Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions, Round 16, Part 2

Three more Super Rugby action adventures heading your way and all of them derbies. Saturday is going to piss down in CT like it did in biblical times, so don’t expect much in the way of flash (except lightning maybe) or flair at Newlands. The weather in Bloem is a far more palatable situash with clear skies above and plenty of opportunities for running rugby. Will either team be willing to risk it though? Ooooh, it is going to be a classic and no mistake!

Heyneke Meyer Springbok coach

After Super Rugby shenans on Saturday night, Bok coach Heyneke Meyer will be announcing his squad for the June Incoming Tour. Injuries to key personnel and movements overseas have forced his hand somewhat and word on the 22 is that Jan Serfontein may well get a starting berth next to Jean de Villiers in the midfield. I like it. My preferred Bok 23 (apparently they are allowed 23 players now) , given the availability is as follows:

Starting 15: Beast, Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Eben massive guns Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger, Fran Louw, Willem man mountain Alberts, Pierre Spies, Frans double sleeve Hougaard, Morne Steyn, Bryan Habana, Jan Serfontein, (C) Jean de Villiers, Bjorn Basson, Willie le Roux

Reserves: Coennie Oosthuizen, Trevor Nyakane, Lappies Labuschagne, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Chilliboy Ralepelle, Pat I use Clear for Men Lambie, Jano Vermaak, Robert Ebersohn

I am fairly certain Meyer will have Marcel Coetzee and Ruan Pienaar in there somewhere but I hope not.  Agree? Disagree? Fine then, send me your Bok side. If you dare.

Super Rugby round 16, Saturday 1st June 2013

Reds vs Rebels

The Rebels once again FiretrUCKed my SuperBru prediction last week with a surprising but well deserved win over the Waratahs. They have had their best season so far and are no longer the pushovers from previous years. This week they welcome back Wallaby first choice James O’ Connor at flyhalf and will be feeling quietly confident of their chances of a first win ever over the Reds.

Five changes for the Reds with James Hanson starting at hooker and Ed Quirk and Beau Robinson coming in on the flanks. In the backs, Ben Lucas returns to fullback and Ben Tapui comes back at outside centre. Apparently their flight home was delayed and then cancelled and it took over 40 hours for them to get home. LOL. The battle between Quade burglar Cooper, recently left out of the Wallaby squad and O’Connor should be very interesting indeed. Will the travel factor be a… er factor? Maybe but the Reds are very tough to beat at home and should win this (hopefully) exciting Aussie clash.

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: Sat, 11:40am (SA time)

Reds vs Rebels Prediction: Reds by 5-12

Stormers vs Kings

No team news for the Kings but it looks like lock Steven Sykes and wing Siyanda Grey are both out for this game. The Kings had to win last week to have any chance of avoiding the relegation match with the Lions but now will just be hoping for no more injuries in their last four games. As good as they have been against overseas opposition this year, they have yet to beat a local side and to be honest, it doesn’t look like they will.

Coach Coetzee has brought back returning players from injury and included hooker Deon Fourie at flank and De Kock Steenkamp at lock. The Stormers executed their game plan and defended far better last week and scored a fantastic try after a pinpoint Elton Jantjies kick to Habana. He popped the ball to Joe Pietersen and then his perfectly timed pass allowed de Villiers to run in on the wing. Best try of the season for the Stormers. The rain will even things out somewhat on Saturday but I reckon the Stormers defense and crowd support should be enough to win this rugga arm wrestle in the wet.

Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town

Kick-Off: 5:05pm

Stormers vs Kings Prediction: Stormers by more penalty kicks than the Kings

Cheetahs vs Bulls

Raymond Rhule and Willie le Roux

Tough one to call this, tricksy to the max and no mistake. The Cheetahs have made just the one change with Raymond Rhule returning on the wing and Rayno Benjamin dropping to the bench. They have never beaten the Bulls in Super Rugby but came very close when they played them at Loftus earlier in the season. Willie le Roux has been included but may not be 100% after struggling with a hamstring injury these last few weeks. Both Rhule and le Roux are game breakers and may well be the sparks that set fire to the this clash, causing an inferno of home support and fanning the burning desire within the Cheetahs players. Too much with the fire metaphor? Damnit.

The Bulls did very well to beat the Sharks in Durban last week and look settled and composed and very hard to beat at the moment. Morne Steyn is back to his best form and kicking conversions and penalties with ease. The Bulls scrum was however, smashed last week and prop Werner Kruger comes back in to strengthen the front row. In other team changes, the impressive Arno Botha returns at flank and centre Jan Serfontein takes over from Wynand Olivier who drops out altogether. On the wing Lionel Mapoe gets a start in place of the injured Akona Ndungane.

This should be a close one and history certainly favours the Bulls but I reckon the Cheetahs could well sneak a win here and cement their place in the play-offs.

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Kick-Off: 7:10pm

Cheetahs vs Bulls Prediction: Cheetahs by less than 7

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on May 30, 2013.

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