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
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
Wolves by 10.
|rhinoms tips||Wolves by 10|
|SouthStander.com tips||Giants by 12|
|Average||Giants 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 tips||Dragons by 8|
|SouthStander.com tips||Dragons by 12|
|Average||Dragons 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
A very long year ahead for the Wakey squad and a "roller coaster" ride for
the "dualling Banjoes".
Tiggers by 8.
|rhinoms tips||Tigers by 8|
|SouthStander.com tips||Wildcats by 6|
|Average||Tigers 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 tips||Saints by 7|
|SouthStander.com tips||Wigan by 4|
|Average||Saints 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
Reds by 8.
|rhinoms tips||Reds by 8|
|SouthStander.com tips||Reds by 14|
|Average||Reds 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
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
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 tips||Rhinos by 10|
|SouthStander.com tips||Rhinos by 14|
|Average||Rhinos 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"
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 tips||KR by 8|
|SouthStander.com tips||KR by 6|
|Average||KR by 7|
For those traveling down have a safe journey there and back and enjoy the
Thanks for reading.