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the dropkicks: rugby podcast

Thursday, March 16, 2006
Week Five in Review
Sorry for the lateness of this review post, but circumstances beyond our control meant that our creative instincts were away for repair this past few days. Fortunately they turned up again this morning looking all new and shiny. Whether they still work, however, will only become apparent in the fullness of time.

Anyway, let's get right into our predictions for Week 5, and see how close we got:
- We predicted the Crusaders would beat the Chiefs by 1-12: totally correct (8 Virtual Rugby points). The best game of the Super 14 so far.
- We just knew the Waratahs would beat the Cats by 13+: totally correct (8 Virtual Rugby points). According to all reports, the Cats played exactly like cats. The domestic kind, we're guessing, as we're pretty sure tigers, lions and their ilk would not let the Waratahs get to 50. More likely they'd just eat them.
- We thought that Canberra might put the Sharks to sleep before they even took to the field at Bruce Stadium and that the Brumbies would thump them by 13+ points: we were only partially correct (5 Virtual Rugby points). The Sharks must have had a caseload of V or Red Bull before the match, because they were wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, which is strange for Sharks. It didn't quite help them in the end, unfortunately, as the dozy power of the ACT was able to penetrate even the guarana haze and dull their senses.
- In the battle between two teams hotly contesting the wooden spoon, we thought the Reds would have marginally more idea of where the tryline was than the Force would and would beat them by 1-12: totally correct (8 Virtual Rugby points). We think the contest for the wooden spoon looks an open and shut case. Should any team take that mantle off the Force we fully expect that team to be taken out back, shot, buried, dug up again, shot once more and then rocketed into the sun to prevent any of their taint ever marring this earth ever again.
- We picked the Highlanders to scrape by the Bulls by 1-12: totally incorrect (0 Virtual Rugby points). The Bulls look a likely team (they certainly won't be the ones taken out back come the end of the season), and proved that they will be there or thereabouts. How well they travel will, as always, be the determining factor of whereabouts there is. The Highlanders can be proud of their achievement of 2 wins out of 3 in the Republic, and can look forward to a spell at the House of Pain with some optimism, although the loss of Nick Evans will be a blow. They will hope he doesn't take too long to recover.
- It took a piece of magic by Hosea Gear to even make our guess for the last game of the round even have some semblence of correctness: we thought the Hurricanes would run away against the Stormers by 13+, but the return of Jean de Villiers steeled up the home team and they could be seen to be unlucky to lose by a last minute try: partially correct (5 Virtual Rugby points).
- the Blues and the Cheetahs did a spot of fishing, or golf, or bridge, or full-contact tiddlywinks, or something like that. Whatever it was, it wasn't a game of rugby.

Pick accuracy this week was again 5 out of 6 (or 83%). Grade: B+ (about the same as last week). Can still do better.

Coming up in podcast number 6:

A review of Week 5 of the Super 14

A review of other sport
Six Nations. The first week of the NRL. Gaelic Football. And cricket.

A preview of Week 6 of the Super 14
- The Cats limp off to Jade to take on the Crusaders. Even though the Crusaders are giving a few of their backup players a run-on instead of Richie McCaw, Chris Jack et al, does anyone seriously think that the Cats aren't harbouring thoughts of the high veldt and won't just be going through a damage limitation exercise?
- The Force host the Waratahs at Subiaco. The Force haven't been done any favours by the ARU, who've nicked Cameron Shepherd and Scott Fava for Australia's Rugby 7s gold medal bid at the Commonwealth Games. If this was a war, we'd recommend the Force sue for peace and annex itself immediately to NSW just to save the needless slaughter.
- The Bulls will offer a huge hurdle to the Hurricanes. Still, if any team could pull off the impossible, it would be a team that includes Ma'a Nonu, Lome Fa'atau, Hosea Gear, Piri Weepu, Isaia Toeava and the Jerry and Rodney show. It will all come down to how well the forwards can contain the monsters in the Bulls front five. Game of the round.
- The Blues come off the bye to find themselves staring down the impressive Brumbies. Can the Blues turn their season around, or has the hydraulic fluid all leaked out of their power-assisted rack-and-pinion mechanism? We will find out come Saturday evening.
- The Sharks continue their tour of the Antipodes with a trip to the House of Pain that they must really look forward to. Will the fact that the Highlanders are missing their pivotal first-five affect them? We wonder if they are wishing that Tony Brown disappear into a ruck at the start of the game and mysteriously come up wearing a blue-and-gold jumper with a number 10 on the back?
- Will the Stormers continue their resurgence against the fresh Cheetahs? This game is almost too close to call.

What else?
Athlete of the Week, Dick of the Week, No Pun Intended and Wacky Round the World continues to entertain with tales of wonder and what-the-hell-are-they-thinking from all corners of the globe.

Virtual Super 14 Update
The Dropkicks dropped 680 places to be lying 34,557th. Which, perversely, is actually quite a nice place to be lying. Not too high to suffer from a lack of oxygen, but high enough to get nice panoramic views. One day we might come back here, but not before we check out the very top. Rest assured, we will be making it there soon, oh ye of little faith.

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