Super Rugby tipping Round 5: Bitter infighting week

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert


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    What an explosive week it’s been. It would appear that certain members of the tipping panel have been engaging in underhanded tactics and dodgy background deals with property developers and universities – strange, for an internet-based forum – to oust other tipsters from the panel.

    The result was Paddy and I being told on Monday that we’d been stood down, effective immediately.

    Fortunately, Paddy and I won a court injunction against our wrongful dismissal on Tuesday afternoon and returned to the panel with our heads held high on Wednesday.

    We don’t want to wage half a war with one hand tied behind our back, but if we have to defend ourselves against the faceless tipsters of the panel, we won’t be afraid to do so.

    Of course, the problem would go away if the faceless tipsters of the panel stopped bowing to external pressures and manned up. Or some such.

    Yet one of that will be a distraction for the tips. Or at least not until the results start coming through…

    Harry holds – but doesn’t control – the honour again this week, and Paddy has posed this week’s Big Super Rugby Question.


    Last Week: Harry, Digger, and The Crowd five, Paddy and Brett four.

    Note: no points for the draws last week – we’re here to tip correctly; no half points for participation!

    Harry Jones: “The secret to my early tipping ‘success’ has been to pick before any team sheets are published. The identity of the players adds too much data.

    “This week is fairly simple. Two home teams, six away.

    “The Kings lose, that’s what they do. The Chiefs will run riot. Flip a coin in Melbourne. The Bulls are too fast and heavy for the Sunwolves. The Cheetahs will lose 42-51, and the Brumbies will add to their card collection because apparently they take great offence to Afrikaans chit-chat.

    “The Sharks’ luck will run out. The Jaguares will start their comeback after this round. The Reds will almost beat the Tahs.”

    Tips: Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders, Bulls, Brumbies, Crusaders, Stormers, Waratahs.

    Diggercane: “Canes by plenty.

    “Chiefs should still have too much in the tank for the Force despite the travel, while the Highlanders should put the Rebellion down.

    “Bulls will overcome the Sunwolves in the second half, while I expect the Brumbies to hit back hard against the Cheetahs after last week’s disappointment. I will back the Sharks over the Crusaders at home because the Sharks have had a run of tougher assignments of late, and perhaps are more battle-hardened than the Crusaders who have not been particularly pushed very hard in the last few weeks.

    “I think the Stormers pack will get the job done over the Jaguares as they are more controlled, although if the Jags stop dropping the ball it could easily be reversed. The Tahs should be too much for the Reds, even in Brisbane.”

    Tips: Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders, Bulls, Brumbies, Sharks, Stormers, Waratahs.

    Paddy Effeney: “This week, my reasoning is all in haiku.

    Brett’s note: Um, OK…

    “Faith in teams from South,
    The Land of the Long White Cloud,
    Restored, get my tips.

    “Canes, Chiefs, Highlanders.
    Benefit from confidence.
    Crusaders do not.

    “‘B’ is a new theme.
    Bull and Brumbies to conquer
    Stormers to crumble.

    “My beloved Reds.
    Winless, in last position.
    Waratahs triumph.”

    Tips: Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders, Bulls, Brumbies, Sharks, Jaguares, Waratahs.

    Brett McKay: Simple message to the teams I tip each week: kindly stop losing! You have one job, seriously!

    Hurricanes, Chiefs, Brumbies and Waratahs all seem obvious this week, and for that reason I’m nervous about them.

    I’ve tipped Highlanders, but wouldn’t mind getting it wrong; big chance to see just where the Rebels really are in 2016. The Bulls just aren’t convincing me and this is the week it all clicks for the Moondogs. If the Crusaders were playing the Sharks in the second game of their tour, I’d tip them. But they’re not, so I’m not. Not an endorsement of the Sharks, either.

    And the Jaguares to win Breakfast Rugby 2. They probably should’ve won last week, and the Stormers’ bench isn’t as good as the Chiefs’.

    Tips: Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders, Sunwolves, Brumbies, Sharks, Jaguares, Waratahs.

    The Big Super Rugby Question: After a couple of rounds of topsy-turvy results, has the Super Rugby hierarchy established itself? Or is the picture that’s started to be painted going to be a mere undercoat? (From Paddy.)

