Thursday, 11 June 2009
NRL Tips Round 14 2009 - AFL Tips Round 12 2009 - Wallabies Test Schedule 2009
If you are looking for AFL Round 14 & NRL Round 17 Previews click here 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 AFL split round is upon us and apparently the NRL is rife with Swine Flu.... could just be me but surely the AFL would be facing a mass swine flu epidemic given they have predominantly Victorian clubs! As one leading NRL doctor said - it is basically regular flu - not good for you but no different to regular flu. And for those wondering at home - cold and flu are definitely not the same thing. It appears Ben Hannant (left of the Bulldogs) played last Wednesday's State of Origin Opener with the virus... leading to the crazy events of the last week where everyone who walked past Docklands has to be treated for the flu as a result. On to the footy! 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 Match Previews below. NRL ROUND 14- 2009 Previews to come but only a few games are 'cut and dried' for mine and knowing my track record tipping certainties this year - the Titans and Storm are in big trouble as favourites. WARRIORS over KNIGHTS > Without Kurt Gidley the Knights will need to be at the top of their game to challenge a Warriors team that will be smarting from their pathetic showing in the opening half against the Sharks. Stacey Jones plays his 250th First Grade game and is finally partnered in the halves by the Warriors best option at five-eighth in Lance Hohaia. If Gidley was playing the Knights could have had my pick given the way the Warriors have gone recently but the Jones-Hohaia combo tips the scales to the Warriors in this rare Friday Night game in Auckland. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. BULLDOGS over BRONCOS > IF this game is played then I'm thinking that the Bulldogs at full strength are a really strong selection in this game at Suncorp. Only Ben Hannant is in any doubt recovering from the flu but all indications are he will play, while the Broncos may be without Karmichael Hunt and winger Antonio Winterstein with the virus. Add into the mix the absence of Joel Clinton (discipline) and Justin Hodges (injury) and this is a game that the Dogs could really snatch from Brisbane. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. TITANS over ROOSTERS > Massive opportunity for the Roosters here - despite their horrible last month or so of football. The Titans will be coming down from an emotional high after holding off the Dragons on MNF and won't have two key players in injured pair Mat Rogers and Luke Bailey. Although the Roosters are without Willie Mason with knee soreness they are a big chance in this game. Still I can't pick them given how they play at the moment so the Titans here. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. SEA EAGLES over PANTHERS > Michael Jennings could be a late inclusion and if he is the Panthers will like their chances despite the absence of Luke Lewis (injury). The Sea Eagles may not have Jamie Lyon for the trip to CUA and he would be a key omission for this one. Manly have just had the bye which they needed to refresh after a draining opening 12 weeks of the competition and I just feel like they are going to be too good for the Panthers. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. STORM over RABBITOHS > This game is being played at night and away from ANZ Stadium = so avoid the Rabbits like the plague. I got sucked in by the names on the team-sheet last weekend in Townsville but it won't happen this week as the names on the team-sheet for the Storm are far more impressive and they smoked the Broncos by 40 points last Friday. Storm here in Perth - which is nice to see. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. RAIDERS over SHARKS > Must win for the Raiders if they have any serious desire to feature in Finals football in 2009, and amazingly a win here for the Sharks makes them mathematically a chance as well. Canberra were very impressive beating the Rabbitohs before their second bye and the return of Terry Campese from Origin duty really bolsters their attack for this one. Sharks have two wins on the trot but the streak ends in Canberra. Last 5 Head to Head: DRAGONS over COWBOYS > This game will tell us one of two things. One - are the Dragons falling slightly off the pace they've been setting so far in 2009 if they lose consecutive games to the Titans and Cowboys and Two - if the Cowboys don't win can I happily declare them no chance for a premiership? Might sound weird saying that in June but the Cowboys are the ultimate front runners and as good as Johnathan Thurston is playing lately - I want to see him do it when the Dragons are up by two or three tries at halftime. I still don't believe he's a guy who can inspire his team to chase down big deficits and until the Cowboys pull off a win that way - I don't believe in him or the Cowboys for a title anytime soon. Dragons in Wollongong. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. TIGERS over EELS > The Tigers are on a 5 match losing streak and the Eels are unbeaten in 3 of their last 5 (two wins and a draw) but I still have zero confidence that the Eels are about to turn the corner and make a playoff push in 2009. They've signed two props for next year which is nice but the team they play on MNF will be thankful Justin Poore and Shane Shackleton aren't available this week. The Tigers have two dynamic players in Benju Marshall and Robbie Farah and the Eels have one that has appeared in the past 6 weeks in Jarryd Hayne. Take the two over the one. Last 5 Head to Head: To be added. AFL ROUND 12 - 2009 Split Round time - and a smarter idea there could not be in the middle of a gruelling 22 game schedule. The AFL make time for a bye when it counts - mid-season but the NRL hides behind the rep game schedule as a reason they can't take weeks off... SAINTS over BLUES Saints for the dozen on the trot? Don't discount the Blues just because the Saints have 11 straight wins, discount them because the Blues only have 6. Saints to win, Blues must lead into halftime to be a chance. BULLDOGS over POWER The Western Bulldogs take this game to Darwin and with their engine room running nicely it is hard to see a currently struggling Power team keeping up. Daniel Motlop is back for the Power but that only really matters to me as he's in my Dream Team. Watch for Cooney, Boyd and Gilbee to run riot... again they're in my Dream Team. TIGERS over EAGLES Preview to come with my overturning of the Tigers to win. That first sentence is now redundant... I'm taking the TIGERS! They are now sure to lose and the Eagles are the best things since sliced bread but - West Coast away... hard to back. HAWKS over LIONS If the Lions get some midfield run early and build a lead it is possible the Hawks won't have the legs to bounce back. Franklin and Roughead are trying hard without being influential and until they breakout the Hawks will be a second tier team behind the Saints and Cats. But look I've tipped Hawthorn anyway because they are at home. KANGAROOS over CROWS I've said this before - the Roos are a great tip when they are not expected to beat a team above them on the ladder not named Geelong (or this year St.Kilda). Dean Laidley just finds something to put in the Gatorade midweek and by the weekend the boys are jumping at the chance to show the media they aren't done with yet. The Crows have been great of late with 3 straight wins but no Simon Goodwin is a huge hole to fill for Adelaide and my Dream Team! Next week: BOMBERS over DEMONS Preview to come. SWANS over MAGPIES Preview to come. CATS over WHARFIES Preview to come. WALLABIES TEST SERIES WINTER 2009 Australia dealt with the Barbarians easily in the second half last Saturday night and will face emerging nation Italy in Canberra this Saturday. It is not only good to see the Canberra faithful get some Test Rugby but also it will be interesting to see how former League star Craig Gower goes in the union code. Here is the Test Schedule for Winter 2009: June 6 Sydney 7:30pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v Barbarians Won 55-7 June 13 Canberra 7.30pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v Italy June 20 Melbourne 8.00pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v Italy June 27 Sydney 8.00pm (EST) Bundaberg Rum Series v France July 18 Auckland 5.35pm (EST) Tri-Nations v New Zealand August 8 Cape Town 11.00pm (EST) Tri-Nations v South Africa August 22 Sydney 8.05pm (EST) Tri-Nations v New Zealand August 29 Perth 8.05pm (EST) Tri-Nations v South Africa September 5 Brisbane 8.05pm (EST) Tri-Nations v South Africa September 19 Wellington 5.35pm (EST) Tri-Nations v New Zealand Good luck with your tips this weekend!
By W D Nicolson