Even though the Cricket World Cup is still in full swing, real sport begins tonight with the kickoff of the 2003 Super 12. For those of you who don’t know, the Super 12 is the premier provincial rugby competition in the world (I’m sure there are a few NPC and Currie Cup advocates who would disagree). Spanning 3 countries, the super 12 teams are as follows :
The Queensland Reds
The NSW Waratahs
The ACT Brumbies
The Blues (Aukland)
The Chiefs (Waikato)
The Hurricanes (Wellington)
The Crusaders (Cantebury)
The Highlanders (Otago)
Coastal Sharks (Durban)
Western Stormers (Capetown)
Golden Cats (Johhanesburg)
In a World Cup year, the S12 takes on added significance, as national coaches put pressure on provincial coaches to test players in new positions.
I am a Qld supporter, but this year we may have our weakest side in a long time. While our back three (Tune, Latham, Sailor) are outstanding, and our backrow (Kefu, Roe, Croft) are underrated, we have a new coach, and our midfield (due to injuries) looks weak. I hate to say it, but I think that ACT and NSW (again) will finish higher than us this year. NSW are full of leaguies anyway.
Canebury are the favourites after being undefeated last year, but I reckon that Aukland, Otago and the Brumbies may round out the top 4.
I don’t think that (once again) the SA teams will be competitive away from home.
I’m heading to the ACT v QLD game at Ballymore tomorrow night - should be a cracker.
What’s your opinion on the comp this year, and who do you support?