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Round 9: Hurricanes v Bulls



The Hurricanes (after being beaten pretty easily by the Lions) return home to face the Bulls (who are showing that they can win on the road).
For mine I’m going to stick with the Canes in this one, ‘match’ fitness is one thing, the desire to win is another.
Bulls are on a high. It would take a very big effort from the Canes to put them down.

The Canes will have no answer to the onslaught.

Bulls by 10.
Shaping up as another huge game again. Both teams are still very much in semi contention, although a loss for either will be a severe setback. If the Canes lose, it`s goodbye semi`s, while the Bulls will be eyeing a 4th win in 5 overseas in order to set up a decent home run. With the Blues also part of that Bulls home run, they`ll want to get all the points they can right now.

The Bulls will field a formidable front 5, and it`ll be the biggest question for the Canes if they can compete at the coalface. The Canes will have their massive back row. OK, so the back row was outplayed last week, but after 3 months of no match practice, some ring-rust would have been expected. After last week though, the cobwebs will have been shaken, and it`ll be the Bulls` biggest challenge to contain them. The Bulls have gone with Hilton Lobberts to add some pace to their back row, but they`ll really miss the pace of Pierre Spies.

Should be a classic, I`m picking the Bulls by 6, due to jet lag for the Canes and huge confidence by the Bulls after winning for the 1st time ever in the House of Pain.
15 Jaco van der Westhuyzen, 14 Marius Delport, 13 Frikkie Welsh, 12 Wayne Julies, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Derick Hougaard, 9 Fourie Du Preez; 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, 7 Hilton Lobberts, 6 Danie Rossouw, 5 Victor Matfield ©, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Rayno Gerber, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp. Reserves: 16 Jaco Engels, 17 Danie Thiart, 18 Francois van Schouwenburg, 19 Wikus van Heerden, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Morne Steyn, 22 Derick Kuun.

Havn't heard the line up for the Canes as yet... thinking this couldbe a close one
HURRICANES: 15 Cory Jane, 14 Shannon Paku, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Piri Weepu, 9 Alby Mathewson; 8 Rodney So'oialo ©, 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Paul ***o, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger. Reserves: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Brad Mika, 19 Luke Andrews, 20 Jimmy Gopperth, 21 David Smith, 22 Tamati Ellison.
huge game for both teams. canes badly need to win to have any hope of making the semis. a win for the bulls keeps them well and truly in the top 4. this will be a good game and defintely one of the game's of the round if not the game of the round. I think the canes can do it and there is now way there loosies will play that crap 2 games in a row. canes by 7 in a thriller
Canes secure scrappy victory by 17-9 with Hosea Gear scoring the only try of the match. Alot of handling errors by both sides. Weepu kicked 4 penalties for the Canes and Hougaard 3 penalties for the Bulls.
I didn't get to watch it dammit!!! but I heard the last 20-30minutes on Radiosport. Sounds like Piri Weepu had a pretty solid game in the number10 jersey! Also sounded like Cory Jane had a cracker of a game!!

Was also good to see Ma'a back!
It was most definitely not good to see Nonu back. This guy has sucked pretty much all year long and turned in another woeful performance last night. If you ask me the guy is getting fat. He badly needs another stint with the 7s team to get back some pace and fitness. He does not have the speed anymore which is important in combination with bulk to break tackles more regularly. Just look at Lomu. He didn't get any smaller and probably hasn't lost all that much strength, but his pace has been destroyed and because of it he can barely break a tackle from a 70kg wing.
Piri was better than the other 2 fly halves but it's really disappointing to see him forced to play 10 because his coach is totally incompetent.
I was watching the Hurricanes props closesly as well and was amazed at how lazy these 2 are. I think they are a big part of the reason the 'Canes have been owned by rolling mauls this year and have failed to secure clean ruck ball. They definitely lean on the physicality and work ethic of the back 3.
was a disappointing game. no flow was very messy with both sides dropping the ball a lot. the highlight for me was cory jane. this guys has all the skills and was very good to see in action. nonu lost the ball at least 5 times going into the tackle area. he defintely looks a bit out of sorts and seems intent on smashing through a guy instead of using pace or a sidestep.
Jane for World Cup 07. This guy is a champ. AND he's from Upper Hutt. He may look like an absolute tosser but he plays like a genius. He had a great game. Every time he touches the ball he seems to do something. He has a complete game. He's a good defender, a brilliant attacker. He can kick the ball as well. He works hard as well. Especially evident on defense.

Pretty average game otherwise.
he could maybe be a dark horse for the plane to france. if he keeps playing well the selectors will defintely notice.
Why would they need him though?
Unless we have an injury to our current crop of All Blacks, he won't be going to France, unless he's a spectator.
We already have 2 fullbacks, and 4 wingers to choose from. Utility would prabably swing the way of Toeava or Nonu..
he proabbly won't make it for sure but he is playing miles better than someone like nonu. jane has the x-factor and every team needs one of those players. he is a good runner and things happen when he touches the ball. he is the type of player henry might take to the world cup if he keeps playing well