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Air New Zealand Cup 2009

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Not sure if we want a competition this year on the Superbru site like last year, or if we use the forum for predictions and add the points up ourselves? The competition starts Thursday night (in NZ).

The TAB have Canterbury, Wellington, Auckland and Waikato as the best chances to make the semi finals and its difficult to disagree too much with that, though I'm sure Hawkes Bay will again prove a challenge to beat, and I've higher hopes with Otago than in the last couple of years.

If we want to do predictions on the forum, week one's draw is as follows:
Tasman vs Taranaki
Bay of Plenty vs Northland
Wellington vs Otago
Hawkes Bay vs Auckland
North Harbour vs Canterbury
Southland vs Waikato
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau

Wellington vs Otago the best match of the opening round IMO, with the Ranfurly Shield on the line.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
Don't get to watch many games of this due to a lack of foxsports, gun competition though.

Tasman vs Taranaki
Bay of Plenty vs Northland
Wellington vs Otago
Hawkes Bay vs Auckland
North Harbour vs Canterbury
Southland vs Waikato
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau
 

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
Er...it starts Thursday 30th, I thought? (Bit of a shame as that means the knockouts collide with Tests against Oz and Wales :dry: )

Hope Guildford has a storming season.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Er...it starts Thursday 30th, I thought? (Bit of a shame as that means the knockouts collide with Tests against Oz and Wales :dry: )

Hope Guildford has a storming season.
Haha - you're quite right, looks like I was a bit too keen to post the topic up! :ph34r:
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
HDS ran a tipping comp via the SuperBru website last season (see sig for winner :happy:), if there's any interest we could do it again?
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Up to you guys if you want to have the competition on Superbru or here, really doesn't bother me.

For the record my picks for week one:
Taranaki
Bay of Plenty
Wellington
Hawkes Bay
Canterbury
Waikato
Manawatu
 

Magrat Garlick

Global Moderator
Tasman vs Taranaki
Bay of Plenty vs Northland
Wellington vs Otago
Hawkes Bay vs Auckland
North Harbour vs Canterbury
Southland vs Waikato
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau

oops, same tips as Somerset. Didn't look, honest.
 
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Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
Tasman vs Taranaki
Bay of Plenty vs Northland
Wellington vs Otago
Hawkes Bay vs Auckland
North Harbour vs Canterbury
Southland vs Waikato
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Tasman
Bay of Plenty
Wellington
Hawkes Bay
Canterbury
Southland
Manawatu


Nice to see Volty get behind his boys early doors. :ph34r:
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Tasman vs Taranaki
Bay of Plenty vs Northland
Wellington vs Otago
Hawkes Bay vs Auckland
North Harbour vs Canterbury
Southland vs Waikato
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau

Chaos in the BoP camp this week. Northland have a good chance to upset them, even without the legend that is David Holwell. Lachie Munro has big boots to fill. Tempted to tip Tasman to turn Taranaki as the Naki boys will be without Jason Eaton and last year's top try talent, Paul Perez.

Auckland look to have an awful squad this year. Wouldn't be surprised to see them tank again. And would enjoy it if they do. Canterbury could struggle too, would be tipping against them if North Harbour weren't a shambles as well.

Otago have made some interesting signings over the off season. Michael Witt could be a bloody useful player at this level. Wellington have a point to prove after losing to Manawatu in pre-season and in turn, the Turbos look a solid unit. Look out for Cruden.

Can we include the Heartland Championship in the tipping comp when this starts up too? Should add a bit more to the tourney and I am, as usual, planning a few NPC grand tours this year. Taranaki & King Country one weekend, Manawatu & Hawke's Bay the next and also a trip to Otago/Canterbury/Tasman for another weekend.
 

Smudge

Hall of Fame Member
I'd love to tip the Heartland Championship as well - some of the most enjoyable rugby I've seen has been in the Heartland - but it may be a bit tough on our overseas pals to consider the relative merits of East Coast v South Canterbury. Maybe those of us who want to tip, can tip it, and that can be worked out as a sub-comp?
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Tasman vs Taranaki
Bay of Plenty vs Northland
Wellington vs Otago
Hawkes Bay vs Auckland
North Harbour vs Canterbury
Southland vs Waikato
Manawatu vs Counties Manukau

Chaos in the BoP camp this week. Northland have a good chance to upset them, even without the legend that is David Holwell. Lachie Munro has big boots to fill. Tempted to tip Tasman to turn Taranaki as the Naki boys will be without Jason Eaton and last year's top try talent, Paul Perez.

