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Wednesday, 20 May 2009
NRL Tips Round 11 2009 - AFL Tips Round 09 - Super 14 Tips Semi Finals
This is an archived story - so check the main page - www.wdnicolson.blogspot.com for the current round of tipping for NRL, AFL and Super 14. The site is also regularly updated with opinion, news and features on sport, entertainment and life. Well it was a week where favourites tippers got close to the cash in the AFL (7 of 8 favourites won), NRL (6 of 8 favourites won) and the Super 14 went pretty much to script in the games that mattered playoff wise. NRL, AFL & Super 14 Previews below. NRL ROUND 11 - 2009 Well I didn't tip badly in Round 10 - scoring 5 from 8 but my tip of the week - the Warriors over the Cowboys fell to pieces in the last 20 minutes and the final score was disheartening to say the least. A win by the Bunnies wasn't a big upset but since I'd also picked the Roosters to beat the Knights... there's 3 wrong and the averageness of my tipping this year continues. Onto Round 11! Rabbitohs ($1.38) over Eels ($3.10) > Injury news to come out of the weekend involved far too many Parramatta players for you to entertain the Eels in this one. But in saying that the Rabbitohs may not have Chris Sandow who came off injured late in the Tigers clash but you would be a game tipper to take the Eels as they are down to just two quality players healthy in Nathan Hindmarsh and Jarryd Hayne. The only bright spot for the Eels out of this game may be that Jarryd Hayne plays his way onto the wing for NSW as he continues to change his attitude towards the game and his performances are reflecting that. Souths butchered the Round 2 clash between these sides with poor attacking options - can't see them doing it again. Last 5 Head to Head: PAR by 6, SOU by 12, PAR by 6, SOU by 25, PAR by 20. Broncos ($1.29) over Tigers ($3.65) > There is some history attached to this game as the Wests Tigers first premiership match as a merged entity was against the Broncos at Campbelltown in 2000. But unless Robbie Farah (who should be fit after a concussion last weekend) and Benji Marshall can carry the Tigers on their back for the entire 80 minutes (60 minutes wasn't long enough against Souths) the Broncos should win this one. Expect a relatively high scoring affair though as the Broncos are yet to really establish themselves defensively but they should have plenty of points in them with Hodges back from injury. Last 5 Head to Head: BRI by 1, BRI by 12, BRI by 30, WTG by 14, WTG by 28. Dragons ($1.45) over Sharks ($2.75) > The Dragons need to be wary in this game as the Sharks continue to struggle on and off the field - which doesn't always bode well for their opposition if these struggles have been around for an extended length of time. One thing Ricky Stuart is really adept at as a coach is motivating his team - something that can count against him long term at a club - but this game is at Toyota Stadium against an local rival, expect the Sharks to get up for this one. That being said I still have to pick St.George-Illawarra to win. Last 5 Head to Head: STI by 4, CRO by 1, CRO by 2, CRO by 4, CRO by 32. Storm ($1.65) over Bulldogs ($2.25) > One has to wonder if the Bulldogs are second guessing themselves about moving this game from ANZ Stadium where a huge fan turnout would've eventuated with the way the Dogs are going on the ladder. Canterbury however moved this to Gosford which could be a real leveller of the home ground advantage and although the crowd should be close to a sell-out - the Storm will enjoy playing at a ground they won at just a fortnight ago against Sydney. If the Dogs had Josh Morris I'd like them a lot more than I do without him (duh!) so I'm tipping the Storm here. Last 5 Head to Head: MEL by 46, MEL by 32, MEL by 24, MEL by 4, MEL by 27. Panthers ($1.38) over Roosters ($3.10) > A real danger game for the Panthers who might've won their last three but haven't convinced me in doing so that they are a genuine finals threat. The game plan is reliant on a strong rolling go forward and when a good defence can contain that the Panthers struggle offensively in a big way. They don't use Michael Jennings nearly enough with early ball and he is their