robdylan

Super Rugby 2017: Round 1 predictions


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 22 Feb 2017 at 15:21
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Don’t be caught out, guys – this year, there will be Super Rugby games on THURSDAYS! Be sure to get those predictions in.

Given that so few teams have been confirmed, I’m going to focus on previews and predictions here, rather than full team lists for each game. There are plenty of other places to fins that info, I’m sure.

Now, it’s Round 1, which means we have no form whatsoever to guide us. Let’s have a look at see if we can get even a few of these games right.

Rebels v Blues (10h45 Thursday)

There probably won’t be much of a contest here. The Blues are improving all the time and are generally red hot at the start of a new season. The Rebels don’t apepar to have a great squad this year, so I expect the kiwis to prevail here with some room to spare. Blues to win by 12.

Highlanders v Chiefs (08h35 Friday)

The first Kiwi derby is a tough one to call, all right. One would fancy the Chiefs to be perhaps a little stronger, but the Highlanders don’t often lose these conference games at home and the smart money will thus be on the home side. This should be a vintage clash, which the Highlanders win by around 4 points.

Reds v Sharks (11h00 Friday)

A mouth-watering clash between two very new-look sides. The Reds have brought in a lot of experience in the form of Super Rugby centurions Smith, Moore and Cooper. The Sharks are doing the opposite, it seems in backing exciting young guns like Bosch, Am and Ward. Whose strategy will work better in unrelenting Brisbane heat and humidity? The smart money is on the home side to edge this one, but I can afford to make a pick with my heart here and back the Sharks to do the business, based on a better set piece. Sharks to edge this by 3 points.

Sunwolves v Hurricanes (06h15 Saturday)

One for the early birds, expect plenty of wacky kung-fu style action here as the reigning champs set about dismantling the plucky but outclassed samurai warriors. Canes to win by 25.

Crusaders v Brumbies (08h35 Saturday)

Now this should be good entertainment and a pretty good indicator, for Sharks fans, as to exactly where the Brumbies are this year. The Saders are not usually very quick out of the blocks, but wit the ponies missing vital experience at halfback this season, it’s hard to see them mounting much of a challenge. Expect the Crusaders to do some damage here – Saders by 15.

Waratahs v Force (10h45 Saturday)

I’d go back to bed for this one, fans. The Tahs will probably end around mid-table this year, the Force significantly lower and I can’t say I anticipate a huge amount of entertainment from this Aussie slug-fest. Waratahs to win a dull match by around 8 points.

Cheetahs v Lions (15h05 Saturday)

Defence? Who needs defence. Let’s score tries, pappa, and LOTS of them. This should be fun to watch, I’m sure, as South Africa’s two premier “running rugby” sides chuck the ball around at will on a hot, dry highveld pitch. There will be roasties aplenty, but also a good indication of just how good (or how poor) local skill levels are at this stage of the season. The result? Well, expect the Lions to win by 10.

Southern Kings v Los Jaguares (17h15 Saturday)

Well, the question on everyone’s mind, I’m sure, is “can the Jaguares possibly be as bad as they were last season?” coming into the competition with a virtual Test-strength squad, the Argentine team battled to adapt to just about everything required to do well in Super Rugby, with their shocking discipline one of the the bigger factors holding them back. They will have learned and they will do better in their second campaign. I don’t expect the Kings to really challenge them here, so expect a Jaguares victory by 10 or more.

Stormers v Bulls (19h30 Saturday)

The second big local derby is at Newlands and whoever wins here will strike a key early blow in the battle for Africa 1 conference supremacy. The Bulls haven’t won in Cape Town for quite a few years now and with both teams low on experiences (and desperate to reinvent themselves) it could be quite a close game. I could be wrong about this, but I feel the Stormers should boast that that little bit more quality across their 23 in this early exchange and along with home-ground advantage that should be enough for them. Stormers to win by 5.



