Super Rugby Preview, Round 16, part 1

Massive congratulations to the Springbok Sevens team for back to back victories in the Sevens series, finishing runners-up overall and showing serious guts, heart and some good old-fashioned Bok pride. Full credit must once again go to Paul Treu, surely one of the finest coaches around.

In their last game the Blitzbokke came back from 35-19 down against a very good Australian side. They eventually won 36-35 with a last move of the game try to Sibusiso Sithole, finished off with an elaborate swan dive. Classy.

Last week was a fantastic week for SA rugby with 4 of the 5 SA sides winning. Things are certainly looking pretty gosh darn rosy for the RWC2011 and no mistake. Now if we can just stop killing each other in derby games, we may actually have a fully fit Bok squad, come September.

Highlanders vs Force

The Highlanders went down to an inspired Lions side last week in a shock result that has seriously dented their play-off hopes. They know they cannot lose another game and have brought back Adam Thompson into their starting team. Luckily for them they play the Force at home and should have the intensity back to get the win at home.

The Force played well last week against the Hurricanes and indeed looked like winning for most of the game, only to lose in the last 5 minutes to some quality back play inspired by Aaron Cruden. They are still missing James Flash Gordon O’ Connor but will offer some stiff resistance before falling away  in the last quarter.

Venue: Carisbrook Stadium, Dunedin

Kick-Off: Fri, 9:35am

Prediction: Landers by 10

Rebels vs Stormers

The Rebels have struggled in the second part of the tournament and look especially flat without Danny Cipriani. Whether or not he is still keen on Supe Rugby remains to be seen but rumour has it he wants to get back North to the comforts of… I don’t know what. Mortlock and Co. will be keen to do well at home but will struggle against the defense of the Stormers.

The Stormers have done well without an experienced flyhalf and will be hoping Peter Grant is able to play in their remaining games back home. Young Kurt Coleman will get better and Alistair Coetzee must be happy that the last tour game is against this below standard Aussie side. Jean De Villiers is back with Jaque Fourie, so expect some quality line breaks, solid midfield defense and smash you in your face fun for the whole family. Let’s hope they have figured out how to score some tries…

Venue: AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 11:40am

Prediction: Stormers by 16

Bulls vs Waratahs

The Bulls have finally hit their straps in a massive way and are looking in fine form. Morne Steyn is back to his best and had a blinder against the Cheetahs. Fran Hougaard looked very much the perfect back up to Fourie du Preez and Danie Rossouw is peaking at just the right time. The Bulls will know that a win here gives gets them into the top 6 and will be looking for a 4-try bonus point for Justin. Just in case.

The Tahs will be very disappointed with their loss to the Sharks last week and were looking like the better team on the night before some JP Pietersen brilliance, scoring a 70 metre try, destroyed their hopes and dreams. Kurtley Tache Beale is always dangerous and Berrick Barnes is back but they are still without Phil Hunchback Waugh. The Bulls enjoy a 5 year winning streak against the Tahs and will be tough to beat in the form they are in at home.

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Kick-Off: 7:10pm

Prediction: Bulls by 7-14

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on June 2, 2011.

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