only strike player in their backline - and without a roll forward he'll get it even less. But they are playing the Roosters, who despite a great recent record against Penrith, are on struggle street having capitulated to the Knights at home last Saturday. I don't tip the Panthers with confidence but I got burned by the Roosters last week so Penrith it is. Last 5 Head to Head: SYD by 20, SYD by 16, PEN by 6, SYD by 4, SYD by 20. Raiders ($1.87) over Warriors ($1.95) > Although the NRL competition is plagued by mediocre sides and that means that no team will be out of playoff contention until they mathematically can't reach 11 wins (Canberra need to win 9 of their next 15 to reach 11 wins) - the Raiders face what is basically a must win game at home on Sunday when the Warriors visit. The Aucklanders were average for most of their clash with the Cowboys and pathetic in the last quarter to get shredded on the scoreboard but they are a team capable on their day of doing the same thing to another side that drops off. Canberra have changed their game plan this season to their detriment and are 2-7 as a result of their lack of idea in attack within the game plan David Furner has introduced. If the team is allowed to focus on ball movement instead of one out prop running - Canberra can win this... and perhaps the team's current record may have finally convinced Furner that his way isn't going to work with the roster he inherited. Last 5 Head to Head: WAR by 8, CAN by 2, CAN by 4, WAR by 8, CAN by 1. Titans ($1.82) over Sea Eagles ($2.00) > Big big game for the Titans who have lost two straight and on the road and can't afford to drop a home game if they have genuine Top 4 aspirations. Getting Anthony Laffranchi back is a massive boost as should be Luke Bailey who is not 100% certain to line up. Scott Prince and Preston Campbell may have a field day against the Manly pack who have been suspect defensively this season and if John Cartwright realises he needs William Zillman at fullback and Mat Rogers in the centres - the Titans will win this well. Last 5 Head to Head: MAN by 18, MAN by 20, MAN by 14. Knights ($2.05) over Cowboys ($1.77) > A mouth-watering match up of two sides capable of playing some very entertaining football. I remain unconvinced the Cowboys can beat teams that play well (broad statement but the Warriors were pathetic in the last quarter last week and the Eels were only just above decent in Round 8 and they beat the Cowboys) and they have so many errors and defensive lapses on their line during a game that a good team will beat them until that is rectified. Johnathan Thurston is playing well but I still believe he is a great 'from in front' footballer and a frustrating underperformer when his team is on the back foot. I would happily be proven wrong as he can play some outstanding football but there's a bit of headless chicken about him when his team is falling behind on the scoreboard. Thus the Knights get the pick here despite the tough road trip. Last 5 Head to Head: NEW by 14, NEW by 12, NQL by 16, NEW by 7, NQL by 2. AFL ROUND 09 - 2009 Tipped 7 from 8 in Round 8, missing only the Tigers. And while I predicted a draw on the site I ended up following the gut feel... and like Terry Wallace I would've torn Mitch Morton a new one had I been his coach too - pathetic pathetic play by a player who was dropped recently for playing too much for himself and not for the team... say hello to the VFL again young man - that selfish play was the worst I've seen in years for a team that had the game won by simply holding possession. So since I went for one genuine upset - Richmond - and the Hawks weren't a real roughie against the Dockers (or Wharfies as the players refer to themselves now) - I will fall behind a lot of tipsters who would've got the round 100% correct. CATS ($1.14) over BULLDOGS ($5.75) No matter how much you liked the Dogs wins over the Crows and Demons the past fortnight as they steadied Eade's ship - the Cats can't be tipped against until they lose. That makes sense - read it again. KANGAROOS ($1.73) over WHARFIES ($2.10) Freo may have travelled well to beat the Blues - but that was on neutral ground (Gold Coast) and the Roos desperately need a win - something that