Original Pierre

Super 14 preview: the Aussie teams

Written by Pierre Teich (Original Pierre)

Posted in :Original Content, Super 14 on 20 Jan 2010 at 12:50
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The long wait is over. At last we have some squads to compare and analyze.

So what does the competition look like this year?

I`ll start off with the Australian threat:

Western Force : They now boast the services of one Andre Pretorius. While he is no Matt Giteau he`ll certainly bring some experience to them. Question on everyone`s lips : How long can he last in the toughest rugby competition in the world?

The Force have traditionally been a running team, would Pretorius change their approach?

With the exciting Ryan Cross, Mark Bartholomeusz and James O`Connor outside him it would a complete waste to kick everything away.

Possible XV:

O`Connor, Shepherd, Cross, Harris, Bartholomeusz, Pretorius, Sheehan, Brown, Pocock, Sharpe, Stanford, Hodgson, Cowan, Whittaker and Dunning.

They have to face a very talented Brumbies team in the first round, could they bounce back from what could conceivably be a very poor start at home?

Prediction: The talismanic Giteau will be sorely missed and they`ll slump to Eleventh position.

Then we have the new threat that is the Brumbies. In the off season they`ve acquired the services of Rocky Elsom and Matt Giteau. Add these talented players to the likes of Mortlock and George Smith and you have a serious contender again. It seems coach Andy Friend would have his hands full deciding who to leave out of the team, a problem few other coaches have to struggle with.

Their front row might not be the most impressive in the competition but they know every trick in the book. They have an experienced lock combination in Chisholm and Harrison and boast a loose three that includes Elsom plus still one of the best fetchers in the game . . . George Smith.

Would they move Matt Giteau to inside centre and start with Matt Toomua who looked more than competent in the few chances he had with them and Western Province last year?

The Brumbies have to travel away to the Bulls and Waratahs but have the Crusaders at home in the last round robin fixture that could decide their fate in the semi`s.

Possible starting XV :

Ashley-Cooper, Fainifo, Mortlock, Smith, Taumoepeau, Giteau, Valentine, Hoiles, Smith, Chisholm, Harrison, Elsom, Alexander, Moore, Ma`afu.

Prediction : Semi Final

The Waratahs always have all the potential but somehow fall by the wayside a bit as the competition wears on.

Their most important acquisition would be Berrick Barnes who joined them from Queensland.

Their first match against the Reds, in Brisbane should be an interesting affair as it pits Barnes against Quade Cooper.

Traditionally the `Tahs have always had the best scrum of the Aussie competitors and while their lock combination might not be on par with the Brumbies, they certainly won`t shy away at the breakdown point with players like Waugh and Palu at their disposal. Also look out for their new lock signing from the Bulls, Hendrik Roodt.

Their forwards will see them right into the thick of this competition, but would their centre pair be good enough to deliver the knock-out punch when needed? I might be sticking my neck out here but I`m going to predict another mid-table finish.

Possible XV:

Mitchell, Anesi, Carter, Halangahu, Turner, Barnes, Burgess, Palu, Waugh, Caldwell, Jowitt, Mumm,Baxter, Polota-Nau, Robinson.

It has been a while since the Reds made any real impact in the competition, 2001 in fact, when they reached a semi-final.

They now have Ewen McKenzie back to guide them through what could potentially be a long super 14 season for them.

They have a dangerous centre combination in Turinui and Digby Ioane with the likes of Peter Hynes on their outside.

Will Genia should be a real threat around the break-down so he`ll have to be watched but the question mark over their forwards would be a worry for coach Ewen. Scott Higginbotham was impressive last year at flank, he seemed to have the knack to keep a lot of opposition team players busy but I fear as a unit they won`t have enough to mount a serious challenge.

Possible XV :

Fetoai, Hynes, Ioane, Turinui, Morahan, Cooper, Genia, Houston, Braid, Horwill, Byrnes, Higginbotham, Holmes, Hardman and Edwards.

