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rhinoms Superleague XVI Previews - Round 1
Posted by southstander on February 09 2011 - 15:55:48

by rhinoms

Well...it's back!!

The time for friendlys, interviews, and fitness testing is all but done SL is back and it launches with a weekend bonanza down in Cardiff where all 14 clubs are in action and live on T.V.

Read more here....

Round One of Superleague sees the expectant hoardes descend on Cardiff for a festival of rugby league.

Here are my thoughts on this weeks fixtures.

GIANTS v. WOLVES

Two of the teams tipped to challenge the Pies for their SL crown meet 1st up and it should be a very good game with plenty of twists and turns.

For the Giants they've recruited "head high" O'Donnell from down under but the biggest signing has to be getting Nathan Brown to stay on when he seemed destined to go home.

The Wolves have also recruited Aussie reinforcements in the shape of former Giants FB Hodgson and the "Dogged" Joel Monaghan who links up with his brother.

Expect plenty of fireworks with both teams looking to put down an early season marker to back up the "bookies" and "experts" opinions that they are serious challengers.

Wolves by 10.

rhinoms tipsWolves by 10
SouthStander.com tipsGiants by 12
AverageGiants by 1

DRAGONS v. QUINS

The "cross channel" derby is next up and to be honest many expect both teams to be "also rans" this year.

The French will be looking to improve on a poor year last year and have recruited a new coach and added more antipodeans to their roster, but losing Mcguire and Carlaw will be blow.

For the Quins they have decided to employ the youngest SL coach with Rob Powell given the nod for his 1st head coach role.

A real long hard season in prospect for the Londoners and many of their squad will have to perform at very high levels just earn a few wins but the Dragons will be too strong this time around.

Dragons by 8.

rhinoms tipsDragons by 8
SouthStander.com tipsDragons by 12
AverageDragons by 10

TIGERS v. WILDCATS

Another derby and these two local rivals start the season with points to prove for very different reasons.

For the Tiggers they will be hoping to push on into the top eight this year and have added former talisman Orr and former Rhino Mathers to name just two.

For Wakey they really are looking to prove the "RL WORLD" wrong that they are wooden spoon candidates but they are up against it with off the field turmoil and a recruitment policy that has added plenty of "unproven" youth that lacks SL experience and their overall squad. Whilst exposing plenty of youth, "underdog" extraordinaire JK at the helm has a side that really lacks depth and quality.

A very long year ahead for the Wakey squad and a "roller coaster" ride for the "dualling Banjoes".

Tiggers by 8.

rhinoms tipsTigers by 8
SouthStander.com tipsWildcats by 6
AverageTigers by 1

SAINTS v. WARRIORS

The Grand Final re-match and a real belter in prospect.

The Saints really have strengthened all across the squad this off season, not least their pack where the work-load will finally be shared with the arrival of Perry and LMS, taking a load off Graham.

In the backs "old man Gidley" is gone and young England wannabe Shenton takes over but whilst "I've got it" under the bomb Meli is around there's always chances for the opposition.

Of course new coach Simmons will be under pressure to finally get a Saints team to "turn up" GF night and the departure of Cunningham will be good for Roby and Moore to stamp their authority on the team.

The Pies start hot favorites with the addition "we didn't know the paper bags were illegal" Melbourne trio Finch, Hoffman and Lima although the "rugby gods" have caught up with Finch already so the jump leads will be needed for Deacon.

The "meat 'n' tatty brigade" will be hoping to start strong as they build up for the WCC but the "plastic scousers" will be looking to take revenge for that night last October.

Saints by 7.

rhinoms tipsSaints by 7
SouthStander.com tipsWigan by 4
AverageSaints by 2

CRUSADERS v. REDS

An interesting match up where the unfancied Welshmen will face a heavily reinforced Reds outfit.

The "home" team will be hoping the locals come out in force to support new head coach Harris and his young welsh team especially as three of their first choice antipodeans are stranded by visa red tape.

For McRae's men he really needs his team to step up if he's to keep his job after adding what is perceived as much more quality this off season. Club stalwart Alker joins the coaching staff but that shouldn't detract from a much improved Reds team.

I expect a decent game but it's the start of a long year for the "post Nobby" Welshmen.

Reds by 8.

rhinoms tipsReds by 8
SouthStander.com tipsReds by 14
AverageReds by 11

BULLS v. RHINOS

This is the one we have been waiting for.

For the first time in four years the Rhinos start the season amongst the chasing pack rather than the defending champs and it will do them good in my opinion.

Changes galore down at HQ will add new ideas, a renewed hunger and hopefully more flair and discipline.

Brian Mc takes charge and he won't stand for any "short cuts" and won't be afraid to blood the young guns.

With most "experts" tipping a pretty poor year for us it's set up nice to shove those predictions back down their throats. Beware the wounded Rhino and whilst we lacked the "marquee" signing many craved, the arrival of messrs Cross and Hauraki will add depth and expect the emergence of McShane, Watkins and Bjb to add more to the squad and keep the "old guard" honest and on their mettle.

For the Dulls another off-season of shake up has seen them recruit ten new players and a new coaching staff.

Many of the changes are familiar to the Rhinos faithful not least the arrival of coach Cummins and future "hall of fame" nine Disko but will it be enough to see them get back into the eight after two years of underperformance and excuses.

Whilst finally losing McBanana will be a positive at the Grattan landfill and the addition of some of their newbies will add quality no doubts at all they still have the plenty of "ordinary" players in their team and won't be good enough for the "determined" Rhinos.

Rhinos by 10.

rhinoms tipsRhinos by 10
SouthStander.com tipsRhinos by 14
AverageRhinos by 12

FC v. KR

Finally the weekend ends with the "Trawler" derby and the whole of humberside will be watching.

For the "Fish fingered" black and whites they will be hoping to keep their pensioners fit and hope not to miss the recently departed "problem child" Tansey.

They spent big on another "next big thing" Westerman who has really gone stale the last three years so whether it's a good deal or not time will tell and they've got rid of " hamstrung" Calderwood and brought young cockney rebel Will Sharp in.

The Reds start without Marquee signing "where's my mate Stuart" Mason but will be fired up for this one.

The addition Green at six will finally take some of the extra work-load off Dobson and make them a tougher opponent than last year.

The Robins pack will be tough uncompromising and have too much for Birdseye's Tongan muppets and old men.

KR by 8.

rhinoms tipsKR by 8
SouthStander.com tipsKR by 6
AverageKR by 7

For those traveling down have a safe journey there and back and enjoy the weekend.

Thanks for reading.

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