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Thread: Super Rugby: NZ Teams Prospects for 2014

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Super Rugby: NZ Teams Prospects for 2014

    JAMES LAWLER

    Last updated 05:00 07/11/2013


    James Lawler runs the rule of the New Zealand Super Rugby squads and their prospects for the 2014 season.

    Blues
    Last season: 10th

    2013 prediction: 9th

    Captain: Daniel Braid

    Losses: Ali Williams, Anthony Boric

    Gains: Tony Woodcock (Highlanders), Jerome Kaino (Panasonic Wild Knights) Ma'a Nonu (Highlanders)

    Analysis:

    The Blues welcome a couple of key players back to the forward pack, which will add vital exeprience. Prop Tony Woodcock and loose forward Jerome Kaino will add balance to the forwards so expect the Blues to be more dominant up front in 2014.

    The big additions in the backs are Ma'a Nonu and Benji Marshall. Can Nonu finally have a solid Super Rugby season at long last? And can Marshall live up to the hype and expectations following his code switch from the Wests Tigers in the NRL?

    Chiefs

    Last season: Champions

    Captain: Liam Messam

    Losses: Lelia Masaga, Craig Clarke,

    Gains: James Lowe (Tasman), Tom Marshall (Tasman), Mils Muliaina, Liam Squire (Tasman), Mathew Symons (Canterbury), Carl Axtens (Bay of Plenty), Nick Barrett (Southland), Tavita Kolomatangi (Tasman), Jamie Mackintosh (Southland), Robbie Fruean (Canterbury)

    Analysis:

    Chiefs have probably got the most depth of any of the franchises. Their versatilty is arguably their strength this season, but it's whether or not they can keep going. The signing of the season has to be Tom Marshall who can play pretty much anywere in the backline. His ability to read play is exceptional. It's bizzare how the Crusaders have let him slip through their fingertips. Robbie Fruean - can he finally show what he is all about? And we welcome back Mils Muliaina who is a great servant of New Zealand rugby.

    Hurricanes

    Last season: 11th

    Prediction: 6th

    Losses: Karl Lowe, Ray Lee-Lo

    Captain: Conrad Smith

    Gains: Mark Abbott (Hawke's Bay), Hadleigh Parkes (Auckland), Marty Banks (Tasman), Cardiff Vaega (Southland)

    Analyis:

    The Hurricanes will make the top six in 2014 (this is coming from a Crusaders' supporter). They are a well balanced team, different to your usual Hurricanes' side.



    Coach Mark Hammett has gone with pretty much the same squad of last year but what I like about this squad is that he has signed hard working players and a bit of class to boot. I think Marty Banks will be the signing of the season and I hope he has a strong season like many predicting he will, but will he get game time.

    I'm disappointed that Ihaia West has not been snapped up by a Super Rugby franchise. I thought that he would be signed by the Hurricanes. It will be a far more stronger Hurricanes team than in previous years I expect a few twists this season with a couple of big scalps.

    Crusaders

    Last season: 3rd

    Prediction: 1st

    Losses: Tom Marshall, Robbie Fruean

    Gains: Nemani Nadolo (Japan), Ray Leo Lo (Counties), Nafi Tuitavake (North Harbour), Colin Slade (Canterbury)

    Captain: Kieran Read

    Analysis:

    The Crusaders have a well balanced team and a foward pack chock full with All Blacks. 2014 will this be the year they finally win amnother tittle. With 27 players returning from last season and the hunger to win their eighth title (and first since 2008) driving them there is no question the Crusaders could go all the way next season.

    Highlanders

    Last season: 14th

    Prediction: 7th

    Losses: Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock, Hosea Gear, Ma'a Nonu, Kade Poki

    Gains: Kurt Baker (Tarinaki), Willie Ripia (Bay Of Plenty), Jed Robinson (Melbourne Rebels) hey you forgot Winston Stanley (Western Force)

    Analysis:

    The Highlanders will do well this season despite everyone else backing against them. Expect them to have a superb season. I believe they will be one of the dark horses of the 2014 Super Rugby competion. Expect a few shock upsets.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/...pects-for-2014

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    No prediction for the Chiefs?

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    ^^^^????

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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    ^^^^????
    Chiefs

    Last season: Champions

    --Conspicuous gap--

    Captain: Liam Messam

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    I can see it???

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    I too notice that there is no prediction for the Chiefs

    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    JAMES LAWLER

    Last updated 05:00 07/11/2013


    James Lawler runs the rule of the New Zealand Super Rugby squads and their prospects for the 2014 season.

    Blues
    Last season: 10th

    prediction: 9th
    Captain: Daniel Braid

    Losses: Ali Williams, Anthony Boric

    Gains: Tony Woodcock (Highlanders), Jerome Kaino (Panasonic Wild Knights) Ma'a Nonu (Highlanders)

    Analysis:

    The Blues welcome a couple of key players back to the forward pack, which will add vital exeprience. Prop Tony Woodcock and loose forward Jerome Kaino will add balance to the forwards so expect the Blues to be more dominant up front in 2014.

