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Vodacom Super Rugby 2014: Round 15 preview and predictions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 22 May 2014 at 10:22
Tagged with : , ,

Let’s see how round 15 is likely to pan out.

Game 1: Blues v Cell C Sharks (Friday at 09:35)

We’re unashamedly backing our boys to do it again this week, with a big performance in North Harbour over a team that hasn’t managed to beat them in 9 attempts. Sharks to bring the pain up front and squeeze the Blues out of the game. Sharks to win by 6.

Blues : 15. Lolagi Visinia, 14. Frank Halai, 13. Pita Ahki, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. Tevita Li, 10. Simon Hickey, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Jerome Kaino, 7. Luke Braid (Captain), 6. Peter Saili, 5. Tom Donnelly, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 2. Keven Mealamu, 1. Tony Woodcock
Replacements: 16. James Parsons, 17. Sam Prattley, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Hayden Triggs, 20. Steven Luatua, 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 22. Ihaia West, 23. Albert Nikoro

Cell C Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Sibusiso Sithole, 12. Paul Jordaan, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Francois Steyn, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Willem Alberts, 7. Lubabalo Mtembu, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Ettienne Oosthuizen, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (Captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Ryan Kankowski, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. Tim Swiel, 23. Heimar Williams

Game 2: Rebels v Waratahs (Friday at 11:40)

The Aussie conference is topsy-turvy, with the Rebels a formidable opponent at home. That said, the Tahs now have the conference win well within their grasp and are unlikely to stumble here. Waratahs to win by 4 points.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga’a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Paul Alo-Emilie, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Steve Fualau, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Angus Roberts.

Waratahs : 15. Israel Folau, 14. Alofa Alofa, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Rob Horne, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Dave Dennis (Captain), 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Jacques Potgieter, 3. Paddy Ryan, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16. Hugh Roach, 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Will Skelton, 20. Stephen Hoiles, 21. Brendan McKibbin, 22. Teqele Naiyaravoro, 23. Matt Carraro

Game 3: Vodacom Bulls v Brumbies (Friday at 19:10)

This should be a pretty interesting game, with the home side looking for revenge after the Brumbies upset them at the same venue in last year’s semi-final. The Aussies are reeling after a shock loss to the Cheetahs and will look to bounce back strongly. Will they have enough in the tank to beat the Bulls at home? I don’t think so. Bulls to win by 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. Grant Hattingh, 7. Jacques Du Plessis, 6. Jono Ross, 5. Victor Matfield, 4. Flip van der Merwe (Captain), 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17. Marcel Van Der Merwe, 18. Paul Willemse, 19. Jacques Engelbrecht, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Handre Pollard, 22. Ulrich Beyers, 23. Morné Mellett

Brumbies: TBA

Game 4: Highlanders v Crusaders (Saturday at 07:35)

A big derby in a tight conference – expect the Crusaders to bounce back after being shocked by the Sharks last week. Crusaders to win a humdinger by about 6 points.

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

Crusaders: 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 13. Tom Taylor, 12. Ryan Crotty (Captain), 11. Nemani Nadolo, 10. Colin Slade, 9. Andy Ellis, 8. Luke Whitelock, 7. Richie McCaw, 6. Jordan Taufua, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Dominic Bird, 3. Nepo Laulala, 2. Ben Funnell, 1. Tim Perry
Replacements: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Owen Franks, 19. Jimmy Tupou, 20. George Whitelock, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. Adam Whitelock, 23. Nafi Tuitavake

Game 5: Hurricanes v Chiefs (Saturday at 09:35)

The Kiwi conference really does hot up this week, with another exciting clash on the cards. I’m backing the home side to squeak this one and keep things really interesting. Hurricanes by 2.

Hurricanes : 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 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/Reggie Goodes, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Reggies Goodes/Mike Kainga, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Tim Bateman, 23 Matt Proctor/James Marshall.

Chiefs : 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Jamie Mackintosh, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Kane Thompson, 20 Liam Squire, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Tom Marshall.

Game 6: Force v Lions (Saturday at 11:40)

No joy for the Lions this week, who are battling to find 23 fit players. Force to win by 15.

Force : TBA

Lions : TBA

Game 7: DHL Stormers v Toyota Cheetahs (Saturday at 17:05)

Let’s hope that the conditions and approach from the respective sides turns this game into the festival that it ought to be, given that both are firmly out of the running for any silverware. Stormers should win this, by about 5 points.

DHL Stormers: 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Damian de Allende, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nick Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Schalk Burger, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Michael Rhodes, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Brok Harris, 19. Jean Kleyn, 20. Siya Kolisi, 21. Dylon Frylinck, 22. Peter Grant, 23. Kobus van Wyk

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Rayno Benjamin, 11. Willie Le Roux, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Shaun Venter, 8. Boom Prinsloo, 7. Teboho Mohoje, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Francois Jakobus Uys, 4. Willem Serfontein, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Caylib Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Maks Van Dyk, 19. Hilton Lobberts, 20. Carel Greeff, 21. Tian Meyer, 22. Elgar Watts, 23. Riaan Smit



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