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Vodacom Super Rugby 2014: Round 7 preview and predictions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 27 Mar 2014 at 12:43
Tagged with : ,

Let’s see if we can pick the correct winners this time around.

Game 1: Crusaders v Hurricanes (Friday 08h35 SA time)

The Crusaders haven’t really been on song so far this season, but apart from a big win against the pathetic Cheetahs, the Hurricanes have been awful. Hard to see a result for the visitors here. Crusaders by 10.

Crusaders : 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Nafi Tuitavake, 13. Ryan Crotty, 12. Tom Taylor, 11. Johnny McNicholl, 10. Colin Slade, 9. Andy Ellis, 8. Kieran Read (Captain), 7. Matt Todd, 6. Luke Whitelock, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Luke Romano, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Ben Funnell, 1. Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16. Codie Taylor, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Dominic Bird, 20. Jordan Taufua, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Kieron Fonotia, 23. Nemani Nadolo

Hurricanes : 15. André Taylor, 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Conrad Smith (Captain), 12. Tim Bateman, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Blade Thomson, 7. Jack Lam, 6. Faifili Levave, 5. James Broadhurst, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2. Dane Coles, 1. Ben Franks
Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon, 17. Chris Eves, 18. John Schwalger, 19. Mark Reddish, 20. Ardie Savea, 21. Billy Guyton, 22. Matt Proctor, 23. Marty Banks

Game 2: Rebels v Brumbies (Friday 10h40 SA time)

The Rebels are unpredictable, but you fancy that the Brumbies, who are on a role and challenging hard for conference honours already this season, aren’t going to miss this opportunity to pick up points. It could be an exciting, possibly high-scoring game, but one which the Brumbies should take by around 8 points.

Rebels : 15. Jason Woodward, 14. Tom Kingston, 13. Tamati Ellison, 12. Mitch Inman, 11. Tom English, 10. Bryce Hegarty, 9. Nick Stirzaker, 8. Scott Higginbotham (Captain), 7. Scott Fuglistaller, 6. Colby Faingaa, 5. Luke Jones, 4. Hugh Pyle, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. Pat Leafa, 1. Max Lahiff
Replacements: 16. Shota Horie, 17. Paul Alo-Emile, 18. Cruze Ah-Nau, 19. Cadeyrn Neville, 20. Sean McMahon, 21. Luke Burgess / Ben Meehan, 22. Male Sa’u, 23. Angus Roberts

Brumbies : 15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Joseph Tomane, 13. Tevita Kuridrani / Andrew Smith, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Robbie Coleman, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (Captain), 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Jordan Smiler, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Scott Fardy, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Jean-Pierre Smith
Replacements: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Ruan-Henry Smith, 18. Ruaidhri Murphy, 19. Jack Whetton, 20. Locky McCaffrey, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Stephan van der Walt, 23. Christian Lealiifano

Game 3: Blues v Highlanders (Saturday 08h35 SA time)

A tough one between two sides that have not really convinced yet this season. Hard to pick against the home team, as the Highlanders appear to be missing that special spark this season. The Blues are, well, the Blues – good and bad in equal patches. Blues to squeak it by 4 points.

Blues: 15. Charles Piutau, 14. Frank Halai, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. George Moala, 10. Simon Hickey, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Steven Luatua, 7. Luke Braid (Captain), 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Hayden Triggs, 4. Liaki Moli, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 2. Tom McCartney, 1. Tony Woodcock
Replacements: 16. James Parsons, 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Tom Donnelly, 20. Peter Saili, 21. Sonatane Tukulua, 22. Pita Ahki, 23. Benji Marshall

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Shaun Treeby.

Game 4: Reds v DHL Stormers (Saturday 10h40 SA time)

Sorry Stormers, but that makeshift pack isn’t going to secure you a rare win in Brisbane. The Stormers ahve simply lost too many big guns to be considered a real threat here; Reds to win by 10 points.

Reds: 15. Lachlan Turner, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Ben Tapuai, 12. Mike Harris, 11. Dom Shipperley, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Jake Schatz, 7. Beau Robinson, 6. Ed Quirk, 5. James Horwill (Captain), 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Greg Holmes, 2. James Hanson, 1. James Slipper
Replacements: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Albert Anae, 18. Jono Owen, 19. Ed O`Donoghue, 20. Curtis Browning, 21. Nicholas Frisby, 22. Anthony Faingaa, 23. Ben Lucas

DHL Stormers: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Damian de Allende, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Michael Rhodes, 4. Jurie van Vuuren, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Brok Harris, 19. Mthetheleli Fuzani, 20. Sikhumbuszo Notshe, 21. Nick Groom, 22. Demetri Catrakilis, 23. Jaco Taute

Game 5: Vodacom Bulls v Chiefs (Saturday 15h00 SA time)

One of two really big games for South African teams, the revitalised Bulls face the champs, who suffered a shock loss to the Force last week. The Bulls are good at Loftus – let’s face it – and they have a proud record against the Chiefs at this venue. It’s hard to see them straying from what has worked in the past (although Jake White was wrong about that last week!) but it’s also unlikely that the Chiefs will play as dumb a game against them as the Sharks did last week. This will probably be close, but I fancy the Bulls to grind out a close win, by about 5 points.

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Dewald Potgieter, 7. Jacques Du Plessis, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield (Captain), 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17. Marcel Van Der Merwe, 18. Grant Hattingh, 19. Jono Ross, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Handre Pollard, 22. Ulrich Beyers, 23. Morné Mellett

Chiefs: to be announced

Game 6: Cell C Sharks v Waratahs (Saturday 17h05 SA time)

Yoh, but the nerves are a-flutter for this one! The Sharks toko several really big steps backwards last week and are now being exposed a bit in the second row and at scrumhalf, due to injuries. The Tahs have lost Israel Folau, but while he has scored most of their tries this season, there are plenty of other danger men in that backline. Coupled with a vastly improved forward pack, the Waratahs will present the Sharks with by far their toughest test of the season so far. The way Jake White’s team bounces back after the setbacks of last week will, I feel, define their season. Closing my eyes and backing the Sharks to win this by around 6 points.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais.

Waratahs: 15. Jonathan Lance, 14. Rob Horne, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Peter Betham, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Dave Dennis (Captain), 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Jacques Potgieter, 3. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson
Replacements: to be confirmed



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