Time for predictions – Cheetahs, Chiefs, Crusaders

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Bulls, Cheetahs, Lions, Original Content, Other SA Teams, Stormers, Super Rugby on 18 Apr 2012 at 14:53

Segment two of our time for predictions articles.

Have a look at the  spreadsheet that I am using to compress all the results, fixtures and predictions for this year into one page, I also saved it in a PDF. The spreadsheet is meant to work like a graph. Each team is listed on the left, top to bottom. Rows represents the teams and columns represent “played against”. The “example” will give you a clear idea of how to read the spreadsheet. You can also go to segment 1, Time for predictions – Blues, Brumbies, Bulls for a more complete explanation.

So lets have a look at three more teams:

Cheetahs 11th

The game against the Hurricanes was simply awesome to watch but why did they need to put themselves in that position in the first place, 25 odd points behind with barely 30 minutes on the clock? Winning this game from behind was not the sign of a champion side, it is the sign of a side with a lot of potential that still cannot build any continuity and form to maintain a winning platform. They have done this in the past. They have showed that they can take out the best. The only way for them to prove that this is not just the little guy throwing a few big punches would be  to string together a few good wins at home.

They still have five home games to play out of their eight remaining fixtures. Of those, if they could consistently put together the type of play we have seen them deliver in patches this year, they could take four out of five. Add to that the 8 log points and two weeks of rest that are still waiting for them and they could be on a decent 42 with 3 difficult local derbies awaiting them. In week 16 they take on the Bulls away from home, week 17 the Stormers in Bloemfontein and week 18 the Sharks in their last away derby and what could possibly be their final. Their home games are against the Highlanders, Force, Sharks, Waratahs and Stormers. With the exception of the Stormers that could potentially win them all. This means that they could set themselves up for a quarter final, semi final and final with South African opposition, much like the Currie Cup or exactly like the Currie Cup to ultimately end on a possible 54 before bonus points. Something that will make them a contender for the top six, but will they pitch up or fall flat again?

They still have to play:

Highlanders, Force, Stormers, Sharks, Waratahs, Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and have two more byes.

The Cheetahs can beat most of these teams on any given day but I think it is safe to say that they won’t. I’ve given them the Force and the Waratahs matches with an outside chance of a victory against the Highlanders. This prediction puts them on 35 points at the end of the competition and a disappointing 11th place.

Chiefs 1st

It is really difficult to say what this team will do next. They look like a good side, they are playing like a good side, they’re sitting at the top of the log like a good side, but are they really? In week one they lost to the Highlanders but what did that really tell us? The Highlanders have gone on to also played like a good team so that loss was not as bad as initially perceived, especially as this remains their only loss and their scalps include the Crusaders who seemed to have a slow start and the Brumbies, another team that cannot be counted out this year. It is all very confusing, are the bad teams playing better or are the good teams playing worse? Just based on their on-field performances I would say that the Chiefs are one of the “bad” teams playing better. They have maintained their exciting backs who with the addition of Sonny Bill Williams have become a difficult attack to stop but given that this has always been their strength in the past what impresses even more is the way their forwards have handled themselves. This weekend it was again their pack, especially their tight five, who built a good platform for their victory against the Cheetahs.

Nine games remains for them, four home and five away. They find themselves in a very healthy position at this stage. 31 log points means that as few as four wins could keep them in contention for the top 6 as 16 log points and the four bye points awaiting them in week 13 would move them into that magical 50 point region. It is probably going to have to be a little more than 50 this year but considering that that does not include any bonus points it seems that they would be a likely bet for the top 6. Having said this, they still have a few difficult games ahead of them and might have to fight for those four wins. The Bulls, Crusaders, Reds and Sharks will all still stand in their way and then there’s three more tough local derbies, one against the Highlanders and two more against the Hurricanes, that leaves only the Lions game as what could be seen as an easy five or at least four points. It will be tough, but at least they have put themselves in a position where it is still possible.

They still have to play:

Sharks, Hurricanes, Lions, Reds, Bulls, Blues, Highlanders, Crusaders, Hurricanes and have one more bye.

