Super Rugby 2012 – Preview and Predictions: Round 2, part 1

One week down and so very many more to go.

Let’s be honest the rugby on display this past weekend in Super Rugby was fairly SHITake average. Yes there were some close games, which is always good to see but it appears that once again new rule interpretations at the break down have stifled running rugby. Note the word “interpretations” as these are not new rules, it is just that the refs have been instructed by the IRB to be very strict at the breakdown for the first few weeks of the tournament.

Seems to me that if they want more running rugby they should simplify the breakdown rules so that peeps can be more competitive at the tackle point. I have written a strongly worded letter to Paddy O’ Douche telling him what I think of him and his douche ways but I guess for the time being, the teams and indeed the fans will need to just get used to countless penalties and kicking contests (especially in local derbies).

Anyhoo, let’s get down and dirty and face smash our way into this week’s games. Last week’s SuperBru was a bit of a fail but no reason to panic, as Naas would say, this competition is not won in February! Let’s see if I can do better this week…

Super Rugby Round 2 Fri 2nd March

Chiefs vs Blues

The Chiefs looked good in the first half against the Highlanders but after injuries to key players spent the second half failing to hang onto passes and struggling to match the Highanders’ forward effort. Wing Lelia Masaga, who was their best player, prop Ben Afeaki and experienced All Black Brendan Leonard are all out injured and the Chiefs will struggle against a relatively injury free Blues side.

Blues coach, Pat Lamb has resisted the urge to start Ma’a Nonu, who arrived this week from a stint in Japan and has made only one change to the side that did the business against the Crusaders. Imagine how scary Nonu he must be to the Japanese… quality.  The Blues will be seeing this as a perfect opportunity to get their first Super Rugby 2012 win and although playing away, should do so on Friday.

Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Kick-Off: 8:35am (SA time)

Chiefs vs Blues Prediction: Blues by 5-12

Rebels vs Waratahs

The Rebels had a bye last week, so their current form is hard to comment on (although it is the Rebels, so how good can it really be?). They are without injured Sterling Mortlock but do have Kurtley Tache Beale and James Justin Bieber O’Connor in their team this season which makes them far more dangerous, unpredictable and perfect for pool activity adventures.

The Waratahs are without Wallabies Rocky Elsom, Drew Mitchell, speedster Lachie Turner and Berrick Barnes and will be looking to their depth to pull off an away win in Melbourne. Adam Ashley-Cooper has moved to wing but it is in the forwards where the Tahs will look to dominate. Tricky one to call this due to all the injuries but the tiny part of me that cares about this game thinks the Tahs will edge it.

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 10:40am

Rebels vs Waratahs Prediction: Waratahs by less than 7

Lions vs Hurricanes

The Lions looked rusty against the Cheetahs and for the first 65mins did not look like Currie Cup Champs with mistakes a plenty and the seeming inability to win a lineout. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies kept them in the game with accurate kicking and impressive general play and in the end they will feel relieved for the victory after being outplayed for most of the game. They have brought back Michael Killian, in for James Kamana and Stephen Greef, making his debut at lock. Let’s hope he can win at least 1 lineout.

The Hurricanes did better than many expected last week against the Stormers with new flyhalf Beauden Barrett having a superb debut with a try, impressive defense and accurate kicking. They were ill-disciplined and heavily penalised and were down to 13 men at one stage but looked very dangerous on the counter attack and the Lions will need to starve them of possession in order to achieve a 2nd home win.

Venue: Coca-Cola Park

Kick-Off: 7:10pm

Lions vs Hurricanes Prediction: Lions by 5-10

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on February 29, 2012.

3 Responses to “Super Rugby 2012 – Preview and Predictions: Round 2, part 1”

  1. Well acording the the super bru rankings you guys need that Hamsolo on staff…

  2. Stormers will go all the way and cheetas will surprise.

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