70 Comments

  • How are we supposed to pick our fantasy teams on Superbru if not all the teams are announced yet?

  • Comment 1, posted at 22.02.17 15:22:48 by boertjie101 Reply
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  • @boertjie101 (Comment 1) : ?

  • Comment 2, posted at 22.02.17 15:26:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : Hi Rob, just one thing on the Cheetahs and Lions, pitch may not be as dry as we expect from the highveldt, understand from one of my friends that the veld is water logged, and they using pumps and vacuums ext to try and get all the water out of bloem stadium, a huge amount of rain since Monday

  • Comment 3, posted at 22.02.17 15:29:07 by Henkb Reply
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  • Going to be very interesting to see the form of some teams in 2017. Some very tough to call games

  • Comment 4, posted at 22.02.17 15:29:15 by SheldonK Reply

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  • My picks are pretty much the same except for the Red v Sharks game

  • Comment 5, posted at 22.02.17 15:29:42 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 5) : :mrgreen: so tell us your Sharks game prediction

  • Comment 6, posted at 22.02.17 16:22:20 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Difficult to predict any game now as who knows?? warm up matches mean nothing as we have seen in the past,

  • Comment 7, posted at 22.02.17 16:23:14 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Round 1 is so often a lottery. You just never know what’s going to happen.

    Agree with Rob on every game this week (Shark blinkers are secured firmly this early in the year) but feel the Jaguars may win with a deficit closer to 25.

  • Comment 8, posted at 22.02.17 16:35:08 by Hulk Reply

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  • @Hulk (Comment 8) : Problem is who knows what the Kings will be like? we might just be surprised, yes they will probably lose but maybe will be better than we think, same with Jaguars.

  • Comment 9, posted at 22.02.17 16:45:48 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 8) : Think Bulls are going to wipe Stormers,Bulls are going to be very strong this year.

  • Comment 10, posted at 22.02.17 17:55:38 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 10) : a lot of people are telling me I got that one wrong. Let’s wait and see

  • Comment 11, posted at 22.02.17 18:14:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) :Let me put it another way,I hope the Bulls wipe the Stormers,

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.02.17 18:19:05 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : I know you said not many teams have confirmed, but have you any idea what the kings squad looks like.

  • Comment 13, posted at 22.02.17 18:29:28 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 13) : ?

  • Comment 14, posted at 22.02.17 18:30:14 by coolfusion Reply

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  • @coolfusion (Comment 14) : you mean their match 23 for this week? Or their squad for the tournament?

  • Comment 15, posted at 22.02.17 19:40:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • Went with the Rebels and the Reds (sorry Sharks, no fetcher means George Smith is going to have a field day at the breakdowns)

    Rebels vs Blues has always gone to the home team while the Rebels, no matter how poor their season went, has won their first matches of the season the last 4 years. Apart from that they have a solid journeyman side. Games between the two have been high-scoring affairs with lots of tries to the winner

    Rebels by 12
    Highlanders by 7
    Reds by 5
    Hurricanes by 25
    Crusaders by 12
    Waratahs by 20
    Lions by 15
    Jaguares by 19
    Stormers by 5

  • Comment 16, posted at 22.02.17 19:51:25 by Baylion Reply

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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 6) : Think I have Reds by 5 if memory serves

  • Comment 17, posted at 22.02.17 20:01:59 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Comment 18, posted at 22.02.17 20:50:54 by Baylion Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 10) : Perhaps. I don’t spend much time following the Bulls. I gave it to the Stormers on history alone.

