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Nathe's NPC Preview, Week 9
Nathe's NPC Preview, Week 9
(Last week will be crucial)
09 Oct 2002
[NPC]
I remember that I called week 6 the best round of them all when I did the preview for that week, well that may have been so but as is so often the case it will be the final round that will prove the most crucial. Again we've got some crackerjack matchups. The playoff for the best 4 looms large and it's time to find who will be staying in division 1 and who will need to fight for it another day. Nathe's Preview Column takes you inside!

Friday, 11 October 14:35
Wet Windy Wastelands vs Dorkland
Wellington

The 4th and 5th placed teams play one another in the quarterfinal. The winner will likely finish 4th, the loser will likely not progress. So many times the Wastelands have played the Dorks in both NPC and S12 and so many times they have come up short. The shortest they have came up in recent memory was in February when the Hurricanes got shat on 60-7 at the same venue as on Friday. I'd expect a better result than that this time! We blew those Old Timers out of the water last week with everyone showing some great touches - the sooner they realise that Steinmetz is better than Alatini the better, I say. Dorklanders probably won't like to admit it, but they are a very similar team to the Wastelands these days. Aggressive loosies, a young tight 5, decent inside backs, flashy #11-15's and a fair dollop of inconsistancy. The Tab has the head to head inseperable: Wastelands $1.87, Dorkland $1.87. I have to go with the homeside though - I can hardly tip against them in such an important match! Anyone who watches will get a good night's entertainment - 8 tries is my prediction. As for rugbycomp, Wastelands by 1-7.

Saturday, 12 October 14:35
Dairy Farmers WITHOUT Bells vs Northern Dorkland
New Plymouth

The one fixture that doesn't really matter other than for pride. Neither team are in relegation danger, neither team have a chance of making the 4. Colin Cooper's last game as an NPC coach this one. One would have to say he's had a pretty good time given that it's not a S12 franchise city that he's coaching. The Naki boys will be keen to give him a rousing send-off at the Bread Bin. The Farmers ought to win given the emotion of the game, the home crowd and their better quality tight 5. They've got some great talent coming through in the backs of that team as well. If they can hold on to them, the future of the amber and blacks looks bright. Farmers by 8-14.

Saturday, 12 October 17:35
Bay of Old Timers vs Dairy Farmers WITH Bells
Tauranga

The Wastelands got some revenge for last season's game against the Bay by running in umpteen tries and 74 points. The Farmers with Bells are likely to do the same, but I think it unlikely that they'll concede so many as 20 or score so few as 74. I wouldn't be surprised if 120 is cracked in this game. Give the ball to any of their impressive backs and they'll find a try somewhere. Stack your fantasyrugby team with the Mooloos as they reap a try-scoring bonanza; I know I will. Dairy Farmers WITH Bells by Twenty-Six Billion.

Saturday, 12 October 19:35
Sheep Shaggers vs Speights Guzzlers
Christchurch
RANFURLY SHIELD CHALLENGE

The Guzzlers were made to look very ordinary last week against the Dorks. To concede 50 points is bound to damage a bit of grizzly-high-country pride South of the Waitaki. The red-and-blacks continue to shag everyone in their road (and the wooly creatures grazing on the sides of the road as well, of course) and one would expect this to continue at Jade Stadium on Saturday. Not that it's any of my business in these South Island affairs, but I'm really starting to feel a bit sorry for the Guzzlers. They keep losing to their northern cousins at every opportunity; Super 12 round robin, Super 12 finals, NPC round robin, NPC finals, Ranfurly Shield... they must be just baying for some Cantab blood. I bet a victory here would go down almost as good as a cold Speights after a hard day on the mountains but after their performance last week I'm doubtful. These teams are likely to meet again next week; either at the Brook or back at Jade again depending on the result. Sheep Shaggers by 8-14.

Sunday, 13 October 14:35
Oyster Chompers vs Wop Wops
Auckland

RELEGATION - it's a horrible word and not one that any union likes to hear about it's team. But like it or not, relegation is what is staring both these teams square in the eyes. The two arse-ends of the country clash with their destinies in their own hands. Win, and you're safe. Lose, and you probably aren't especially if you're the Wop Wops. The Oyster Chompers have claimed two big scalps this season - the Wastelands and the Farmers WITHOUT Bells so I think they deserve their spot in Div 1. At home they're a different prospect to when they're travelling, so I'll tip the Southerners. Oyster Chompers by 1-7 and the Wop Wops to be the ones to claim the spoon.

Standings after week 8

Dairy Farmers WITH Bells34
Sheep Shaggers30
Speights Guzzlers28
Dorkland27
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Wet Windy Wastelands26
Dairy Farmers WITHOUT Bells19
Northern Dorkland16
Bay of Old Timers9
Oyster Chompers9
Wop-Wops6
by

Let us know what you think!

NZ has two arses!?! Incredible!

And the Mooloos will beat the Bay by 26 Billion!?! That's even more than the Crusaders ran up against the Horratahs earlier in the year! (oh how I love bringing that up every chance I get!!)

Supposedly this article has been viewed 1230 times since we bothered to start counting*.
(Although it could have just been on the Reload button doing some serious ego padding!)