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Super Rugby 2011: Round 12 preview and predictions


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Lions, Original Content, Sharks, Stormers, Super Rugby on 5 May 2011 at 14:59
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Round 12 is nearly upon us, so let’s have a quick look at the teams and important match ups for the weekend ahead along with some predictions of what is going to happen.

HURRICANES vs BLUES, WELLINGTON, FRI 09:40

The first game of the weekend and we find ourselves with a New Zealand derby, and we have two teams who had good wins last weekend. The Hurricanes snuck in against the Reds and the Blues overcame their neighbours the Highlanders.

This will be a rather tough encounter for both teams but one has to think that the Blues will have too much class for a Hurricanes outfit that is battling with injuries. I predict a Blues victory by 6 points.

Hurricanes: 15. André Taylor, 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Jayden Hayward, 12. Dan Kirkpatrick, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Chris Eaton, 8. Victor Vito, 7. Jack Lam, 6. Faifili Levave, 5. James Broadhurst, 4. Jason Eaton, 3. Neemiah Tialata, 2. Andrew Hore (Captain), 1. John Schwalger

Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Anthony Perenise, 18. Jeremy Thrush, 19. Mark Reddish, 20. Tyson Keats, 21. Julian Savea, 22. Beauden Barrett

Blues: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Lachie Munro, 10 Stephen Brett, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saiili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Chris Lowrey, 3 John Afoa, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Tevita Mailau.

Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 James King, 19 Sean Tolwart, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Aaron Bancroft, 22 Sherwin Stowers.

REBELS vs REDS, MELBOURNE, FRI 11:40

Look at that, another derby. This time an Australian derby, and they are the most exciting and entertaining games EVER! No really, this could be a very important game in the big scheme of things.

The Rebels will have a new flyhalf after Cipriani had another fun night out, and we shall see what an effect this has on the team. The Rebels decide to turn up to every second game or so, and we can expect a decent performance from them here.

The Reds will be smarting after their loss last weekend and will put everything on the line to get the points against the newbie Aussie team. I predict a Reds victory by around 8 points.

Rebels: TBC

Reds: TBC

LIONS vs CHEETAHS, JOHANNESBURG, FRI 19:10

The third derby of the day, from the third country and we have the battle of the kittens (round 2) taking place, and the winner of this match is anybody’s guess, who knows which Lions team will show up and which of the Cheetahs will decide to tackle.

You get the feeling that the outcome of this match will decide who grabs the wooden spoon in not only the South African conference, but the entire competition. I am going to be brave and predict a Lions victory by 9 points.

Lions: 15. Michael Killian, 14. Lionel Mapoe, 13. Dylan Des Fountain, 12. Doppies la Grange (Captain), 11. Deon van Rensburg, 10. Burton Francis, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Warren Whiteley, 7. Joshua Strauss, 6. Cobus Grobbelaar, 5. David de Villiers, 4. Wikus van Heerden, 3. Kevin Buys, 2. Edgar Marutlulle, 1. JC Janse van Rensburg

Replacements: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Franco van der Merwe, 19. Michael Rhodes, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Elton Jantjies, 22. Jaco Taute

Cheetahs: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Philip Burger, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Corné Uys, 11. Riaan Smit, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Davon Raubenheimer, 7. Ashley Johnson, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Francois (FS) Uys, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen

Replacements: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Lourens Adriaanse, 18. Waltie Vermeulen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Naas Olivier, 22. Hennie Daniller

CHIEFS vs HIGHLANDERS, HAMILTON, SAT 09:40

The weekend of derbies continue as we head back to New Zealand as the Chiefs, coming back from their South African tour, take on the Highlanders who have endured a rough couple of weeks after facing the Crusaders and Blues in consecutive weeks.

The Chiefs have very little to gain from the rest of this tournament as they are basically battling the Hurricanes for last spot on the NZ conference, whereas the Highlanders are still in the running to end top of their conference. This should be an entertaining match but the Highlanders will win by at least 10 points.

Chiefs: 15. Mils Muliaina (Captain), 14. Lelia Masaga, 13. Richard Kahui, 12. Dwayne Sweeney, 11. Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10. Stephen Donald, 9. Brendon Leonard, 8. Fritz Lee, 7. Scott Waldrom, 6. Liam Messam, 5. Romana Graham, 4. Craig Clarke, 3. Ben Afeaki, 2. Hikawera Elliott, 1. Toby Smith

Replacements: 16. Aled De Malmanche, 17. Sona Taumalolo, 18. Isaac Ross, 19. Tanerau Latimer, 20. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21. Tim Nanai-Williams, 22. Jackson Willison

Highlanders: 15. Robbie Robinson, 14. Siale Piutau, 13. Kenny Lynn, 12. Ben R Smith, 11. Kade Poki, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 9. Jimmy Cowan, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. Alando Soakai, 6. Adam Thomson, 5. Josh Bekhuis, 4. Jarrad Hoeata, 3. Chris King, 2. Jason Rutledge, 1. Jamie MacKintosh (Captain)

Replacements: 16. Brayden Mitchell, 17. Bronson Murray, 18. Tom Donnelly, 19. Nick Crosswell, 20. Aaron Smith, 21. Matt Saunders, 22. James Paterson

WARATAHS vs FORCE, SYDNEY, SAT 11:40

Yes you guessed it, an Australian derby. Wow they really did plan this well, we are in for one boring weekend of rugby!