  • Comment 19, posted at 22.02.17 20:57:51 by Hulk Reply

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  • @boertjie101 (Comment 1) : @robdylan (Comment 2) : It might not be on SuperBru…but these Thursday games are going to make the Fantasy Leagues really tricky and frankly a bit of a lottery. SuperBru at least allows you to still pick each game until kick off, fantasy leagues don’t. Sigh…

  • Comment 20, posted at 22.02.17 21:00:22 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : I also went with the Stormers…I am not yet quite convinced about the Bulls…

  • Comment 21, posted at 22.02.17 21:02:29 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 20) : I’ve been complaining about that all week to co workers.

    how am I supposed to set up a team on a wednesday night when only 7 match 23′s and one touring squad are announced. out of a total of 18 teams playing this week, its crazy, its just a guessing game now to a degree

    I could adjust my team tomorrow morning before the 10:45 kick off of the first game if there has been more team announcements. but who really has time in the morning as theres much work to do at the office. I used to love setting up my team on thursday nights, even if there was a game on a sunday which match 23′s were not yet announced, that wasnt a big factor. but ten match 23′s to guess the composition of thats not cool. lottery.

  • Comment 22, posted at 23.02.17 00:37:51 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 16) : I think your posts are very insightful, and it is rare I disagree with you, but I just had to respond to your point about Smith having a field day because the Sharks have no fetcher. Having your own fetcher (even a superb one) is not a counter to the opponent’s fetcher. Sure you will steal some ball, but the way to stop the opponent fetcher is with a quick set of loosies who get to the breakdown quickly, securing own ball, and knocking the crap out of the opponent fetcher every time he bends over to try steal the ball. The Sharks have a set of fairly young, very agile, and strong loosies. George Smith will do a lot less fetching if he knows he is going to cop a serious hit from either JLdP or the Ginger Ninjer every time he tries. It is not necessary to have a fetcher to shut down a superb fetcher like Smith, it takes at least one loosie getting to the breakdown as soon as Smith does and…..

    Not saying having a fetcher like Smith or Marcel is not a really great thing…..

  • Comment 23, posted at 23.02.17 01:30:36 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • I read somewhere that Cell-C’s financials are not to rosy and they may be bought out by Telkom.
    This will of course not be good for the Sharks’ brand image either.
    Time for a rethink? If you’re going to allow a sponsor’s logo to dominate on your product, you should perhaps look towards more than just how much they’re paying for the privilege. A bit of due diligence on the financial health, the image and the quality of the sponsor’s product should be high on the agenda.
    Else you risk besmirching your own brand.

  • Comment 24, posted at 23.02.17 02:45:51 by fyndraai Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 23) : Fair enough. It is an issue of timing though. A world class fetcher tend to get their timing right very often and I’m sure Smith has taken hits from big guys often enough over the years not to bother about it.

    An effective counter is quick ball rotation, for the Sharks ball carriers to get the ball back quickly once they go to ground, putting it out of reach of the opposition.

  • Comment 25, posted at 23.02.17 07:54:34 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 25) : Im of the opinion that having a player that is good at the breakdown is a big plus BUT to say a team will lose because it doesnt have a ‘fetcher’ is complete rubbish in my opinion. Every player 1-15 needs to have good breakdown management skills. For me a loose forward needs to offer more than just being able to hang around waiting for a tackle and try and steal the ball. Teams are also looking to create the least number of rucks possible as it is both reffed badly but also slows down the attack and allows the defense to realign. So yes a player that is good at the breakdown is a plus…but i think both Va Der Walt and DuPreez and even Oosthuizen if he can listen are good at the breakdown.

  • Comment 26, posted at 23.02.17 08:04:05 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Oosthuizen – I assume you refer to Ettienne? The other Oosthuizen was also a prolific ball stealer (for a prop) in his heyday at the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 27, posted at 23.02.17 08:46:48 by Bokhoring Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 20) : Thursday games? Is there a game on today? Wakey wakey Rip van Winkle.

