Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Semi-Finals

•July 25, 2013 • 1 Comment

It’s the Seeemiii Finaaalsss!!

da da da daaaa

dada da da da

da da da daaa

dada da da da da daaaaaaa

We’re heading to Loftus

And Kiwi cowbell town

Cause we need finalists

To take it all

With so many rounds now done

And a trophy to be won (to be wooooon)

I’m sure that we’ll all enjoy the gaaames

da da da da daaaaa

It’s the Seeemi Finaaaals!

Lyrics by rennton

Music by Europe

Europe the band

Yesss, it is indeed that time. Two claps to the Reds for at least trying to have a go but in the end failing miserably against the Crusaders and a hearty well done to the Cheetahs for very nearly drawing the game (but for a missed conversion) and forcing extra time against the Brumbies last week.

Great effort Cheetahs but on to this week now and two Test match style situations coming your way on Saturday. The first an all Kiwi affair in Hamilton and the second a Saffa vs Aussie clash at Loftus. Feel the excitement, put it on. Walk around. Do some lunges. Nice. Now let’s get down and dirty and have a closer at the Semis (that’s what she said).

Super Rugby Semi Finals 27th July 2013

Chiefs vs Crusaders

The Chiefs have made numerous changes to their side with Andrew Horrell and Charlie Ngatai coming into the midfield, Asaeli Tikoirotuma getting a start on the wing and Gareth Anscomb returning from injury at fullback. Anscomb was having a blinder of a season and was leading try scorer before he got injured and coach Rennie will be hoping he finds similar form post-haste.

Continue reading ‘Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Semi-Finals’

Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Qualifiers

•July 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So here we are, the Super Rugby 2013 play-offs and the top six teams. The stellar half-dozen. 6 of the best. The supreme Super Rugby 6-pack of justice. True and golden and delicious. Man I am thirsty. Someone get me 6 beers, stat. Let’s get our drink on!

6 beers

Well done the Chiefs, Bulls, Brumbies, Crusaders, Reds and Cheetahs. Two from each conference and the only real surprise being the Cheetahs in the play-offs and possibly the fact that the Bulls finished so high up on the log. Man, I am really glad I put money on both the Sharks and Stormers…betting skills, I have none.

The Chiefs and Bulls have both earned a wee breather and will get to sit back and watch to see who will get to travel to Hamilton and Loftus next week for the semis. How it works is the Chiefs will play the lowest placed qualifying winner this week and the Bulls the highest placed. So the Bulls will be hoping the Brumbies beat the Cheetahs, as this means the Brumbies travel to Loftus, whereas a Cheetahs win means either the Reds or Crusaders (probably the Crusaders) will make their way to SA.

Tough matches to call these as form seems to have been thrown out the window with none of the top 5 sides having good games last week (the Cheetahs had a bye), with the worst being the Brumbies loss to the Force… I mean come on! Man this beer is delicious, wish it was a top 12 qualification system. Maybe I should just drink a beer for every team in tournament in honour of a good season played by all… cheers.

Super Rugby play-offs 2013

Crusaders vs Reds

The Reds were just as woeful as the Brumbies last week but due to the inability of the Waratahs to kick anything over the cross bar, still managed a win and will at least take heart that they can only get better. They welcome back Will Genia and captain James Horwill for this clash and will know that their recent record against the Crusaders is a good one, having won 3 of the last 4 games. Star centre Anthony Faingaa is out injured and is replaced by Jono Lance, which is a further injury dick punch as winger Rod Davies and Mike Harris have now also been ruled out.

Continue reading ‘Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Qualifiers’

Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 20, Part 2

•July 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So here we are, down to the last four regular games before the play-offs. Twenty rounds of smash you in your face Super Rugby match ups and we are still standing. Well played team. Maverick thumbs up.

TOP GUN

Go get yourself a beer, you have earned it. Yes, even if you are reading this at work. Tell your superior’s rennton OK’d it, they will more than likely nod and tell you to take the rest of the day off.

Three of the four games could have a significant bearing on who plays whom and where, not to mention when and why. By the end of the day on Saturday, all will be revealed. I for one think the log will stay as it is. Take that to the bank, deposit it, demand a receipt, complain about the charges and storm out.

So without further randomness, let’s get down to one last league stage preview slash prediction soiree.

Super Rugby round 20, Saturday 13th of July 2013

Waratahs vs Reds

The Waratahs are without Wallaby star Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Wycliff Palu and Tatafu Polata-Nau for this match up and as much as Micheal Cheika harps on about his boys doing their best to impress new Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie, they will struggle without the bulk of their best players. They have improved from last season but will rue a sluggish start as they end mid table this year.

The Reds have been dick punched by injuries themselves with Will Genia and Wallaby captain James Horwill out injured after the final B&I Lions Test hammering but do have Quade pick me coach Cooper ready to force his way back into the Wallaby side with a commanding performance. A loss without a bonus point could see the Reds playing the Brumbies instead of the Crusaders, which should actually suit them more but expect a confidence building win instead as they look to finish as high on the log as possible.

