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Super Rugby 2012: Round 6 preview and predictions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 29 Mar 2012 at 11:10
Tagged with : ,

We did well again last week, getting 5 results right out of 7. That’s 19 out of 34 for the season so far, which is definitely creeping up towards the percentage we’d like to see. Let’s look at round 6.

Highlanders v Rebels 30 March at 08:35

The Landers lost their first game last week and have been forced into changes, while the Rebels have some key men back in the form of James O’Connor and Kurtley Beale. That said, I doubt there’s the quality in the Rebels side to upset the Highlanders in their Invercargill ice fortress, so will go with the Highlanders by 7.

Highlanders: 15. Ben R Smith, 14. Kade Poki, 13. Tamati Ellison, 12. Shaun Treeby, 11. Hosea Gear, 10. Chris Noakes, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Nasi Manu, 7. Adam Thomson, 6. James Haskell, 5. Jarrad Hoeata, 4. Josh Bekhuis, 3. Chris King, 2. Jason Rutledge, 1. Jamie MacKintosh (Captain)
Replacements: 16. Brayden Mitchell, 17. Ma’afu Fia, 18. Culum Retallick, 19. Doug Tietjens, 20. Jimmy Cowan, 21. Phil Burleigh, 22. Buxton Popoalii

Rebels: 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Mark Gerrard, 13. Lachlan Mitchell, 12. Lloyd Johansson, 11. Cooper Vuna, 10. James O`Connor, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Gareth Delve (Captain), 7. Tom Chamberlain, 6. Jarrod Saffy, 5. Hugh Pyle, 4. Luke Jones, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. Adam Freier, 1. Nic Henderson
Replacements: 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Rodney Blake, 18. Alister Campbell, 19. Michael Lipman, 20. Nick Stirzaker, 21. James Hilgendorf, 22. Julian Huxley

Hurricanes v Toyota Cheetahs 31 March at 06:30

The Canes have been very good this year, while the Cheetahs have also been good value for money so far. The visitors came closer than expected against the Crusaders last week, but after a month on the road, I’m sure they’ll probably already have both feet on the plane ahead of this one. Canes to win by 12 or more.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 James Broadhurst, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tristan Moran.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Michael Bent, 18 Mark Reddish, 19 Jack Lam, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 22 Jayden Hayward.

Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Rayno Benjamin, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Willie Le Roux, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Heinrich Brussow, 7. Philip Van der Walt, 6. Justin Downey, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 4. George Earle, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Andries Ferreira, 19. Ashley Johnson, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Philip Snyman

Chiefs v Waratahs 31 March at 08:35

The Chiefs have been the surprise package so far this season and are sitting pretty atop the New Zealand conference ahead of their more-fancied rivals. The Tahs, in contract, have endured something of a nightmare start to the year, but did well to arrest the slide with a good win against the Sharks last week. While the men from Sydney are on the up, I doubt they’ll have what it takes to unseat a settled and rested Chiefs team in the latter’s back yard. Chiefs to win by 8.

Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson , 14 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Tim Nanai-Williams, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (capt), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Arizona Taumalolo.
Reserves: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane , 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Andrew Horrell, 22 Lelia Masaga.

Waratahs: 15. Bernard Foley, 14. Tom Kingston, 13. Rob Horne, 12. Tom Carter, 11. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10. Berrick Barnes, 9. Brendan McKibbin, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Chris Alcock, 6. Dave Dennis, 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Dean Mumm, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson (Captain)
Replacements: 16. John Ulugia, 17. Paddy Ryan, 18. Sitaleki Timani, 19. Lopeti Timani, 20. Jono Jenkins, 21. Sarel Pretorius, 22. Daniel Halangahu

Brumbies v Sharks 31 March at 10:40

Comparing these sides on paper, I’m afraid the Brumbies don’t stand a chance; then again, it’s just then that other factors such as coaching, home ground advantage and dare we say refereeing, tend to level the playing field. The Sharks may well go into this game just a little more desperate than the hosts, knowing that a loss would signal a very poor return from the Australian leg of their tour. It’s a long shot, given how seldom they’ve won in Canberra in the past, but I’m going Sharks by 3 in this one.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Pat McCabe, 13 Andrew Smith, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben Mowen (capt), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Peter Kimlin, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Leon Power, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ruadhri Murphy.
Reserves: 16 Anthony Hegarty, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Scott Fardy, 19 Ita Vaea, 20 Nic White, 21 Zack Holmes, 22 Joe Tomane.

Sharks: 15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. JP Pietersen, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Frederic Michalak, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (Captain), 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Jandre Marais, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Jacques Botes, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Louis Ludik

Force v Reds 31 March at 12:40

The Reds are coming back from a big hiding at Loftus, whilst the Force also lost unexpectedly last week. Aussie derbies are about as fun to predict as they are to watch, but my gut tells me that Ewen McKenzie’s side are simply too good to lose three in a row. Reds by 5.

Force: TBA

Reds: 15. Rod Davies, 14. Dom Shipperley, 13. Joelin Rapana, 12. Ben Tapuai, 11. Luke Morahan, 10. Dallan Murphy, 9. Will Genia, 8. Jake Schatz, 7. Liam Gill, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 5. James Horwill (Captain), 4. Van Humphries, 3. James Slipper, 2. James Hanson, 1. Ben Daley
Replacements: 16. Albert Anae, 17. Greg Holmes, 18. Rob Simmons, 19. Ed Quirk, 20. Beau Robinson, 21. Nick Frisby, 22. Nathan Eyres-Brown

MTN Lions v Crusaders 31 March at 17:05

The Lions have so many injuries that they won’t name their lineup until tomorrow. The Crusaders have Dan Carter back. In case anyone is still even reading this far (I would already be standing in line at the bookmakers), it’s going to be Crusaders by at least 20.

Lions: TBA

Crusaders: 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Sean Maitland, 13. Robert Fruean, 12. Tom Taylor, 11. Zac Guildford, 10. Dan Carter, 9. Andy Ellis, 8. Kieran Read (Captain), 7. Matt Todd, 6. George Whitelock, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Luke Romano, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Corey Flynn, 1. Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16. Quentin MacDonald, 17. Ben Franks, 18. Tom Donnelly, 19. Luke Whitelock, 20. Willi Heinz, 21. Ryan Crotty, 22. Tom Marshall

DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls 31 March at 19:10

We end the round with a big Saffa derby, where the Bulls and Stormers will aim to bliksem each other into submission for 80 minutes with top spot in the SA conference at stake. I’m going to buck the trend here and go with the Stormers to win a dour encounter, by around 5 points. Their defence hasn’t really been bested at all this year and while the Bulls look great on attack against weak sides, my feeling is they’ll struggle against the well-drilled Stormers. This game isn’t really going to be about attack, though, with the prize at stake doubtless mandating a low-risk approach from both sides.

Stormers: 15. Johan Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Nick Koster, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard van den Heever

Bulls: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Pierre Spies (Captain), 7. Jacques Potgieter, 6. CJ Stander, 5. Juandre Kruger, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17. Frik Kirsten, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Arno Botha, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Louis Fouche, 22. JJ Engelbrecht



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