Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 10, part 2

Ahhh Thursday before a long weekend… today you are like a Friday and everyone knows that on Fridays, the best policy is to ease back on the throttle, slip into cruise control, open some random spreadsheet in case peeps walk by and casually look at celebrity nipple slips interesting things online.

Glorious!

In the latest Bok news, Heyneke Meyer has had to change his initial thinking with regards to the Springbok side to face England in June. He (wisely) initially planned to stick to a core group of experienced players and bring in a couple of rookies as he needed to, but injuries and player unavailability (Jaque Fourie, Danie Rossouw and Fourie Du Preez) has forced his hand somewhat.

Word on the 22 is that he may well hand caps to Eben Etzebeth and Marcel Coetzee and is still undecided or reluctant to announce the new Bok captain. We will keep you in the loop/circle of trust as and when we hear more. Interesting times ahead and no mistake.

Onto the next three Super Rugby games though and more chances for players to put up their hands for Bok selection.

Super Rugby 2012 round 10 Sat 28th April

Force vs Stormers

The Force have been disrupted by news of their coach Richard Graham bailing to the Reds next season. Apparently when the players heard this, they basically told him to ‘jog on’ and have forced him out now instead of at the end of the season. Will this galvanise the players into an unstoppable er…force? Or will it make them even more rudderless?

The Stormers are still without Eben Etzebeth, Gio Aplon and Duane Vermeulen for this game. Thankfully, for Alistair Coetzee, Andries Bekker has recovered from his back problems and will captain the side. Danie Poolman comes in on the wing with Bryan Habana retaining his place at second centre.

Nizaam Carr will get his first start at No 8 and Frans Malherbe comes in at prop for Brok Harris, who drops to the bench. With all these changes, the Stormers will be stoked to be playing the Force. Their depth will be tested but their defense is far too good for this Force side and they should win this and come home with a very successful 3 from 4 record.

Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off: 11:40am

Force vs Stormers Prediction: Stormers by 5-10

Cheetahs vs Highlanders

The Highlanders recently swore off booze for the next 4 weeks to give themselves the best chance at progressing to the play-offs. Wait… have they been playing drunk or with hangovers this whole time? Slow clap. They will know that they need at least one victory on this SA tour if they want to push for a top 6 finish and will have more than likely targeted this game.

The Cheetahs welcome back Adriaan Strauss, Johan Goosen and Tewis de Bruyn for this game and will know a win is vital to keep their diminishing chances of a play-off spot alive. They have looked very good in some games and average in others with their defense often letting them down at crucial times. They are definitely capable of a win here but have never beaten the Highlanders before and a lot will depend on how their forwards cope with the Highlanders pack.

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Kick-Off: 5:05pm

Cheetahs vs Highlanders Prediction: Highlanders by less than 7

Waratahs vs Crusaders

The Crusaders are the bookies’ favourites to lift this years Super Rugby title and judging on last week’s performance, it is hard to argue with that. They have kept Dan the former man Carter at inside centre with impressive Tom Taylor keeping him out of the flyhalf spot. The big news this week though is that Richie captain charming McCaw returns to the side, albeit off the bench. He has finally recovered from his foot injury and they will be slowly easing him back to get him back to full fitness. Terrible news for all sides except the Crusaders.

The Waratahs won a mostly boring game against the Rebels last week and will need a massive improvement if they are going to stop the Crusaders juggernaut. They have been inconsistent this year but are only 1 point behind the 3rd placed Brumbies. A win here will boost them significantly but I just don’t see it happening against this Crusaders side. If the men in black and red get anywhere near as good a start as they did last week, expect another hammering.

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: Sunday, 7:10am

Waratahs vs Crusaders Prediction: Crusaders by 15+

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on April 26, 2012.

One Response to “Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 10, part 2”

  1. Rennton, my picks exactly, we already both got the first prediction right, the first paragraph of part 2 of your predictions, what a nice thursday before the looong weekend :-)

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