drives them to perform under Dean Laidley. Roos over the Wharfies on Saturday arvo at Docklands. BLUES ($1.62) over CROWS ($2.30) Can sense this may be the game where the home ground advantage is bigger factor than current form. The Crows fell short against the Lions away but weren't disgraced and the Blues handled a depleted Magpies easily at the G. I'm picking the Blues based on their midfield strength but it isn't a strong angle to hang my tip on given the game is at AAMI. EAGLES ($1.50) over MAGPIES ($2.60) What possesses me to think the Magpies are a chance is that I'm still not sure that West Coast are actually any good. Sure they almost stole the game from the Swans on Saturday night but the Swans aren't a team that will blow teams away this year so the games they win will be close. Having said that I feel like the Eagles can use their home ground advantage and the undermanned state of the Magpies list to win this one. TIGERS ($2.35) over BOMBERS ($1.60) I keep picking the Tigers... and this is one selection I'm sure to change before the end of the week because Essendon continue to look the goods in most of their matches and the Tigers have been appalling in closing out matches when they've had the lead. If not for Mitch Morton's brain snap of epic proportions against the Power - Richmond would be 2-6... I think they can be 2-7 though. SWANS ($1.57) over POWER ($2.40) Swans at home (esp the SCG) is always a relatively safe pick and the Power got lucky late at home to the Tigers - so Swans deserve favouritism here and should win - although I'm not confident. LIONS ($5.00) over SAINTS ($1.17) Clearly I'm nuts. In fact as I write this I'm eating nuts in the form of a 'Sunbeam Just Nuts' Bar so it might be influencing my decision to pick the LIONS AWAY against ST.KILDA who are 8-0!If I try and analyse why I'll change my pick so I won't talk myself out of this crazed but 'feels right' selection. HAWKS ($1.18) over DEMONS ($5.00) The Hawks got their mojo back in stopping the Wharfies in WA so I'll be happy to take them against the Demons in the Sunday twilight fixture. The Demons are close to pulling off that big upset and maybe even a fortnight of back to back wins - but I don't think it'll be this week. SUPER 14 SEMI FINALS - 2009 Well it wasn't the boldest of calls but wdnicolson.blogspot.com did predict which teams would make the Super 14 Semi Finals - http://wdnicolson.blogspot.com/2009/05/super-14-finals-equation.html - but still dropped 2 of the 7 games when the Stormers finally beat a team they were supposed to and the Bulls pipped the Sharks in the final match. So we're onto the Semi Finals this weekend in Pretoria and Hamilton. I'm tipping the Hurricanes to overcome the Chiefs and the Bulls to represent South African in the Final when they beat a gallant Crusaders team. 19:35 (NZ time) FRIDAY NIGHT @ HAMILTON, NZ CHIEFS ($1.81) Backs: M Muliaina (c), L Masaga, D Sweeney, C Bruce, S Sivivatu, S Donald, T Morland. Forwards: S Lauaki, T Latimer, L Messam, K O'Neill, C Clarke, J McGougan, A de Malmanche, A Taumalolo. Bench: H Elliot, J Savage, T Lynn, S Lilo, D Bason, M Delany, S Anesi. V HURRICANES ($2.00) Backs: C Jane, T Ellison, C Smith, M Nonu, D Smith, W Ripia, P Weepu. Forwards: R So'oialo (c), S Waldrom, V Vito, J Eaton, J Thrush, N Tialata, A Hore, J Schwalger. Bench: G Robinson, J Ellison, B Evans, K Lowe, A Mathewson, J Kawau, Z Guildford. 15:00 (SA time) SATURDAY AFTERNOON @ PRETORIA, SA BULLS ($1.50) Backs: Z Kirchner, A Ndungane, J Pretorius, W Olivier, B Habana, M Steyn, F du Preez. Forwards: P Spies, D Potgieter, D Stegmann, V Matfield (c), B Botha, W Kruger, D Kuun, G Steenkamp. Bench: C Ralapelle, R Gerber, D Rossouw, P Wannenburg, H Adams, B Francis, G van den Heever. V CRUSADERS ($2.60) (24 man squad) Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Ben Franks, Jason Macdonald, Daniel Perrin, Brad Thorn, Isaac Ross, Michael Paterson, Ross Filipo, Kieran Read, Thomas Waldrom, Richie McCaw (c), George Whitelock, Andy Ellis, Kahn Fotuali’i, Stephen Brett, Colin Slade, Hamish Gard, Ryan Crotty, Tim Bateman, Sean Maitland, Leon MacDonald, Jared Payne, Adam Whitelock. Backs: TBA Forwards: TBA Bench: TBA Good luck with your tips this weekend!
By W D Nicolson