Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 3, Part 1

Bit of a mixed bag of matches last week, from the “Great game, very entertaining, well done lads” Chiefs vs Highlanders, to the “Holy ball SHITtake this is boring, yawnfest!” Bulls vs Stormers and finally the “Can they? I think they may… yes they did. Well played guys” Kings vs Force game.

Chiefs Rugby

My team of the week is the defending champ Chiefs, who showed the loss of Sonny boxer Williams is no big deal, bro. Special mention goes to the Kings, who performed admirably in front of a passionate crowd. If only the Lions could get such support at Ellis Park…

It is easy to read too much into the first proper round of Super Rugby and it must be said that most of the SA sides looked rusty in their first hit outs, particularly the Stormers. No need to panic though I say, we have a long way to go yet and as I always once said Superbru is not won in February.

Looking ahead to this weekend and we have 2 potentially awesome derby games, with the resurgent Blues taking on the Crusaders at home on Friday morning and a re-match of the semi-final last year between the Sharks and Stormers on Saturday evening. Booom! Let’s kick on into Friday’s situations.

Super Rugby round 3, Friday 1st March 2013

Blues vs Crusaders

The Blues surprised many, this humble pie eater included, by beating the Hurricanes away last week. Centre Frank Halai and wing Francis Saili both had blinders and repaid the faith shown in them by coach Sir John Kirwan. Piri less pies, more treadmill Weepu looks sharp and fit and Ali Williams captained the side well. This week they will be hoping for a step up in their overall performance and some encouraging home support if they are to upset the All Black riddled Saders side.

The Crusaders had a bye in the first week and will be keen as mustard to get on the ol’ paddock. Centre Robbie Fruean will receive his 50th Super Rugby cap on Friday and although they are without Ritchie captain charming McCaw are otherwise fielding a very strong line-up. Israel Dagg moves to the wing to accomodate Tom Carter at fullback, with Dan the man Carter starting in his favoured flyhalf role. 8th man Kieran Read captains the side and with an All Black front row and three Whitelock brothers in the side, they will be very hard to beat.

This should be a very entertaining kiwi derby with the Blues looking to prove they have moved on from last season but will struggle against the championship side, who will be keen to kick-start their season with a convincing win.

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland

Kick-Off: Friday 8:30am (SA time)

Blues vs Crusaders Prediction: Crusaders by 7-14

Waratahs vs Rebels

Waratahs vs Rebels

The Waratahs had a sketchy start to their season last week with a loss to the Reds and were decidedly bleak with their performance and the result. They have a chance to get back into winning ways this week though with a home game against the Rebels. They are still without injured Berrick Barnes but have brought back prop Benn Robinson to boost the front row.

The Rebels are without captain Gareth Delve for this game and have moved Scott yellow card Higginbotham back to his preferred 8th man posish. James O’ Connor went off the field after taking a knock to the head last week but has recovered enough to lead the Rebels in what would be their first ever win over the Tahs should they pull it off. Will they? I would not bet on it… and not just because my wife no longer allows me to bet on rugby.

Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 10:20am

Waratahs vs Rebels Prediction: Waratahs by 12-19

Reds vs Hurricanes

The Reds have brought in speedster Aidan Toua at fullback and have moved Wallaby Mike Harris to the bench, where he will join Radike crazy afro Samo, who returns from injury. They have only beaten the Hurricanes once in the last 10 years, so if predicting on history is your thing, then maybe backing the Canes is not the worst idea ever, although the Reds are playing at home and do gosh darn love playing in front of their Brisbane fans.

The Hurricanes struggled against an accurate Blues side last week at home and will be hoping for a better performance this week. Captain and defensive leader Conrad Smith left the field in the second half and they will be hoping he recovers in time for this game. The Canes are a tricky side to back and by that I mean every time I do, they lose, so this week I say history be damned as I back the Reds to clinch a toit one.

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 12:20pm

Reds Vs Hurricanes Prediction: Reds by less than 7

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on February 27, 2013.

3 Responses to “Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 3, Part 1”

  1. […] on the quality of rugga on show last week in the Highlanders vs Chiefs game. I have already said in Part 1 that the Chiefs were my team of the week last week and one of the reasons for this and indeed their […]

  2. […] Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 3, Part 1 (bowlphilosophy.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 3, Part 1 (bowlphilosophy.wordpress.com) […]

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