    Harry: “Hierarchy is not set in stone yet, but the bottom five will not rise higher than 12th. In the middle of the pack, the Lions, Crusaders, Hurricanes, and Jaguares can still make some noise, or at least spoil someone’s season.

    “In the top five, we see strong contenders. I am not convinced by the Rebels. So, I think maybe we have a second coat.”

    Digger: “The base work is certainly there, but the prep work is not quite complete.

    “Outside the current top eight, the Hurricanes, Waratahs and Jaguares can force their way in, while I have reservations around whether the Rebels can maintain their current position.

    “The side that maybe plastering over the cracks is the Sharks. Stand to have egg all over my face but I am unsure whether they can maintain their current form for the length of the season and remain top of the pops, particularly with a New Zealand tour to complete. We are still in the sanding stage.”

    “For the big question.
    There is much rugby to play.
    Wait just a few weeks.”

    Brett: I reckon we’ve got the hierarchy sorted atop two of the four conferences, yeah. The Stormers are already two wins clear in Africa 1, maybe even only two more wins should lock them down. And the Brumbies still look top dog in Australia, despite last week’s result, and despite the Rebels being on equal points.

    I agree with Harry’s point about the bottom five teams, but I think we knew they would be there anyway. Teams eight to 13 are within one win of each other, but they’re all at least three points off seventh, and that’s going to take some catching. I mean, Blues-Waratahs-Bulls-Jaguares, even if they win, they’re not really going to make up any ground; they’ll still be mid-table.

    So I think we’re beyond undercoat. We’re probably on the second or third layer of undercoat, all the while thinking ahead of what the finished product will look like. Over the next two rounds, we’ll establish the right colour tint, and then the hierarchy will take shape properly.

    The summary

    The Crowd’s tips are in…
    More than 380 responses received, and it was pretty well one-way traffic in the end, with no tips changing hands over the two days.

    99.7% Hurricanes (one solitary Kings vote)
    94.1% Chiefs
    76.6% Highlanders
    77.2% Bulls
    88.3% Brumbies
    55.4% Sharks
    74.0% Jaguares
    78.7% Waratahs

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    The Crowd Says (97)

    • March 24th 2016 @ 5:24am
      Nobrain said | March 24th 2016 @ 5:24am | ! Report

      Sorry you are not coming this weekend to see your Stormers taste a the turf of Velez Stadium Harry!!!! I take the Jaguars because your team just arrive today and your scrum half is injured. I worry about your line and maul but it is not enough.
      The Sharks game is the one I find the harder, if they win they are for real.

      • Roar Guru

        March 24th 2016 @ 8:23am
        Harry Jones said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        Nobrain–I’m stuck in San Francisco (plotting ways to live in Carmel). Stormers need no backline. The Pack will dominate.

        • March 24th 2016 @ 8:49am
          Nobrain said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          You choose a veyr “ugly” place to live, You will hate the golf course nearby!!!!! Say hello to Clint Eastwood from me, I still remember when he run that town. You may be right, we have no front row ( may be Herrera recovers but still doubtful ). Hernandez is injured again so we will not play and will not travel initially to NZ. Just giving you some insights to help make your decisions . Enjoy Carmel.

        • Roar Guru

          March 24th 2016 @ 10:33am
          Machooka said | March 24th 2016 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          Harry… as you’re there in San Fran I do hope you get an opportunity to see the Warriors.
          Every ten years or so along comes a team of exceptional talent. This is one of those teams.

          And agree about the Stormers, no offence to Nobrain, but I think they’ll ride shot gun over the Jags.
          Likewise I’m tipping the ‘Saders to buck the trend of slow starts and slap the Shorks πŸ™‚

          • March 24th 2016 @ 11:09am
            Nobrain said | March 24th 2016 @ 11:09am | ! Report

            No problem Machooka, I have doubts about the Jaguares also. At least we have the same official we had last weekend . I will be at the game anyway.

          • Roar Guru

            March 24th 2016 @ 11:21am
            Harry Jones said | March 24th 2016 @ 11:21am | ! Report

            Yes, I think the Saders will give the Sharks a problem.