  • Comment 28, posted at 23.02.17 09:08:26 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 28) : And there it is, (Rebels v Blues (10h45 Thursday) in the main article. :oops:

  • Comment 29, posted at 23.02.17 09:09:49 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • are we ready guys? 45 minutes to go

  • Comment 30, posted at 23.02.17 10:01:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 30) : Please don’t screw this up (for me) Blues

  • Comment 31, posted at 23.02.17 10:02:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 27) : Eitienne yes. Coenie seems to have released he gets penalised a bit so tends to try make a big hit then roll away instead of trying to compete for the ball and give a penalty away…will see how that develops this year

  • Comment 32, posted at 23.02.17 10:14:48 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 31) : i concur

  • Comment 33, posted at 23.02.17 10:17:59 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Not sure if it’s a good thing but I picked the same as Rob!?!?;!

  • Comment 34, posted at 23.02.17 10:39:52 by JD Reply
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  • Jeez, Rebels looking all right today

  • Comment 35, posted at 23.02.17 11:00:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • Seems like the same old Blues team this year…they are their own worst enemy

  • Comment 36, posted at 23.02.17 11:13:24 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : @SheldonK (Comment 36) : :shock: Just started streaming the game, looks to me like the Rebels are getting creamed.

  • Comment 37, posted at 23.02.17 11:48:02 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Question: is the try bonus point system still the same? Got to score 3 more tries than opposition

  • Comment 38, posted at 23.02.17 11:51:32 by SheldonK Reply

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  • I will wait till I see the team sheet for the Cheetahs match before I make a call. Lions have lost their anchorman, and Tackles, that provided balance to their loosies. Whilst Ackerman Jnr and Booyse can offset that, they are going to miss Redelinghuys big time. And Dylan Smith.

  • Comment 39, posted at 23.02.17 11:52:28 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 37) : Rebels were good for first half of first half…then Blues stopped imploding and well yeh

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.02.17 11:55:02 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 39) : What is your feeling about the Cheetahs. Do you set any score on the preseason games and what are your feelings from what you have seen and heard from the camp?

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.02.17 11:55:58 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 38) : I’ve not heard anything different.

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.02.17 12:05:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 42) : Ok cool, thats what i thought but then just wondered when i saw the Blues score their 4th try

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.02.17 12:08:46 by SheldonK Reply

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  • Suspect the Rebels have given up

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.02.17 12:12:39 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 44) : Yup, ill take the winning point but was way out on points diff

  • Comment 45, posted at 23.02.17 12:16:02 by SheldonK Reply

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  • hmmm, not so good on the margin there

  • Comment 46, posted at 23.02.17 12:31:39 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 41) : I am really stumped as to what to expect. I do think Franco was experimenting in the warm ups. Will only really have an idea after Saturday. Cheetahs team is basically same as in CC. Lions get back their Boks, but have lost influential players.

  • Comment 47, posted at 23.02.17 12:47:25 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • that brumbies backline besides the fh and sr looks strong

  • Comment 48, posted at 23.02.17 12:50:32 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • Okay, so picking the Rebels for an upset didn’t work

  • Comment 49, posted at 23.02.17 12:56:38 by Baylion Reply

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  • That was a hiding ,can’t work out whether the Rebels were shite,or the Blues were good.

  • Comment 50, posted at 23.02.17 13:06:41 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 35) : @SheldonK (Comment 36) : @SheldonK (Comment 43) : Rebels looked good for first 30 odd min but Blues really found their mojo after that!
    This is a very dangerous Blues side if they find rhythm!!!

  • Comment 51, posted at 23.02.17 13:19:18 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 51) : Every year I think that as well, and every year just like the Stormers when the going gets tough they fall apart.

  • Comment 52, posted at 23.02.17 13:21:25 by The hound Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 51) : @The hound (Comment 52) : Blues can be very up and down. One game they brilliant the next they utter rubbish.

  • Comment 53, posted at 23.02.17 13:23:14 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 50) : Blues was good in that they attacked at every opportunity but Rebel defence was probably coached out of the Brendan Venter coaching manual!?!?!?

