This weekend sees the fourth instalment of the Auckland Nines, the now regular pre season showpiece of the NRL.
For some it is a refreshing welcome return of Rugby League for the new year, for some it is a bastardised rubbish version of the game, and the remainder are catching up on MKR and Married at First Sight Reruns and don’t care at all. We suggested some new dating shows a while back, but no one took them on. Their loss.
That loss is also for those not interested in the Auckland Nines. We love it.
Sure it’s not proper rugby league, but we’re not yet in the mood for proper rugby league anyway.
But our mini preview, tips and draw for the Auckland Nines lies below. Enjoy and enjoy the taste of rugby league for the 2017.
SOME REASONS TO CARE ABOUT THE AUCKLAND NINES
As stated above some care about the Auckland Nines and some don’t. We do, and try and twist the arm of those who don’t with our arguments below.
- It is the return of rugby league, and nice and early in the year.
- Despite his off field jerkdom, the first Warren Smith call of Semi Radradra means it is time for rugby league. Semi’s off field gear that is.
- It is Supercoach cheapie gold study time. Some of these players will be must haves for Round 1 or names to put on the shelf (not the one above the top shelf) and remember for later in the season. Names like Bevan French turned it up for Eels last year, and when he finally got his chance in the NRL didn’t disappoint. A little bit of effort here can pay big dividends later in Supercoach.
- The Auckland Nines means teams actually play football for a change, rather than the one out garbage that is usually on offer in the NRL proper.
- There’s a good carnival feel about it. All the games at one ground over two days. As close to the UK Super League’s Magic Weekend as we get. Having experienced the Magic Weekend and all the goodness on offer, it is a real missed opportunity from the NRL for not replicating it. We say it maybe needs to be shared around a little. Some say Brisbane, we say Adelaide, the USA or Port Moresby. Imagine the 15000 sell out watching all their rugby league heroes.
- The Women’s Autralia v New Zealand matches are of a high standard and a great addition to the schedule. Until you see these sides smashing each other then you don’t know what you’re missing out on.
- You can see jerseys that will never feature again. Most of them shouldn’t.
We always put our money where our mouth is. And Auckland Nines is no different. Pity the money doesn’t follow the mouth. Pardon the pun.
Our winner – Gold Coast – is currently paying a handsome $19.
RANGITOTO – Brisbane
HUNUA – Canberra
PIHA – New Zealand
WAIHEKE – Gold Coast
Gold Coast + Canberra
PROPER PREVIEWS & TEAMS FROM NOTHING BUT LEAGUE
We could do a preview for each group with the teams, but our friends at Nothing But League have already done it. And they do it better than us. We even supplied our thoughts on one of the groups. Can you guess which one?
RANGITOTO GROUP – Featuring Brisbane Broncos, Melbourne Storm, Newcastle Knights, Wests Tigers.
HUNUA GROUP – Featuring Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Sydney Roosters
PIHA GROUP – Featuring Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, New Zealand Warriors, Parramatta Eels, St George Illawarra Dragons
WAIHEKE GROUP – Cronulla Sharks, Gold Coast Titans, Penrith Panthers, Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
ONE PLAYER TO WATCH FOR EACH TEAM
BRONCOS – BENJI MARSHALL – Inspired or Waste of Money – the Nines will give a preview for 2017.
CANBERRA – ZAC SANTO – Did an excellent job when filling in during 2016. Can show a little more at the Auckland Nines whilst he has the chance.
CANTERBURY – RHYSE MARTIN – PNG International moved from Townsville Blackhawks.
CRONULLA – JACK BIRD – One of the Sharks best in 2016, but will he carry that on?
GOLD COAST – JARRYD HAYNE – Can only be one man. As Fox Sports will show when they play.
MANLY – CAMERON CULLEN – Tore it up in Intrust Super Cup GF, gets a chance for Manly in 2017 before he’ll probably spend year in NSW equivalent. Shame.
MELBOURNE – CURTIS SCOTT – Storm missed out by not selecting Justin Olam from PNG but Curtis Scott has plenty.
NEWCASTLE – BROCK LAMB – Can take over from suspended Mullen.
NORTH QLD – Kayln Ponga – Can the youngster live up to the hype of his huge off season signing to Newcastle.
PARRAMATTA – SEMI RADRADRA – Former Gurgler favourite Semi has decided to go to Rugby Union. Pffft. One last chance to entertain us before we completely don’t care about you.
PENRITH – James Tamou – Interesting to see if Penrith will get buyers remorse
SOUTHS – Antohny Cherrington – Signed from Redcliffe and was one of their best in 2016. Given Cody Walker’s emergence, maybe they’ll take another chance.
ST GEORGE-ILLAWARRA – Shaun Nona – Yes another ISC recruit, but the way he destroyed Burleigh in the State Championship proves he should make it given the chance.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS – JOHNNY TUIVASA-SHECK – Large part of Roosters U20 GF win. Has plenty.
WESTS TIGERS – KEVIN NAIQAMA – Great hair
For those following the Auckland Nines and can’t be arsed going to another website, here is the full draw.
|Time||Team 1||Team 2|
|Game 1||10:00 AM||Sharks||Titans|
|Game 2||10:25 AM||Panthers||Bulldogs|
|Game 3||10:50 AM||Dragons||Eels|
|Game 4||11:15 AM||Warriors||Sea Eagles|
|Game 5||11:50 AM||Knights||Tigers|
|Game 6||12:15 PM||Broncos||Storm|
|Game 7||12:40 PM||Cowboys||Roosters|
|Game 8||1:05 PM||Raiders||Rabbitohs|
|Women’s Game 1||1:30 PM||New Zealand||Australia|
|Game 9||1:55 PM||Sharks||Panthers|
|Game 10||2:20 PM||Titans||Bulldogs|
|Game 11||2:45 PM||Dragons||Sea Eagles|
|Game 12||3:10 PM||Warriors||Eels|
|Game 13||3:45 PM||Knights||Broncos|
|Game 14||4:10 PM||Tigers||Storm|
|Game 15||4:35 PM||Cowboys||Raiders|
|Game 16||5:00 PM||Roosters||Rabbitohs|
Day 2 – Sunday February 5
|Time||Team 1||Team 2|
|Game 17||8:35 AM||Sharks||Bulldogs|
|Game 18||9:00 AM||Titans||Panthers|
|Game 19||9:25 AM||Sea Eagles||Eels|
|Game 20||9:50 AM||Warriors||Dragons|
|Game 21||10:15 AM||Tigers||Broncos|
|Game 22||10:40 AM||Knights||Storm|
|Game 23||11:05 AM||Cowboys||Rabbitohs|
|Game 24||11:30 AM||Roosters||Raiders|
|Quarter-Final 1||11:55 AM||1st Waiheke||2nd Rangitoto|
|Quarter-Final 2||12:20 PM||2nd Waiheke||1st Rangitoto|
|Quarter-Final 3||1:05 PM||1st Hunua||2nd Piha|
|Quarter-Final 4||1:30 PM||2nd Hunua||1st Piha|
|Women’s Game 2||1:55 PM||New Zealand||Australia|
|Semi-Final 1||2:40 PM||Winner QF1||Winner QF2|
|Semi-Final 2||3:05 PM||Winner QF3||Winner QF4|
|Women’s Game 3||3:50 PM||New Zealand||Australia|
|Final||4:40 PM||Winner SF1||Winner SF2|