes man for the board.
    Mark my words, the tahs team list is capable of winning any competition in the world, but will probably suffer the same fate as every other tah team in recent memory, by having Phil the cavemen lose his confidence in their ability to attack and never letting the ball be carried by anybody whose number is higher than 8. After that the board will get involved and issue some shit directive about how the team should be playing and hickey will simply bend over and lube up. The forwards will go soft, the backs will be unused to the ball, there will be mistakes and Phil won't know what to do.......another year of being in the hunt, without having the momentum to follow through.

    The force, on the other hand, are short in a couple of key areas, namely 10 and 12 and the locks, but passionate and have a board who is supportive, who have a history of letting their coach coach and their team play.

    If we can keep our #1 team on the pitch enough and the tahs be the typical tahs, we'll finish above them, but if we get hit by key injuries again, or the tahs forget who they are, they'll top us easy.

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