Although it is week 2 of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby, we are actually only really kicking of the season this weekend which will make life for some very difficult in the domination of the remote control over the weekend.
We already kicked of the weekend with the first match in New Zeeland with the Chiefs beating the Crusaders 18-10 in a nail bitter.
On the South African side of things we will see all 5 of our teams in action this week and all will start in Bloemfontein when the Toyota Cheetahs host the Vodacom Bulls tonight. The Cell C Sharks will take on the Hurricanes in Durban and ending the South African sides matches of with the Xerox Lions hosting the DHL Stormers.
Their is also the Six Nations that resumes up North after a weeks break with Wales and France clashing tonight. The big match up north this weekend must be Ireland and England who will take each other on at Twickenham. Italy will host Scotland in Rome for an afternoon kick-off on Saturday.
Here is a list off all the games for you to have some good South African “Domestic Inflight”
Cheetahs v Bulls, Bloemfontein – 19:10
These two teams were hugely underwhelming in Round 1 and looked as if their minds hadn’t quite awoken from a summer slumber. It makes for an interesting clash in Bloemfontein this weekend, as they’ll each have a point to prove following heavy criticism and back-to-back defeats would be disastrous for their prospects. I’m leaning towards the Cheetahs to cut out sloppy mistakes, whereas the Bulls look like they have further to go to improve.
Wales v France, Wales 21:30
Wales on the back foot and France improving with a young team and building towards being the team they want to be in next years World Cup, this makes it one of picks for the weekend. Wales have everything to proof after two losses and need to win to stay somehow in touch to defend their championship. France will play with much more confidence and should pull this one through but Wales are playing at home.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22
Highlanders v Blues, Dunedin – 08:35
The Highlanders have disappointed for the last couple of seasons, despite boasting a stellar cast of players – this year, they have said goodbye to the likes of Andrew Hore, Jamie Mackintosh, Tony Woodcock, Hosea Gear and Ma’a Nonu and look set for another unremarkable season. The Blues have more quality about them, and I’d expect them to win on the road this weekend.
Brumbies v Reds, Canberra – 10:40
These two sides approach the new season with new coaches – Stephen Larkham takes the helm at the Brumbies after Jake White departed for the Sharks, and Richard Graham takes over from Ewen McKenzie, now the Wallaby coach. The Brumbies reached the Super Rugby final last year, but it’s difficult to see them being so competitive without White’s tactical nous, and I’d expect the Reds to edge this derby.
Sharks v Hurricanes, Durban – 17:05
The Sharks lived up to the hype with a bonus point victory over the Bulls in Round 1, and will be looking for the same again this weekend. The travelling Hurricanes tend to blow hot and cold, but there’s unlikely to be enough puff to stop a rampant Sharks side in front of their own fans and with a competitive game already under their belt.
England v Ireland, Twickenham – 17:30
This is defiantly the game of the weekend concerning the Six Nations. England becoming a team that have all the ability to beat any team on the day and Ireland come to the fore front as the surprise package this year. This game is played at Twickenham and will be an upset if Ireland beat England on Saturday. This is a very tough one to call but I give it to England to just sneak pass the men from Ireland.
Lions v Stormers, Johannesburg – 19:10
Only 12% of players on SuperBru backed the Lions to beat the Cheetahs last weekend, but a sterling performance from flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff sealed an unlikely victory. Can they back it up with a win over the Stormers? It’s unlikely they’ll enjoy as many chances as the profligate Cheetahs offered them in Round 1 – the Cheetahs could and should have been out of sight in the second half – and the away side will start as favourites.
Castres v Toulouse, France – 21:30
Just to through something extra in for your Saturday, you can end the day with Castres hosting the money spending Toulouse. A few South Africans in action and a good way for you to calm yourself down after which should be an action pack Vodacom Super Rugby Saturday.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23
Waratahs v Force, Sydney – 07:05
This Aussie derby is unlikely to shake many people out of a Sunday morning slumber, but if there’s a SuperBru GSP on the line, it might just be worth a watch. The Force have a habit of causing an upset every now and then, and have beaten the Tahs twice before in Sydney, but the home side have a lot more star quality about them, fielding headline players such as Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale, Michael Hooper and Jacques Potgieter.
Enjoy the ” Huis Moles” and the rugby this weekend.