Super Rugby 2011: Round 3 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 3 Mar 2011 at 09:42
Tagged with : , ,

Rounds three of Super Rugby is already nearly here, so let’s have a look at the team sheets (which we will keep updating as more are announced) and see if we can pick a winner in each game. Last week was another good one for us, with only the Rebels shock win over the Brumbies proving a bridge too far for our predictive powers!

That’s 5/6 games last week, which added to the 6/7 in Round 1, gives us a very respectable 11/13 record so far. Margins are not quite as easy to predict, however, but getting the winners right is a clear step in the right direction. Let’s look at this week’s games.


After missing their game last week – and having to move their base of operations to sleepy Nelson – the Cru must simply be itching to get back to playing some rugger. They lost surprisingly to the Blues and were forced to share the points with the Hurricanes last week, meaning that, through not only their own fault, they are languishing on 3 points after 2 games, a full 5 behind conference leaders the Highlanders. They quite simply have to get a win in this game, but their opponents are the only side to have recorded a full house of log points so far – the Waratahs. Working in the Crusaders’ favour is the absence of a key Tahs playmaker in Berrick Barnes and that, coupled with the fact that the Cantabrians are at home should see the result go the way of the Crusaders, by around 5 points.

Crusaders – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Adam Whitelock, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (Captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett .
Subs: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Chris Jack, 19 Jonathan Poff, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Matt Berquist, 22 Tom Marshall.

Waratahs -15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Daniel Halangahu, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Phil Waugh (Captain), 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Al Baxter, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Sekope Kepu.
Subs: 16 Damien Fitzpatrick, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Pat McCutcheon, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Ryan Cross, 22 Afa Pakalani.


Back at their Johannesburg base, where they so nearly beat the Bulls two weeks ago, the Lions will fancy their chances of knocking over the Blues. They have some factors working in their favour, inter alia good fortune with injuries and some much-needed continuity in selection, along wit the fact that the Sharks did a pretty good job on their opponents. The Blues are a few steps short of actually limping into town, but the fact that they’ve had to bench captain Keven Mealamu as a result of the wounds he sustained in trying (in vain) to contain the Sharks forwards should definitely work in the Lions favour. There is a big but, though… the Lions haven’t won a Super Rugby game in well over a year and that sort of record weighs on the mind and may tend to turn close matches against them, as is the nature of all self-fulfilling prophecies. I’d like to think they should have too much for the Blues, but I have huge doubts about whether they will actually be able to shake off the losing mindset that has plagued them for so long. Let’s be brave, though and predict a Lions victory by 5.

Lions – 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies la Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe (Captain), 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patrick Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Subs: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Kevin Buys, 18 Dries van Schalkwyk, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Burton Francis, 22 James Kamana.

Blues – 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Benson Stanley, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Jerome Kaino (Captain), 5 Ali Williams, 4 Kurtis Haiu, 3 John Afoa, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Toby Morland, 21 Stephen Brett, 22 Rene Ranger.


This is a tough one to call, because the temptation is usually to go with the home side, even though last week’s form might suggest a different outcome. The Chiefs have been pretty atrocious in their first two outings, both resulting in away losses, but they return to Hamilton this week to play in front of their home crowd of chainsaw-wielding fanatics- something which never fails to lift them. The Rebels looked like whipping boys after being stuffed by the Tahs in round 1, but then went on to defy the odds in beating the Brumbies last week – the self-same Brumbies side who narrowly defeated the Chiefs the round before. That said, I don’t see the Rebels winning an away game just yet and it remains to be seen whether the Brumbies win was just a flash in the pan in what will turn out to be an otherwise dismal first season for the Melbourne team. Chiefs should take this, by 7 or so.

Chiefs – 15 Mils Muliaina (Captain), 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Dwayne Sweeney, 12 Tana Umaga, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Brendon Leonard; 8 Liam Messam, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Scott Waldrom, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Nathan White, 2 Aled de Malmanche, 1 Ben May.
Subs: 16 Sona Taumalolo, 17 Hila Elliot, 18 Romana Graham, 19 Steven Setephano, 20 Taniela Moa, 21 Mike Delany, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams.

Rebels – 15 Mark Gerrard, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Stirling Mortlock (Captain), 12 Julian Huxley, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Jarrod Saffy, 5 Kevin O’Neill, 4 Adam Byrnes, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessman, 17 Laurie Weeks, 18 Alister Campbell, 19 Tom Chamberlin, 20 Richard Kingi, 21 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 22 Peter Betham.


Hard to pick this without seeing the team sheets, but Aussie derbies are great levelers, as we know. The Reds have been the disappointment of the Aussie conference so far, winning narrowly against the Force and then getting hammered by the Tahs a week later. The Brumbies are licking their own wounds after losing to the Rebels in somewhat dubious fashion and I feel they will raise their game and see off the Reds’ challenge. Then again, the sacking of their coach in midweek might count against them, but history has shown that teams often do put in a huge performance immediately after a sudden coaching change, for whatever reason. Brumbies will take this one, by 5 points.

Brumbies – 15 Pat McCabe, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Matt Giteau (Captain), 9 Josh Valentine, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Colby Faingaa, 5 Mark Chisholm, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dan Palmer, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Ben Alexander.
Subs: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Peter Kimlin, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Patrick Phibbs, 21 Matt Toomua, 22 Christian Lealiifano.

Reds – Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Will Chambers, 12 Anthony Faingaa, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (captain), 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Van Humphries, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Ben Daley.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Ed Quirk, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Luke Morahan.


