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

I feel up until now we have not taken enough time to appreciate the real hard workers in Super Rugby. I am talking of those who train and practice for hours on end,come rain or shine (ok they probably go inside when it rains), all for our viewing pleasure.

They have  super tight outfits, sacrifice their Saturdays and surely get injured (p.s I would like to formally offer my services as a masseuse, I specialize in upper thigh and groin injuries). I am talking about the super rugby cheerleaders. Smiley face!

Sorry about the cheesy music, I find it’s best to watch without sound. Especially if you are at work.

Quality, love your work, well done ladies. Ok now back to me for the next 4 games this weekend.

Super Rugby Round 2 Saturday 3rd of March.

Highlanders vs Crusaders

The Crusaders got their Super Rugby campaign off to a winning start by beating the Blues in a tightly contested NZ derby last Friday and will be looking to build on that with a more accurate showing against the Highlanders. Newby flyhalf Tyler Bleyandaal had a solid game and with the support of experienced Andy Ellis at scrumhalf and captain Kieran Read at 8th man, expect even more this week from this talented youngster.

The Highlanders did well to beat the Chiefs especially with all the pre-season injuries they have had to deal with and will be hoping to retain possession for long periods as they face the daunting Saders team. They are still waiting for All Black Colin Slade to return from injury and with second choice flyhalf, Chris Noakes on the doubtful list, will be hoping he returns post-haste! Expect another bruising NZ derby, some razzle dazzle from Israel Dagg and toit Crusaders defense.

Venue: Forsyth Bar Stadium, Dunedin

Kick-Off: 8:35am

Highlanders vs Crusaders Prediction: Crusaders by less than 7

Reds Vs Force

I predicted the Reds would lose last week against the Waratahs but they snatched a victory at the death. Some wise old bloke once said that winning becomes a habit, that and the continual use of Class A drugs… but I digress, the Reds have that winning habit and somehow won a game they looked to have lost. They were not as flashy without twinkle toes Quade Burglar Cooper but are looking like a very a solid side.

The Force were very disappointing last week with poor handling and general rustiness the order of the day against the Brumbies. They had several try scoring opportunities and squandered them all. Expect them to be better this week but not good enough to beat the Reds in Bribane.

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 10:40am

Reds vs Force Prediction: Reds by 7-15

Cheetahs vs Bulls

The Cheetahs looked a bit of alright against the Lions and have found a very promising flyhalf in Johan Goosen. He has a donkey boot and seems unfazed by the extra pressure Super Rugby brings. The Cheetahs in general were, however, ill-disciplined and should have closed the game out with a lead of 10 points with 15 mins to go. Juan blood diamond Smith is still out of the team for this game as is Andries Strauss, serving a 2 week suspension for a tip tackle.

The Bulls went back to their infamous kick chase game against the Sharks last week and it worked well for them. Besides the bizarre 0-0 score line after 40 min , Morne Steyn, that ol chestnut, kicked them to a lead which they managed to defend to secure a home win. Wynand Olivier and his flowing locks are back in the run on side but other than that the team is unchanged.

The Bulls should win this close derby game by relying on accurate kicking and solid defense to get them through.

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Kick-Off: 5:05pm

Cheetahs vs Bulls Prediction: Bulls by less than 7

Stormers vs Sharks

This could well be the game of the weekend. The Sharks looked very rusty against the Bulls but there were encouraging signs, JP Pietersen looked very promising at centre and the Sharks were all fire and brimstone in the last quarter. Their line outs were shaky at best though and they did not appear to have high enough intensity levels, which they will look to rectify on Saturday. Frederic Michalak was piss poor at scrumhalf and Plumtree could do worse than bringing back Charl Mcleod. Ryan Kankowski is out injured, which may leave them wanting in the loose forwards.

The Stormers had a bit of a mixed bag of emotions themselves with an up and down performance against the Canes. Jean de Villiers was average at best, some would say he has been for some time now but newcomers Steven ginger to the max Kitshoff and Siya Kolisi (in for injured Schalk Burger) both had blinders. Habana was largely missing thoughout the game and with Juan de Jong coming back has moved back to wing. The Stormers should be slight favourites at home and with their solid defense, improving scrum and impressive lineout, should win this one but not by much.

Venue: DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

Kick-Off: 7:10pm

Stormers vs Sharks Prediction: Stormers by less than 7.

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on March 1, 2012.

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