Anyways, let's take a glance at the 5 crackerjack matches that I'm going to miss this week.
Friday, 20 September 19:35
Dorkland vs Sheep Shaggers
A Dorkland team on fire meets up with a slightly shaky set of Sheep Shaggers. The Farmers with Bells showed how to combat the Shagger gameplan perfectly a couple of weeks back - run the bastards all over the paddock and win over with superior fitness. It remains to be seen if the Dorks can implement this gameplan against good opposition because so far they haven't played a Super 12 franchise side - in fact from now until the end of the comp they play no-one BUT S12 franchise sides. I'm looking foward to the clash between the fullbacks here - or at least I would be if I wasn't f*cking away for the week... An unusual thing to say really, but Carlos and Benji are both such attacking players and this clash may well determine who is wearing a black jersey with a 15 on it come the European tour! Then on top everything is the old rivalry between these two great provinces! I'm picking the Dorks by 8-14 because they look hungrier. The Red and All-Blacks are coming off a superb S12 and international campaign and I get the impression that they may not care about the NPC as much as some of the other teams.
Saturday, 21 September 14:35
Speights Guzzlers vs Dairy Farmers WITH Bells
Two very contrasting teams here. The Farmers with Bells have sent out a pretty clear message to everyone within earshot that they're in the business of scoring more points than their opposition. They don't seem to mind leaking tries just as long as they score plenty themselves. Not a bad tactic if you can implement it sucessfully, especially with bonus points coming into consideration. Those Speights Guzzlers are in the business of making sure that you score less than them, however few tries they score themselves. Of the two teams the Farmers with Bells are undounbtably in better form and they'll be keen to keep their perfect 5 points in every match record intact. I expect the Farmers with Bells to implement the tactics they used against the Shaggers and win quite comfortably. By 8-14 is my prediction.
Saturday, 21 September 14:35
Bay of Old Timers vs Oyster Chompers
Huge match this one. The calibre of the teams is not great, the stadium is not impressive and if you asked me to name a player who plays for either of these teams I probably wouldn't be able to, but this game will really determine who's going to escape relegation and who will have to playoff for their 2003 Division 1 place. These matches have a nasty habit of ending up drawn, but I don't pick draws in Rugbycomp so I'm going with the Oyster Chompers by 1-7 because they already have a win whereas the Old Timers have just got bonus points.
Saturday, 21 September 19:35
Wop-Wops vs Northern Dorkland
It's been a disappointing year for both of these teams to say the least. The Wop-Wops are still stone motherless last after 5 rounds and the Northern Dorks have completely failed to emulate any of last year's heroics. This is probably the least compulsory viewing of the week, but that's not to say it won't be intense out there. It's the last of the Blues derbies and as usual Super 12 places are there to be gotten. The Wop-Wops may finally get their scalp here, but then again they may not. Both teams are playing badly - I'll go with the favourite. Northern Dorks by 8-14.
Sunday, 22 September 14:35
Wet Windy Wastelands vs Dairy Farmers WITHOUT Bells
Another cracker. This may be the last time Colin Cooper comes to Wellington as the enemy for quite some time if he does any good with the Hurricanes. The Wastelands got beaten by the unstoppable Mooloos last weekend which was not entirely unexpected. The standard of tackling was abysmal in that game - I don't know why Mexted was going on about how there were so many great tries when most of them were as a result of a defender missing his man. Maybe because he's an idiot. This game will be huge. Forget Super 12 contracts, the Farmers without Bells have every chance of rolling us here. They haven't done it for 15 years or something ridiculous like that, and they'll be super-keen to change that. This game will prove crucial in the final washup - if the Naki can pull through they may even get a home semifinal, wheras the Wastelands cannot afford to slip up again. I have a nasty feeling that the loss to the Oyster Chompers may come back to haunt us come semifinal time... I'll back my boys to carry on with history, but only just. Wet Windy Wastelands by 1-7.
Standings after week 5
|Dairy Farmers WITH Bells||25|
|Dairy Farmers WITHOUT Bells||18|
|Wet Windy Wastelands||15|
|Bay of Old Timers||5|