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Friday, May 20, 2005

[Sport] Super 12 final

[[Here for the ‘funny’ Poetry? Click here]]

The Super 12 final between the Crusaders and the Waratahs at Jade Stadium is shaping up to be a good battle. The Crusaders have the better chance at it though because at their heart the Waratahs know they don’t belong in the finals.

This is the failing of many teams. This is why the Chiefs crashed out of last years semis. (Personally I do not like “historical statistics” because the group you are looking at has usually changed. There’s always a first time. Here’s a good one, until their last match the New Zealand Māori had never lost to Australia; does anyone give a shit about that statistic anymore?)

Yeah ok, I know the semis haven’t been played yet, but writing that first paragraph now saves me having to write it later. Both the Bulls and the Hurricanes have played well this season, but neither of them is going to the final (though I would love to see both of them through).

To beat the Crusaders the Hurricanes have to be exceptionally disciplined, play at their utmost ability and in the first minute Jerry Collins has to “accidentally” shoulder-charge Richie McCaw (right in the forehead). Then get one of your big forwards to crash in over the top of Aaron Mauger (pronounced “Major” for some ridiculous reason). Don’t try it to Dan Carter cause it doesn’t seem to work on him. Then lastly get Justin Marshal as angry as you can, and if you could hurt Caleb Ralph in some way that would be good too. Why? because the way to beat the Crusaders is to disrupt their team play. Marshal (as can be seen in many All Black games) plays like a chump when he’s angry (or when he’s not playing with others that make him look good). Mauger is the type of player to go a bit "nuts-o" as well. McCaw has a concussion. And I just do not like Caleb #$%%@# Ralph.

Follow this game plan and victory is all but assured.

Remember how recently there was talk about Rico Gear. It followed this line: “How could Rico Gear go to Nelson just to play for the Crusaders, how despicable of him!” Now all the talk about Gear is: “He’ll be in the All Black squad ahead of an incumbent”. So what happened was, a player of talent moved into from a province where he would not be allowed to start (if play at all), to one where he would be assured a start and now he is up for national selection (he will definitely make it into the NZ Māori). I love that idea. I just hope that he will honour his contract with Nelson Bays and not run out on them as well.

Final score: Crusaders 42, Hurricanes 23

Ps. I realised last night that I have the perfect example of why the bonus point system is f*cked.
Two teams play a long hard game which ends in a 20-20 draw. One team scores two converted tries and gets two penalties; the other team gets four unconverted tries. So the first team gets two (2) competition points and the other team gets three (3). It’s still a draw but one team gets more points than the other. Perfect.

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