Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 5, part 1
Great week for SA teams!
Great week. All of the sides who played, won and the others scored the rather lame but still around this year, 4 points for a bye.
Nice one guys, turtle high-five!
Last week I rambled on about how great the kiwi sides were looking and perhaps just maybe the SA sides read the post and were like “whatever bru, check this rugby awesomeness out”. After the improvement in performance shown, no other conclusion is more likely.
The Stormers started off the weekend with another strong forward showing in beating the Blues, followed by the Sharks come from behind victory over champs, the Reds and topped off in fine style by a last-minute try to the never say die Cheetahs against the Rebels. Glorious scenes all round and a slow climb up the SuperBru ladder to boot.
Unfortunately the SA sides’ unbeaten run will come to an abrupt end this week with
the Cheetahs facing the Crusaders an expected mouth watering Lions vs Stormers game.
Let’s have a closer look at the first 3 games of the weekend.
Super Rugby Round 5, 23rd March 2012
Blues vs Hurricanes
The Blues are without flank Luke Braid for this game after he was handed a 3 week ban for striking a Stormers player. This is the last thing Coach Pat Lam would have wanted but he could well have some players back from injury for this game. The Blues were pretty average against a very physical Stormers side but did come back into the game strongly with 2 well taken tries.
The Hurricanes did not look particularly good against the Highlanders but were still in the game right up to the end and will know that they are capable of more. Players like Victor Vito and Cory Jane had impressive games last week and they will know that with more accuracy and discipline they could well surprise against the Blues side who may be a wee bit pooped after the long travel back home.
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-Off: 8:35am (SA time)
Blues vs Hurricanes Prediction: Hurricanes by less than 7
Rebels vs Force
The Rebels have been far better this year than ever before and will be shattered by the last-minute loss to the Cheetahs. Their defense has improved dramatically and captain Gareth Welshman Delve has been an inspirational force in the pack. News is Danny boozer Cipriani has signed with the Sale Sharks and will be leaving after the Super Rugby season. Set care levels to ‘Meh’.
Some of you maybe wondering why I put a thumbs up pic of Kelly Brook here. 2 reasons… 1) Danny used to date her (I know… hard to believe) and b) Boobies!
The Force won a dull Aussie derby last week against the average looking Waratahs. Credit to them for scoring a quality try with slick handling and actual catches and everything. Slow clap guys. They will take a lot of confidence from that game and will fancy their chances to pick up another win this week. Expect another piss poor Aussie derby with even worse Aussie commentary.
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Rebels vs Force Prediction: Force by who gives a flying FiretrUCK
Waratahs vs Sharks
The Sharks came back incredibly well against the Reds to pull off a victory that looked unlikely after being 17-0 down in the first half. Bismark is finding some fantastic form and stole vital ball at the breakdown for his side. His lineout throwing needs work but his job was not made easier by having to throw to newby lock Jandre Marais. Hopefully JP Pietersen is back for this as the Sharks have a great opportunity to get an early win against a shaky Tahs side.
The Waratahs have included Berrick Barnes at flyhalf and may drop captain Halangahue to the bench, as they look for that “X-factor” that they are so clearly missing. Last week the Tahs were booed off the ground by their home side…Embarrassing! They may well be super amped for this after last week but it may well be a fantastic chance for the Sharks to get an early overseas win in Sydney.
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: Sat 6:35am
Waratahs vs Sharks Prediction: Sharks to sneak famous win