CHICAGO, IL- The Rhinos are this weeks dish to be served up to the irresistable Tigers whose opening to the 2010 Metro season has been nothing short of barnstorming. With a line up that could beat most teams in the US, the Tigers look to be too big, too strong and too good for the young, inexperienced Rhinos.
It is hard to come up with the right adjectives to describe the Tigers and even harder to find weaknesses in this team that the Rhinos may look to exploit. Meyer leads a forward line that features the greatest of them all in Brian Hoyt as well as Chris Bradshaw, John Dhoory, Rory Junius and possibly even Warrick Burgmann. The midfield is as good as it gets. Led by Crackers Brennan and featuring Vince Dhoory, Trimberger, EP, new gun Jason Wilhelm and renaissance man Matt Leibowitz as well as the best of them all in Peanut Uhlmann, the Rhino mids are going to be well and truly up against it. In the off chance the Rhinos can get it over the center, they’ll meet Poncho, Schmelzer, McHale, Gunn, Fitzgerald, Grisoni and big Pace. All up, this is an all star team that is, more worryingly, playing like an all star team and Francis Bradley likes nothing more to down a few beers after feasting on Rhino steaks.
As the lead up to the game continues, Bradley was asked about his highly fancied team and had this to say, “We are the best by a mile and complacency will be our only challenge to overcome. The Rhinos are down but are cunning. Drake will cheat, use slight of hand, bend rules and use all that experience to get a win but at the end of the day, they have to kick goals and they aren’t doing it on my watch. I am gonna enjoy this 20 goal win as much as last years grand final”.
When told of Bradleys comments, Drake was upbeat and pointed to the vast improvement in the Rhino runners and said he has something in store for his president when the two lock horns friday night with both likely to line up on each other. The Rhinos will get Morgan and Deutz back to provide a bit more attack and with Ortiz playing well, the forward line looks like it might be settling again finally. The backline is strong without being fantastic thus far and Clarke, Scher, Dorsett, Hattery and Jackie Thompson must fire in support of stalwart Disco Panek who will likely get the job on the dangerous Bradshaw, EP, Trimberger of Wilhelm, whoever the Tigers elect to throw forward out of their impressive ruck lineup.
But the midfield is where it is always won and lost. Toby Allen and Rocky Deehan lead an engine room that got out of 1st gear against the Piranhas last week but this obstacle is much bigger than the Rhino V 8 will have to hum like a hooker. Choi in the ruck will have some big questions to answer this week and the Rhinos will need a lot out of Borchardt, Blundell, Wolfe and whoever else Drake can throw at the Uhlmann- Brennan- Leibowitz triangle of magnificance.
This one is easier to pick than Brett Favre under pressure… Tigers by 8 goals, Meyer to kick a lazy 7, Hoyt 5.
WHO: LS V WV
WHEN: Friday, May 14th
WHERE: Waveland Park Fields, CNR Waveland and LSD
WHAT ELSE: Piranhas to supply umpires and heckling.
KEY MATCH UPS: Bradley v Drake, Scher v Meyer, Hattery V Hoyt, Leibowitz v Allen
KEYS TO THE GAME:
RHINOS: Stopping the Tiger runners and breaking the ‘Bradley Wall’ that surrounds the Tiger defence.
TIGERS: Their forwards being able to break the shackles of a quality backline that has the ability to shut down any team on its day. Much will depend on Hoyt as he is the star of this team along with Uhlmann and Brennan.