Auckland look to have an awful squad this year. Wouldn't be surprised to see them tank again. And would enjoy it if they do. Canterbury could struggle too, would be tipping against them if North Harbour weren't a shambles as well.

Otago have made some interesting signings over the off season. Michael Witt could be a bloody useful player at this level. Wellington have a point to prove after losing to Manawatu in pre-season and in turn, the Turbos look a solid unit. Look out for Cruden.

Can we include the Heartland Championship in the tipping comp when this starts up too? Should add a bit more to the tourney and I am, as usual, planning a few NPC grand tours this year. Taranaki & King Country one weekend, Manawatu & Hawke's Bay the next and also a trip to Otago/Canterbury/Tasman for another weekend.
After hearing of BOP's coaching debacle this week, and decidedly average pre-season results, I was almost tempted to change my selection; but I can't see Northland without Holwell - and possibly Justin Collins for their first match, who hasn't featured in a pre-season game yet - winning on the road against the BOP and earning a first-up win. They've also signed an ex-league player in the form of Clinton Toopi who, like Witt and Shortland, will be worth watching.

Not surprised to see so many of us tipping Hawkes Bay to beat Auckland, HB look to have an excellent side this year with Danny Lee's retirement and Bryn Evans' AB duties their only real losses. Thomas Waldrom and Ross Kennedy are quality forward reinforcements for the Bay. Not sure about Auckland, initially I was impressed at their pre-season performances but glancing over their side inexperience is hugely evident. A lot will rest on the likes of Haiu, Lowrey, Jay Williams, Benson Stanley and Paul Williams for them to make the top four.

Fully agree that Cruden will be a standout this year, though I still see Manawatu battling with Counties for the wooden spoon. I also considered Tasman to beat Taranaki but I rate the Naki and their pre-season form has been good. Its a shame they'll be without Perez for the opening game but a backline containing Ripia, Austin and Hayward should still be able to create opportunities.

And keen to do Heartland Championship predictions once thats underway too. ;)
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Northerners should just harden up with respect to the Heartland Champs if they have a problem. It should (in theory) be easier to tip than the ANZ Cup.

My main worry looking at the Auckland team sheet is that Bowden looks like first choice first-five. I don't rate Bowden at all. If you take out the Auckland players likely to be on All Blacks duty, their team looks - simply - poor.

I heard that Justin Collins was likely to miss a large chunk of the season for Northland. Losing Collins and Holwell is a huge wealth of talent in just two players for a smaller province to cope with.

I'm quietly hoping Otago give Wellington a big push this weekend. Looks a decent Otago squad on paper. Could the Blue & Golds spring a surprise first up? We had some big shocks in last year's first round of matches. In comparison, an Otago win would be small-fry.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Bowden's definitely the first choice first five, Ash Moeke is the other option and there was a distinct gap between Holwell and Moeke for Northland last year. In saying that, Moeke did kick the penalty for Northland that denied Auckland a bonus point in the final minute of the final match between Auckland and Northland last year, meaning Auckland missed out on a quarter final, so I suppose that sort of composure shouldn't be underestimated.

Just interested in your answer to this question Heath - why do Wellington not have a reserve half back behind Alby Mathewson in their squad? Obviously Weepu would provide that option after the Tri Nations but thats in almost two months so it seems a rather unnecessary risk to go into the campaign with no back-up for Mathewson - unless I'm missing someone from their team list that can cover the position.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Riki Tipuna, former BOP halfback, is in the Wellington reserves for this game, so...
Thats interesting because he wasn't named in their official squad...
Dane Coles, Jacob Ellison, Tamati Ellison, Fa'atonu Fili, Robert Fruean, Scott Fuglistaller, Hosea Gear, Michael Hobbs, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Alapati Leiua, Faifili Levave, Serge Lilo, Matt Luamanu, Alby Mathewson, Motu Matu'u, Api Naikatini, Charlie Ngatai, Anthony Perenise, Buxton Popoalii, Damiel Ramsay, Mark Reddish, Ged Robinson, John Schwalger, David Smith, Jeremy Thrush, Shaun Treeby, Victor Vito.
 

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