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Vodacom Super Rugby 2014: Round 8 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 3 Apr 2014 at 13:31
Tagged with : ,

Let’s see if we can get these ones right. Last week was a bit of a nightmare, but we live to fight on!

Game 1: Highlanders v Rebels (Friday 08h35 SA Time)

Wow, fancy trying to pick this one? Last time I went with a ‘Landers home win against an Aussie challenger, it cost me a Last Man Standing lifeline, so I’m a little reluctant to go down that road again. That said, the Rebels blow hot and cold and picked up a shock win last week; does that mean they’ll revert to type in Dunedin? Their away form is typically patchy, so the smart money says it will be a home win. Highlanders to win by 5.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Kurt Baker, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Chris King.
Reserves: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Matias Diaz, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata 23 TJ Ioane.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Paul Alo-Emilie, 18 Cruze Ah-Nau, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Angus Roberts, 23 Alex Rokobaro.

Game 2: Brumbies v Blues (Friday 10h40 SA Time)

This should be an entertaining game between two teams who favour high-tempo rugby. It should be evenly-matched an probably quite high scoring. I’d back the Brumbies to sneak a win here, by about 3 points.

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Siliva Siliva, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 Ruaidhri Murphy, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Christian Lealiifano.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Jerome Kaino (captain), 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jordan Manihera, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Francis Saili, 23 Benji Marshall.

Game 3: Hurricanes v Vodacom Bulls (Saturday 08h35 SA Time)

A first tour outing for the Bulls and they’ll enjoy about as gentle a start as you could hope for, against a Hurricanes team that has started the year badly. You feel, though, htat theyir luck is turning a bit and Mark Hammett’s side will have taken much from last week’s rare away win against the Crusaders. No South African team has yet won a tour match and I fear the Bulls’ won’t chance that statistic this week. Hurricanes to win by 7 points.

Hurricanes: 15. André Taylor, 14. Cory Jane, 13. Conrad Smith (Captain), 12. Alapati Leiua, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Victor Vito, 7. Jack Lam, 6. Faifili Levave, 5. James Broadhurst, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2. Dane Coles, 1. Ben Franks
Replacements: 16. Ash Dixon, 17. Chris Eves, 18. John Schwalger, 19. Blade Thomson, 20. Brad Shields, 21. Billy Guyton, 22. Hadleigh Parkes, 23. Marty Banks

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Jacques Engelbrecht, 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Flip van der Merwe (Captain), 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17. Marcel Van Der Merwe, 18. Grant Hattingh, 19. Jacques Du Plessis, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Handre Pollard, 22. Ulrich Beyers, 23. Morné Mellett

Game 4: Reds v Force (Saturday 10h40 SA Time)

Hmm, Aussie derby time. I don’t foresee this being a classic. Reds will probably take it by around 4 points.

Reds: 15. Ben Lucas, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Ben Tapuai, 12. Mike Harris, 11. Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Jake Schatz, 7. Beau Robinson, 6. Ed Quirk, 5. James Horwill (Captain), 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Greg Holmes, 2. James Hanson, 1. James Slipper
Replacements: 16. Albert Anae, 17. Pettowa Paraka, 18. Jono Owen, 19. Ed O`Donoghue, 20. Curtis Browning, 21. Nicholas Frisby, 22. Anthony Faingaa, 23. Jonah Placid

Force: 15. Jayden Hayward, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Junior Rasolea, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Nick Cummins, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Alby Mathewson, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. Matthew Hodgson (Captain), 6. Angus Cottrell, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Sam Wykes, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 2. Nathan Charles, 1. Pekahou Cowan
Replacements: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Oli Hoskins, 19. Adam Coleman, 20. Brynard Stander, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Zack Holmes, 23. Marcel Brache

Game 5: Toyota Cheetahs v Chiefs (Saturday 15h00 SA Time)

I wish I could say that the Cheetahs are going to turn things around and record a memorable victory against the champs, but the reality is, they aren’t. With their main tackler missing, a set of backs who seem complete strangers to the art of defence and a halfback pair who seem incapable of making the right decisions, they’re simply going to be cannon fodder for the hungry Hamiltonians. Chiefs to win by 12.

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Willie Le Roux, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Rayno Benjamin, 11. Hennie Daniller, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Jean Cook, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Boom Prinsloo, 5. Francois Jakobus Uys, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. Maks Van Dyk, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Caylib Oosthuizen, 18. Rossouw De Klerk, 19. Andries Ferreira, 20. Teboho Mohoje, 21. Shaun Venter, 22. Elgar Watts, 23. Howard Mnisi

Chiefs: Not yet announced.

Game 6: Lions v Crusaders (Saturday 17h05 SA Time)

This might just turn out to be the game of the round, surprisingly enough. Who would have thought that it would be the Lions with their tails up, defending a proud home record against a dejected Crusaders mob who will be without Keiran Reid this week, in addition to Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. Todd Blackadder always manages to find an extra Whitelock when injury does strike, but only a fool would claim that this Crusaders team carries any sort of championship aura. The Lions will win, by around 7 points.

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Willie Britz, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 20 Warwick Tecklenburg, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 JW Jonker.

Crusaders: 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Nemani Nadolo, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 12. Ryan Crotty (Captain), 11. Johnny McNicholl, 10. Colin Slade, 9. Andy Ellis, 8. Luke Whitelock, 7. Matt Todd, 6. George Whitelock, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Dominic Bird, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Ben Funnell, 1. Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Jimmy Tupou, 20. Jordan Taufua, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. Tyler Bleyendaal, 23. Tom Taylor

Game 7: DHL Stormers v Waratahs (Saturday 19h10 SA Time)

This game is going to get ugly, I’m sure. The Tahs are a tricky bunch and will want to improve on their impotent showing against the Sharks; the Stormers don’t really offer much themselves at the moment, meaning this is likely to degrade to an error-filled arm-wrestle with tempers again flaring. Stormers to win by 3 points in a game that probably won’t deliver much entertainment.

DHL Stormers: 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen (Captain), 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Michael Rhodes, 4. Ruan Botha, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Brok Harris, 19. Mthetheleli Fuzani, 20. Sikhumbuszo Notshe, 21. Nick Groom, 22. Demetri Catrakilis, 23. Michael van der Spuy

Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Jono Lance, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis (captain), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: To be confirmed.


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