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[Article] Round 4 Cup Preview

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[Article] Round 4 Cup Preview

Post by Bren on Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:15 pm

The bots are gone and 256 teams remain. When the clock strikes 10pm on Wednesday Night (or thereabouts) we'll know which 128 will move on. This is Round 4 of the Cup and it's only just starting to heat up. We've got our picks for the best games of the round!

Te Puke Thunder (24) vs Hautapu Hopefools (8)
All in all, The Hautapu Hopefools are the better squad here but they will be foolish to ignore the threat of the Thunder on their home ground. If they do, the Hopefools will finish with the rather ignominious honour of being the first division one side to be knocked out. Despite this both teams being around since Season 1, this is the first time they've faced each other so we can expect some fireworks -- or maybe not -- a long cup run could damage both side's league ambitions so the decision to leave now may just be one they'll take with glee.

All Kings (35) vs Los Lobo (19)
It's been slightly more than a RL year since these two teams last battled. Back in Season 22, they were both in III.11 and were pitted against each other in the semi-finals. Despite the All Kings throwing everything they had at Los Lobo, they were thumped 55-0, a victim of Los Lobo's run to the title that season. The All Kings have been quietly moving up the rankings since then and have a team that could take down Los Lobo if they really wanted it. The All Kings will enjoy home and a small energy advantage. They could run it tight.

Climate of Fear (48) vs Innocent Dingo's (20)
Another Division 3 vs Division 2 clash that I think could go either way if Climate of Fear decide to go for it. Climate of Fear is definitely an old school club that was established back when most readers were a mere twinkle in the milkman's eye (Season 1 in other words). Innocent Dingo's can only track their lineage to Season 10 but despite the time gap are the more successful of the two sides. They do well to compete with the elite of division two while Climate of Fear struggles at time with their division three competition. But what do Climate of Fear have to lose? They're at home, they have some quality players, and throwing everything they have at it won't damage their league chances too much. Smart money will still go on the Dingo's but occasionally the stupid strike it rich.

Carnage (41) vs Mighty O's (26)
Should be an interesting one, the rankings gap between the two sides may be explained by the fact that Carnage is stuck at the bottom of division two while the Mighty O's are riding high in Division Three. Holding everything else equal, Carnage will probably considered the better team and win most of the time but these are not ordinary times. Mighty O's have a small energy advantage and Carnage have two key players out with injury -- despite the home advantage -- I think the Mighty O's are likely to romp home here.

Dabroz (56) vs Reschs Rats (53)
Tough to separate these two teams, based on the NZ rankings alone this should be the closest of all the matches. Both hold solid positions in their respective division three leagues so can afford the energy, both have their players in tip-top shape, the Rats have a small advantage in CSR but Dabroz hold that precious home advantage. Should be a goodie.

Red And White (75) vs Waka (98)
Another fascinating division three vs division three match-up. Waka have been around since Season One -- but have never managed to eclipse the campaign of Season 3 where they finished third in II.3. Despite a string of gold division three trophies in the seasons between then and now, the cabinet's been empty for a few seasons now. Red and White is a relative new kid on the block, they popped up in Season 15 and after some aggressive moves on the transfer market last season are poised to win their division three trophy this season. Players like the mammoth (208cm/127kg) Iago Gago should serve Red and White well in this match. Victory should go their way but it won't be easy.

Don't forget! Win a month of premium by entering the cup tipping competition on the offsite. Entries close midday Wednesday!


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