Thursday, 3 January 2008

Total Flanker Guide to 2008

A slightly belated Happy New Year to you all...

A few quick predictions for 2008:
  1. Six Nations - Marc Lièvremont to liberate France from their Laportesque shackles and, with England and Ireland both travelling to Paris, France take the Grand Slam. England to win their two home games and a tight fixture in Edinburgh, but to lose to a fired-up Italy in Rome.

  2. Super 14 - Robbie Deans to sign off with another Crusaders win before heading across the Tasman to take charge of the Wallabies.

  3. Tri Nations - Deans to enjoy immediate honeymoon period as Australia take the Tri-Nations title, much to be embarrassment of the NZRU. Graham Henry to accuse Deans of being a mercenary and a traitor.

  4. Premiership - despite Gloucester leading the way all season, the end of season fixture congestion to catch up with them and allow Leicester to retain their title by winning the Premiership Final, prompting much gnashing of teeth from the West Country (again) about the unfairness of the play-off system.

  5. Heineken Cup - Gloucester redeemed as they storm to European glory, leading Stephen Jones to declare that Mike Tindall is still the world's best centre and to Tindall's restoration, as captain, to the England squad who are promptly thumped by New Zealand in both tests down under.

  6. IRB - more noise about accommodating Argentina in a meaningful tournament with no end result as IRB are too busy pushing through the ELVs. Despite an initial lack of support from the Northern Hemisphere, the Celtic nations' resistance crumbles as they sign up for a lucrative series of matches at home to Australia and New Zealand under the new laws.

And finally, not so much of a prediction as an aspiration - that I score my first competitive try since the 1992-93 season. Either that or my first ever dropped goal. Not much to ask is it?


Nursedude said...

Hi Flanker, any predictions for the Magner's League? Who do you see as the team that will shock and awe people in the H-cup like Northampton did last year against Biarritz?

Total Flanker said...

Sorry, I have to confess that I have absolutely zero interest in the Magners League - and I reckon that will continue until the participating teams (and in particular the Irish) show a bit of interest themselves. The only answer is to base European qualification on merit and not on a quota per country imo...

As for the H-cup - L.Irish are going well and may cause an upset or two (and with big boys like Leicester and Wasps struggling in their respective groups of death the path to the semis will be made easier for someone). The ERC really need to sort the seeding out for next season though.

Thanks for posting...:)

Nursedude said...

I'm sure you have more than a few thoughts on Dallaglio retiring from the international game. No suprise given his age, but that said, he has been a big face-and voice-in English Rugby for quite awhile.
You are right about the group of death comments. I really enjoyed the two games with Wasps and Clermont Auveregne and Leicester with that group with Toulouse is pretty brutal.

CresceNet said...
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Nursedude said...

Gloucester is making you look like a prophet. I would not be dissapointed with a Munster-Gloucester final. (Or Toulouse-Gloucester)

sesenta y cuatro said...

I can't agree in the tri-nations prediction; NZRU will be pleased of not having hired Deans. Henry's still a great coach, no matter whatever everyone thinks.

Still, even if Deans proves to be a better coach (I don't deny it), it takes more than coaching to win a rugby game.

Best Regards