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Friday, March 21, 2008

My NRL World Week II picks 

I think I'll enjoy my/our lead as it will probably be shortlived as I slip back into mediocrity in the coming weeks. Hell, 5 from 8 is mediocre enough.
I'll expand on my comments which can be found here along with Sportsfreak and League Freak.

Rabbitohs vs Bulldogs
Bulldogs by 8
"A tough one. The Rabbits may just get an awful start to the year and be back to the dark old days.” I'm definately off to my parents tonight so I can watch these games to actually see what sort of shape the Rabbits, Broncos and Roosters are really in. The Bulldogs showed the same attack that they have had for bloody decades with the likes of Mortimer and Lamb and more recently with a side stacked with flair. But then they also showed that tendency to just fold when the opposition got on a roll. Last week they conceded the biggest lead in their history but they have done the same thing many times, just not been in front by as much. Both sides will have a point to prove and the loser may start to worry a touch, especially since neither team will have left Sydney where its damn hard to pick up any points. I'll go for the Bulldogs but having read good things about aspects of the Rabbits game from week one I'm not in the slightest bit confident. Especially after re-reading my Bulldogs comments/pick from their last game last year.

Roosters vs Broncos
Roosters by 4
"Roosters played well last week v an average Rabbitohs team while the Broncos were on fire but at home and against a team which capitulated.”
Both teams face a similar problem in that they won convincingly in week one but v teams that didn't really turn up. This should be a very good game but I think I'll stick with the home team.

Panthers vs Raiders
Panthers by 12
"If they can't bounce back from that hammering to beat a gutsy Raiders team who will try hard then they are heading for a shocker of a year.”
If the Raiders start well then they could well take the points but after watching a fair bit of their game v the Knights when I was flicking over during the Sharks - Sea Eagles game and seeing a bit of the replay later all I seemed to see was them defending. Theyw ere doing it well enough but the Knights aren't exactly leathal. The only other thing I have to go on is that the Panthers were attacking the Broncos line with the score at 16-6 and conceded an intercept. If they'd scored and made it 16-12 the game may have gone a slightly different way. Time will tell.

Knights vs Sea Eagles
Sea Eagles by 6
"The Knights will have gained a lot of confidence from last week but I just don't think they have the team to last for 80 v the Sea Eagles.”
That basically sums it all up. Sea Eagles will be desperate to get the ball rolling and this is a game where they can be expected to do that. If not then I'll be stoked.

Cowboys vs Tigers
Cowboys by 14
"The Cowboys should have way too much for a Tigers outfit that beat a ratshit team last week - especially with the bounce back factor that’s so common in the NRL"
Cowboys should win for the same reason that the Sea Eagles should. Plus they are at home. This must be the no-brainer of the week.

Warriors vs Eels
Warriors by 2
"Somehow the Warriors will grind out a win. I just don't know how yet. I'll tell you after the game.”
After my pick in the Cowboys - Tigers game this pick probably indicates that I indeed have no brain. But we all know that the Warriors can turn it on at home and win more than they lose there. The loss of McKinnon is real bad, as is the loss of Price but they've won with him off at Origin duty before so it's not like they've never missed him. They just need several guys to step up in the forward pack and defend like animals for 80 minutes. Vatuvei not getting near the ball at certain times might help as well.

Storm vs Sharks
Storm by 4
"This will be a very interesting game - fast paced effective football versus slow paced effective football.”
You simply have to pick the Storm at home, but winning at Brookvale is nearly as impressive as winning in Melbourne so maybe the Sharks will have convinced themselves a win is possible. If the Storm don't find a new way of cheating maybe the Sharks could get over the line but I think the Storm will be a bit too clever.

Dragons vs Titans
Titans by 6
"If Nathan Brown didn't fire up the Dragons enough last week they'll never get fired up."
However, I wonder if they have the ability on the park to play the type of game needed. I'm picking the Titans but wouldn't be surprised if the Dragons bounce back to win it by 12 or more. We'll find out about 25 minutes into the game I suspect where many matches start to get blown apart.

25 minutes into round one saw:
Roosters 12 Rabbits 4
Titans 16 Cowboys 6
Bulldogs 8 Eels 0 (err, an exception to every rule)
Sea Eagles 6 Sharks 2 (the way the Sharks were hanging tough and the Sea Eagles were really getting no attacking opportunities was suggesting that an upset was on the cards, especially when they got up 8-6 by halftime).
Raiders 4 Knights 0 (OK, so I've blown this theory out of the water)
Broncos 8 Panthers 6
Tigers 18 Dragons 4
Storm 16 Warriors 6

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