Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 15, Part 1

TMOs. Too Much Officiating. Is it me or are these guys making shocking decisions on an weekly basis?

For officials who have replays and a calm and controlled environment to make decisions with the aid of slow-mos and different camera angles, these guys still continue to make shocking calls. Where there should be certainty, there is only “Sheesh I am not sure, this one camera angle says one thing but this one says another, I have no idea. I will just go with the decision that favours the home side, LOL”.

TMOs

Recently Sir Graham Henry had a massive go at the TMOs and match officials in general, after the Blues lost to the Crusaders. He even went so far as to question whether the TMO was in fact blind. In the last month both Dave Rennie and Mark Hammett, coaches of the Chiefs and Hurricanes respectively have publicly complained about the standard of the refereeing. The Stormers opted for the ‘swear and threaten’ route to make their grievances known. So does referee boss Lyndon Bray come out and acknowledge any faults or mistakes? Are you new here? No, he defends the refs week in and week out and for good measure slaps the Stormers with a $25,000 fine.

Anyway let’s all just calm down. We’ve got to keep our composure, we can’t afford to freak out! Back to Super Rugby and the team of the week is the Crusaders, who are looking in ominous form. 7 games to call this week and all could go either way, let’s get down to it and dance this prediction dance.

Super Rugby Round 15, Friday 24th May 2013

Chiefs vs Crusaders

The Crusaders have brought back Israel Dagg into the side with Robbie Fruean dropping to the bench. Tom Taylor moves to inside centre and Ryan Crotty to outside centre. In the forwards, Codie Taylor gets a start at hooker, replacing the injured Corey Flynn. The Crusaders are back to winning ways and with Dan the man Carter and captain Read getting their grooves back, are looking very much title contenders.

The Chiefs have a bye next week and look like a team that need it. Coach Dave has made two changes to the starting side with Ben Tameifuna replacing namesake Ben Afeaki at prop and Patrick Osborne replacing wing Lelia Masaga who drops to the bench. In some good news, All Black flank, Sam Cane will get a run off the bench. This is tricksy to the max to call but the Crusaders have a very good record against the Chiefs and on current form, look the better side but not by much.

Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

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

Chiefs vs Crusaders Prediction: Crusaders by less than 7

Rebels vs Waratahs

The Rebels finally managed to beat a South African side in Super Rugby by defeating the Stormers last Friday and well done to them. Questionable calls aside, they did very well, especially in lifting their intensity towards the end of the game and successfully defending the Stormers maul close to their goal line on 3 separate occasions. James O’ Connor is still out but the team’s confidence will be high regardless. Look out for captain Scott Higginbotham for funniest name who is in the form of his life.

The Waratahs are the form Aussie side at the moment and proved it by coming from behind to beat the Brumbies last week. Berrick Barnes once again made a huge difference off the bench and should get a start in this game. Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and lock Kane Douglas are both out injured with Polata-Nau to miss the Lions series with a broken arm. No team news as yet but the Tahs have never lost to the Rebels and will know they absolutely have to win this to stay in play-off contention.

Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 11:40am

Rebels vs Waratahs Prediction: Warathas by 5-10

Blues vs Brumbies

The Brumbies were dealt a dick punch to their forward pack with the injury to George Smith , who has been their best player every week since joining the Brumbies from Japan. Look out for returning Wallaby centre, Pat McCabe who should get a run, possibly off the bench. Jake White’s crew have faltered after an early season flourish and know they cannot afford any more slip ups as they risk being overtaken by the Reds and Tahs.

Graham Henry

The Blues felt somewhat hard done by in the last game, just ask Sir Henry but will know that they were not up to standard and will need an improvement at home if they are to secure victory and remain in play-off posish. This is another toit one to call, both will be desperate for the win but the loss of Smith and home ground advantage is making me lean towards a close Blues win and a far happier Henry.

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland

Kick-Off: Sat, 9:35am

Blues vs Brumbies Prediction: Blues by less than 7

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on May 22, 2013.

2 Responses to “Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 15, Part 1”

  1. Did I miss the part where we spoke about the Lions victory in the Vodacom Cup? Liiiiiooooooonnnnnsssssss!

    We’re coming for you Kings/Stormers/Sharks/Cheetahs!!!! In no particular order.

    Although I would love it if the Stormers were knocked out the competition not because I don’t like the Stormers, but so we could watch SARFU squirm in the seats and see what amazing sub-clause, additional contract addendum they come up with to stop the Stormers getting relegated.

    Of course we would have to beat them first! Lets not get ahead of ourselves! Think we need to meet the Kings for our best chance to return to Super Rugby.

    Anyhoo, LIONS!

    You know who!

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