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Super Rugby tipping week 7: Sacked coach watch

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31st March, 2021
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A coach has been sacked and we’re all now on alert for the reaction of the team impacted.

Normally, a team that has their coach sacked is primed to respond; they’re determined to show the interim appointment that the problem wasn’t them, it was all that previous bloke. He was hopeless.

This isn’t a normal week though because sadly, the Waratahs haven’t been a normal team in 2021.

The sacked coach phenomenon is a real thing, but the biggest question about the Waratahs in 2021 is whether they have enough bounce back in them to move on from Rob Penney. That’s probably a question for the Waratahs accountants, too.

It’s also a question for the panel, so let’s see who thinks they can.

(Spoiler alert: it’s no-one. No-one thinks they can bounce back.)

LAST WEEK: Geoff 3; Harry, Brett, Digger and The Crowd 2.

OVERALL: Harry, Dan, and Geoff 18; Brett and The Crowd 16, Digger 14

Geoff
TIPS: CRUSADERS, BRUMBIES, BLUES, REBELS

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The Waratahs set two records this week; sacking a perfectly good coach for not being able to make Grange Hermitage from Rodger Davis’ urine, and CEO Paul Doorn trotting out a world record number of corporate clichés in a single press conference.

I half expect Dan McKellar to tell his boys to take it easy tomorrow night, because what’s gone down isn’t fair on the Tahs players, but even if he does, the Brumbies will still win in a canter.

Before that, it will be a crusading Canterbury canter, with no joy for Tony Brown’s Highlanders.

The room of mirrors has been doing the rounds in New Zealand. This week it was Leon McDonald’s turn to line his boys up and extract a few home truths. They’ll bounce back against the Canes.

The Reds are in a comfortable place right now. That’s due to good management and good luck. But if they’re too comfortable with themselves I think they’re vulnerable this week. It’s a bit of a stab, but I’m going for the outsider.

SURE THING: After Michael Cheika reminded viewers last week that ’the referee is always right’, Stan/Nine will go one better this week, with Tim Horan demanding that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk step aside, to be replaced by Jordan ‘you don’t see that from him too often’ Petaia.

Jordan Petaia runs the ball for the Reds

Jordan Petaia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Harry
TIPS: CRUSADERS, BRUMBIES, BLUES, REDS

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There are only a few ways to win a rugby match, assuming deadly weapons aren’t allowed.

There are many, many ways to lose. Unfortunately, the Force, the Rebels, and the Hurricanes are finding a lot of them.

As a glance at the excellent Six Nations stats will show, you run at your peril (Scotland) even if you have tackle busters (Duhan van der Merwe busts 73 per cent of first tackles; Stu Hogg 43 per cent). You need to kick more than you pass (Wales, France).

You cannot miss a lot of tackles (Italy). And if you win turnovers (Ireland) you cannot waste them (Ireland).

You cannot lose your own lineout (Scotland), and you must not get pinged (England) unless you are on your try line (early). So, this week is a series of sure things. It’s sure. I’m sure.

SURE THING: The Reds will obliterate the utter Rebels.

SURER THING: The Brumbies will chew up the chaotic Waratahs, and spit them out.

SUREST THING: The Blues will defeat the Jordie-Hurricanes by plenty.

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CERTAIN THING: The Crusaders over the _____ (fill in blank).

So, I’m pretty sure of this round.

Brett
TIPS: CRUSADERS, BRUMBIES, HURRICANES, REDS

I do like Tony Brown’s thinking this week: beating the Crusaders is hard enough, and bloody near impossible in Christchurch, but if the Highlanders could do it after some self-standard resetting and with a vastly unpowered team, then that would be a chapter of Highlanders history worth writing.

Sadly, this week, it will also be fiction.

As is the idea that a worldwide search for a coach will net the best possible coaching candidate for the Waratahs in 2022 after they magically change the culture of the joint and somehow rid the place of corporate bullshit.

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There will be some degree of dead coach bounce this week, but that still won’t be enough to stop the Brumbies winning. By plenty, even.

The Reds are about to find out what the Rebels and Force went through last year, but this week will still feel like a normal away game. Next week when they inevitably have to play a home game somewhere else will be a different story, however. They win this week, just.

And that just leaves with me with the primary colour-themed team from Auckland. They burned me again last week, and they seriously suck and they can go to hell.

I hate them. Hurricanes. By plenty.

SURE THING: Angry tipping will become a thing if this round delivers a 50per cent or better success rate.

Dan
TIPS: CRUSADERS, BRUMBIES, BLUES, REDS

Just about everything that needs to be said about the Waratahs has been already. The Brumbies should win by, oh, I dunno… 20? 30? 40 even? Doesn’t matter, it’ll be by a lot.

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Andy Muirhead, Len Ikitau and Rob Valetini of the Brumbies celebrate

Len Ikitau (centre) with Andy Muirhead and Rob Valetini. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Same goes for the Crusaders, who’ll have no problems trouncing the Highlanders in Christchurch. It’s a good thing Super Rugby Aotearoa has a final this year, as it’s the only thing stopping the defending champs from sealing another title with weeks to spare.

The Blues will welcome the week off when it arrives next round, but they’ll enjoy it all the better if it follows a victory. At home, expect them to return to the winners’ circle against the Canes.

The last game of the weekend is shaping up as the pick of the bunch. The Rebels, fresh and relaxed after the bye. The Reds, undefeated but whose only convincing wins have come against the Tahs, suddenly forced on the road due to Brisbane’s COVID cluster.

Melbourne are definitely a chance for an upset win, I’ll take the Reds in a squeaker on the theory that the squad will rally together following the week’s turmoil.

SURE THING: Good Friday will be anything but for the Waratahs.

Digger
TIPS: CRUSADERS, BRUMBIES, BLUES, REDS

Well, I did for a moment flirt with the idea of picking the Highlanders, but after some apparent party shenanigans by a few boys that was quite clearly not at Tony Browns house, that brief flirtation has died a natural death and the Crusaders it is.

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Difficult to see the Waratahs winning, ever, so the Brumbies should walk this one in while the Rebels and Reds looks like a bob each way, Rebels should be a chance but I have to back the Reds, just have more points in them, I think.

So far this season, I have tipped the Hurricanes twice for no return and tipped against them twice for a 50per cent strike rate, based on this scientific reasoning I will run dirty again and pick the Blues.

SURE THING: The penny will finally drop for Leon and TOM will finally, finally get selected to start for the Blues. Love that bloke.

Get your tips in below, and help The Crowd make up this suddenly large gap to the leaders!

Harry Brett Dan Digger Geoff The Crowd
CRU v HIG CRU CRU CRU CRU CRU CRU
WAR v BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU
BLU v HUR BLU HUR BLU BLU BLU BLU
REB v RED RED RED RED RED REB RED
Overall 18 16 18 14 18 16
Last week 2 2 2 2 3 2

Get your tips in now.

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