Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 7, Part 2
Happy Easter and all that. Another weekend another public holiday… glorious times and no mistake.
Four more Super Rugby action adventures to smash our way through, so let’s get to it. It feels like my man flu has reached stage 11, which as you may or may not know is one higher than stage 10, also called Death stage, so I will try to get through these predictions without dying a terrible and painful death but I can’t promise anything.
Super Rugby round 7, Saturday 30th March 2013
Brumbies vs Bulls
The Bulls very nearly snatched a late win last week in Brisbane and already have 5 points from their overseas leg but will be desperate for another 4 points on Sat. Coach Ludeke is finally starting Jan Serfontein at centre and all eyes will be on the former Junior Bok world Cup winning captain. In the forwards Bok Juandre Kruger comes back into the side and Deon Stegmann has (apparently) recovered from his hamstring injury to take his place at flank.
Brumbies fullback Jesse Mogg should start this week and was one of the vital players missing when Jake’s side lost last week against the Stormers. Jake talked his side up quite a bit last week, even going so far as to say that his team were favourites and that they really just needed to get a lead to win. Dammit Jake, your mouth’s writing cheques your body can’t cash. Top Gun quote… check! The Brumbies are far better at home but have just flown back there after a fairly bruising situation at Newlands and the Bulls will be a desperate side, which makes this game tricksy to the max to call. My gut says the Bulls but I reckon the safe money is on the Brumbies.
Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra
Kick-Off: Sat 10:40am (SA time)
Brumbies vs Bulls Prediction: Brumbies by less than 7
Cheetahs vs Rebels
Breaking news: Kurtley brawler Beale has quit rugby indefinitely. He has decided to take some time to deal with his drinking problems. Well there you have it, full respect Sir. Beale was not eligible to play for this game due to an injury but word coming out of Aus was that he was probably going to be heavily penalised for his alleged punching of fellow team mates Gareth Delve and Vuna Cooper. How will this affect the Rebels? My guess, they will lose and continue to suck masssive balls.
The Cheetahs will be keen to get the full 5 points from this game and continue their impressive early season form. A solid win here and they are sitting pretty and in the best log posish they have ever been in at this stage in the season.The team is unchanged and rightly so. If they can stay injury free and maintain their new-found defensive attitude, they will be very tough to beat in Bloem for the rest of the season.
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Cheetahs vs Rebels Prediction: Cheetahs by 15-20
Stormers vs Crusaders
The Crusaders are without Kieran Read, Richie captain charming McCaw and Dan the man Carter for this clash and this should tilt the game the way of the Stormers. George Whitelock leads the side and Tyler Beyendaal gets a start at flyhalf. I recently saw Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty and Zac Guildford at Steenberg golf club, I gave a knowing nod and they did so back at me, standard form shown. Zac was looking longingly at the bar but I will be pleased to say did not order any drinks. Keep strong Zac.
The Stormers are without their ginger prop of justice for this game and Ex Lion Pat Cilliers gets another chance to impress. Peter Grant is out injured for the next 4-6 weeks and Schalk Burger and Eben Etzebeth have yet to recover from injury but the Stormers have been doing fairly well without them recently, so no real worries there. Elton Jantjies had his best game last week for the Stormers and will be keen to pick up where he left off. This should be a quality game of rugga and if Duane Vermeulen and Andries Bekker can repeat their efforts from last week, should secure a toit win for the home side.
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Stormers vs Crusaders Prediction: Stormers by 5-10
Waratahs vs Force
Set care levels to ‘meh’ for this Sunday game. The Waratahs finally played with some heart last week to come from behind and beat the Blues. The Force started well last week but eventually lost to the Cheetahs at NIB Stadium last week.
Who will win this Aussie derby? This is what Harrison Ford had to say about it.
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: Sunday 7:05am
Waratahs vs Force Prediction: Waratahs by 7-15