This is the Who's Hot, and Who's Not of 2001.
The HOT List
1. The Otago Highlanders
We wouldn't be surprised if they win the comp this year. On paper their forwards are better than Canterbury's, though in the past all they have lacked is the mental fortitude to win the crunch games. We think that the imminent return of Lazza Mains added to the spark of a rejuvinated of Goldie Wilson could provide the fire and brimstone they need to follow through on the big games. Losing Josh will be a big blow, but the young fellow Josh the Second (Blaikie?) looks promising and of course Goldie the Genius is back, so they could do anything!
2. The ACT Brumbies
Apart from the fact they have the most boring and monotonous style of forward play on the planet, pushing the law book to the limit, it's a winning formula. With the Grogan and Bernie Show touring again this year the back line will be well drilled and hard to stop. If Choker Mortlock kicks even half of his attempts over this year they will be in with more than a chance at the title.
3. The Canterbury Crusaders
Quite possibly the greatest provincial team ever. In any Country. Ever. They always get written off by all the pundits, and we all know what happened the last 3 years. Did we already mention that? The've been there, and done it. So there's no reason why they can't do it again. And the great thing about being a Cantabrian is that if they don't do it, we can rest on our laurels. It's up to everybody else to back up all their talk...
4. The Queensland Reds
Well, somehow they scrape into the Hotlist. It seems the reason they have ended up here is gut feeling. They have got the flukiest tinass captain in history of rugby (Think the Wellington Caketin Bledisloe game!) playing for them. Well almost playing. He's staying home with mummy for the first few so he doesn't get hurt. They've also got that other guy Herbert who has the odd moment of brilliance (grudgingly).
The NOT List
1. The Hurricanes
The most overrated team in the history of the game. They win one sporting trophy.... ever... and all of a sudden they get cocky. There's a few big names there, but not enough to raise them anywhere near the level of expectation. One thing we do admire here at RugbyHeads are the Wellington Fans. Idiots to a man, but passionate and loyal - and we like that! The Cake Tin ain't bad either.
2. The Blues
Because we hate them.
3. All the South African Teams
Perpetual Underachievers. The Jaapies are incestuous because they seem to only like playing at home. It's amazing that a country with such a proud history as the Springboks have can produce such woefully inadequate Super12 franchises. What else can you say?
As for everybody else. We have no opinion of them as they are either really boring or don't have a shit-show in hell of making a name for themselves either way.