It is difficult as a South African supporter not to loose interest in the Super Rugby, in fact from what I have been reading over the past week it seems to be a mutual assessment from our other SANZAAR supporters as well.
Cheats, thugs and bad refs leave Super Rugby in crisis https://t.co/u1mPaEEEWJ— Jacques Nortier (@jacquesnortier) May 7, 2018
Last week we had all four our South African teams playing and the game of the weekend was surely the Sharks that decided to start playing rugby again.
They had the perfect game against the Highlanders and picked up a bonus point win which you do not see regular against New Zealand teams.
The Bulls went to Cape Town and were tough a lesson in the scrums which resulted in a good win for the Stormers.
It seems we can not have it all our way over weekends as the Lions again fell way sort against the Hurricanes.
Here is the current standings after week 11
Here is this weeks fixtures and our previews and prediction for what is worst.
Williams will be a major player for the Blues and they will be looking at him to add some value even though it is his first game back.
Beside from Williams and Tuugafasi returning to the Blues team they also will welcome back Nanai who will come off the bench.
Wright will get his second start for the Blues and in other changes Taramai starts at loose forward with Papalii ruled out. Rieko Ioane moves to the right wing with Clarke at left wing and Duffie at fullback.
As we mentioned already Perenara will come off the bench and Lousi starting at second-row with Fatialofa moving to the bench.
Aso has been withdraw from the team with a wrist injury and will be replaced by Julian Savea.
Ben May has also recover from illness and Thomson makes also a return to the sqaud.
Prediction: Difficult to see the Hurricanes loose this one but with some great players returning it is possible. Our money still on Canes with 13 point.
Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Rieko Ioane, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (c), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Murphy Taramai, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Ross Wright
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Nee-Nee, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Jonathan Ruru/Sam Nock, 22 Dan Kirkpatrick, 23 Melani Nanai
Hurricanes: 15 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Brad Shields (c), 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Vaea Fifita, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Michael Fatialofa, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TBC
Sunwolves – 15 Semisi Masirewa , 14 Kenki Fukuoka, , 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Yutaka Nagare , 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Edward Quirk (c), 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Wimpie van der Walt, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Craig Millar.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Shintaro Ishihara, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Yo Tamura, 23 Jason Emery
Reds – 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Chris Feauau-Sautia, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Angus Scott-Young, 7 George Smith, 6 Adam Korczyk, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Aidan Toua
Crusaders – 15 George Bridge, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Manasa Mataele, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Donald Brighouse, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Braydon Ennor.
Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Ned Hanigan, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson.
Replacements:16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Bryce Hegarty.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Sio Tomkinson.
Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrink, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Kwagga Smith, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Cyle Brink, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements:: 16 Jacques van Rooyen, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano (cc), 11 Andrew Muirhead, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Rob Valentini, 7 Tom Cusack, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 Sam Carter (cc), 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Faalelei Stone, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Lolo Fakaosilea, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Lausii Taliauli.
Rebels – 15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Semisi Tupou, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jack Debreczni, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Geoff Parling, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Anaru Rangi, 1 Fereti Sa’aga.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Matt Phillip, 20 Sam Jeffries, 21 Lopeti Timani, 22 Harrison Goddard, 23 Billy Meakes.
Stormers – TBA
Chiefs – 15 Charlie Ngatai, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.
Replacements: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Jeff Thwaites, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Pita Gus Sowakula, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Shaun Stevenson.
The big derby this weekend are at Loftus when the the Bulls face the Sharks.
Both teams forms part of the chasing pack behind the Lions and a win will go a long way to press for the playoffs.
The Bulls comes off a disappointing two weeks with losses against the Highlanders and Stormers.
They have been in both games but lost shape in the second half of each game.
They will want to put a full eighty minutes together and be hoping that they do not get the border line decisions against them as was the case in their last two outings.
They have been a team that improved this season but fell short in a few games which leaves them midway on the log.
No one can complain about the way the forwards and backs have improved this year and they have been one of the better teams in the set pieces as well.
With a few players that have put up their hands for possible Springbok call ups it has also come close for them to show they are up for the next level.
The Sharks have been made pre-season favorites but never lived up to that tag which has been something that have been going on for years.
The problem with the Sharks have yet again been the inconsistency in their play.
The one weekend they give us some hit of believe and then they take it away the next weekend with mediocre performance.
The worry with the Sharks this whole year has been the quality of play and in some games they totally loss the plot coaching staff included.
It has almost a case of to first see who pitch up before you make call on them.
We need certain players to step up now in both teams as we look to answer the questions in certain positions for the Springbok side.
First up will be the show down between Pollard and Du Preez at ten.
We know both have the quality and skills but we have not seen it as often as we would like this season.
Upfront the forward battle will be something special to see and add to that the locks then you know it will be a great contest between the tight five.
We are also still looking for an answer at nine and in the midfield we need both Esterhuizen and Burger Odendaal to show us their class.
It will be a great spectacle to watch both sides back three as we have quality all around.
Gladly we do not have Jackson as the referee which will hopefully add to the excitement that this clash is building up to.
Now all we need is for Pretoria to come to the game and fill Loftus.
Prediction: Struggling with this one but I still believe in the Bulls, Bulls by 9
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard , 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Jason Jenkins, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Frans van Wyk/Mox Mxoli, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Thembalani Bholi, 20 Nic de Jager, 21 André Warner, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Sharks – 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Rob du Preez, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (c), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
The hope is we can get wins with the Lions in New Zealand and Newlands and a great game of rugga’s at Loftus…..well that is me hoping atleast….
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