Super Rugby 2013: Preview and Predictions – Round 17

Teeny tiny Super Rugby round this week. Only two games and both are Aussie derbies.

Aaaaaaaw. I know right?! Not to worry though, plenty of International rugga to keep you entertained, not to mention the B&I Lions against the Reds on Saturday for good measure. I will of course post a preview of the Springboks vs Italy and All Blacks vs France game for your reading pleasure, so come on back tomorrow, you’re always welcome.

Highlanders Ma'a Nonu

I have to say well done to the Highlanders for finally playing the kind of rugby many have been hoping they would play all season in beating the Blues at home. Slow clap guys, nice one. They led 29-0 in the first half and could well be in contention for the play-offs had they managed more of the same in their other games this year but hey-ho. Next season Bro, next season.

My team of the week is the Bulls, who outplayed the Cheetahs in Bloem in a very entertaining situash. The Cheetahs had the upper hand in the scrums and the Bulls dominated the lineouts but it was the accurate kicking game of Morne Steyn that made all the difference. The Cheetahs could not get out of their half but were kept in the game in the first half with a brilliant bit of individual magic by Wille le Roux. In the end the Bulls secured the win and with it the SA conference and now need to clinch a home semi and final by finishing top of the combined log. They still need to play the Kings and Sharks at home and then the Stormers away but trail the Chiefs by only 2 points, so it is a very possible outcome.

On to this week though and a wee bit tricksy to predict given the absence of the Wallabies from each team, so let’s glance on down and casually take an interest, even if it is just for SuperBru.

Super Rugby round 17 preview

Brumbies vs Rebels

I could not get any team news for either side but know that the Brumbies will be missing more players than the Rebels due to Wallaby call ups. The Brumbies did well to beat the Hurricanes last week but struggled towards the end of the game as the Canes came back strongly at the death. Coach Jake will have prepared for losing his top players and his extended squad should all know the playbook by now. He will be just as keen to get this game over with as he will be to get most of his players back and fully fit after the Lions series.

Gareth Delve3

The Rebels are far better at home than away and will be without Scott Higginbotham, out for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury and James O’Connor, the probable Wallaby flyhalf. They do still have captain Gareth Delve in their side and he will be vital to them as they aim to cause what would be a huge upset. Even with the Brumbies’ Wallabies out, they should still win this at home and allow Jake some chillaxed feet up, beer in, time as he takes a breather until their next game in July.

Venue: Canberra Stadium, Canberra

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

Brumbies vs Rebels Prediction: Brumbies by 7-15

Force vs Waratahs

The Force have caused some controversy by fielding a ‘weakened’ side today against the Lions in order to field their ‘strong’ side against the Waratahs on Sunday, which is interesting, as I didn’t know they had a strong side. Maybe coach Foley should have been playing them throughout the season?

The Waratahs have lost basically their entire team to the Wallabies and recent injury and could well find the going tough in Perth on Sunday. I would list the new players in the side but I have never heard of any of them and I could be making them up for all anyone knows or cares. Pat McCutcheon (a name I vaguely know) is the new captain and he will have done a sterling job if he manages to pull off a win with all the club players drafted into the side. The Force have been very competitive at home and should win this to firmly snuff out the Tahs chances of making the play-offs.

Venue: NIB Stadium

Kick-Off: Sun, 8:05am

Force vs Waratahs Prediction: Force by 5-10

rennton

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~ by bowlphilosophy on June 5, 2013.

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