Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 18, part 2
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good bye
To all the sides who are not back next weeeek
You tried your best but did not make the play-offs
Not to mention the Lions who may not be back at all…
I…I’m sorry…I can’t finish I am a little choked up…talk amongst yourselves, here look at this picture of Mila Kunis for a while.
* wipes away tear *
Ok, back to me.
I have already given my final log standing predictions but hey, I have been wrong before, just ask my bookies but let’s put massive outstanding debts aside and take a gander at the final four games before the play-offs.
Super Rugby round 18, Sat 14 July 2012
Reds vs Waratahs
The Waratahs have not won in ages and will be desperate to finish the season on a high and knock the Reds out in the process. Congrats to wing, Drew Mitchell who will play in his 100th Super Rugby game. Drew will be keen to impress Robbie Deans in his last game before the Castle Championships and if the Tahs forwards can give the backs good front foot ball, it could open up chances for the former Wallaby. This side has not gelled as a team this year though and will struggle against the motivated Reds team.
The Reds will be clinging to the hope that other results go their way but a four try bonus point win is an absolute minimum for them to have a chance. They welcome back Digby neck tattoo Ione from injury and will look to bring him into the game as much as possible. Look out for backline magic as Genia combines with Burglar Cooper, Ione and Mike Harris in what could well be an entertaining but thankfully final, Aussie Derby.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Reds vs Waratahs Prediction: Reds by 7-15
Stormers vs Rebels
The Rebels did well to come back into the game against the Lions last week with some slick handling and ball in hand play. This week they are up against a much better defensive team though and will find the tries far harder to come by. They are still without Tache Beale and Bieber O’Connor but look out for Sterling Mortlock who is still capable of creating something out of nothing in the midfield.
The Stormers have recently been denied the chance to keep Canadian Jebb Sinclair for the play-offs, which is a bit harsh considering their recent 8th man injury crisis. SANZAR states that any player signed on after the 1st of April is not eligible for the play-offs, except in special cases. Not sure how having season ending injuries to four players in one position is not a special case but it is SANZAR so no surprise really.
The Stormers should win this battle at a canter and even though captain Jean de Villiers has been warning anyone who will listen how dangerous the Rebels side are, realistically the Stormers should be bleak if they do not get the four point bonus win. Hooker Deon Fourie comes in at 8th man with Tiaan Liebenberg taking his place and Jebb dropping to the bench. The Stormers will keep to the same
boring effective game plan and win this one comfortably.
Venue: DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Stormers vs Rebels Prediction: Stormers by 10-20
Sharks vs Cheetahs
The Cheetahs nearly caused an upset in fairly terrible weather last week with Heinrich Brussouw in particular having a strong game. Do we need him for the Bokke? Of course we do. The prediction for Durban is mostly clear with an outside chance of drizzle later on, so expect running rugby from everywhere. What about getting into opposition territory first, you say. Firetruck that, say the Cheetahs as they look to win this and finish with their best Super Rugby win record everrr.
The Sharks surprised most and in the process screwed my SuperBru, with the big win over the Bulls last week and John feel it in my plums Plumtree will be a happy man looking ahead. Willem man mountain Alberts, Steven Sykes and Pat I use clear for men Lambie are all available for this game although Bismark is doubtful with an injured knee. They will want a four try bonus point but the way they are playing at the moment should mean they get that fairly comfortably in front of their home crowd.
Venue: Mr Price Kings Park, Durban
Sharks vs Cheetahs Prediction: Sharks by 7-15
Bulls vs Lions
The Lions had a classy first half last week and looked very much like the Currie Cup champs that they are. Unfortunately they reminded everyone why they are at the bottom of the log by letting the Rebels come back and take the lead. Centre Waylon Murray had a great game however and his linking with Lionel Mapoe was glorious to watch. Lock Franco van der Merwe and Mapoe are on the doubtful list and if either don’t play it will be a massive dick punch to the side.
The Bulls, like the Sharks need a bonus point win to secure their respective places in the play-offs and should get it without too much bother. Of course should they win without a bonus point and other results go their way, they may well end up 6th on the log and get to fly to Canberra instead of Christchurch, which would actually suit them more.
They have kept roughly the same side with Lock Wilhelm Steenkamp coming in for the injured Flip van der Merwe and Deon Stegman taking his place on the bench. It must be said that the Bulls have done well to get this far after losing so many quality players at the end of last season but will need a much better performance than last week if they are to progress further than the quarter-finals.
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Bulls vs Lions Prediction: Bulls by 7-15