robdylan

Super Rugby 2015: Round 3


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 26 Feb 2015 at 14:43
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The big derby at Loftus is the focus of our preview this week, while we’ll also take a stab at the results of the other games.

Bulls v Sharks (Saturday 17h10)

With many pundits predicting a one-sided game at Loftus, the pessimist in me is starting to grow ever more nervous. I’ve done enough previews in the past that were based on, to me, rather sound analysis and logic, only to find that things turned out spectacularly differently on the day, and usually based on a whole bunch of other factors that I didn’t even consider. Let’s face it, funny old game that this is, it’s perfectly possible that the Bulls will pull through at last, based on a platform of sheer bloody-mindedness, or perhaps hitherto unsuspected skill from some of the new players they’ve grudgingly brought into their side.

It’s unlikely, though. The Sharks appear to hold the cards this week and come to Pretoria with a pack that’s literally bristling with heavy hitters. While you can look at the Bulls lineup and identify a few weak links in their engine room, the Sharks quite simply have none this week; if the starting line-up isn’t proof enough, just look at the forwards bench. This advantage in terms of manpower and – let’s face it – form, is widely expected to translate to on-field dominance at the set piece and at the breakdown, areas in which the Bulls have struggled in their opening games. Looking at positions 9 and 10, the Sharks again have two vastly more experienced players, the Bulls having opted to gamble on a first start at this level for Rudy Paige.

The danger, bizarrely, comes from the Bulls’ backline. In Jesse Kriel they have stumbled upon a match-winning counter-attacker and with ball and space, he could use his experienced and very fast wingers to wreak havoc. Don’t expect too much creative play to come down the channel from 9, but watch instead how Kriel sparks attacks from any wayward ball kicked onto him.

And there we have the way to win this game. The Sharks need to control possession and territory, with the latter perhaps being more important. Keep the ball out of the hands of the Bulls back three by making sure of touch and rather pressuring the lineout. Force set pieces contests and use Andre Esterhuizen to draw defenders in. The Sharks need to make the most of the anticipated forward dominance by drawing the opposition into the physical battle and tiring them out. Do that and we could have a try fest in the last quarter.

Things seldom pan out as well in reality as they do on paper, though, which is why I’m going to back the Sharks to prevail in an ugly game, but only by around 5 points.

Bulls – 15. Jesse Kriel, 14. Bjorn Basson, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Francois Hougaard, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Rudy Paige, 8. Pierre Spies(c), 7. Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield, 4. Jacques du Plessis, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Mornè Mellet.
Subs: 16. Callie Visagie, 17. Dean Greyling, 18. Grant Hattingh, 19. Hanro Liebenberg, 20. Travis Ismael, 21. Tian Schoeman, 22. Jurgen Visser, 23. Marcel van der Merwe.

Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Renaldo Bothma, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Marco Wentzel, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Conrad Hoffmann, 22 Fred Zeilinga/Lionel Cronje, 23 Jack Wilson.

I expect the Highlanders to beat the Reds by about 6 points at home. The Canes will probably squeak a 3-point win against the Force in an entertaining game. Expect a high-scoring affair in Bloemfontein, with at least four tries to each side, but the Cheetahs to beat the Blues by around 8. Chiefs v Crusaders will be an early-season classic, with the Chiefs taking the spoils by 5. The Brumbies will see off the Rebels, by as much as 12 points, with the Stormers exposing mounting chaos in the Lions ranks and consigning them to a third defeat, by about 10.



56 Comments

  • I have Blues and Force for a win.

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.02.15 15:47:34 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) : I hope you are right.

    Also hope the Lions win

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.02.15 15:49:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • Hi Rob
    I tend to agree with the predictions. Although I would be pleasantly surprised if the Bulls do force an upset or get within 7 points even.

    The standard of play this year displays the feeling of disorientation. Something big needs to happen to change the Bulls’ fortune.

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.02.15 16:09:22 by Blue Centurion Reply

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  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 3) : you need a new coach

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.02.15 16:13:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : And the Saders and the Rebels :twisted:

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.02.15 16:24:31 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 3) : Would be really cool if you guys could send us Jesse Kriel, you can have Jaco Taute

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.02.15 16:28:04 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • Didn’t someone mention the sharks have a young FB in the mould of Andre Joubert coming through the ranks? Or was the week way to long for me and I’m making things up to get me through the last day before the weekend ;-)

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.02.15 17:29:31 by HeinF Reply

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  • @JarsonX (Comment 1) : Also feel the Blues will bounce back with a win.

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.02.15 17:30:08 by Ben Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 6) : How about an even better trade for you. SP for Taute, deal? :lol:

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.02.15 17:31:46 by Ben Reply
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  • @HeinF (Comment 7) : We have Jaco van Tonder, I think his name is. But I’ve never seen him play to be honest.

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.02.15 17:35:56 by Ben Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 4) : Spot on.

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.02.15 17:42:19 by Blue Centurion Reply

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  • New captain wouldnt hurt either.

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.02.15 17:44:03 by Blue Centurion Reply

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  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 12) : Did Spies play against the Hurricanes?

