Home Vodacom Super Rugby 2018 Preview – Super Rugby Round 13

Preview – Super Rugby Round 13


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.

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.

Friday, 11 May 2018
 Eden Park
The Blues got some of there groove back last week when they beat the Waratahs on the road and will be hosting the Hurricanes this weekend.
This should be a highly entertaining match as they would have taken confidence from the win.
Added to that they have received some good news with Sonny Bill Williams that returns to the team which will add some much needed spark in the backline.
The Blues have not found any luck when facing their countrymen and will want to get wins in these local derbies.
Injuries have been a major reason for their poor form this year but with Williams abnd Tuungafasi back in the team have been a major boost.
The Hurricanes have been in the informed side of the competition and although they are on the road they will still be coming into the game as favorite’s.
All Black PJ Perenara as also recover from his knee injury and are set to return from the bench this weekend.
The Hurricanes have been the best attacking team in the competition and the Blues can expect the same on Friday morning.
They have scored the third most tries (41) so far this season, are fifth highest for clean breaks (127), are seventh for metres carried (4,460) and have made the fourth most offloads (98).

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.

The teams:

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

Saturday, 12 May 2018
Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium
For those who likes to be up early you can catch the Sunwolves and Reds just after 05:00 on Saturday morning.
The Sunwolves have not won a match this year but with the Reds blowing hot and cold it could be a even match-up specially as this is a home game for the Sunwolves.
The Reds had a bye last week and will still have confidence when they upset the Lions two weeks ago at home.
They are a team in rebuilding phase and unfortunately they have been blowing hot and cold all season.
With the Sunwolves unable to really play for a full 80 minutes teams do eventually win against them so if the Reds are up to it they should pick up full points.
The problem is normally teams think they can just pitch up against the Sunwolves and at home that can be big mistakes.
The Sunwolves have run a few teams close this year and they would have put this game as one that they should win.
Prediction: I am gonna go on a gamble and give this one for the Sunwolves by 8

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

Saturday, 12 May 2018
AMI Stadium


The Crusaders are top of the New Zealand and overall log and will host the Waratahs this weekend at home.
With the Waratahs that had to cecum to the Blues last week at home it will be interesting to see how they will coupe against the Saders away from home.
The Waratahs have been struggling with mistakes on attack for the last few season. They almost the same as the Sharks which every season promise something big but deliver the opposite.
Both teams have so much quality in their teams which should set us up for a titanic clash but it has only been the Crusaders that have shown that quality this year.
As it then always happen even when the Crusaders had an off day at the office they still manage to scrap through wins where the Waratahs just go south fast.
The quality of the players skills and ability to handle the pressure situations for the Waratahs have been poor all season.
Taking away one or two games the Waratahs have been as poor as some of the lower log dwellers in the competition.
So at the end if the Waratahs can pitch up for the game and play towards the quality of players they have in this squad then just maybe they can surprise everyone.
Prediction: Tahs have not shown anything for me to use my gamble skills so Crusaders by 15 for me.

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.

Saturday, 12 May 2018
Forsyth Barr Stadium
The Lions have got themselves into a corner on tour and this has become a almost must win for the Johannesburg side if they want to end on top of the South African log.
To say they have been poor since the surprise lost against the Reds is an understatement and the players and coaching staff will know well that they have been under par on this tour.
Allot of hope have been put on this Lions side which they were unable to deliver.
The last two weeks have been if they just are not pitching up for the games and have to much to do in the second half to get wins.
To add to the Lions problems they have now also lost Marx to injury which will add extra pressure on the team.
The Lions will need Jantjies to get his game back against the Highlanders.
The backline also looked plan-less against the rush defence implemented by both the Reds and Hurricanes the last two weeks.
Upfront the Lions ave not dominated as we expected and when they did the backline unfortunately could do little or nothing with the possession.
The Highlanders comes back from South Africa with mixed results and in front of their home crowed will surely be a much stronger side than what they showed in South Africa.
The Lions will have to take a page out of the Sharks game for this week and put pressure on the Highlanders from the firs minute of the game.
They can not let the Highlanders get a lead early on and they need to starve them from the ball.
This are going to be a great match-up and one not to miss.
Predictions: Have am going for the Lions to bounce back, Lions by 11
Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith (c), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Tei Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.

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.

Saturday, 12 May 2018
GIO Stadium
Aussie derbies has been boring and hard to watch as it has been for years.
With the Brumbies and Rebels desperate for a win to stay in the run for a playoff spot it may be a nice change this weekend when the Brumbies host the Rebels.
The Brumbies and Rebels comes off a bye last week with both losing their two matches.
The Rebels got a hiding last week from the Crusaders after loosing both their matches on tour against the Bulls and Stormers.
The quality have just not been there for these two teams although the Rebels had a good run at the start of the competition.
If you are a gambler you can go and waste your money on one of these sides but for me it will be as the lottery to predict the winner.
I suppose the one that actually pitch up and play some rugby will take it.
Prediction: I want to say draw but will give it for the Rebels by 8

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.

Saturday, 12 May 2018
DHL Newlands 
The Stormers has been unstoppable at home so far this year and are coming of two wins against the Rebels and Bulls in recent weeks.
This set the table for what should be a mouth-watering clash at Newlands this weekend.
The fact that the Chiefs has also not really played that well this season opens the door for another Stormers win in front of their home crowd.
But that is easier said than done….
It has been a long time since the Stormers had any kind of winning run and they barely get two weekends in row together as the winning side so this will be first for them for a long time.
They bullied the Bulls last week and dominated the set pieces which laid the foundation for the win and will have to do the same to get the Chiefs to submit.
Defence has been great for the Stormers in recent weeks and specially De Allende in the midfield has stepped up.
Willemse has been better at ten but we have seen how easy he can fold when his pack is not having dominance.
The Stormers have to win all their matches from now on if they want to have any say in the playoffs which makes every game a playoff match for them.
It is difficult to place the Chiefs side this year as it has not been smooth sailing for them.
That they are beatable will be in the mind of the Stormers coaching staff and players they just need to pitch up and keep playing the way they did the past few week.
Prediction: I am in two minds this week with this clash, but will go with my gut..Chiefs by 6

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.

Saturday, 12 May 2018
Loftus Versfeld



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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  1. For the Bulls to stand any chance of winning, they need to start taking the points on offer. Our maul hasn’t been functioning well all season, backing it for tries all the time is really stupid. Win the game first before trying to get the BP. Time to wake up Bulls. We have suffered two defeats with majority ball in second half. That is not good enough and reminds me of AC’s Stormers.

  2. @Aldo: No need to drag Stormers into your issues with A-pap-Toetie-Coetzee! Boels are really missing their red card guy, but since Sardines are yet to string together 2 decent games in a row (like Lions…), I am going for Boels by a few. And next week they are all Bokke again….

  3. @Bekke: haha, no issues. But he used to coach teams to lose with all the ball.

    Anyway, BOOM Sunwolves. That was a whipping of note. I love it when I go for a wildcard pick and it comes off