Benedict Chanakira looks ahead to this weekend semi final clashes in New Zeeland and Australia.
Mission Impossible? or is the dream still alive!
Cell C Sharks vs Crusaders
The Sharks are enroute to their first Super Rugby title. New Zealand sides have had the toughest and closest conference yet we have one last standing campaigner. The most successful side in the Competition history. South Africa have the worst conference but early log leaders the Sharks have impressed.
They have to do it the hard way unfortunately. A tough game against the Highlanders and now off to Christchurch. Is it possible to do the double? Daniel Carter, Kieran Read and Richie Mccaw are all back. A few weeks ago Sharks managed a win with 13-man. To repeat this miracle seems a step too far.
The Crudaders have recently stepped into their purple patch and have started to build some momentum.The break could be positive or a negative. Its a big ask to travel and win AGAIN but with this Sharks side its possible.
The task gets even tougher with Anton Bresler and Tendai Mtawarira missing from the traveling party. While capable replacements are there this is a blow. Crusaders will be wary of a repeat of that result a few weeks ago.
A tight contest is on the cards and a moment of brilliance should be required to get a winner. Should the Sharks win, as a fan I will eat humble pie and await the final!
Key players :
Kieran Read & Frans Steyn
Crusaders by 4
Waratahs vs Brumbies
We are guaranteed an Australian side in the final. Consistency has been impressive on the Waratahs part, not so for their Australian counterparts who have shown growth except the regressing Reds but still yet to get there. Last year we also had the Brumbies but they just could not finish off the Chiefs. Unlike last year they managed to stop the kiwis from a late onslaught in the Quarter-finals.
Have they learnt their lesson? Could they send Laurie Fischer off in style and get two big wins? The two sides met earlier and the result was a massacre. The stakes are much higher and gives the Brumbies a reason to be much more clinical.
An upset over the favorites will be a tough ask. The Tahs look like champions. South African Jacques Potgieter described him as the best coach he has worked with. Michael Cheika. The strategist has the title to lose. We are burying the pressure solely on the Tahs! To add to the Brumbies debacle the X-factor in the NSW side is frightening, looking no further than Israel Folau.
Key players :
Robbie Coleman & Israel Folau
Waratahs by 15
That’s two cracking Semifinals and possibly a repeat of a Kiwi-Aussie match up in the final!!