Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 5, Part 1
Terrible week for Superbru and my predictions in general but when you bet against three SA sides against Kiwi opposition and they all win, it certainly still brings a smile to the face and I have to say it hurts so good.
Don’t you know that it hurts so goooood.
Sometimes scores don’t go like they should.
They make it … hurt so good. Da na na na!
Thank you Cape Town, I am here all week.
It is not easy picking a team of the week from last week so I will pick two, the Bulls and Cheetahs. Both made history by winning at their respective away New Zealand venues and both did it with uncompromising defense, powerful packs and backs that used their opportunities well. It is a pity neither could pull off the 4 try bonus point but maverick thumbs up guys. Love your work.
Special mention must go to the Stormers who held on for victory in a very entertaining game at Newlands. Glorious times in the box it must be said, double whiskeys, fried chicken, meat ball situations and sushi for the win! Is there a better way to watch rugby? I don’t think so.
Apologies for the sketchy picture, that is the best I could do zooming in on the DHL cheerleaders using a camera phone.
On to this week and the questions on many minds. Can the Cheetahs continue their away form with a victory over the Waratahs? Can the Kings keep up their impressive defensive effort against the best attacking side in the tournament? Will the Highlanders finally win one and can I predict any of these games correctly? Let’s have a look-see, come on down.
Super Rugby round 5, Friday 15th of March 2013
Highlanders vs Hurricanes
The Highlanders are back in Dunedin where their record is much better than Invercargill and will be hoping to finally win their first game this year. They were out muscled last week and could not build any momentum but will fancy their chances against the marginally less physical Canes side. Look out for war-horse Brad Thorn back in the mix and for captain, Andrew Hore to have a big impact against his former side.
For the Hurricanes, prop, Ben May gets a start and fullback James Marshall slots in for Andre Taylor, who has been dropped to the bench. The Canes did well to beat the Crusaders last week but did receive a gift of an intercept try from a loose pass thrown by the Crusaders, who had a 6 point lead with 6 minutes to go. Did I have the Crusaders by 6 on Superbru? Yes I did, thanks for nothing guys, sheesh. I continually back the Highlanders and they continually lose but I will back them again to win at home close the gap on the other kiwi sides.
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-Off: 8:35am (SA time)
Highlanders vs Hurricanes Prediction: Highlanders by less than 7
Waratahs vs Cheetahs
The Waratahs were soundly beaten by the impressive Brumbies side last week and will know they dropped off the pace badly in the last quarter of the game. This week they face an entirely different challenge against a confident Cheetahs side. Coach Cheika has made a few notable changes, bringing in Berrick Barnes in at 2nd centre and dropping Drew Mitchell to the bench with Lachie Turner and Peter Betham coming on the wings and Israel Folau shifting back to fullback.
The Cheetahs surprised everyone, including themselves with a convincing win over the Highlanders in a game where their defense was solid and their forwards created pressure with a powerful display in the rucks and mauls. The key is whether or not they can maintain that this week. Key players, captain Adriaan Strauss, flyhalf Goosen and flank Pieter Labuschagné have not trained all week but are all cleared to start on Friday. Look out for super subs Coennie poacher Oosthuizen and Heinrich Brussouw to make big impacts later on in the game as the Cheetahs hope to pick up more valuable away points. The last time these two sides met in sydney the Cheetahs smashed them 23-3. Cray cray right? Can they do it again? Tough one this… I am going to say nay.
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Waratahs vs Cheetahs Prediction: Waratahs to edge a close one
Kings vs Chiefs
It seems the Kings have decided that defense is the way forward and have already amassed over 350 tackles in two games, which is all fine and dandy but surely cannot be maintained over the full tournament. They will of course know this and will be keen to keep their hands on the ball for longer periods against a Chiefs side that can punish them from anywhere on the field. They are still without Luke Strepsil Watson but otherwise have named an unchanged side.
The Chiefs very nearly snuck an injury time win last Saturday and will be keen to get a four try bonus point win on Friday night to take home as many points as possible from their SA tour. Dave Rennie has made a couple of changes to the front row with hooker Rhys Marshall and prop Michael Kainga coming into the side. All Black Liam Messam may be dropped for this game as the team apparently wants him to run out for his 100th Super rugby game at home next week, which says a lot for how high they value the Kings challenge. Are they being arrogant? Possibly, will it make a difference? Aww, no ways bro!
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kings vs Chiefs Prediction: Chiefs by 10-17