  • Comment 13, posted at 26.02.15 17:48:10 by Ben Reply
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  • So it’s official. The Sharks are favourites for the Bulls game? Oh no! :roll:

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.02.15 17:51:51 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 9) : I’d rather wait and see what SP can do when he finally discovers some form, Taute is would fit well with a more erm…conservative team such as the bulls. ;-)

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.02.15 17:53:59 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 15) : True.

    SP for Willie le Roux on the the other hand is a trade I would be all for. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.02.15 17:56:30 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 16) : No but seriously, I have nothing against SP. Hope he finds form soon. Needs to get his head sorted out.

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.02.15 17:58:10 by Ben Reply
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  • @HeinF (Comment 7) : I think you’re talking about Morne Joubert. The kid is GOOD.

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.02.15 19:43:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 18) : Keep going please. How old?

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.02.15 19:44:18 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 19) : And why is he not in the SR squad :-P

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.02.15 20:16:15 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 19) : 18

    @Zibbie (Comment 20) : because he’s 18

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.02.15 20:28:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 21) : ja let him grow up before letting him play with the big boys! !!!

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.02.15 21:29:12 by JD Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 6) : Tell you what, we’ll trade you Conrad Hoffman for… um… er… a new towel for the dressing room should suffice, I guess

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.02.15 08:17:37 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Landers won by 7…. off to a good start again

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.02.15 10:21:47 by robdylan Reply
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  • Bulls

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.02.15 15:11:10 by Morné Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 25) : Dude! :twisted:

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.02.15 15:23:48 by Ben Reply
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  • Thanks Morne. I should sue you. Just have to figure out what for :razz:

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.02.15 16:52:20 by JarsonX Reply
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  • Chiefs 0 – 6 Crusaders

    7 minutes.

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.02.15 08:47:25 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs have a man in the sin bin now for a dangerous tackle.

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.02.15 08:49:42 by Ben Reply
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  • SBW try. Very nice offloading by the Chiefs leading up to the try.

  • Comment 30, posted at 28.02.15 08:55:37 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 5 – 6 Crusaders

    14 minutes.

  • Comment 31, posted at 28.02.15 08:57:05 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs winger Lowe is the player that was sent to the sin bin earlier.

  • Comment 32, posted at 28.02.15 08:58:55 by Ben Reply
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  • James Lowe is back on and the Chiefs are back to their full quota.

  • Comment 33, posted at 28.02.15 09:03:38 by Ben Reply
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  • Matt Todd (Crusaders) yellow carded now for a dangerous tackle.

  • Comment 34, posted at 28.02.15 09:05:15 by Ben Reply
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  • Both yellow cards have been for tackling the man whilst in the air.

  • Comment 35, posted at 28.02.15 09:06:01 by Ben Reply
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  • Augustine Pulu try for the Chiefs.

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.02.15 09:06:39 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 12 – 6 Crusaders

    23 minutes.

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.02.15 09:08:07 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 12 – 9 Crusaders

    26 minutes.

  • Comment 38, posted at 28.02.15 09:11:05 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 15 – 9 Crusaders

    31 minutes.

  • Comment 39, posted at 28.02.15 09:18:01 by Ben Reply
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  • Matt Todd back on the park for the Crusaders.

  • Comment 40, posted at 28.02.15 09:18:32 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs try. Charlie Ngatai

  • Comment 41, posted at 28.02.15 09:20:28 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 22 – 9 Crusaders

    35 minutes.

  • Comment 42, posted at 28.02.15 09:21:29 by Ben Reply
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  • Half Time

    Chiefs 22 – 9 Crusaders

  • Comment 43, posted at 28.02.15 09:27:43 by Ben Reply
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  • Crusaders try. Andy Ellis.

  • Comment 44, posted at 28.02.15 09:44:26 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 22 – 16 Crusaders

    47 minutes.

  • Comment 45, posted at 28.02.15 09:45:46 by Ben Reply
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  • Teams are really in each other’s faces. A lot of shoving going on between the forwards.

  • Comment 46, posted at 28.02.15 09:47:42 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 25 – 16 Crusaders

    49 minutes.

  • Comment 47, posted at 28.02.15 09:48:20 by Ben Reply
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  • TMO for a chiefs try.

  • Comment 48, posted at 28.02.15 09:50:45 by Ben Reply
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  • No try. Knock on.

  • Comment 49, posted at 28.02.15 09:52:40 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 28 – 16 Crusaders

    55 minutes.

  • Comment 50, posted at 28.02.15 09:56:54 by Ben Reply
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  • Bonus point try for the Chiefs. Tom Marshall.

  • Comment 51, posted at 28.02.15 10:04:07 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 33 – 16 Crusaders

    64 minutes.

  • Comment 52, posted at 28.02.15 10:05:50 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs running away with it now. Another try. James Lowe scores.

  • Comment 53, posted at 28.02.15 10:08:31 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs 40 – 16 Crusaders

    68 minutes.

  • Comment 54, posted at 28.02.15 10:10:17 by Ben Reply
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  • Chiefs yellow card for a tip tackle.

  • Comment 55, posted at 28.02.15 10:22:08 by Ben Reply
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  • FULL TIME

    CHIEFS 40 – 16 CRUSADERS

  • Comment 56, posted at 28.02.15 10:25:17 by Ben Reply
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