We have all four South African teams in action this weekend with two playing away from home starting with the Stormers away against the Sunwolves.
The Sharks take on the Chiefs while the Lions are back home against the Brumbies.
Later in the evening the Bulls play the Jaguares.
All these matches are important for the teams in the South African conference and losses now will not help teams trying to get into play-offs.
The Lions still lead the conference but cannot afford any more slip ups especially at home.
Here is the current over log standings:
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The Hurricanes take on the Reds in the first match this weekend on Friday.
As the inform team of the competition one can expect a runaway win specially after the Reds git hammered by the Sunwolves last weekend.
The changes are that the Reds will want to get back after the poor performance but it is not something want to do against the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes have won 13 of the last 15 matches against the Reds with the Reds last victory in 2013.
Confidence will be with only one side and the other just hoping.
Prediction: Easy, Hurricanes by 20 +
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Peter Umaga-Jensen, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Michael Fatialofa, 3 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Toby Smith
Replacements: 16 James O’Reilly, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Ben May, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Brad Shields, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Julian Savea
Reds: 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Izaia Perese, 23 Aidan Toua
The Sunwolves did not so much surprised with their first win of this year against the Reds last week but how they did it.
In simple words they embarrassed the Reds and the Stormers would have taken note not to expect them to roll over and lie down comes Saturday.
The Stormers comes off a poor performance against the Chiefs which also was their first lost at home this season.
Beside from the poor refereeing in the match the Stormers did not play well and was nowhere on attack.
This has been a problem for them the whole season and it has been frustrating that they cannot be consistent this season.
Beside from their attacking abilities they also struggled against the Chiefs in the set pieces and were not great with the small battles which they also lost.
With some good players out wide one would suspect the Stormers to give these players enough space and ball to do their magic.
The Sunwolves will come hard at the Stormers, specially in the first half which they will need to manage. With great defence needs to come an attacking plan.
Head coach Fleck said his team are looking forward to being part of the first Super Rugby match to be played in Hong Kong.
“It is great to play in Hong Kong and break new ground, but we are here to do a job and the team is focused on the task at hand,” he said.
“Our preparations have gone well here and the players are determined to put together a convincing performance.”
Prediction: Although nervouse about this game, I will still go with Stormers by 14 points.
Sunwolves: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Michael Little, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Willem Britz, 7 Edward Quirk, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Takuma Asahara, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Shintaro Ishihara
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Yutaka Nagare, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Jason Emery
Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Chris van Zyl (c), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Carlu Sadie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 EW Viljoen
Unfortunately for the Blues we can only see one winner here, although the Blues can put it all together for once this season against one of their own and surprise us, but that is highly unlikely.
The Blues have struggled more than most with injuries this season and what make it worse for a team like the Blues has been that they do not have the depth like most other teams.
The Crusaders have also been hammered with injuries, specially with some key players but their depth in their squad has been good enough to give them the top spot on the log.
They just seemed to win even those games they sometimes do not deserve and that is the reason why they has been the most successful team in Super Rugby history.
The Blues on the other hand could have been much better at this stage of the season but lost games they should have pulled through.
With all New Zealand derbies one expect a close game but with this one we feel the Saders will eventually run away with it.
Predictions: Cannot really see the Saders loose this one, Crusaders by 14
Blues: 15 Matt Duffie, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 Orbyn Leger, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu (c), 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Dalton Papalii/Murphy Taramai, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Matiaha Martin, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Pauliasi Manu
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ross Wright, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Ben Nee-Nee, 20 Murphy Taramai/Antonio Kiri Kiri, 21 Jonathan Ruru, 22 Dan Kirkpatrick, 23 Michael Collins
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd (c), 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tim Perry
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Mitchell Dunshea, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele
The Waratahs will be very disappointed on the lost last weekend after a great start in the first half.
They will want to put a full 80 minutes performance together this weekend against another New Zealand side, the Highlanders.
It should be a cracker of a game with the Highlanders back to some good form after returning from the Republic.
The Highlanders did not have the most consistent season this year but they are still in it which means these last few matches will be very important for them.
The Waratahs ave been disappointing this season again as much more was expected from this star studded side.
They showed glimpses on what they can do against top teams last week but just could not keep it up.
