2011 Super Rugby Round 7: Preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 31 Mar 2011 at 07:49
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Round 6 was a far better one for us, with only the Sharks preventing us from getting all 7 picks right. We took some heat for calling a narrow Rebels win over the Hurricanes and rightly so – we should have picked the Rebels by much more! Let’s see how this week could pan out.


The Highlanders have hit a few wobbles recently, after a fine start that saw them beating the Buls at Loftus en route to the top of the New Zealand conference. Losses to the Stormers and Crusaders have set them back a little, but they’ve had a bye to regroup. The Brumbies seem to be a team in turmoil, by contrast, so I reckon the Landers will take this by 10.

Highlanders – 15 Ben Smith, 14 Kade Poki, 13 Kendrick Lynn, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Siale Piutau, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Alando Soakai, 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Jason Rutledge, 1 Jamie Mackintosh (Captain).
Subs: 16 Mo Schwalger, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 Josh Bekhuis, 19 Nick Crosswell, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Tony Brown, 22 James Paterson.

Brumbies – TBC


A game between a side that has really struggled to get anything going so far this year – and another that has been sublime at times, but appalling at others. The Chiefs are languishing at the bottom of the New Zealand conference, with only a win over the Sharks to bring them any comfort, whereas the Waratahs are better placed. We saw in the Cheetahs match two weeks ago exactly how dire Phil Waugh’s team can be when they want to, but I doubt they will slump to that sort of form again. Waratahs by 7 or so.

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

Chiefs – 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Dwayne Sweeney, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Liam Messam (Captain), 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Scott Waldrom, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Nathan White, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Subs: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Sona Taumalolo, 18 Culum Retallick, 19 Fritz Lee, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Tana Umaga, 22 Save Tokula.


It’s the dreaded third week on tour for the Cheetahs and they showed against the Reds in Brisbane that despite the encouraging first-ever win against the Waratahs a week before, they are unlikely to be able to sustain that form on tour. This is going to be another long encounter for the Cheetahs, with the Blues winning by 20 or more.

Blues – TBC

Cheetahs – 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Philip Burger, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corne Uys, 11 Wilmaure Louw, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Kabamba Floors, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (Captain), 4 Francois Uys, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Ashley Johnson, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Barry Geel.


A tough game. The Bulls won the corresponding fixture last year and believe their strategy of only landing in New Zealand the Wednesday before the game is a winning one for them. The Canes have been little short of atrocious this year, conceding a frighteningly easy loss to the Rebels last week. The Bulls have also been off their game, though, and laboured to an unconvincing win over a poor Lions side at Loftus last week. This could go either way, but I don’t see the Hurricanes losing this one. Canes to win a scrappy game by 3.

Hurricanes – TBC

Bulls – 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Francois Hougaard, 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 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Dean Greyling.
Subs: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Derick Kuün, 20 Francois Brummer, 21 Gerhard van den Heever, 22 Jaco van der Westhuyzen.


These Aussie derbies are always a lottery, but we’ve seen the Rebels fall into a pretty predictable pattern this season. This week, it’s their turn to play badly and get thrashed, so expect the Force – themselves a limited side – to run out to a 10 point victory.

Force – TBC

Rebels – TBC


The Reds are a superbly-coached side playing with panache and structure this season. They boast a useful pack and an exciting back division chock full of game breakers. The Lions are, well, the Lions and resurgent or not, the Reds will take this one by 15 points.

Lions – TBC

Reds – 15. Mike Harris, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Digby Ioane, 12. Anthony Faingaa, 11. Luke Morahan, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Leroy Houston, 7. Beau Robinson, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 5. James Horwill (Captain), 4. Adam Wallace-Harrison, 3. James Slipper, 2. Saia Faingaa, 1. Greg Holmes
Substitutes: 16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Rob Simmons, 19. Radike Samo, 20. Jake Schatz, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Ben Tapuai


On current form, you’d have to fancy the visitors, who are unbeaten and playing some lovely rugby. The Sharks, though, were pretty useful themselves, makeshift backline notwithstanding, for large parts of the game against the Crusaders. Certainly neither side is going to take any prisoners, but the Sharks will have slightly more motivation to win this one, it being a vital home game for them which they, simply put, cannot afford to lose. The Stormers forwards have come on in leaps and bounds so far this season, but will face their sternest test yet against the Sharks pack and I believe the home team will manage to starve their visitors of possession and grind out a narrow win. Sharks by 5.

Sharks – TBC

Stormers – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger (Captain), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Rynhardt Elstadt, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Subs: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Juan de Jongh.


  • I dont dare critize you after last week, I will say that the Sharks/ Stormers game has me stumped. So maybe a draw

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.03.11 08:01:38 by Whindy Reply
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  • “The Stormers forwards have come on in leaps and bounds so far this season, but will face their sternest test yet against the Sharks pack” weeellll… that all depends on which sharks pack they face. The one that was demolished by the Crusaders for 50 minutes or the one that smashed the Crusaders for 30 minutes. Am I being to subtle in stating my selection views?