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: Sat, 11:40am (SA time)

Waratahs vs Reds Prediction: Reds by 5-10

Continue reading ‘Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 20, Part 2′

Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 20, Part 1

•July 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So I’m back, from outer space… actually Kwa-Zulu Natal and I have to say, what a fantastic holiday it was too. Great company, superb food and drink and an awesome round of golf to boot. Glorious times and no mistake. I was unable to post last week’s preview but did manage to catch the games though. Let’s discuss, shall we.

My team of the week is the Crusaders, who reminded all and sundry just why they have been so successful at Super Rugby for so long with a devastating win over the (former) log leading Chiefs side. Dan the man Carter, Kieran Reed, Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty and Zac Guildford all had blinders and I pity the fool team that has to play them in the play-offs.

Prediction?… Pain. Classic.

The Bulls juuust managed to edge a very impressive passionate Sharks side and will be breathing a sigh of relief that Butch James had one of his infamous brain farts and was duly sent off for a head high tackle, which enabled the Loftus crew to snatch the win.

In other games, the Hurricanes and Highlanders decided tackling was more optional than compulsory and decided to rather see who could score the most dazzling tries. The Cheetahs managed to make it into the play-offs for the first time everrr with a nervy win over the Blues and hearty congrats and maverick thumbs up to them for it. Lastly, the Kings and Stormers played a yawn fest that must be the most boring game of rugby this season.

Boring Kings vs Stomers

The Kings vs Lions relegation game is looming large and I for one, cannot wait but enough reminiscing of times past, let’s look ahead I say. There is one more round of Super Rugby action before the play-offs and 7 games coming your way this weekend. Unfortunately two of those are Aussie derbies and one is between the Rebels and Highlanders but the rest should be good. Let’s stare blankly at the first three.

Super Rugby round 20, Friday 12th of July 2013

Continue reading ‘Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 20, Part 1′

Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 19

•July 5, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Morning Sports Fans,

Brief and late (that’s what she said) describes this week’s Super Rugby post, thanks to Rennton taking himself off the grid for some well earned rest and recuperation. I received these, via text, late last night after what I assume was a lengthy debate with himself and a case of beer.

Super Rugby predictions round

(I quote):

Super Rugby Predictions for Round 19

Crusaders vs Chiefs prediction Fri 9:35am: Chiefs by less than 7

Hurricanes vs Highlanders prediction Sat 9:35am: Canes by 12-19 or who gives a firetruck

Cheetahs vs Blues prediction Sat 3pm: Cheetahs by less than 7

Kings vs Stormers Sat 5:05pm: Stormers by 15-22

Bulls vs Sharks Sat 7:15pm: Bulls by less than 7

#Boom

Aussies take on the Welsh Lions this weekend, and Hitler is upset about the axing of Brian O’Discoll

Rennton is back to regale you next week.

Have yourselves a good one.

Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 18, Part 2

•June 27, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Three more Super Rugby adventures flying your way this Saturday, all involving SA sides. Put that in your coffee, swirl it around, dunk a biscuit in there, add some whiskey. Hmmm. Delicious.

First up we have the Sharks against the Blues, which would usually be far easier to call but there is a fair amount of off the field shenans happening at the Sharks, with recently appointed CEO, John Smit getting rid of John feel it in ma plums Plumtree. What Smit possibly failed to realise is that outgoing CEO Brian Van Zyl had already agreed to extending Plum’s contract and now the Sharks may well have to pay out the two year extension promised. Oopsies.

Sharks CEOs

The next game is between the Bulls and Kings, followed by the Stormers vs Cheetahs, which (surprisingly) will be played at a dry Newlands Stadium. Cray cray to the max. Let’s get our predictions on!

Super Rugby round 18, 29th June 2013

Sharks vs Blues

Coach Sir John Kirwan has decided to bench All Blacks Rene Ranger and Kevin Mealamu for this fixture but has included flank Steven Luatua and wing Frank Halai who both made their All Black debuts recently. This is a must win game for the 8th placed Blues who will be looking to improve on their record at the Shark tank, with only two wins in Durban, the last being back in 2004.

The Sharks have a new midfield pairing in Louis Luddik and Butch James but welcome back Boks Lwazi Mvovu, Pat I use Clear for Men Lambie, the Beeeeast, Jannie du Plessis, Willem Man mountain Alberts and Marcell Coetzee to the starting line-up. Bismark du Plessis will get a run off the bench and along with Jean Deysel will make sure the Sharks have quality players subbing on if needed. Besides the boardroom distractions, the Sharks should still start as favourites and should do the Cheetahs a big favour by beating the Blues at home, ensured by a superior forward display.

Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban

Kick-Off: Saturday, 2:50pm (SA time)

Sharks vs blues Prediction: Sharks by 5-12

Continue reading ‘Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 18, Part 2′

The Mantis Shrimp – dirty science

•June 27, 2013 • Leave a Comment

mantis shrimp ze frank dub

This tank ninja is a special breed of grumpy. Ze Frank gives the little bastard some personality:

For more facts and figures, consult the oracle that is The Onion“Why the Mantis Shrimp is my new favourite animal”

 
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