        • Roar Guru

          March 24th 2016 @ 10:59pm
          Charging Rhino said | March 24th 2016 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

          Enjoy San Fran Harry! I spent a ski season just up the road there in Lake Tahoe, more than just a few years ago now… very fun πŸ™‚

          I really enjoyed California, but if you want to live there permanently the Americans have a completely different culture to what we’re used to.
          The Sunshine Coast in Queensland is pretty good though πŸ™‚ Typed from a balmy (yet humid) moonlit evening where I can hear the waves rolling in from my living room.. I think a surf is in order tomorrow morning, Good Friday πŸ™‚

          I pick Stormers to edge out the Jaguares. Sharks to win (in a more composed performance) and the Reds to finally get their first win of the season, they always raise their game when playing the Tahs.

          • Roar Guru

            March 25th 2016 @ 1:23am
            Harry Jones said | March 25th 2016 @ 1:23am | ! Report

            What I’ve learned is that Carmel is like a totally different country than San Francisco. Farmers! Pigs! Cows!

          • Roar Guru

            March 25th 2016 @ 11:19am
            RobC said | March 25th 2016 @ 11:19am | ! Report

            Good pick Rhino, was in Noosa couple weeks ago. Far away from Rugby tho

        • Roar Guru

          March 25th 2016 @ 11:18am
          RobC said | March 25th 2016 @ 11:18am | ! Report

          Harry, you can only live in Carmel if you’re an painter, engineer or actor πŸ™‚

          • Roar Guru

            March 25th 2016 @ 11:52am
            Harry Jones said | March 25th 2016 @ 11:52am | ! Report

            I body painted an actress with an over engineered body.

            • Roar Guru

              March 25th 2016 @ 11:59am
              Machooka said | March 25th 2016 @ 11:59am | ! Report

              Did she have a big ask Harry?

            • March 25th 2016 @ 11:59am
              Old Bugger said | March 25th 2016 @ 11:59am | ! Report

              That must’ve been difficult trying to maintain a straight swathe over such curvature??

            • Roar Guru

              March 25th 2016 @ 12:01pm
              RobC said | March 25th 2016 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

              Will send you my CV to be the powder guy, Harry
              Im sending another one for a similar job to the producers of Marco Polo, filmed here in Malaysia.

    • March 24th 2016 @ 7:44am
      Sam said | March 24th 2016 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      So I really have to find a winner a winner between Reds and Tahs? Thoroughly unsavoury thought… I’m going for two upsets- Reds by a penalty or less. I think the Rebels can climb the mountain.

    • Roar Guru

      March 24th 2016 @ 7:53am
      Diggercane said | March 24th 2016 @ 7:53am | ! Report

      Haiku – the new Commando.

      • Roar Guru

        March 24th 2016 @ 7:57am
        Diggercane said | March 24th 2016 @ 7:57am | ! Report

        Haiku without data = Tip master

        • Roar Guru

          March 24th 2016 @ 7:59am
          Diggercane said | March 24th 2016 @ 7:59am | ! Report

          CEO without data – Haiku in court

          • Roar Guru

            March 24th 2016 @ 8:09am
            Machooka said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:09am | ! Report

            This is what happens when people start drinking Commando… read the label Digger ‘Not fit for human consumption’!

          • Roar Guru

            March 24th 2016 @ 8:27am
            Harry Jones said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:27am | ! Report

            Haiku without haiku = Reds

        • Roar Guru

          March 24th 2016 @ 8:28am
          Harry Jones said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:28am | ! Report

          Haiku Elliott = hooker from Hokkaido

          • Columnist

            March 24th 2016 @ 8:44am
            Geoff Parkes said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:44am | ! Report

            I shouldn’t encourage you but… very nice!

          • Columnist

            March 24th 2016 @ 9:37am
            Brett McKay said | March 24th 2016 @ 9:37am | ! Report

            Well played, sir..

    • Roar Guru

      March 24th 2016 @ 8:07am
      Machooka said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      C’arn da Tahs… the Easter Eggs will be hidden in the obvious places at each end of Suncorp. That is all!

      • March 24th 2016 @ 4:08pm
        Existentialist said | March 24th 2016 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

        indeed sir.
        W E C A N N O T L O S E T O T H E R E D S

        Going for a shock win for the Rebels over them ‘landers
        Jaguares to run around those stormers
        Sun puppies to create a howler in SG!

        the rest are as is .. carry on

        • Roar Guru

          March 24th 2016 @ 4:28pm
          Machooka said | March 24th 2016 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

          indeed… indeedy do… indeedy doody!