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.03.11 08:02:03 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • I reckon the Lions might get their act together for their game..

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.03.11 08:21:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • I got 6/7 aswell last week, only got the Rebels game wrong. This week I have the same picks.

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.03.11 08:22:20 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • The key for us for will be to limit the lineouts which will be the Stormers strong point. The scrum should be our strong point but overall our forwards will leave the Stormers hobbling down the tunnel. One more big hit by Alberts on Sulk Burger will have him asking himself questions whether he wants to carry the ball up again.

    The big question will be over the backlines. Unfortunately without Lambie the Stormers will have the better backline but then they had the better backline in the Super 14 last year as well and we still managed to beat them.

    AC trying to play the underdog tag because last year they bought the hype they were better than us (in the S14 and CC) and imploded. I think their egos have already started to puff and preen no matter what AC says.

    We can definitely get the points for this game.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.03.11 08:27:54 by Butchie34 Reply
  • My prediction has not delivered at all this year but believe that in these predictions there must be an upset. Maybe the Bulls to grind it out or the Lions to actually string together a good 80 minutes?

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.03.11 08:35:12 by Viking Reply
  • The Sharks will beat the Stormers in front of their home supporters – will be there for sure!!!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.03.11 08:37:22 by Ardent Shark Reply

    Ardent Shark
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 5) : Agreed, but the backline is a concern. Like the Crusaders game, the Sharks will need to dominate upfront (which for 50 mins they didnt), protect the FH 1st center channel (boy are they missing Dries Strauss in this respect) while maintaining some creativity on attack. One of the biggest issues for the Sharks is to lower the missed tackle rate although i dont expect the Stormers to be able to punish them here as severely as the Crusaders. Also a good 80 min effort as opposed to 20 mins of good rugby would help.

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.03.11 08:37:37 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • The Stormers has two threats to the Sharks from a backline perspective. Their centre pairing will need to be watched very closely and closed down behind the advantage line. The second is the counter attacking ability of Gio Aplon. That means our kicking will need to be accurate and not to allow Gio Aplon space to move. Other than that it will be an upfront battle.

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.03.11 08:42:53 by Viking Reply
  • Mine’s the same as Robs…again… 😆

    Also had a 6 from 7 last weekend – with just the Sharks game wrong (but I said before – simply cannot bet against them!)

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.03.11 08:50:30 by Ice Reply
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  • Ice its a matter of heart over mind ,I often do the same..

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.03.11 09:00:12 by ruggabugga Reply

  • @ruggabugga (Comment 11) : Haha, I guess Im a glass half empty person. I normally do the opposite in the hope I will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.03.11 09:03:14 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @ruggabugga (Comment 11) : And I am a all-heart kinda gal! 😀

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.03.11 09:22:43 by Ice Reply
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  • I think maybe the Rebels will beat the force. They can’t be up then down every week can they?

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.03.11 09:24:50 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : Anything is possible, but so far the trend as Rob said was clear – one week win, one week lose…but that is not a given that they WILL not perform this weekend. They are just a bit unpredictable so I think Rob went with the “obvious pattern”.

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.03.11 09:31:00 by Ice Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 15) : Its called “the Blues” pattern. It was developed in Auckland in about 2008.

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.03.11 09:39:24 by Pablo Dinero Reply

    Pablo Dinero
  • @Ice (Comment 15) : Plus they are away from home, they seem to play better at home!!

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.03.11 09:46:22 by Whindy Reply
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  • Just saw that 3 of my 4 halfbacks are not playing this round (injuries and byes), the 4th is not only playing an away game but is also under performing at this stage 😯 😕

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.03.11 09:51:29 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Stormers lineout is a bit wobbly, Deon Fourie isn’t exactly a marksman

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.03.11 09:53:57 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • @Ice (Comment 15) : Also noticed the pattern but considering that the Force players were ill and they only just returned from SA, they will have their work cut out for them. It is also quite possible that the Rebels are priming start hitting form more consistently…

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.03.11 09:54:02 by kingshark Reply
    King Shark
  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 19) : Yeah but Bismark also missed a couple in recent times…

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.03.11 09:55:04 by kingshark Reply
    King Shark
  • @kingshark (Comment 20) : True – but like I said – they are still too unpredictable – my take is that’s why Rob went with the Force..oh ja an myself – sort of eenie-meenie-mynie-mo choice! 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 31.03.11 09:59:47 by Ice Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 19) : What an aswome try from him last weekend!

  • Comment 23, posted at 31.03.11 10:00:38 by Ice Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 19) :Cleytie, with Bekker in the side it cant be too hard to find him. wow is that man playing well, he will definately take Big Vics place soon.

  • Comment 24, posted at 31.03.11 10:04:48 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Ice (Comment 23) : Ja that wasn’t bad hey, rather enjoyed the changed of speed

    @Whindy (Comment 24) : Good to have the big guy back.Hehehe, true , you really have to go out of your way to miss him in the lineout

  • Comment 25, posted at 31.03.11 10:06:27 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
  • See JLP are going to undergo a scan on that injured calf…

  • Comment 26, posted at 31.03.11 10:12:57 by Charlie Reply

  • @Charlie (Comment 26) : Opens up the space we were chatting about, for AD.

