Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 11, part 1

Ahh Monday and back to work. Wait…wait…. Wednesday, I mean Wednesday and back to work.

Not a great week on SuperBru for me with the Blues failing to win at home and the Crusaders beating the Waratahs by only 4 points. I am not sure why I keep backing the Blues, as they clearly do suck but it must be said that the Reds looked very good and may well still have a shot at making the play-offs.

In other games this week, we had a shankopotamus of epic proportions as Sias Ebersohn missed a kick from right in front of the poles to clinch a win for the Cheetahs, only for the Highlanders to land a far harder and longer attempt to steal the victory.

Sias had earlier converted a try by flyhalf, Johan Goosen (who injured his shoulder in the process) from the touchline and will be having sleepless nights for a while over the shambles he made of the easy penalty. When asked for comment he had this to say “Laces out!!!”.

The Chiefs and Stormers are once again the teams of the week, with the Crusaders, Reds, Brumbies and Highlanders all picking up valuable away wins.

Onward and upward (that’s what she said) as we venture forth into the next Super Rugby round.

Super Rugby 2012 round 11, 4th May

Hurricanes vs The Blues

The Hurricanes were well and truly beaten by table topping Chiefs side and have fallen off the early pace they set in the first few rounds. They definitely have the ability to score some quality tries but have slipped up defensively lately and are at times a touch rudderless with inexperienced flyhalf, Beauden Barrett struggling to control the game.

It must be very frustrating for Pat Lam to see so many (ex) All Blacks struggling to find any sort of form or show any real desire to work as a team, especially at home but will be hoping they can finally turn it on this week. The Reds used clever and accurate kicking mixed with a strong forward effort to easily overcome the Blues but these are not exactly the Hurricane’s strong suits. This may end up being an error strewn match but it is a derby, so expect plenty of passion and improved defense from both sides with the Canes edging it at home.

Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Kick-Off: Fri,9:35am

Hurricanes vs Blues Prediction: Canes by less than 7

Rebels vs the Bulls

The Bulls are coming off a bye and welcome back Prop, Dean Greyling and lock, Flip van der Merwe for their first tour game and really what better start to the tour could they have asked for? They are historically not as good away from home but should have the measure of the (sometimes) plucky Rebels side, especially in the set pieces.

The Rebels are without Danny Boozer Cipriani as he staggers back to the north, which may or may not be bad thing.

The Rebels are without James Bieber O’Connor, who is out for at least 2 months with a lacerated liver, which sounds terrible, but welcome back old man river, Sterling Mortlock who is finally fit and will slot in at centre. Loose forward, Jarod Saffy is out injured and the Rebels will do well to match the Bulls forward pack and keep the scoreline respectable.

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 11:40am

Rebels vs Bulls Prediction: Bulls by 10-20

Chiefs vs Lions

The Lions delivered one of their worst defensive displays last week against the Brumbies and have looked way off the pace this year. The Brumbies are a very good side under Jake White this year but the Lions did their best to make them look even better with some very poor tackling and no real fire or passion from the young side. Yes, they are inexperienced and decimated by injury but it appears coach John Mitchell is coaching a game plan that does not suit his personnel, so must take some of the blame.

The Chiefs have had an amazing unbeaten run but will be looking forward to their bye in a couple of weeks. This week should prove no big deal though as they will surely be more than happy to be playing against a walking 5 pointer. The Chiefs forwards have been setting the platform for their exciting backline players all season and coupled with an impressive defense have proven very hard to beat by all the sides they have faced so far. To expect the Lions to succeed where the top teams have failed is SPAARTA!!! I mean MADNESS!!

Venue: Bayer Growers Stadium, Pukekohe

Kick-Off: Sat, 9:35am

Chiefs vs Lions Prediction: Chiefs by 10-20

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on May 2, 2012.

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