Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 6, Part 1

Another week and a further drop on the SuperBru rankings. What the FiretrUCK is going on? Sheesh kebabs on fire!

A quick run down and we see the Cheetahs beating the Waratahs, the Brumbies destroying the Sharks at Kings Park and the Kings staying within 7 of the Chiefs well into the last quarter. Straaaange days indeed.

Speaking of the Kings, it looks like they may be in a spot of hot water after fielding 3 foreign players on Fri night. ooooh. Cheeky Watson claims that they were told by SARU that Argentinian players are not considered ‘foreign’ and were encouraged to pick them. Of course believing anything Cheeky says is foolhardy to the max but if he is right, why is SARU investigating them for this apparent breach? The penalty of which could be up to 1 Million dollars R1-million or even a possible expulsion from Super Rugby. Tricksy to the max this one. Stay tuned for updates.

My team of the week is the Crusaders. Slick rugby all round, powerful forwards, quality backs, Dan the man Carter on fire again and Israel Dagg solid once again back at full back, good luck beating these guys.

Onto this week’s match ups and although my chances of topping my various Superbru pools have dropped from slim to Calista Flockhart, I still reckon there is time to make up the vast points differences. Let’s get massively involved.

Super Rugby Round 6 Friday 22nd and Sat 23rd March 2013

Chiefs vs Highlanders

The Highlanders have played the best for the least reward and have yet to get win this year. The game last week against the Hurricanes was very entertaining but a crucial penalty miss near the end and the odd missed tackle cost them dearly. Will they finally be able to break their win virginity against the defending champs? As I said so often in my first year at university after many dates, not this time bro, but soooon.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has made some changes to his side after last week’s win over the Kings, with Nick Crosswell coming in for 8th man Ross Filipo and prop Pauliasi Manu coming in for Ben Afeaki who moves to the bench. Michael Fitzgerald replaces lock Craig Clarke and in the backs, All Black Richard Kahui could make his return off the bench, after being out with injury since the start of the season. Liam Messam will play in his 100th Super Rugby game and he and the Chiefs will be hoping to celebrate with a home win and another week at the top of the NZ conference log.

Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Kick-Off: Fri, 8:35am (SA Time)

Chiefs vs Highlanders Prediction: Chiefs by less than 7

Crusaders vs Southern Kings

The Kings have had incredible home support up until now and massive maverick thumbs up to the peeps of Port Elizabeth. The team’s performance has been lifted by the huge crowds and they have impressed almost everyone (bar continually bleak Lions fans) with their passion and courageous defensive efforts. Unfortunately for them I fear they will find life on the road, especially in NZ, far tougher and will do well to come away with any points on Sat morning.

The Crusaders look to be getting back to their best and will see this as a bankable 5 log points situation. Centres Robbie Fruean and Ryan Crotty were in lethal form last week and will be hard to contain should the Saders backs receive good go-forward ball. Yes, I reckon a hammering is on the cards for this game. This will be Dan the man Carter’s last game for a while as he will miss the SA trip to be with his wife as she gives birth to what will no doubt be the future All Black flyhalf in 18 years’ time. Fingers crossed for a girl, I say.

Dan Carter and wife

Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Kick-Off: Sat 8:35am

Crusaders vs Kings Prediction: Crusaders by 20-30

Reds vs Bulls

Frans Ludeke has made 9 changes to his side in a move that could be best described as “I don’t know what the hell happened last week, maybe you other okes can give it a go”. Interestingly, he has dropped Morne Steyn to the bench for the first time like everrr and brought in young whipper snapper, Louis Fouche’. Wings Bjorn Basson and Lionel Mapoe return from injury and Bok hooker and prop Chilliboy Ralepelle and Werner Kruger come back after being benched last week.

To be honest, the Reds can only get better. They have struggled this year so far but will be very stoked to have Wallabies Will Genia and James Horwill back in their ranks for this encounter. Coach Ewen McKenzie recently announced his retirement at the end of the season, presumably to be available to coach the Wallabies if they lose to the B&I Lions and Deans gets the sack. Will this galvanise them to push for another victorious season or cause panic in the ranks and drive Quade Burglar Cooper back to a life of petty crime and sad Saturday night drinking?

This game is a tough one to call but I am going to back the home side to come right, especially as the Bulls historically struggle against them in Brisbane.

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 10:40am

Reds vs Bulls Prediction: Reds by less than 7

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on March 20, 2013.

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