I think they have played well enough to be the favorites against five more teams. I think the Sharks, Bulls, Crusaders and the away game against the Hurricanes will go to the wire, I’m putting them down as bonus point losses, which will place them 6th on the log on 59 points.

Crusaders 7th

Don’t count them out. They may have started slowly but they handed the Stormers their first loss this weekend and if not for a horrible call by one of the assistant referees in the Bulls game, they could have taken them out too. It’s their newly revived conference opposition that is causing them some trouble, the Highlanders and the Chiefs both surprising them early on. This conference is not a good one to be in but I don’t think the Crusaders will be beaten again easily. They have their core and foundation back in Dan Carter, he has not even been doing anything special since he’s been back but we know the truth about all New Zealand teams with Dan Carter and Richie McCaw contracted under them. New Zealand and the Crusaders always perform better when Dan Carter and Richie McCaw play, no matter what. It might not have been an impressive start for them but just based on reputation every next game will be their best game.

They also have five home games remaining which means five local derbies. Whether that could be seen as a good or a bad thing is really hard to tell. What I can say is that the Blues are one of those teams that will not prevail. I don’t think the Chiefs and Highlanders will upset them again and the two remaining derbies against the Hurricanes, even though they have had some explosive performances, should not pose too much of a problem for the Crusaders. That leaves four Aussie teams in the Force, the Reds, the Rebels and the Waratahs. The Reds being the only one of them who may have a chance of beating them but with all their injuries and the fact that it will be a home game for the Crusaders I don’t see it happening. Nine from nine for the Crusaders. That would make them number one and leave them about 10 log points to play with and still remain in the top 6.

They still have to play:

Hurricanes, Waratahs, Reds, Rebels, Blues, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Chiefs, Force and have one more bye.

There may be a stumble here and there, it seems unrealistic to predict only wins but the Crusaders have done it so many times before and I think they will do it again and end at the top with 64 points.


  • OK, so thus far your final standings are:
    1. Crusaders
    4. Bulls
    6. Chiefs
    7. Brumbies
    8. Highlanders
    9. Hurricanes
    11. Cheetahs
    12. Force
    13. Blues

    Outstanding: Stormers, Reds, Waratahs, Sharks, Rebels, Lions.

  • Comment 1, posted at 19.04.12 06:39:45 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • The most important one for me is the sharks position. Playing the Lions and Cheetahs in our last two away games. Then home games against Stormers, Bulls, Cheetahs, Highlanders, Force, Chiefs. Plus two more byes.

    I would venture 4 points against the Lions, Bulls, Chiefs and Highlanders. A narrow loss against the Stormers – 1 point. 5 Points against Cheetahs at home, 1 point away. 5 Against the Force. 8 for the two byes.

    Another 36 points to leave us on 59 at the end… Equal with the Chiefs.

  • Comment 2, posted at 19.04.12 06:48:09 by King Shark Reply
    King Shark
  • @King Shark (Comment 2) : I gave the Sharks 8 from 8 in the last 10 weeks, which would give them 40 points and 62 final log points.

    I also think the chances of losing the Stormers game and the Cheetahs away game is probably a little bigger than winning, but I decided the chances are good enough that I can predict it and not get laughed at.

    The thing is, this clearly shows that we can’t really afford to lose any other games, because if we lose against the Chiefs this weekend one of the Stormers game and the Cheetahs away game becomes a must win for us, and the we still have the Bulls to contend with.

    It won’t be easy, but if the sharks want any shot at even getting close to winning this thing, that’s what they’ll need to do and they’ll have to start with this weekend’s game against the Chiefs.

    It will probably be a high scoring game with plenty of tries, so if we can end up with more points on the board at the end of the game, it’s also very possible that we could take 5 points from this game.

  • Comment 3, posted at 19.04.12 08:52:56 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Don’t believe that the Crusaders will win all their games going forward. If they do and end first on the log it wilol be a massive suprise at this point and they will definitely win the title.

  • Comment 4, posted at 19.04.12 09:18:25 by Viking Reply

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