Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 14, Part 2

You know when you think you have ample time to get something done and then you realise that you have totally underestimated the mission it is to get sorted?

Welcome to the SHITake storm that I now find myself sailing in. Mo worries though, mate. I will of course still slam out part 2 of the predictions and my actual ‘job’ can wait, I say. Deadlines be damned and all that. Wonder if my boss reads this blog… If so, I am of course just joshing about my actual work. *nervous laughter*.

*awkward silence*

Four games ahead this Saturday, two of them crrritical derbies but all cracking match ups no mistake, let’s rock this Casbah.

rock-the-casbah

Super Rugby round 14, Saturday 18th May 2013

Crusaders vs Blues

Sir John has brought back his heavies for this game, with hooker Kevin Mealamu, Culum Retallick and Luke Braid all returning after being rested last week. In the backs, Jackson Willison starts at inside centre with impressive Francis Saili dropping to the bench. The Blues struggled last week in the second half against the Rebels but got the win with the bonus point and will know that if they can play like they did in the first half, they could well cause an upset.

Kieran Read returns from injury and will start at No. 8 for the Crusaders, shifting Luke Whitelock to the bench. Not to worry Whitelock fans there are still two Whitelocks starting and two on the bench. Want to play for the Crusaders, change your name to Whitelock… easy. The Crusaders are coming off a bye but before that were very solid in defeating the Brumbies. The Blues last won in Christchuch back in 2004, so will be the underdogs for this game but I get the feeling that the Blues will be happy with that. Possible upset on the cards? Maaaybe but hard to bet against the Crusaders at home.

Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Kick-Off: Sat, 9:35am (SA time)

Crusaders vs Blues Prediction: Crusaders by less than 7

Waratahs vs Brumbies

Two changes for the Waratahs for this game with Paddy Ryan coming in at prop and Drew Mitchell getting another start on the wing. The Tahs are slowly creeping back up the table after an up and down start and a win here will bring them right back into contention for a play-off spot.

The Brumbies have made two changes themselves with Scott Sio coming in at prop and Scott Fardy returning at lock. The Brumbies looked far less impressive against the Crusaders before their bye and Jake White will know how vital a win will be if they are to remain the Aussie leaders. Look out for SA born prop Ruan Smith coming in off the bench. Nice Jake, way to poach our talent, gosh! Aussie derbies are always sometimes drab affairs but with Wallaby squad positions up for grabs, who knows mate, could be a cracker.

Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 11:40am

Waratahs vs Brumbies: Brumbies by less than 7

Bulls vs Highlanders

This game is the Bulls’ to lose. The Highlanders sucked the big one again last week, not for lack of trying but have been very disappointing this season. The Bulls are coming off a bye but were hit with a case of the manflu and have decided to rest the players who are still getting over it. Francois tattoo sleeves Hougaard returns at scrumhalf, Lionel Mapoe starts in place of Bjorn Basson, Jan Serfontein returns at centre and Frik Kirsten gets another chance in the front row.

Ahh the Highlanders. They are a team filled with All Blacks who just cannot get it together and appear to try too hard at times. They showed moments of brilliance against the Kings but were out mauled in the end and will feel the strain should when the Bulls do the same to them at Loftus. If the Bulls get an early foothold, this could end up being a big loss for the Dunedin crew but if they can get their lineouts in order it may be a closer situash.

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Kick-Off: 5:05pm

Bulls vs Highlanders Prediction: Bulls by 13-20

Cheetahs vs Reds

Quade burglar Cooper2

Quade burglar Cooper recently complimented the Cheetahs for their style of play, comparing it to his Reds side a few years ago. At least he made it sound like a compliment, it’s hard to say with Quade. Maybe he is an awesome bloke and not a total douche after all? Love him or hate him, he is in fine form along with Will Genia. If the Cheetahs do not limit their space, they could make life for the cheetahs very tricksy indeed, especially with Digby scary neck tatts Ione and speedy Rod Davies waiting in the wings. Literally.

The Cheetahs have brought in Elgar Watts at flyhalf and Riaan Smit on the bench, meaning Burton Francis drops put of the 22 altogether. Haaarsh. If he passes a late fitness test, Lappies Labuschagne will again start at flank, with Boom Pinsloo getting a chance off the bench. The Cheetahs will need to be far more accurate on attack and defense and should perhaps be looking to build more phases before going wide. Just sayin. If they get it right, they may well upset the high-flying Reds and inch closer to that elusive play-off spot.

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Kick-Off: 7:10pm

Cheetahs vs Reds Prediction: Reds by less than 7

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on May 16, 2013.

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