Super 14 Previews and Predictions – Semi Finals
First up, how great is it that we have two home semis? If not we would have had to wake up at sparrow’s fart on a Saturday morning and although sometimes fun and often leading to eventful days, drinking 12 beers before noon is generally frowned upon.
So well done to the Bulls and Stormers, you have allowed us a lie-in and a possibly satisfying drunken afternoon and evening, which is far more enjoyable and more accepted by society in general.
Some stats and facts:
- On only 4 occasions in 28 matches of Super Rugby playoffs has a visiting team been victorious
- Bakkies recently tried to give Victor a hug for good luck, he has been cited and banned for another 4 weeks
- This will be the 100th game for Victor Matfield for the Bulls
- Luke Watson phoned to wish the Stormers good luck but no one could remember who he was
- This is only the 2nd time in history that 2 SA teams will be hosting the semis
- Jaque Fourie had to be reminded of the game on Sat. After so many seasons for the Lions, he had already planned to go to a braai to watch the semis.
- Morne Steyn is the leading points scorer in 2010 on 219 points. 3 points more to beat Carter’s record from 2006
- Ma’a Nonu had this to say “should be a f**** cracker mate, looking f***** forward to some f**** quality f***** footy.
Ok, as Tina Turner once sang “the show must go on” and so without any further ado, the predictions…
Bulls v Crusaders, Soweto 5:00pm
Many scribes/commentators/fools have mentioned that the Crusaders have the momentum. Huh? The Saders lost 3 of their last 4 games while the Bulls won 3 of their last 4 games. What momentum? Only one of the Bulls who lost last week is starting in this game, Jaco Vd Westhuizen. He had this to say “Ja look we will win because of our faith. Jesus loves everyone but the Bulls are his favourite”
The Crusaders lost to the Bulls a few weeks ago playing possibly their best game of the season, while the Bulls missed tackles and had one of their worst games. I can’t see the Saders playing much better on Saturday but I can see the Bulls upping their game significantly.
Dan Carter said they are thinking of playing an expansive game instead of the safer Test match approach, usually prescribed. When Morne Steyn was asked how the Bulls would play he said “Ja, look we will probably kick more, play Bulls rugby and win”
The game is being played in Soweto and from the pictures I have seen, it looks a fantastic stadium. It is so great that this game is being held here and I wish I could afford to be there. Damn you poverty! Expect to see a sea of blue and a mini Loftus atmosphere. Notice in the picture how the stadium is so awesome, the lines paint themselves!
The travel factor will make a difference and the Crusaders will lose this one.
Prediction: Bulls by 10.
Stormers v Waratahs, Newlands 7:10pm
Most of the people I have spoken to, see this as a mere formality. They reckon the Stormers will beat the Waratahs, the Bulls will lose and the Stormers will move on to their first ever final. I say whoa, pump the brakes there guys, I fear this match will be a lot closer than you think.
The Waratahs have been playing better rugga since they lost embarrassingly earlier in the season to the Stormers and it seems their back three and tight five are in fantastic form. They have lost Ben Alexander though, so what would have been a scrum advantage will be less so now.
The Stormers have the team to go all the way and with their incredible defence and home ground advantage are rightly starting as favourites. My biggest concern is the inexperience of handling the immense pressure of a home semi-final.
When asked for comment, Burger was adamant they would be soaking up the atmosphere, playing for the Newlands faithful and putting in some big hits on defence. When asked if this meant running straight into people at full pace with no concern for his own safety, he simply smiled and finished a Gatsby in two bites. Fourie had this to say. “It’s the Waratahs, hello….” He then smirked and walked through a nearby wall.
Prediction: Stormers to win by 7.
Final: Bulls vs Stormers