To loose after such a good lead has to hurt and hopefully will give them the motivation to be better this weekend.
The Aussies are again struggling to win against New Zealand sides.
It will be a huge effort to change that stats this weekend for them.
Prediction: It is a close call for me but for some reason I will go for Tahs by 6
Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Will Miller, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Replacements:16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Bryce Hegarty
Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (cc), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Patelesio Tomkinson, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Ash Dixon (cc), 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Kalolo Tuiloma, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Marino Mikaele Tu’u, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Tevita Li
The Sharks are back at home after a close lost against the Bulls last week and will be hosting the Chiefs who had a close win against the Stormers.
The Sharks were good enough for the win last week but just made to many mistakes on attack and did not take their changes as much as the Bulls took theirs.
The Sharks are struggling to get shape on attack which are leaving some quality backs need to try and create space themselves.
They have the perfect opportunity to beat an New Zealand side this year wit a few of the Chiefs star players not playing this weekend.
Adding that the Chiefs has not actually played the world on fire this season then you realized that the Sharks should actually take this one.
But and it is a huge BUT….The Sharks have been as poor in most games at home as they have been brilliant.
To add some spice to it all the Sharks are also chasing for a play-off spot and will be looking at five points at home.
Prediction: It can easy go south but believe the Sharks will take this by 18 points
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha (c), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Makazole Mapimpi
Chiefs: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Charlie Ngatai (c), 12 Johnny Faauli, 11 Solomon Alaimalo, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Liam Messam, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Michael Allardice, 4 Tyler Ardron, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Polwart, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Matt Matich, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Luteru Laulala, 23 Toni Pulu
The Lions are back at home after an disappointing tour and some poor performances which have not been sitting well with supporters.
Questions have been asked about the coach, certain players and even some off the field incidents by supporters.
But the easiest way to get supporters behind you again is to start winning.
The Lions are still the top SA team and will need to start winning again if they want to keep the chasing pack away from that top spot.
No team can afford more losses and specially at home so this match against the struggling Brumbies has become a must win for them.
The Brumbies had a terrible season so far and to travel to the Republic to face an angry Lions side and supporters is never a good thing.
The Lions should be able to dominate their set pieces against the Brumbies and we expect the back to be able to play with the freedom we have become used to over the last three years.
The Lions has not suddenly became a poor side they had some bad luck with some poor first half on tour but it can be fixed.
Slowing their game down just a bit will also help the backs to get those passes stick and with continuity they should be running in the tries.
The Brumbies have played some good games but only in periods and away from home they will found it difficult in the Highveld.
Prediction: Lions by 22 points
Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Franco Mostert (c), 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Len Massyn, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Shaun Reynolds, 23 Ruan Combrinck
The Jaguares and Bulls ends the weekend matches with a nice late match for South Africans.
The Jaguares had the best year since joining the competition winning twice in Australia and twice in New Zealand in the last couple of weeks.
Finally the Jaguares has started playing the rugby we knew they had in them and they will face a Bulls side that will want to keep their winning ways to keep their hopes alive for that play-off spot.
It is never easy to tour in Argentina and the Bulls can expect some hostile supporters and a Jaguares side that have started to believe.
With both sides fighting in the same conference for a play-off spot this could be a great game to watch. Well it all depends if the referees come to the party as well.
The Bulls have lost Lood De Jager and Pollard will start the game at 12 with Libbok coming in at 10.
Their is enough fire-power in both sides at the back to make this a great game to stay up for.
We expect a close affair and domination upfront may be the key for the winning side of this match.
Prediction: Sorry Bulls supporters but I feel another Jaguares win here by 9 point
Jaguares – 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Sebastian Cancelliere, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Javier Ortega Desio, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Tomas Lezana, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Santiago Garcia Botta.
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya , 17 Javier Manuel Diaz, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Leonardo Senatore, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Bautista Ezcurra, 23 Juan Cruz Mallia.
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Handre Pollard (c), 11 John-Ben Kotze, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Marco van Staden, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Nqobisizwe Mxoli, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Hendre Stassen, 20 Nicholas de Jager, 21 Andre Warner, 22 John Jackson, 23 Divan Rossouw
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