Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 9, part 2

Will he or won’t he?

Will Matfield come out of retirement to play for and probably captain the Springboks? At the moment he is unsure but is definitely thinking about it. It is not like he has not being keeping fit either. He recently had this to say ” “I’ve taken up cycling as a sport and I’m using it to keep fit,” he added. “My wife and I have been riding together, which has been great fun.”

Er… cycling with your wife? Maybe you should be klapping gym, boet. If Matfield is seriously thinking about it he should be smashing weights and eating steaks. Standard fare for a Bok captain. I am sceptical about him making a comeback and I think it is far more likely that Fourie Du Preez will come back and captain the side. I guess we need to wait and see but I am mostly sure that coach Meyer knows what he is doing… mostly.

For now though, let’s head into the next three Super Rugby games and klap some predictions and then later, eat some steak, Bok captain styles.

Super Rugby Round 9, Sat 21 April 2012

Waratahs vs Rebels

The Rebels looked okay against the Blues but then again the Blues have looked fairly shit average all year, so not a huge achievement there. Last week, however, the Rebels were brought back down to earth in a hurry by a dominant Brumbies side and I reckon they are in for more of the same this week.

The Waratahs were not hugely impressive against the Force but did pick up a valuable away win and will be keen to build on that momentum this week. They are historically a tough side to beat at home and have never lost to the Rebels, home or away, so will go into this as big favourites. The forwards will have the Rebels number and starve Wallaby couple Kurtley Tache Beale and James Bieber O’Connor of quality ball, allowing the Tahs to take this with a bonus point.

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 11:40am

Waratahs vs Rebels Prediction: Waratahs by 10-20

Sharks vs Chiefs

This should be a cracker of a game. The Chiefs did very well to beat the Cheetahs after trailing by 5 in the last quarter of the match last week and will be high on confidence. A big part of their success this year is due to a much improved defensive display. They are a more balanced side than in previous years and it is paying off in a massive ‘Sonny boxer Williams knock out punch’ kind of way. The Sharks have already identified SBW as the danger man and if you remember how he smashed through their defences last year for the Crusaders in London, it is understandable that they are targeting him.

The Sharks have just come back from a fairly successful overseas tour and will be hoping to use the confidence gained out of their bonus point victory against the Blues to get them one more win before their first bye. Their performances have been fairly erratic this season and will need to deliver a convincing 80 minute showing if they are to stop the Chief’s run of consecutive wins.

Tough one to call this…The home side could well have the tiniest of edges in the forwards, especially if Bismark is declared fit and if they defend like they did last week, they should sneak a vital win.

Venue: Mr Price Kings Park, Durban

Kick-Off: 5:05pm

Sharks vs Chiefs Prediction: Sharks by less than 7

Bulls vs Brumbies

Jake White has done a good job in a short space of time with this Brumbies side but they have as yet, not been tested by a very strong side away from home. In fact the majority of his young squad have never been to SA, let alone Loftus Versfeld. They are coming off a convincing victory against the Rebels but will find the Bulls a far tougher prospect, especially in the form they are in.

The Bulls were very dominant against the Lions and were patient and effective in chipping away at and then overcoming the early 10-0 scoreline. They are coming off a couple of very tough games and still need to tour overseas but at home they are incredibly difficult to beat. Chilliboy Ralepelle is playing the best rugby of his career and his ability to compete on the ground mixed with his accurate throw ins, big defense and solid scrumming make him the form SA hooker of the tournament so far. The Brumbies will come out firing but fade away to lose without a bonus point. Bold prediction, perhaps… but that’s how I roll.

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Kick-Off: 7:10pm

Bulls vs Brumbies Prediction: Bulls by 10-15

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on April 19, 2012.

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