    The big additions in the backs are Ma'a Nonu and Benji Marshall. Can Nonu finally have a solid Super Rugby season at long last? And can Marshall live up to the hype and expectations following his code switch from the Wests Tigers in the NRL?

    Chiefs

    Last season: Champions

    Captain: Liam Messam

    Losses: Lelia Masaga, Craig Clarke,

    Gains: James Lowe (Tasman), Tom Marshall (Tasman), Mils Muliaina, Liam Squire (Tasman), Mathew Symons (Canterbury), Carl Axtens (Bay of Plenty), Nick Barrett (Southland), Tavita Kolomatangi (Tasman), Jamie Mackintosh (Southland), Robbie Fruean (Canterbury)

    Analysis:

    Chiefs have probably got the most depth of any of the franchises. Their versatilty is arguably their strength this season, but it's whether or not they can keep going. The signing of the season has to be Tom Marshall who can play pretty much anywere in the backline. His ability to read play is exceptional. It's bizzare how the Crusaders have let him slip through their fingertips. Robbie Fruean - can he finally show what he is all about? And we welcome back Mils Muliaina who is a great servant of New Zealand rugby.

    Hurricanes

    Last season: 11th

    Prediction: 6th
    Losses: Karl Lowe, Ray Lee-Lo

    Captain: Conrad Smith

    Gains: Mark Abbott (Hawke's Bay), Hadleigh Parkes (Auckland), Marty Banks (Tasman), Cardiff Vaega (Southland)

    Analyis:

    The Hurricanes will make the top six in 2014 (this is coming from a Crusaders' supporter). They are a well balanced team, different to your usual Hurricanes' side.



    Coach Mark Hammett has gone with pretty much the same squad of last year but what I like about this squad is that he has signed hard working players and a bit of class to boot. I think Marty Banks will be the signing of the season and I hope he has a strong season like many predicting he will, but will he get game time.

    I'm disappointed that Ihaia West has not been snapped up by a Super Rugby franchise. I thought that he would be signed by the Hurricanes. It will be a far more stronger Hurricanes team than in previous years I expect a few twists this season with a couple of big scalps.

    Crusaders

    Last season: 3rd

    Prediction: 1st
    Losses: Tom Marshall, Robbie Fruean

    Gains: Nemani Nadolo (Japan), Ray Leo Lo (Counties), Nafi Tuitavake (North Harbour), Colin Slade (Canterbury)

    Captain: Kieran Read

    Analysis:

    The Crusaders have a well balanced team and a foward pack chock full with All Blacks. 2014 will this be the year they finally win amnother tittle. With 27 players returning from last season and the hunger to win their eighth title (and first since 2008) driving them there is no question the Crusaders could go all the way next season.

    Highlanders

    Last season: 14th

    Prediction: 7th
    Losses: Andrew Hore, Tony Woodcock, Hosea Gear, Ma'a Nonu, Kade Poki

    Gains: Kurt Baker (Tarinaki), Willie Ripia (Bay Of Plenty), Jed Robinson (Melbourne Rebels) hey you forgot Winston Stanley (Western Force)

    Analysis:

    The Highlanders will do well this season despite everyone else backing against them. Expect them to have a superb season. I believe they will be one of the dark horses of the 2014 Super Rugby competion. Expect a few shock upsets.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/...pects-for-2014

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    This seems very biased and unrealistic. The lowest prediction is 9th in a 15 team competition. Based on the pool structure with all the kiwi teams playing each other regularly I think it would be very difficult if not impossible to not end up with one team in the bottom 6.

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    ahhhhh I see said the blind man

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The InnFORCEr View Post
    ....
    Gains: Tony Woodcock (Highlanders), Jerome Kaino (Panasonic Wild Knights) Ma'a Nonu (Highlanders)
    ...
    Thats a gain?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha Handy View Post
    This seems very biased and unrealistic. The lowest prediction is 9th in a 15 team competition. Based on the pool structure with all the kiwi teams playing each other regularly I think it would be very difficult if not impossible to not end up with one team in the bottom 6.
    I think the Kiwi prediction would include all the Australian sides in the bottom six, probably joined by the Lions, and 70-0 wins for every Kiwi team which plays the Force.

    Of course, who won the last Force-Crusaders game?

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueandblack View Post
    Thats a gain?
    Most certainly! Who wouldn't want a big. Solid, eyeliner-wearing enforcer at inside centre? Plus he gets away with at least one foul play incident every match.

    He's a big gain.

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    C'mon the

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    Force v Crusaders what a night my 30th Birthday and watching the game with my 8 year old who as we made our way home on the train asked my over and over why those people ran on the field with no clothes on

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