  • Comment 54, posted at 23.02.17 13:24:13 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 54) : If rumours are believed Venter is to be the new Bok defense coach

  • Comment 55, posted at 23.02.17 13:25:42 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 52) : @SheldonK (Comment 53) : that’s exactly why I said if they rhythm!
    Blues and Reds reminds me a lot of the Sharks! So much potential but always seemingly find a way to f#$&k it up!!!

  • Comment 56, posted at 23.02.17 13:27:41 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 55) : geez thanx!!! awesome job he did at the Italian team must have secured his appointment!!!

  • Comment 57, posted at 23.02.17 13:29:23 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 57) : Haha yeh rumours…and they are rumours…are that Stick is being sent to assistant coach of u20s. Franco Smith new backline coach with Venter defense coach. Seems both Van Graan and Proudfoot will continue with forwards.

  • Comment 58, posted at 23.02.17 13:35:55 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @SheldonK (Comment 58) : So basically Venter will be the coach and Alistar still gets to walk around dressed in Bok kit from head to toe looking like an unhappy platanna.

  • Comment 59, posted at 23.02.17 13:40:41 by The hound Reply
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  • Still can’t believe what Venter was allowed to get away with.
    He basically called a bos beraad of every influential mind in S.A rugby and co ordinated a serious inward search into the weakness
    in SA rugby.
    He left that meeting armed with all the knowledge of our weaknesses, and headed directly to Italy to coach them how to beat the Boks that week end.
    Probably the most underhand and treachorous act ever done in rugby.
    AndtSARU reward him with the Bok coaching job.

  • Comment 60, posted at 23.02.17 13:48:36 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 59) : Its still just rumours…

  • Comment 61, posted at 23.02.17 14:02:30 by SheldonK Reply

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  • @The hound (Comment 60) : yes if rumours are correct that’s the way to do it!!! But must say Irish really put a huge big dent in his reputation!!!

  • Comment 62, posted at 23.02.17 14:09:34 by JD Reply
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  • Change my pick to the Bulls after seeing the Stormers side. I hope it works

  • Comment 63, posted at 23.02.17 15:01:33 by Baylion Reply

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  • @Baylion (Comment 63) : I do too

  • Comment 64, posted at 23.02.17 15:05:46 by robdylan Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 62) : That and the time he “forgot” to coach the Sharks any form of defence in preseason.
    @#%$ those were crazy days at the Sharks.

  • Comment 65, posted at 23.02.17 16:11:17 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 65) : looking at the game against the Irish it seemed he did it again!!!

  • Comment 66, posted at 23.02.17 17:23:40 by JD Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 60) : If Venter didn’t disclose the fact, that he was going to be working with Italy, I would agree with your conspiracy theory. That said the weaknesses were plain for all to see. You are being a bit conspiratorial I am afraid. Boks lost to Italy regardless of Venter’s input.

  • Comment 67, posted at 23.02.17 19:54:51 by KingCheetah Reply

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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 67) : It amazes me that you cannot see the the dishonesty in the situation.
    No conspiracy just facts, you run not participate, but run a full in deep, soul searching , complete analysis of the team with every relevant party you can find involved, and five days later you are coaching the oposition with all the knowledge you have gained against your own country.
    Where is the conspiracy, just complete lack of integrity and moral fibre.Any decent person would have excused himself from one of the partys.

  • Comment 68, posted at 23.02.17 22:10:49 by The hound Reply
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  • Got the first win point for my pick easily enough, but my margin was…well, not what it ended up being…

  • Comment 69, posted at 23.02.17 22:46:48 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 68) : And it amazes me that you can’t see the wood from the trees. My take is as follows:
    SARU approached Venter to facilitate the indaba, not vice versa.
    Venter disclosed the fact that he had committed to being a defence consultant for the Italian team.
    SARU still chose to keep Venter as the facilitator.
    So where is the duplicity?
    Would he have been more honest had he shafted the Italians, with whom he had a professional agreement to consult with?

  • Comment 70, posted at 24.02.17 08:51:43 by KingCheetah Reply

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