Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 6, Part 2
Public holidays are a thing of beauty and I plan on spending mine sitting on the couch, watching cricket, drinking beers and talking SHITake with mates, Zac Guidford styles.
So let’s not stand on ceremony, whatever that means, and plunge balls deep into the next four games this weekend. Oh wait, here is an update on the Kings vs SARU debacle, Cheeky Watson has admitted that he is a huge douchebag. This is unconfirmed. What is confirmed is that they have withdrawn Argentinian Tomas Leonardi and Frenchman Virgile Lacombe from the touring squad and both will fly home to play in the Vodacom Cup side.
Greg Peters, head of SANZAR yesterday confirmed that they had broken no SANZAR rules and therefore could not be docked points or disqualified from Super Rugby. So really, they only broke SARUs rules and nothing seems to have come of this. Boriiiiing.
Super Rugby round 6, Saturday 23rd March 2013
Force vs Cheetahs
The Force pulled off one of the upsets of the year so far with a well fought win over the Reds last week and will be full of confidence playing back in Perth this week. Flyhalf and ex-Cheetah, Sias Ebersohn played a blinder and is building a very impressive partnership with scrummie Alby Mathewson. The Force fronted up very well on defense last week and will need more of the same against the attacking Cheetahs if they want to pull off two wins in a row.
The Cheetahs have exceeded expectations on their overseas tour so far and will be aiming for their first clean sweep overseas ever. Unfortunately for them they have lost Johann can’t play more than 3 games without injury Goosen and their chances may well depend on newbie flyhalf Riaan Smit. Look out for Heinrich Brussouw, starting his first game since the Currie Cup last year, after coming on off the bench to good effect in the last two games. Hard one to call this but I reckon the Cheetahs may well sneak this one and make history along the way.
Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: Sat, 12:45pm (SA time)
Force vs Cheetahs Prediction: Cheetahs by less than 7
Sharks vs Rebels
John I feel it in ma plums Plumtree has decided to make some changes this week and why not, after last weeks embarrassment. Out of form Frans Steyn drops to the bench and Meyer Bosman gets his chance at centre. In the forwards, lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, prop Wiehahn Herbst and hooker Kyle Cooper, all get starts and a chance to cement their places in the side. The Sharks sucked donkey balls last week and need to improve massively but will be glad the train wreck of a game came last week rather than in the business end of the tournament.
The Rebels are coming off a bye and welcome back Welshman and captain Gareth Delve. They are without Kurtley Tache Beale but do have BFF James Bieber O’Connor starting at flyhalf, once again and Cooper Vuna coming back into the side on the wing. They will be hoping the Sharks are as accommodating in defense as they were last week but the Sharks should be full of fire and brimstone and should take this one comfortably.
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Sharks vs Rebels Prediction: Sharks by 13-20
Stormers vs Brumbies
Alistair Coetzee vs Jake White. Master vs Apprentice. Defense vs Attack. Not quite but I wanted to keep with the ‘versus’ theme. Coetzee has brought back Juan de Jongh into the side at 13 and Jaco Taute back onto the bench after both recovered from their respective injuries. Hooker Tiaan Liebenberg gets a start as the Stormers look to front up in the scrums and dominate the lineouts. For all his bluster and quality open field play, Deon Fourie is fairly average with his throw-ins, which really is inexcusable when you are throwing to
14 foot 7 foot tall Bekker.
The Brumbies surprised the Sharks with an expansive running game, when they were clearly expecting a game of touch against a blind side. Will they employ the same strategy against the Stormers? I don’t think so. The Stormers are defensively better than the Sharks and the Brumbies may well use tactical kicking game to try to unlock the Stormers defense. Look out for little chip kicks and high bombs being the order of the day, possibly from both sides. This is another tough one to call but home ground advantage and the passionate Newlands faithful should mean the Brumbies are dealt their first loss of the season.
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Stormers vs Brumbies Prediction: Stormers by less than 7
Waratahs vs Blues
The Waratahs have been woeful so far and seem to be struggling to come to terms with new Coach, Michael Cheika’s prescribed style. Berrick Barnes is once again ruled out, this time with a thumb injury. Geez Berrick, grow a pair, GOSH.
For the Blues, they are coming off a bye and Sir John Kirwan and Sir Henry will be keen to get back on the winning horse of glory and beat the Waratahs for the first time in Sydney in 10 years. If the Blues can repeat their earlier performances and get quick ball they could run the Sydney strugglers off their feet. Look out for further misery for the Tahs as the Blues win this one on a casual Sunday afternoon.
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: Sun, 7:05am
Waratahs vs Blues Prediction: Blues by 5-10