Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 10, Part 2
Before we continue our perusal of this week’s Super Rugby action, let’s take a moment to congratulate John Smit on becoming CEO of the Sharks.
Well done, sir. Now I am not entirely sure what John’s specific duties will be but let’s hope one of them will be to figure out why the Sharks seem incapable of playing well in back to back games, that and how to get the Sharks’ cheerleaders to be at every game, even ones where the Sharks aren’t playing. Get to it, John. Godspeed.
Back to the three games left in round 10 and derbies all of them. Usually Aussie derby games are ho-hum affairs but this one between the two best Aussies sides, both in-form should be a classic. Let’s get involved in an uncomfortable, excuse me, you are in my personal space, kind of way.
Super Rugby round 10, Saturday 20th April 2013
Reds vs Brumbies
The Reds played their best game of the season last week when they beat the Chiefs in Cowbell country. Scrumhalf Will Genia brings out the best in Quade part-time boxer full-time burglar Cooper and the flyhalf, recently left out of Robbie Deans’ Wallaby camp had a blinder. James Horwill has added that much-needed aggressive physical grunt to the forwards and they are once again looking like the champion side of two years ago. Look out for Digby scary neck tattoo Ione who returns to the team from injury in the only change to the side from last week.
For the Brumbies, powerful Fotu Auelua returns to 8th man, with Ben Mowen moving to the flank and in the backs, Tevita Kuridrani replaces the injured centre, Andrew Smith who pulled a hamstring within the first 5 minutes of the game last week. Jake White’s side beat the Reds convincingly when these sides clashed in the early rounds but will find them a far tougher assignment in Brisbane now that they have their stars back. The Reds are always tough to beat in Brisbane and should sneak a close one in front of a sell out home crowd.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: Sat, 11:40am (SA Time)
Reds vs Brumbies Prediction: Reds by less than 7
Sharks vs Cheetahs
Before the start of the season the Sharks would have looked at this game as a bankable 4 points. Well not any more! The Sharks were woeful last week against the Stormers and looked disinterested in simple things like scrums and rucks. Experienced players Ryan Kankowski, Jannie Du Plessis and Frans Steyn are all out of form and the Sharks are suffering as a result. John I feel it in ma plums Plumtree has had enough and dropped Kankow altogether and the others to the bench. Jean Deysel, Wiehahn Herbst and Riaan Viljoen take their places and Odwa Ndungane comes in for the injured JP Pietersen.
The Cheetahs have yet to have a bye and coach Naka Drotske’s biggest task is going to be managing his team and trying to get the same high intensity from his troups until their bye in two weeks’ time. Prop Coennie maybe I ate your baby Oosthuizen finally gets a start in the only change to the side, with Trevor Nyakana dropping to the bench. The effects of their overseas trip and a gruelling last gasp win over the Stormers was evident at the end of last week’s Bulls game and unfortunately for them, they may again run out of gas at the end of this derby game.
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Sharks vs Cheetahs Prediction: Sharks by less than 7
Kings vs Bulls
The Bulls are coming off a solid win last week against the Cheetahs and have made only one injury enforced change with Arno Botha coming in for Dewald Potgieter. Scrumhalf Jano Vermaak retains his place after recovering from a slight hamstring injury and will be keen to kick on from the form he has been in for the Bulls this season. The Bulls will once again employ their
boring standard kick chase orientated game and will try to build a solid lead early on to close out the game and silence the passionate PE crowd.
The Kings have already achieved more than anyone, including themselves, would have expected and it must be said, massive maverick thumbs up to them. Luke Watson returns from his sore throat to captain the side at 8th man and Bandise Maku and Kevin Buys return to the front row. Last week’s drop goal hero Demetri Katrikilis starts at flyhalf with George Whitehead once again at fullback. The Kings seem to have perfected the art of the comeback and thrive if given a sniff at the death but the Bulls will know this and will be keen to keep them in their own half especially in the last quarter. This should be a very entertaining game in an awesome stadium, one I reckon the Bulls will win.
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kings vs Bulls Prediction: Bulls by 5-10