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Rugby League World - Grand Finals Issue

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Gruff

Member Since 04 May 2005
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:54 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Four Nations: Australia squad discussion thread

16 October 2014 - 09:43 AM

Widdop is yet to prove that he's better than Cronk and DCE. Hopefully he will this year.

 

 

I think Widdop has already done that by his placing in the Dally M's.

 

Regardless of what anyone's thoughts are on these you can't ignore that Widdop came 4th behind Thurston, Hayne and Burgess, the three players widely regarded as the best in the world right now.

 

Him and DCE are on the same level for me.


In Topic: Four Nations: Australia squad discussion thread

15 October 2014 - 03:30 PM

All moot without a decent 6 and 7.

 Good job we have Widdop - the best 6 in the tournament as shown by the Dally M table standings.  Smith is a decent 7 too.  Probably the third best in the tournament, but still capable.


In Topic: Four Nations: Australia squad discussion thread

15 October 2014 - 03:28 PM

The Samoans have some very big units as well. isn't that man mountain from Saints in their side.

They have, but guys like Masoe are bash em up merchants who last for 10-20 min.  The difference with the English props are that they are all as big, are at least 60min players and have a wide range of skills; Graham has the full package, the Burgess boys have the footwork and strength, and Hill has the engine.


In Topic: Four Nations: England squad discussion thread

15 October 2014 - 01:54 PM

Really excited about this - think we have a genuine chance given the make up of all the squads and each game should be a close one.

 

Looking at the potential spine of each team;

 

Aus 1,6,7,9 - Inglis, DCE, Cronk, Smith - this is the best spine in the tournament and all played together in a losing origin team

NZ 1,6,7,9 - Hiku, Foran, Johnson, Luke - For me this is the second best purely due to the fact Foran and Johnson have played together for NZ before.  However, Foran has not had the best season and Johnson has flashes of brilliance and mediocrity in similar amounts.  Luke is better playing on the front foot - something I don't think the NZ forwards will give him

Eng 1,6,7,9 - Tomkins, Widdop, Smith, Clark - A new spine who have not played together before.  Tomkins and Widdop are world class, so it is up to Smith and Clark to step up - time will tell if they can.

 

Wingers

 

Eng - Hall and Burgess - Best wing pair for me. Hall is world class and Burgess is world class in the making.  Both still young and Hall has plenty of experience

Aus - Mansour and Tupou - Both had excellent seasons and will be looking to prove something on this world stage

NZ - Nightingale and Vatuvei - both experienced enough but age is not on their side and have dropped down a notch or two, hence I think this is the weakest pairing.

 

Centres

 

With Hayne's withdrawal this means Aus will probably have Jennings and Walker.  If they decide to go with Inglis at centre then they are undoubtedly the best pairing, but if not then I think all three teams (Aus - Jennings/Walker, Eng - Watkins/Shenton, NZ - SKD/Whare) are on a par.

 

Props

 

Eng - Graham, Hill, T.Burgess, G.Burgess are the best prop rotation by a country mile and should get England on the front foot

NZ - Bromwich and Moa are excellent and Matagi and taupau can be class on their day - only second due to the lack of props selected by Aus

Aus - Klemmer and Woods only recognised props - obviously Aus are looking to play a more mobile game, but packing the team with second rowers won't be any good if you can't get on the front foot.  I think they have dropped a clanger here.

 

2nd Rows

 

Aus - purely because of the sheer number in their team

Eng - Whitehead and Ferres - personally I believe these two are underrated by many.  Ferres was excellent in the WC and Whitehead is one of the best 2nd rowers in the game.  J.Tomkins on the bench is probably - solid but unspectacular and can cover centre

NZ - Eastwood and Mannering with Proctor interchanging are solid but will struggle to make an impact.  I rate Eastwood but mannerings great season has been down to the playing off Tomkins - either directly or because of a Tomkins dummy run.

 

Loose

 

Eng/Aus - O'Loughlin and Bird are both class.

NZ - Not sure who they will go for - probably Blair, and whilst he has had a good season is very prone to switching off.

 

All in all I think it will be close with a Aus/Eng final.  For me it will depend on how much the Kiwi's get up for the first game, and how well Smith/Clark fit into Eng's structure.

 

Samoa will do ok,will be close for 60mins against England but will fade after that and receive a smashing off Aus, who will be able to rest key players prior to their anticipated final attendance.


In Topic: Super League: The race for top spot

28 August 2014 - 10:56 AM

My prediction;

 

Games won in Red

 

St Helens (1st): Leeds Rhinos (a), Warrington Wolves (h), Huddersfield Giants (a) - 38 points

Wigan Warriors (2nd): Widnes Vikings (a), Leeds Rhinos (h), Warrington Wolves (h) - 37 Points

Leeds Rhinos (3rd): St Helens (h), Wigan Warriors (a), Hull FC (a) - 36 points

Warrington Wolves (4th): Huddersfield Giants (h), St Helens (a), Wigan Warriors (a) - 36 points

Castleford Tigers (5th): Bradford Bulls (h), Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (h), Catalan Dragons (a) - 38 Points

Huddersfield Giants (6th): Warrington Wolves (a), Hull FC (h), St Helens (h) - 36 points

 

1 - Cas

2 - Saints

3 - Wigan

4 - Leeds

5 - Warrington

6 - Hudds