          The Easter Eggs must be found… without fear or favour. No excuses.

    • Roar Guru

      March 24th 2016 @ 8:29am
      Harry Jones said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:29am | ! Report

      Great write up, BMcK!

    • Columnist

      March 24th 2016 @ 8:43am
      Geoff Parkes said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      Brett tips the Sunwolves yet again…. talk about a death wish!!

      What’s the panel vibe on Julian Savea sitting out? One week the message is that he just needs more rugby under his belt, next week the message is he’s dropped/rested on form??

      No matter how badly he’s going by his standards – and he’s nowhere near the same bloke who steamrolled the French in Cardiff – he’s surely still worth more than two Jason Woodwards. Digger, what’s the inside info?

      • March 24th 2016 @ 8:50am
        Nobrain said | March 24th 2016 @ 8:50am | ! Report

        The inside info is that he has a huge offer from Europe, and he wants it.

        • March 24th 2016 @ 10:38am
          DanFan said | March 24th 2016 @ 10:38am | ! Report

          Is that a rumour and if so where is it coming from?

        • Roar Guru

          March 24th 2016 @ 1:28pm
          ThugbyFan said | March 24th 2016 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          Hi NoBrain. Jags to claw the Stormers this week. Have faith πŸ™‚

          Re J.Savea being offered big Euros from Europe, it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole winning RWC2015 side got offers of the megabuck. About half of the 2014-5 WB team will soon be playing in Europe. I was wondering the other day why so many Aussie players take the loot from Europe yet so few Kiwis do; after all French sheep are just as nice once you learn how to pronounce “j’aime tu”. πŸ™‚

      • Columnist

        March 24th 2016 @ 9:38am
        Brett McKay said | March 24th 2016 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        The Bulls just don’t grab me, Allanthus. They’re unconvincing at home, and I can’t see how that improves away.

        And the Moondogs are just due!!

        • Columnist

          March 24th 2016 @ 10:08am
          Geoff Parkes said | March 24th 2016 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          Well they are due, that’s true.
          The Bulls spanked the Rebels and had the better of their draw against the Sharks. I reckon they’re going ok.

          • Columnist

            March 24th 2016 @ 10:17am
            Brett McKay said | March 24th 2016 @ 10:17am | ! Report

            Let’s be honest, it probably won’t even be the first tip I get wrong this week…

      • March 24th 2016 @ 12:08pm
        rebel said | March 24th 2016 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        The howlers will win as I jumped off them this week.

      • Roar Guru

        March 24th 2016 @ 12:21pm
        Diggercane said | March 24th 2016 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Two weeks off to address his playing weigth.

        Causing quite a stir over here mate and the form is disappointing, particularly given the form of other incumbent ABs. Savea is copping a fair ton of criticism as is Boyd and the Canes set up. Same thing happened to him last year I believe.

        I guess it is a positive, and being able to drop a big name is a good thing, positive message to the group. Shape up or shift out but I do wonder if a call from Hansen helped.

        I would actually question the match readiness of the entire squad. The Brumbies was awful and they faded badly in the last quarter in their first three games. I think that the draw in recent weeks and the bye next week could well work in their favour in terms of getting everyone fully up to speed.

        But it will be good to see some fresh faces given a start and a few off the bench as well, particularly Cridge and Tahuriorangi.

        • Columnist

          March 24th 2016 @ 12:51pm
          Geoff Parkes said | March 24th 2016 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

          Cheers Digger. Yes, Savea stands out even more because almost all of the other AB’s have hit the ground running.

          It’s a bit of an old-fashioned attitude but maybe having the TV cameras around during pre-season wasn’t the best way to keep them grounded and up to the right level. I enjoyed the show for what it was, but (and it’s difficult to judge properly because of editing and what we don’t see) the Brumbies by comparison on their show, seemed a lot more steely minded about their preparation.

          I hope the halfback gets plenty of game time. He’s young and there’s plenty of time ahead for him but he does play a similar style of game to Aaron Smith and is definitely one to follow.

      • Roar Guru

        March 25th 2016 @ 11:22am
        RobC said | March 25th 2016 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        Im with you Allanthus. I tipped the Wolves based on the 1H I saw vs Cheetahs. Never watched the 2H. But I saw the full Wolves game last week – they still have much to work on.