The Waratahs are still chasing the Reds for that top Aus conference spot and will target this as one of the easier games to get five points from. The Force on the other hand have not had the best season so far and will struggle to keep up with their rivals. The Waratahs should walk this and win by at least 15 points.

Waratahs: 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Lachlan Turner, 13. Ryan Cross, 12. Tom Carter, 11. Sosene Anesi, 10. Berrick Barnes, 9. Luke Burgess, 8. Ben Mowen, 7. Patrick McCutcheon, 6. Dave Dennis, 5. Sitaleki Timani, 4. Dean Mumm (Captain), 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. John Ulugia, 1. Benn Robinson

Replacements: 16. Ben Roberts, 17. Al Baxter, 18. Kane Douglas, 19. Chris Alcock, 20. Brendan McKibbin, 21. Daniel Halangahu, 22. Tom Kingston

Force: TBC

STORMERS vs CRUSADERS, CAPE TOWN, SAT 17:10

Being billed as one of the matches of the tournament and we can all understand why. The individual head to head comparisons promises a great match as two of the top teams battle it out for important points.

The Crusaders are playing their first tour game, and after losing to the Highlanders two weeks ago, and coming close to the Force last weekend, one has to say that they don’t look unbeatable. But they are still the Crusaders and one has to wary of a wounded monster.

The Stormers are full of confidence after their walloping of the Sharks last weekend, and with so much going right in the Cape, a lot of the supporters will be expecting a win over the Red and Black machine.

I predict a wonderfully entertaining match which the Crusaders will sneak, by 4 points or so.

Stormers: 15. Conrad Jantjes, 14. Johann Sadie, 13. Jaque Fourie, 12. Jean de Villiers, 11. Gio Aplon, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Schalk Burger (Captain), 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Rynhardt Elstadt, 3. CJ van der Linde, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Wicus Blaauw

Replacements: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg, 17. Brok Harris, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Nick Koster, 20. Ricky Januarie, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Juan de Jongh

Crusaders: 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Robert Fruean, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Zac Guildford, 10. Matthew Berquist, 9. Kahn Fotuali`i, 8. Kieran Read, 7. Richie McCaw (Captain), 6. George Whitelock, 5. Chris Jack, 4. Luke Romano, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Corey Flynn, 1. Wyatt Crockett

Replacements: 16. Quentin MacDonald, 17. Andrew Olorenshaw, 18. Joe Wheeler, 19. Jonathan Poff / Matt Todd, 20. Willi Heinz, 21. Tom Marshall, 22. Adam Whitelock

SHARKS vs BRUMBIES, DURBAN, SAT 19:00

The weekend culminates in Durban where the wounded Sharks are taking on an average looking Brumbies outfit, who haven’t really fired this season.

The Sharks will want to come out and dominate their opposition in an attempt to gain valuable confidence as they head into the business end of the competition. It will also be interesting to see how the new loose trio go.

I predict a good win for the Sharks, by around 10 points or so and we should wrap up that bonus point.

Sharks: 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Steven Sykes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 6. Keegan Daniel, 7. Jean Deysel, 8. Willem Alberts, 9. Charl McLeod, 10. Patrick Lambie, 11. JP Pietersen, 12. Meyer Bosman, 13. Stefan Terblanche (Captain), 14. Odwa Ndungane, 15. Louis Ludik

Replacements
16. Craig Burden, 17. Eugene van Staden, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Marcell Coetzee, 20. Conrad Hoffmann, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Lwazi Mvovo

Brumbies: 15. Pat McCabe, 14. Andrew Smith, 13. Tyrone Smith, 12. Christian Lealiifano, 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10. Matt Giteau (Captain), 9. Patrick Phibbs, 8. Ita Vaea, 7. Colby Faingaa, 6. Mitchell Chapman, 5. Mark Chisholm, 4. Peter Kimlin, 3. Jono Owen, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Ben Alexander

Replacements: 16. Huia Edmonds, 17. Salesi Ma’afu, 18. Ben Hand, 19. Michael Hooper, 20. Josh Valentine, 21. Robbie Coleman, 22. Francis Fainifo



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