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Posts Tagged ‘NSW Waratahs

Super 14 Week 3 Report – Australian teams

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After the first three weeks of Super 14 rugby, we are starting to get a feel for who has what it takes to make the finals and who will be stuck at the bottom of the table come May. And there are  a few surprise positions on the ladder. Here is a look at how the Australian teams are traveling:

The Australian teams are going well as a whole with three teams in the top four and none in the bottom five. The Waratahs are showing again why they are title contenders (as they have been the last few years with without going all they way), but are being accused as being boring by almost everyone from the public to the media to rival teams. They did start to show a bit more flair in their win over the Highlanders, and entertaining or not, they are winning and sit second on the ladder. They are a very well-drilled, well-structured side and should head towards the tournament’s final weeks without dropping too many games.

The Force are surprisingly fourth on the ladder after their win over the Brumbies on the weekend. With the announcement of star playmaker Matt Giteau moving back the Brumbies next year adding to the reports of infighting and tension over in Perth since this year’s pre-season, the Force were considered outsiders to win in Canberra, but with a fantastic turn by fullback Cameron Shepherd, who scored 3 tries, they achieved a great win in the face of diversity. If the players can ignore all the outside distraction, they possibly could do very well this season, but a middle-of-the-table finish is the likely outcome.

The Brumbies are solid at the moment with 2 wins and 1 loss, but will be shocked their loss the the Force at home, a game they thought was very much in their favour up until the whistle blew to start the match. The Brumbies are usually a solid bet to make the top 4 of Super Rugby, or at least stay in the top half of the ladder, but whether they can repeat that this year will rely heavily on whether their young flyhalf Christian Lealiifano, who is in the shoes that were filled by Wallaby great Stephen Larkham for so many years.

Finally the Reds will be looking to throw off the shackles of the bottom end of the table where they have been for the past few years. With a backline that finally looks like they could do some damage, the Reds will have to start making a move up the table very soon if they want to show they are finals contenders. The big grudge match against their southern neighbours the Waratahs this friday could be the litmus test for how their season ends up


Written by Dale Weber

Tuesday, 3 March, 2009 at 7:42 pm