Super Rugby 2012: Preview and Predictions – Final
Before I get crazily involved in this prediction, let me say a massive congrats to Cameron Van Der Burgh and Chad Le Clos for winning gold at London 2012. Sheer fried awesome guys, maverick thumbs up.
Back to the rugga now and Super Rugby Finals time!!! Heeeeyoooooo.
Well done to both the Chiefs and Sharks for making it this far, slow clap building to a standing ovation guys, nicely done.
Neither side have had the honour of lifting the trophy, which means a new name will be added to the illustrious and surprisingly short list of winners (only 6 sides have ever won it since the start in 1996). Of course the Sharks thought they had won in 2007 only for the Bulls to say “Firetruck that with a slice of cheese” as they then stole the title and trophy with a last-minute Bryan Habana try and Derick Hougaard conversion. Sad times for many as thousands of Sharks fans failed to get corks back into champagne bottles.
Onto this year and indeed this Saturday morning as we kick-start finals day off with a boozy breakfast. Alcohol at this ridiculously early Saturday hour??… you know it!!
Super Rugby Final, Sat 4th of August 2012
The Chiefs vs the Sharks
The Chiefs managed to down the Crusaders with a very clinical display last week chock-a-block filled with passionate defense and an uncompromising forward effort buoyed by a passionate cow bell carrying crowd. The immense pressure exerted by the Chiefs’ forwards disrupted the Crusaders who struggled to find any rhythm and with Dan formerly the man Carter having a forgettable night with the boot, they were always going to struggle after falling behind early on.
Coach Dave Rennie will be eager for captain Craig Clarke to pass a late fitness test as he strives to name an unchanged side. Keep a look out for Sonny Boxer Williams, playing in his last game for the Chiefs, Aaron Cruden playing in his first Super Rugby final and Liam Messam and prop Sona Taumalolo who all had crackers last week. Sona, who has amazingly scored 9 tries this year, made a point of getting under Richie captain charming Mccaw’s skin with some pushing, shoving, handbags and general shenans early on. It worked to a degree and it will be
FiretrUCKing awesome interesting to see if they try the same against the likes of guys like Bismark and the Beast.
The Sharks put in a supreme effort to take down the more fancied Stormers last week and therefore deny the Cape side a home final. The Stormers started well enough but were smashed in the scrums, average in the rucks and not as dominant as some expected they would be in the line-outs. They did come back in the last quarter but could not overcome a determined and confident Sharks team. It’s a pity but unfortunately the Stormers are still not good enough.
JP Pietersen is playing the rugby of his life and besides not playing in his favoured posish, was hugely influential and scored a glorious 2nd half try. On the injury front, centre Tim Whitehead drops out with a broken hand but Pat I use Clear for Men Lambie and U20 centre Paul Jordaan are both fit. The tricky decsions for coach John feel it in my plums Plumtree is whether to start Lambie or keep the impressive Riaan Viljoen at fullback and whether to bring in Meyer should we rather just play touch rugby Bosman in the midfield.
If these teams were playing at a neutral venue after a week’s break and no travel, I would put my money on the Sharks and no mistake but if they are to win they are going to have to do so against incredible odds. Unfortunately there is just too much going against the Sharks and I think they will struggle against a quality well coached Chiefs side. If the Sharks can get a good lead with 20 mins or so to go, then who knows man, who knows … but they will almost definitely fade at the end and I reckon the Chiefs will take this and end deserved winners of Super Rugby 2012.
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-Off: Sat 9:35am
Referee: Steve can you believe it Walsh
Chiefs vs Sharks Prediction: Chiefs by 5-10