  • Comment 27, posted at 31.03.11 10:17:30 by Whindy Reply
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  • @Whindy (Comment 27) : Odds are that JLP will not be fit for the game. Hope to see MB at 10 with Adi and Stef. Could be a good combination to take on the Stormers

  • Comment 28, posted at 31.03.11 10:24:28 by Viking Reply
  • @Whindy (Comment 27) : @Viking (Comment 28) : Let’s hope that everything will workout for the good of the team… 😉

  • Comment 29, posted at 31.03.11 10:36:24 by Charlie Reply

  • @Viking (Comment 28) : Agree,really thought AD was lookin sharp when MB was at 10.

  • Comment 30, posted at 31.03.11 10:41:56 by Whindy Reply
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  • Chiefs to beat Waratahs and Rebels to beat Force.

  • Comment 31, posted at 31.03.11 10:55:07 by rhineshark Reply
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  • its a bit of the topic, but i see Pdiv said that he would do anthing to help Francois Steyn to play for the Lions at fullback…

    maybe Rudolf Steauli should go visit Jaco Taute… 😉

  • Comment 32, posted at 31.03.11 11:29:41 by VanWilder Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 32) : I don’t know what’s going on in Div’s head. Just because someone played ina team that wona world cup 4 years ago doesn’t make them the best player for the job in any given position.

    The way things are going now we are going to go to NZ with Butch at 10, Smit at hooker and Steyn at FB. The AB’s must be laughing their heads off.

  • Comment 33, posted at 31.03.11 11:35:07 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @rhineshark (Comment 33) : Won’t let me edit, even within the 5 minutes limit.

  • Comment 34, posted at 31.03.11 11:38:46 by rhineshark Reply
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  • @VanWilder (Comment 32) : I’ll suggest it to him 🙂

  • Comment 35, posted at 31.03.11 11:46:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • Got my predictions exactly the same as yours Rob. Let’s hope we are right.

  • Comment 36, posted at 31.03.11 11:49:17 by Ben Reply
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  • Sharks need to concentrate on attacking Habana’s defensive channel.

    At least three tries through his backdoor.

  • Comment 37, posted at 31.03.11 11:54:48 by Panache Reply

  • @Ben (Comment 36) : reminds me… I should head over to SuperBru 🙂

  • Comment 38, posted at 31.03.11 12:04:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • Man, I can’t believe we lost to a rag-tag team like the Chiefs. Hope that doesn’t come back to haunt us.

  • Comment 39, posted at 31.03.11 12:08:20 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @Panache (Comment 37) : we don’t have to concentrate on doing that, it will come unavoidably 🙂

  • Comment 40, posted at 31.03.11 12:20:40 by franshark Reply
  • @Ice (Comment 10) : I know this comments now a bid late’ just have to say: even if the sharks losses 13 in a row and are playing the sader(away) and they are unbeaten for 2 seasons, I will not pick against THE SHARKS

  • Comment 41, posted at 31.03.11 12:24:38 by franshark Reply
  • Could all come down to goalkicking this weekend. Grant seems to be on top of his game in this respect…so Sharks need to nail all our points.

  • Comment 42, posted at 31.03.11 12:36:18 by Villie Reply
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  • @Panache (Comment 37) : I hear Habana made the Sharks squad for the weekend 😎

  • Comment 43, posted at 31.03.11 14:18:47 by Viking Reply
  • @VanWilder (Comment 32) : Divvy should just force Steyn to come back to us. Then he can judge his form more accurately . . .

    If he doesn`t make the WC squad we`ll be only too happy to have his services for the CC 😈

  • Comment 44, posted at 31.03.11 14:25:18 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Lions captain, Franco stepped down. Doppies will be captain.

  • Comment 45, posted at 31.03.11 14:34:06 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @SharksRTB (Comment 45) : Problems within the Pride? Never a good sign when a team starts to chop and change their captains. Ask the Cheetahs…

  • Comment 46, posted at 31.03.11 14:43:10 by Viking Reply
  • @Viking (Comment 43) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 47, posted at 31.03.11 14:43:17 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Lions if you`re interested guys:

    Michael Killian, Lionel Mapoe, Waylon Murray, Doppies la Grange(c), Deon van Rensburg, Andre Pretorius, Jano Vermaak, Warren Whiteley, Joshua Strauss, Cobus Grobbelaar, Franco van der Merwe, David Bulbring, Patric Cilliers, Bandise Maku, JC Janse van Rensburg.
    Replacements: Edgar Marutlulle, Jacobie Adriaanse, Michael Rhodes, Derick Minnie, Rory Kockott, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute.

  • Comment 48, posted at 31.03.11 15:03:22 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre
  • So the Sharks are favourite’s…by 5…

  • Comment 49, posted at 31.03.11 15:07:46 by Charlie Reply

  • Sportsbet has the Stormers as favourites. 0.75

    Sharks : 1.2

  • Comment 50, posted at 31.03.11 15:21:44 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre

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