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Thursday, 28 May 2009

NRL Tips Round 12 2009 - AFL Tips Round 10 - Super 14 Final Tip

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. The days are getting colder as winter approaches and sadly the tipping has is following suit. That perfect round is but a dream in 2009... As is kicking a goal from the sideline just 1.5 metres from the tryline - interested in giving it a go? Go to http://wdnicolson.blogspot.com/2009/05/kick-off-2009-are-you-up-to-challenge.html for more information on Kick-Off 2009! NRL, AFL & Super 14 Previews below. NRL ROUND 12 - 2009 Tipped a respectable 5 from 8 (well 6 from 8 if the Rabbitohs-Eels Draw counts in your competitions as a 'win') missing the Bulldogs and Knights. With State of Origin I next Wednesday Night - 6 teams have the bye in Round 12 meaning there are only 5 games to tip and the chances of getting that perfect round increase. No games for the Roosters, Titans, Broncos, Storm, Sea Eagles and Cowboys this week. Dragons ($1.54) over Panthers ($2.50) > Some big losses for both sides through Origin representation with the Dragons losing half of their starting pack and the Panthers losing arguably their three most influential players in Luke Lewis, Michael Jennings and of course Petero Civoniceva. That's the rub that gives the Dragons favouritism going into the Friday Nighter at WIN Stadium. Jamie Soward was back 'up' last week against the Sharks and could be primed for a massive game even behind a less heralded forward pack (also without the injured Matt Prior). The Panthers do get Trent Waterhouse back from a one week injury layoff but their three quarter line in particular looks thin on game-breakers whereas the Dragons roll out the same backline they've had before Origin - minus Darius Boyd. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. Sharks ($2.62) over Eels ($1.50) > Surely the Sharks are going to win eventually...? And the Eels without their only inform player in Jarryd Hayne look the best bet to fall over and allow the Sharks to end their 9 match losing streak. Losing Paul Gallen to Origin duty won't hurt the Sharks as much as the stats suggest and having Trent Barrett as the leader of the side will be huge to the team's sense of direction on the park. Barrett has shown glimpses of his best in recent weeks - sadly they have been all too brief to get the Sharks home but if Barrett and Ricky Stuart can open the game plan up away from forwards who want to pad their hit up stats - the Sharks will win this. But even if the game plan opens up - the only reason I'm picking the Sharks is because Nathan Cayless and Nathan Hindmarsh will keep the Eels competitive defensively - but Parra have nothing in their lineup that can beat the Sharks in attack. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. Tigers ($2.50) over Warriors ($1.54) > The Warriors are playing some terrible football at the moment and if Coach Ivan Cleary's solution is to drop players in positions he didn't even use in the game plan when they were in the team (poor Denan Kemp has to be filthy he left the Broncos where they believed in using both sides of the field in attack)- what hope do the Aucklanders have in turning their fortunes around with new kids in those spots? Ian Henderson has also been punted only weeks after renewing his contract with the team - replaced by a converted halfback with next to no experience at the NRL level. The Tigers won't have Robbie Farah but they didn't have him against a near-full strength Brisbane side and nearly got the cash. Benji Marshall to have a big one and John Morris fits into a side better at hooker so I'll tip the upset and take the Tigers. If the Warriors lose this - the market on 'First Coach Fired' will soon read 1. Brad Fittler and 2. Ivan Cleary. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. Bulldogs ($1.72) over Knights ($2.15) > A good friend of mine had good money on the Bulldogs to make the Finals in 2009 and despite my protests that the comp was mediocre and the Dogs were terrible in 2008... I didn't take the tip and take my own advice that the comp is mediocre and any team was capable of a Finals push with some luck and improvement. The Dogs are in top spot and even if Brett Kimmorley can't play due to leg cork - they should overcome their other big loss of Ben Hannant (the form prop in the comp for mine) and take the points from EnergyAustralia against a Knights side that won't have Kurt Gidley and James McManus on Origin duty and could also be without Junior 'The Biscuit' Sau and Steven Simpson - two influential players on their respective sides of the field. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. Raiders ($2.65) over Rabbitohs ($1.48) > No Terry Campese for Canberra and no John Sutton, Craig Wing and possibly Chris Sandow for South Sydney... this game is evened out significantly by those omissions and despite playing at home the Bunnies will be relying on their forward pack to out muscle the Raiders to get the two points. Canberra opened up their game plan a little against the Warriors but were recipients of a host of soft tries so shouldn't get carried away that they've turned the corner - but a win over the Rabbitohs away from home and maybe it is time to get optimistic about their chances. Marc Herbert had his best game versus the Warriors since he last played the Bunnies late in 2008 and will need to team with possibly Josh Dugan in the Raiders halves to conjure up a tough road win. