Brumbies scrumhalf Joe Powell (below) was one of 10 uncapped players in Michael Cheika’s first Wallabies squad of 2016. But why couldn’t the announcement have waited? Image v Wallabies Facebook
The Roar: It’s the last weekend of Super Rugby for the next month, and thankfully, the competition is going to go into its recess with a bang. By my count, six of the eight games can have some kind of bearing on the race to the playoffs. Here’s the talking points for Round 14:
Bolters galore, but not the one everyone expected;
Does the Wallabies announcement overshadow some important games?
Fantastic Friday: sorry, Boss, I’ve got to finish early. Again…
Following on from the Report Card last week on The Roar, it seems as good a time as any to map out the run home for the teams definitely and theoretically still in contention for the Super Rugby playoffs.
The short of it is that I think we’ll see minimal change to the current top eight from here on. By my loose predictions, seven of the current top eight will hold on, and five of those are in the positions I think they’ll finish.
My run home predictions for the current top twelve teams. I’m expecting minimal change from here on..
Crusaders, Leinster, Waratahs, Cardiff, Stormers. Could the Celts be in Super Rugby’s future?
The Roar: This shapes as a really interesting weekend of rugby. I reckon Round 11 has a bit of a ‘moving weekend’ feel about it.
There are two groups of teams that this applies to: the Crusaders we already know are going to be there or thereabouts, but the three teams immediately behind them on the table – the Hurricanes, Bulls and Highlanders – have a really good chance to put one over teams in and on the fringe of the top eight.
Below them, the Sharks, Brumbies, Waratahs, and the Blues all have a chance to remind the top eight teams the they need to keep an eye over their shoulder. So here’s some Round 11 talking points:
Is Super Rugby’s future Celtic?
Rise of the third bananas?
Make or break week for the Blues;
Will Steven Bradbury top the Australian conference? And..
Embattled Brumbies CEO Michael Jones emerges from the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday, where his injunction to keep his job was upheld. But these are the days of our lives… Image via ABC News Canberra
The Roar: It’s been viewed already as one of the harder rounds to tip in the season to date, and that’s a fair call with so many games featuring so many subplots across the weekend. Already healthy leads in three of the four conferences can be extended, while New Zealand will undoubtedly deliver yet more quality.
And then, there’s maybe the hardest game to pick all season: the Sunwolves v Jaguares in Tokyo. Sheesh, I’ve still got a headache thinking about it. Here’s the talking points for Round 9:
ANZAC Weekend? What ANZAC weekend…
Which teams are kicking themselves off the tee?
The Bulls: it could be time to consider the possibility that there’s a chance that potentially I might be wr-wr-wr-wro-wron…
I don’t think the Waratahs are done yet. But they’re close. And..