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Nathe's NPC Preview, week 3
Nathe's NPC Preview, week 3
(Those f***ing oyster chompers....)
It looks like the NPC is alive and kicking! I've spent a fair amount of time on the message board grizzling about how the big five cities are unfairly advantaged over the rest of the country and the results are becoming more and more predictable. But not so! So far this year we've had four large "upsets" out of ten games - and the Bay has almost pulled off two big upsets as well. Let's move on to the Nathe's Preview Column (N.P.C.) for week 3.

Friday, 30 Aug 19:35
Windy Wet Wastelands vs Wop Wops

Yes - we lost to the blimmin Oyster Chompers last week. Unbelievable. Riki-choker-Flutey missed the crucial conversion late in the game that would have landed us a draw... Shane Carter could have drop-kicked it over if he'd been asked nicely. It shouldn't have come down to that though - the game and 4-try bonus should have been wrapped up before halftime. Memories of last seasons' match against the Bay of Old Timers flooded back. The Wastelands have to bounce back this week or else it'll be another long season. The Wop-Wops all but scored about three tries against the Dorks last Friday. They'll be hungry. If the Wastelands are hungry as well and the weather is reasonable then we should win easily - otherwise it could get uncomfortable. This week we welcome back David Goalwell who'll be sure to come in handy those pot-heads from the far North give away those penalties. Wastelands by 1-7.

Saturday, 31 August 14:35
Dairy Farmers WITHOUT Bells vs Dairy Farmers WITH Bells
New Plymouth

This one is not to be missed. A lot of rural pride is at stake and as is the #1 NPC ladder position believe it or not. The amber and blacks can just about wrap up a top-4 spot with a win here. They've showed tremendous spirit so far and their fowards just look bloody awesome - I'm looking foward to the Super 12 already to see what Colin Cooper can do with a few Wellingtonians in the mix. The Bell Ringers will definately have the edge in the backs with Randle & co, but I'm going with my gut and again picking the Farmers WITHOUT Bells by 1-7. Support your favourite team here until the cows come home!

Saturday, 31 August 17:35
Dorkland vs Northern Dorkland

Another grudge match. "The Battle of the Bridge" many call it - and a damn good watch for all rugby fans is what I call it. Both teams are sure to be fired up and ready to murder one another. This match effectively doubles as a Blues Super 12 trial for those on the edge as well but I doubt that will enter the players' minds when they square off. The Northern Dorks certainly have it in them to cause an upset here, but if they do it will be just that - an upset. The Dorks appeared to bounce back well after that first up loss. Carlos was on fire, Lee Stensness (?!) at 1st 5/8 also played a stormer and I was most impressed with the defence near their own line. Howler will be back in the Dork ranks - I forsee the Dorks by 8-14.

Saturday, 31 August 19:35
Sheep Shaggers v Oyster Chompers

Despite the heroics of last week the Oyster Chompers should be no match for the Shaggers at home. The Chompers have claimed their scalp for the season and it's highly unlikely that they'll get another. Another thing working against them is the arrival of some serious All Black reinforcements in the Sheep Shagger ranks. Having said that, the red-and-all-blacks weren't entirely convincing againt the lowly Bay conceding two bonus points and nearly the match. I think it's worth commenting on Ben Blair as well - this young scamp is an excitement machine. Three tries last week from hard and fast running onto the ball. Leon might be pressed hard to not only keep his spot as first choice All Black #15 but his Crusaders spot may be under threat if Blair keeps this sort of form up. Oh yeah - the prediction is Sheep Shaggers by more than 21.

Sunday, 1 September 14:35
Bay of Old Timers vs Speights Guzzlers

The Old Timers haven't won a game yet but still have 4 points from twice scoring four tries and being within 7. They'll be happy with another 2 here I suspect if you offered them. Hell, we might end up with a situation where the Bay doesn't win a game all year but finishes with 18 bonus points and ends up mid-table! Speights men haven't impressed me yet. A shaky win against the Wop-Wops and a loss to the Farmers without Bells after leading 24-7 means they need to win this game and win it well before the Highlanders derby next week. I still reckon the Guzzler backs are damn ordinary without Byron, Tony and Goldie - I'm picking the Speights Guzzlers but only just - by 1-7.

Standings after week 2

Dairy Farmers WITH Bells10
Dairy Farmers WITHOUT Bells9
Windy Wet Wastelands5
Speights Guzzlers5
Sheep Shaggers5
Northern Dorkland5
Bay of Old Timers4
Oyster Chompers4

Let us know what you think!

At this rate Nath your boys from the Wasteland aren't going to give my boys a chance to Shag them in the semis!

On their current form I can't see them beating any Dairy Farmers or Dorks, hell even the Wops and Old Timers will give them problems!

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