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. AFL ROUND 10 - 2009 That's it... I refuse to tip the Richmond Tigers Football Club again this season. I think Terry Wallace is a good coach with a playing roster devoid of application to his game plan... or at least application to the fact I've tipped them almost every week! BLUES ($1.24) over EAGLES ($4.20) The Blues may have been humbled in the first half of their loss to the Crows but they will rebound at home with the Eagles in town - West Coast dropped a very winnable game last week to the under-strength Magpies and may have kissed their season goodbye with that loss. Blues to win. BULLDOGS ($1.60) over SWANS ($2.35) If the Bulldogs don't have Gilbee - the Swans at $2.35 will get a lot of interest from punters. He's a vital part of the Bulldogs lineup and the Swans are coming off a sublime display (how long has it been since anyone has said that about the Swans style of play?) to smash Port Adelaide at the SCG. This is at Manuka so the Swans don't really travel for this 'away' game in the sense they've played at this ground in Canberra quite a bit - so they are every chance but I'll pick the Bulldogs right now. LIONS ($1.77) over KANGAROOS ($2.08) Travis Johnstone DROPPED!!! If he wasn't in my Dream Team lineup that wouldn't be significant news. Still the Roos are a team that can get up for a 'must win' then drop a game in a match they are a 50/50 propersition in... this is such a game and the Lions will take a lot of heart from pushing St.Kilda last Sunday. Lions travelling is always a risk but the Roos are tough to back in a 50/50 clash. SAINTS ($1.10) over DEMONS ($7.00) The poor Melbourne Demons... they are getting better but how many more weeks can they 'get better in defeat' and then come up against another AFL powerhouse the very next match. This week they get the 9-0 St.Kilda and are long long odds to make that 9-1. Saints fans Australia wide are starting to get a little worried... their team may actually be in a favourable position to win a flag come September after having to deal with a few seasons in the last five years where they've had a bad dose of 'notquitethereitis'. The thing is their 9-0 record shouldn't be that much of a surprise - they did after all make the Preliminary Final last year! WHARFIES ($1.46) over TIGERS ($2.75) As said in the opening blurb for Round 10 - I'm on a picking the Tigers ban until the end of 2009. For the players, coaching staff and long suffering fans sake - hopefully my lack of backing them sends them through the rest of the season on a 13 match winning streak! RYHIHF if it happens! HAWKS ($1.62) over CROWS ($2.32) Are Hawthorn getting their act together? We'll find out on Sunday when they try and avoid the fate that the Crows dished out to the Blues at AAMI last weekend. Twin towers Franklin and Roughead are the key in this one - they establish a presence up front and the onus will be on the Adelaide tall timber to do the same at the other end... not sure Taylor Walker is capable of winning a game on his own quite yet. CATS ($1.13) over BOMBERS ($6.00) Give the Bombers credit - they are playing good football. But the Cats - even without Chapman and Stokes - rarely lose... at all during the regular season. So it's another round of Catastic* Football this Sunday! * Consider the term 'Catastic' patented from here on. RYHIHF. POWER ($2.55) over MAGPIES ($1.52) Because the Magpies beat a West Coast team that really isn't all that flash and the Power will be smarting from their hiding at the hands of the Swans last Sunday. Power to pick up a huge away win and Mick Malthouse to formerly put his application to coach the Tigers in 2010 before the Richmond board by Monday morning. SUPER 14 SEMI FINALS - 2009 So here we are the 2009 Super 14 Final and it doesn't feature any of the big favourites of the pre-season. No sign of the Sharks, Hurricanes, Crusaders or (gulp) Waratahs - ok not really favourites but made the Final last year so deserve to be on this list for that reason alone. I wrote the Chiefs off after seeing them beaten by a pretty ordinary performing Waratahs team early on in the season but they've got their act together and now travel to Pretoria to face the Bulls who were arguably the most consistent side of the season (not saying much given they finished on top of the table but they were good every week even when they lost). I'll go with the home team Bulls to win although something inside me is telling me to respect the Chiefs for proving me wrong and getting to the Final. 1:30am (AEST time) SATURDAY NIGHT @ PRETORIA, SA BULLS ($1.38) 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, M Delport/G van den Heever. V CHIEFS ($3.10) SQUAD (below predicted team) Backs: M Muliaina (c), L Masaga, R Kahui, C Bruce, D Sweeney, 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, N White, J Willison. BULLS by 3! Good luck with your tips this weekend!

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