The Force were far better than expected against the Reds, nearly causing an upset in round 1, but then went straight into their bye in round 2. That draw will have robbed them off momentum, which is the one thing the Sharks have in spades coming into this game. Apart from a dramatic loss in 2007, the Durbanites have a good record against the Force and have a clear superiority up front, which should, once again, prove telling. The clash of the boy wonder flyhalves, Pat Lambie and James O’Connor, should be a good one to watch, but if the Sharks’ juggernaut pack gets on top early (as they should), it will hardly be a fair contest between the respective backlines. Sharks to win by 10.

Force – 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Gene Fairbanks, 11 David Smith, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe (Captain), 4 Ben McCalman, 3 Tim Fairbrother, 2 Ben Whittaker, 1 Pek Cowan.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Matt Dunning, 18 Sam Wykes, 19 Tevita Metuisela, 20 James Stannard, 21 Alfie Mafi, 22 Rory Sidey.

Sharks – TBC


It’s only round 3 and already the Cheetahs are licking their wounds. Sorry to say it, but aside from some guts and heart, they are a hopelessly limited team this year and one feels that if they couldn’t find a way to beat the Bulls last week, given how poor the champions were, they’re certainly not going to trouble the Stormers much. Alister Coetzee’s side was far off their best against the Lions too, but did enough to win and I feel the Stormers will again do the necessary and win by 10-15 points, without breaking into a sweat.

Stormers – 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 CJ van der Linde.
Subs: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Paul Bosch.

Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Naas Olivier (Captain), 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Francois Uys, 6 Kabamba Floors, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Waltie Vermeulen, 3 WP Nel, 2 Rayno Barnes, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Kobus Calldo, 18 Martin Muller, 19 Philip van der Walt, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Riaan Viljoen.


Two sides with a two-from-two record go head to head in the Bulls first home game of 2011. The Pretoria chaps will acknowledge that they have been way off their best, but the 8 points gained from two mostly-poor performances will be a huge consolation for them. The Highlanders, in contrast, have been the surprise package so far and have raced to the top of the New Zealand conference on the back of two good wins (both against local opposition). The Bulls, though, haven’t lost a home game in 20 starts and it will take a special outfit to overturn that stat. The Highlanders are not that team, so the Bulls will win by around 7.

Bulls – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (Captain), 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Subs: 16 Derick Kuün, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Francois Brummer, 22 Stephan Dippenaar.

Highlanders – 15.Ben Smith, 14 Siale Piutau, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Kade Poki, 10 Robbie Robinson, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (Captain).
Subs: 16 Brayden Mitchell, 17 Bronson Murray, 18 Tom Donnelly, 19 John Hardie, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Tony Brown, 22 Telusa Veainu.


  • Agree 100 %.

    Wonder who the ref for the bulls match would be . . .

    Hopefully the much talked about conditions will suit the Sharks this time around and we`ll see what they can really do. Bonus points on offer here? Lets hope!

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.03.11 10:00:21 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Only diffirence here is, I picked Reds. Margins are close though 🙂

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.03.11 10:02:33 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 2) : Reds scraped through against the Force . . . Don`t think they`ll upset the Brumbies.

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.03.11 10:05:14 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • I have the Blues to beat the Lions.

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.03.11 10:09:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 2) : Reds have also got lots of injuries

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.03.11 10:09:20 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 2) : hey – you did it! Congrats.

    I’ll get a thread up for you later

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.03.11 10:13:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : Thanks it was easy 😛 No need for a thread, really 😳

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.03.11 10:16:45 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : They do? 😳

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.03.11 10:17:52 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 8) : I know Horwill is out, not sure who else.

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.03.11 10:32:48 by war1 Reply
  • Tough round to predict this.

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.03.11 13:48:36 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • You can get some good odds on both the Lions and the `Tahs.
    Not impossible . . . 😉

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.03.11 18:57:28 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Beau Robinson was excellent for the Reds last week. Shows what hunger for a contract can do. Glad to see him start this week. I fancy the Reds to beat the Brumbies but otherwise pretty much with you. Think the Lions will finally get off the mark this week. Jantjes has to get his goalkicking form back soon!

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.03.11 22:19:30 by Villie Reply
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  • We allready have 1 fatality on LMS for round 3, now if the Rebels can only manage another win 😀

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.03.11 06:27:53 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 13) :

    Do we have a non selection? That’s silly, especially getting through to the last 20..

    Oh well, one less opponent.

  • Comment 14, posted at 04.03.11 06:56:33 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 14) : We do. 🙂 RIP snoozer 😈

  • Comment 15, posted at 04.03.11 07:04:28 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 15) :

    17 opponents left to beat..

  • Comment 16, posted at 04.03.11 07:13:28 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Why does the Stormers have 8 points on the dstv log when they only played and won once, should they not have 4 points?

    I’m trying to figure this out.

  • Comment 17, posted at 04.03.11 22:07:17 by paradox Reply

  • @paradox (Comment 17) : it’s cos SANZAR introduced a bonkers ruling where each team is given 4 points for a bye!

  • Comment 18, posted at 04.03.11 22:16:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment 19, posted at 04.03.11 22:19:42 by paradox Reply

  • @paradox (Comment 19) : SANZAR in their wisdom DIDN’T share that little decision with the public though, so it was a little confusing. 😕

  • Comment 20, posted at 04.03.11 22:23:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @paradox (Comment 17) :

    Why you using the DSTV log when you can use OUR cool fixtures and Log? 😉

  • Comment 21, posted at 04.03.11 22:24:00 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 20) : spikking of which, I have just lovingly added 4 mahala log points for the Canes. Chiefs must be dying for their bye so they can finally get some points.

  • Comment 22, posted at 04.03.11 22:28:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 22) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 23, posted at 04.03.11 22:29:28 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • morning all

  • Comment 24, posted at 05.03.11 08:16:53 by chaz Reply


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