Super Rugby Preview – Week 2, part 2

We at the bowl wish to express our condolences to everyone affected by the tragedy in Christchurch this week. The game between the Hurricanes and Crusaders has been called off and both will receive 2 points.

Waratahs vs Reds

The Waratahs kicked off their Super Rugby season by dominating the Rebels last week. They absorbed the initial pressure and then went about putting phases together, before putting Kurtley Beale and Drew water loving Mitchell away for a comprehensive victory. This week however they face last year’s surprise package, the Reds.

The Reds looked fairly average in their first game and only just managed to beat the Force in the last few minutes. Burglar Cooper is back at flyhalf but was outshone last week by young James O’Connor. They will need to improve on last week’s performance, especially as the Tahs are famously hard to beat in Sydney.

I will almost definitely miss this game, mostly because it is early in the Saturday morning but also because it is very hard to watch a full game with two sets of Aussie commentators.

Venue: ANZ Stadium Sydney

Kick Off: 10:40

Prediction: Waratahs by 5-10.

Sharks vs Blues

The Sharks beat the Cheetahs last week by dominating in the forwards, which was more due to the conditions than the way the Sharks would ideally like to play. They are keen on a more expansive, fast paced game. It worked in the Currie Cup, led to more tries and the cheerleaders love it. Whether or not the weather will allow for a more running game is the question.

The Blues started off with an impressive win over the Crusaders and with Rene Ranger looking lethal on attack, will fancy their chances come Saturday. They have however had to travel to SA and have not beaten the Sharks since 2006. In fact the Sharks have beaten the Blues more than any other team in the tournament.

John Smit will play off the bench but with the Du Plessis bros. the Beast and the rest of the powerful Sharks forwards, the Blues will struggle to impose themselves and the Sharks should win this one and extend their Blues dominance.

Venue: Kings Park, Durban

Kick Off: 17:00

Prediction: Sharks by 7

Stormers vs Lions

The Stormers have yet to play as they had their bye in the first week but still received 4 points. That’s right; you get 4 points for not playing. No idea why either. Peter Grant is back from Japan but is not starting; Gary van Aswegen gets his debut on Saturday and will be itching to make the most of it in front of the Newlands faithful. Jaque Fourie will be playing in his first game since his injury in the Currie Cup and will resume a world-class centre pairing with Jean de Villiers.

Let’s hope the Stormers girls don’t wear cammo again, last time, when they stood next to the advertising boards I could hardly see them…da dum dissssh.

The Lions came oh so close last week to an upset win over the Bulls. Unfortunately young Elton Jantjies missed a few vital kicks and although his distribution and running was very good, he cannot afford to miss any kicks this week. The Lions looked impressive in the second half when allowed some space out wide but I don’t see the Stormers giving them much ball and with their incredible defense should manage to hold out for a close game.

I would love for the Lions to win this game but I think we will need to wait one more week for their first victory since the 2009 Super 14. Sad but true.

Venue: Newlands, Cape Town

Kick Off: 7:10pm

Prediction: Stormers by 6

Rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on February 25, 2011.

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