Super Rugby Preview – Round 6, Part 2
So much sport… I.. I love it!
Well done India on making the semi finals of the CWC and ending Australia’s amazing run. Special mention must go to Ricky Ponting for an inspiring century and for Brett Lee for using his face to try to stop a boundary. Classic scenes.
Interesting side note: Brett Lee is in a band and is hugely popular in India.
On to the rugga though and some hard games to predict this Saturday and Sunday. As my proctologist once said, ‘Let’s dive right in’. True Story.
Brumbies vs Waratahs
Both these teams are coming off losses and have recently displayed questionable form. The Brumbies have looked mostly clueless since firing their coach (no surprises there) and seem to have no real leadership in the team, despite having many experienced players. They need a new coach and pronto. Jake White has been linked to the job, could be a good move if they go with him.
The Tahs were embarrassed by the Cheetahs last week. They looked shell-shocked after the loss and were booed by their fans, which frankly was glorious to see. They are playing away this Sat and should be in with a chance against the headless chickens but don’t expect an exciting game.
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Prediction: Tahs by 5-10
Stormers vs Force
The Stormers surprised many with a victory over the Bulls last week and played a superb aggressive, direct game. Habana scored the winning try but still looks very panicky in his play. He must have dropped the ball at least 4 times in his eagerness to impress and perhaps just needs to calm the FiretrUCK down.
The Force looked calm and composed last week in downing an average looking Lions side. James O’Connor is playing scintillating rugby at the moment and will be the biggest concern for the Stormers. The Stormers forwards should have the measure of the Force however and their defense will keep the Perth side quiet.
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Prediction: Stormers by 10-15
Bulls vs Lions
The Bulls still seem to be shaking off the rust of the pre-season and have not yet hit their proverbial straps. They seem reluctant to veer away from their tried and tested kick and chase game but lately it looks mostly outdated. The senior players have not played very well and this is worrying as most of them are Springboks.
What to say about the Lions, they could well have won their first 4 games and be sitting pretty but alas they seem to be their own worst enemies. Far too much (attempted) running from their own 22 and costly mistakes with the tryline beckoning. Young Elton is surely drinking at last chance saloon with some poor defensive lapses and in general the team will have to play to the best of their abilities to beat the wounded Bulls on Sat.
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Prediction: Bulls by 5-15
Crusaders vs Sharks
This should be an absolute classic. The game is being played at Twickenham and word on the high street is that it will be close to capacity. The Crusaders have been at their glorious best and have flattened all teams they have played since the tragedy in Christchurch. They will be amped for this game against one of the better SA sides and will be hard to beat.
The Sharks lost last week in a game where they did not show high enough intensity. Their defense has been exceptional and it will need to be again on Sat. Their forwards should have parity but it is the backs who will be tested to the max with freakishly strong and fast Sonny Bill Williams in terrific form. Watch this game and enjoy two great sides in front of thousands of ex-pats, previously starved of quality live rugby.
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
Prediction: Crusaders to win a close one