Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 15, Part 2
Four more Super Rugby adventures this Saturday followed by the UEFA Champions League final!
Sporting daaays, don’t let them pass you by.
A great day for a braai.
Music and lyrics by rennton.
Two quality mouth-watering, beer guzzling, smash them in their faces, SA derby games coming your way, not to mention what should be a cracker at Newlands, oh ja and the Force vs the Highlanders.
Questions that spring to mind: Can the Kings upset the rugby cart with an upset over the Cheetahs? Can the Sharks rekindle the end of season form from last year and go on a winning run to sneak into the play-offs? Can you use ‘sporting days’ to describe a day of watching sport? Let’s wade in and see what we can see. I can’t promise accurate answers here except for the last question, where the answer is: No, but it sort of rhymes with ‘glory’.
Super Rugby round 15, Saturday 25th May 2013
Force vs Highlanders
My interest level in this game is about as low as the level of rugga expected. See what I did there, you’re welcome. The Highlanders should beat the Force but they ‘should’ have beaten the Kings, Cheetahs and Hurricanes too. Ma’ dreadlocks Nonu comes back into the side for this clash and will be keen to show he still has what it takes to be in the All Black squad.
For the Force, they will know they could have won more games than they have this season and have played better than in years gone by. Their defense has been far improved and will need to be again but in front of their home fans should get the win, especially since the Landers have just travelled back from SA after a disappointing tour.
Venue: NIB Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: Sat, 11;40am (SA time)
Force vs Highlanders Prediction: *Zzzzzz* oh sorry, I nodded off there. Force by…*Zzzzzzzz*
Kings vs Cheetahs
Kings flyhalf Demetri Katrillis has been included in the next Bok training group and deservedly so. He has been one of the reasons the Kings have done so well this season and what better way to celebrate than to inspire them to a victory on Saturday. Easier said than done though. The Kings did very well to beat the Highlanders before their break but he Cheetahs will be a far tougher opposition who will properly test their defense and forward pack, especially at the set pieces.
The Cheetahs have brought in Rayno Benjamin on the right-wing, shifted Willie Le Roux, to the left-wing and dropped Raymond Rhule to the bench. The Bloem massive were rewarded for their impressive play this season with Le Roux, Trevor Nyakane and Lappies Labuschagne all added to the Bok training squad. They now have 7 Cheetah players in the training squad, not too shabby.They need a win here, preferably with a bonus point to keep the pressure on the Bulls and should get it, although only just.
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
Kings vs Cheetahs Prediction: Cheetahs by 7-14
Stormers vs Reds
Changes a plenty for the Stormers, most of them injury forced. In the forwards Don Armand comes in at flank, Gerbrandt Grobler comes in at lock, Brok Harris gets a start at prop and Tiaan Liebenberg returns from injury at hooker. In the backs, Damian de Allende comes in for Juan de Jongh but will play at inside centre with captain de Villiers moving to outside centre. The Stormers are back at home and are far tougher to beat at Newlands but will this be enough to defeat the impressive Reds?
The Reds will be wondering how they lost last week as they had all the possession and most of the territory. They were denied three times after crossing the goal line by the TMOs but will know that they were not direct enough on attack and slipped some crucial tackles. They are only 2 points behind the Brumbies and a win here will go along way to ensuring they definitely make the play-offs. Tough one to call this but for some weird reason I reckon the Stormers are due some luck and should pick themselves up to win this but it will be toit.
Thats what she said.
Venue: DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Stormers vs Reds Prediction: Stormers by less than 7
Sharks vs Bulls
The Sharks have been hit with an injury to wing/centre JP Pietersen, who has had to have surgery on his groin. Ouch. He is replaced by the inexperienced Piet Lindeque. In the forwards Jandre Marais comes in as cover on the bench after Anton Bresler injured himself in training. The good news for the Sharks is the return of the Beast at prop but there is still no sign of Bismark du Plessis or Butch James.
For the Bulls, Springboks Bjorn Basson and Wynand Olivier return to the side, with Lionel Mapoe dropping to the bench and Jan Serfontein struggling to shake off an injury to take his place on the wood. In the front row, Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger return with Willie Wepener getting a spot in the reserves. Jano Vermaak is on the bench but when he gets a run will be playing in his 100th Super Rugby game. Nicely done Sir, slow clap.
Usually you would back the Sharks at home but with the injury toll taking its… er toll, and current form of the Bulls, I am leaning towards an away victory to the boys in blue/pink. Not a bad time to put a cheeky bet on the Sharks though, just sayin.
Venue: Kings Park, Durban
Sharks vs Bulls Prediction:
Sharks Bulls Bulls by less than 7