Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Round 13, part 1

Only a few more rounds to go until the mid-season break, which I am sure injury hit sides, like the Lions and Highlanders, are massively looking forward to. If only they got points for the  four weeks of not playing like they do in the bye weeks…

It looks more and more likely that the Cats option will not happen and even more likely that the Lions will be making way for the Kings. I have many issues with this whole fiasco but something that I read recently, makes no sense at all and that is that SARU have announced that will only guarantee the Kings one season in Super Rugby. In 2014, The Kings the bottom side will have to play a relegation game against the Lions side knocked out.

Huh? The whole point of pushing the Kings into Super Rugby was to develop the game in the Eastern Cape, bring in some much-needed income and get the many players, who played school boy rugga in the area and then left, an incentive to return, to play top-level rugby.

How the FiretrUCK does SARU expect them to do all of this in one season?  What if half their side gets injured in the first few weeks next year? If you are not going to give the Kings a fair chance of cementing their place in Super Rugby why are you even bothering in the first place?

Bit of rant I know but I am three draughts in… yehooo! My advice: if you are going to include the Kings, first let them play Currie Cup rugby for a few seasons and then give them a proper chance.

Boom! You’re welcome.

Geez, enough already I hear you say. Fair play indeed, let’s accept the way it is for the time being as we smash our way into the first 3 games.

Super Rugby 2012 Round 13, 18 May 2012

Hurricanes vs Brumbies

The Hurricanes are coming off a very good victory over the Highlanders in Dunedin in a toit affair that they snatched with some Julian Savea magic. They still have a shot of making the play-offs and will be hoping to bank a further 4 points against the injury hit Brumbies side. Look out for Samoan flyhalf, Tusi Pisi getting his first start of the season. Being Samoan, he will more than likely start a fight be an aggressive player, so should be easy to spot.

The Brumbies have been hit right in the meat and two veg by an injury to accurate goal kicker and playmaker extraordinaire, Christian Lealiifano, which prompted coach Jake White to try to bring back Stephen Larkham, who is 80 years old or something. After failing to get Larkham to come out of retirement, Jake has finally settled on 34-year-old ex Waratahs, Peter Hewat. With the Reds looking close to the form of last season, the Brumbies will know they need to keep winning if they are to end up as the top Aussie side. This s a tough one to call but I reckon I will go with the home side.

Kick-Off: Fri, 9:35am

Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Hurricanes vs Brumbies Prediction: Hurricanes by a whisker

Highlanders vs Bulls

The Highlanders would have been bleak to lose last week at home and will be gunning to knock over the table topping Bulls. They have a depleted side however and Mike Delaney is not in the greatest form with his kicks at goal. They will need to be disciplined on Friday night as any slip ups will be punished by the ever accurate Morne I’m going for poles Steyn. They need a win here to get back into the top six but it will be tricksy to the max against a side that is finding ways to win regardless of actual form on the day.

Take a bow Morne Steyn for your 100th Super Rugby game for the Bulls, not too shabby. Steyn has all sorts of Springbok and Super Rugby records, too many to mention here but if you want to check them all out, Google that shitake but trust me it is impressive.

Best hair style is however not one of them.

The Bulls have made 3 changes to the side that squeaked a win against the Waratahs last week, with Boks Dewald Potgieter, Wynand Olivier and Dean Greyling all coming back into the side. This is another hard game to call but I reckon the Bulls could well edge a close one.

Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Kick-Off: Sat, 07:00am

Highlanders vs Brumbies Prediction: Bulls by a Steyn conversion

Crusaders vs Blues

What to say about last weeks’ loss to the Rebels, in a word ‘Freaking Awesome’. It is hard to support any Aussie side especially as the loss screwed my chance at a GSP on SuperBru but it is always good to see the Crusaders lose. Richie McCaw had a mostly forgettable night, giving away a couple of penalties and then knocking on, in the last move of the game. He is still looking a touch sluggish but will improve, don’t you worry. The Crusaders are too good a side to lose two games in a row against average opponents and should bounce back on Sat in front of the home crowd. You would get some superb odds on them losing though…

The Blues finally won one and although it was against the Lions, it still counts, apparently. The Braid brothers were the best of a bad bunch last week and if they can repeat those kinds of performances, they could deny the Crusaders the quality ball they so crave. Expect Ma’a Nonu to lift his game against the old enemy but for the Blues to fall back to their losing ways.

Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Kick-Off: 9:35am

Crusaders vs Blues Prediction: Crusaders by 5-15

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on May 16, 2012.

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