Prediction : Thirteenth

To summarize, while the Waratahs could be a difficult hurdle to negotiate, the main threat from Australia should be the Brumbies, but expect the Force and Reds to pull off their customary couple of surprise victories against big contenders.


  • What an awesome first article! Thank, Original Pierre… this is great.

    Man, but the Brumbies are going to be a frightening prospect this year. The Tahs are still my dark horse for the title, though.

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.01.10 12:52:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :


    They have Carter AND Chris Jack!!! 😯

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.01.10 13:11:12 by wpw Reply
  • Good teams all round, but they have no depth in any of their sides and that is huge in a competition that goes for 3 odd months!! They are definitely building, but have not had much impact on the competition since the Force started.

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.01.10 13:14:54 by Whindy Reply
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  • I thought Toomua was with the Stormers. πŸ˜•

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.01.10 13:45:40 by klempie Reply

  • What kinda name is Berrick anyway? πŸ˜•

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.01.10 13:47:15 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 4) : just a loan deal for the Currie Cup

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.01.10 13:47:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • Great article man! I tend to agree with your predictions although i think the waratahs will be semifinalists or even possible title contenders

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.01.10 13:48:38 by war1 Reply
  • Mid-table finish for Tahs. Big call. πŸ˜•

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.01.10 13:48:57 by klempie Reply

  • @klempie (Comment 5) : we actually saw this suggested in a “baby names” book… it reckons that if you want a truly unique name for your child, start with a well-known name and just change the first letter. Hence Derrick becomes Berrick.

    My wife wanted to go with Jethro, but start it with D instead of J πŸ™‚

  • Comment 9, posted at 20.01.10 13:49:00 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Ah.

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.01.10 13:49:20 by klempie Reply

  • who’s coaching the Tahs?

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.01.10 13:49:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • op, i would switch the log positions of the reds and force around. the reds youngsters showed a lot of promise last year, and this year they are that year wiser. the force on the other hand has lost its gusto.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.01.10 13:51:22 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : πŸ˜†

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.01.10 13:51:50 by klempie Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : Chris Hickey with Michael Foley as his assistant

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.01.10 13:53:59 by war1 Reply
  • @try time (Comment 12) : Reds have a top coach this year as well.

    @war1 (Comment 14) : ah yes, ok.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.01.10 13:56:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • Brumbies looking very good. I don’t think they should move around Giteau, he can be really brilliant at 10. Also Tahs may get bit more exciting with Barnes. The rest won’t feature much methinks.

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.01.10 14:02:45 by rekinek Reply
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  • @rekinek (Comment 16) : I don`t think they`ll move Giteau around much, unless it`s really needed.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.01.10 15:11:52 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • the big question mark is how are they going to react under a new coach. very few coaches get it right in their first year.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.01.10 15:15:05 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 18) : sorry the big question over the TAHS is…

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.01.10 15:15:36 by try time Reply

  • ha ha ha, i just saw what waratahs reads backwards.

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.01.10 15:16:54 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 18) : Well lets hope they don`t either !

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.01.10 15:28:06 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @try time (Comment 20) : You have way too much time on your hands…

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.01.10 15:34:46 by klempie Reply

  • @Original Pierre (Comment 21) : good to remember that one :mrgreen:

    @try time (Comment 19) : πŸ™„

    @klempie (Comment 22) : maybe he watches less cricket :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.01.10 15:40:28 by rekinek Reply
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  • The Reds backline will include Will Chambers who played in the centre for The Melbourne Storm all last year.

    The Reds will be the surprise package of the Aus teams, Tah’s will do little.

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.01.10 08:12:40 by JB Reply

  • Aussies final log standings:
    4. Brumbies
    6. Waratahs
    11.Western Force

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.01.10 08:24:12 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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  • @Jarson’s (X + V) (Comment 25) : with that said, I predict that the Cheetahs will finish in last position with the Lions in 12th place :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.01.10 08:27:29 by Jarson's (X + V) Reply
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