Friday, September 27, 2013

BOD is back, and I'm tipping the Springboks and the Pumas this weekend!


Friday night is opportunity for Leinster to restore their battered pride, against a Cardiff side who lost to the mighty Zebre last weekend. More class and talent is pumped into the side with the inclusion of BOD and Heaslip for the first time, and a start for Healy. We need our physicality back big time, and Quinn Roux will help that too. And hopefully BOD can direct the defense, lead by example as he always does, and not get injured! I think we’ll do it at the RDS.

Munster welcome a resurgent Dragons side to Musgrave Park. They have more firepower on their bench with the inclusion of Paul O’Connell. It’s a difficult time of year for any Irish provincial coach – your team changes every week as more players become available. I don’t think it’s a very fearsome looking side, but POC is worth 10-15 points on his own with his presence and leadership, which is something Munster really need these days.

Ulster have named  a strong team for the increasingly impressive Treviso. They have a lot of talent at their disposal, and their home ground needs to spur them on to start getting the wins. Rory Best is a great leader, and Tommy Bowe always adds class. It think they turned the corner last week, and if they give Treviso the respect they deserve they should get this no problem.

Australia have arrived in Australia with a fairly cobbled together team – through injury, loss of form and exclusion for drunkenness, it been tough to consistently pick  a team. They have James Horwill back at least. But the Brumbies players in the team will still be coming to terms with Jake White’s pretty disgraceful departure during the week. They get to face a fairly well first choice Springbok side, with Fourie du Preez starting. The Springboks are going to have to give the talent of the Australian team its due respect, but there is an air of inevitability about this match.

Later on Saturday the Pumas will be entertaining the All Blacks, who to me look a bit undercooked. They haven’t looked flash in their last few matches (apart from putting away a 14 man Springbok team, and there’s no Carter, McCaw, probably Read, and Cruden is not 100%. The All Black scrum will be under pressure, and if the Springboks only scraped out of Argentina with a win… I think the AB’s are going to go one worse and ship a loss!

RaboDirect PRO12
Friday , September 27
Zebre vs Glasgow 
Ulster vs Benetton Treviso 
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues 
Edinburgh vs Scarlets 
Saturday , September 28
Connacht vs Ospreys 17:00
Munster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 28
South Africa vs Australia 16:00
Argentina vs New Zealand 23:40

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