Super Rugby 2012: Round 14 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 24 May 2012 at 09:00
Tagged with : ,

Just two more rounds of Super Rugby action to go before we take a three-week break for the incoming tour season (whose dumb idea was that?). Teams are starting to run low on personnel (well, except the Sharks) and it’s now time for one more big push to try and establish a decent log position ahead of the break. Let’s see what round fourteen has in store for us.

Chiefs v Vodacom Bulls 25 May at 09:35

Hoo boy, we start off with a humdinger on Friday morning. The Chiefs will be watching the South African conference with interest. The Sharks, Bulls and Stormers all still need to peg one another back and the door is well open to allow the Waikato men an unlikely first place finish. Their destiny is in their hands at the moment, making a win over the Bulls here non-negotiable. The Pretoria men are coming to the end of a long tour, but are surprisingly not looking too bad from an injury point of view and will fancy their chances against a side that they haven’t lost to in four years. That said, the Bulls were poor against the Highlanders last week and the rested Chiefs may well be a little too stern a challenge for them to overcome. Hoe-ground advantage should see the Chiefs win this one by 8 points.

Chiefs: 15. Andrew Horrell, 14. Lelia Masaga, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8. Kane Thompson, 7. Tanerau Latimer, 6. Liam Messam, 5. Brodie Retallick, 4. Craig Clarke (Captain), 3. Ben Afeaki, 2. Hikawera Elliott, 1. Toby Smith
Replacements: 16. Mahonri Schwalger, 17. Sona Taumalolo, 18. Michael Fitzgerald, 19. Sam Cane, 20. Brendon Leonard, 21. Robbie Robinson, 22. Maritino Nemani

Bulls: 15. Zane Kirchner, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Pierre Spies (Captain), 7. CJ Stander, 6. Dewald Potgieter, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Rayno Gerber, 18. Juandre Kruger, 19. Arno Botha, 20. Jano Vermaak, 21. Louis Fouche, 22. JJ Engelbrecht

Hurricanes v Rebels 26 May at 07:30

The Rebels continue to surprise – if not really impress – but with both of these sides effectively our of the running for a knock-out berth, unless something truly weird happens, there’s very little riding on this game. The Canes have been up and down, but the Melbourne boys have yet to convince us that they can win outside of Australia, so let’s give it to the home side. Hurricanes to win by 5.

Hurricanes: 15. André Taylor, 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Conrad Smith (Captain), 12. Tim Bateman, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Victor Vito, 7. Jack Lam, 6. Faifili Levave, 5. Jason Eaton, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2. Dane Coles, 1. Ben May
Replacements: 16. Motu Matu’u, 17. Reg Goodes, 18. James Broadhurst, 19. Brad Shields, 20. Chris Eaton, 21. Tusi Pisi, 22. Jayden Hayward

Rebels: TBA

Blues v Highlanders 26 May at 09:35

Another week goes by and again we ask – how many more games can the Blues possibly lose? The Highlanders have fought right back into contention, with last week’s win over the Bulls crucial in their efforts to keep pressure on the Sharks and it’s hard to see them letting go of that chance now, particularly against a Blues side that simply has no mojo left at all. Highlanders to win by 9.

Blues: TBA

Highlanders: TBA

Brumbies v Reds 26 May at 11:40

The Reds now have only the most tenuous grasp possible on the crown they won so emphatically last year and the lob-sided conference format in Super Rugby means that while they probably can no longer realistically make the top 6 on points, they can still get through if they somehow manage to end with more points than the Brumbies. That makes this result crucial for them – probably the defining game of their season. The same can be said of the Brumbies, who now only really need to beat the Reds to ensure a likely top spot in the Aussie conference. My feeling is that things aren’t going to quite go the Brumbies’ way here – anything at all to make the Aussie conference just a little interesting. Reds to win by 2.

Brumbies: 15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Andrew Smith, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Joseph Tomane, 10. Zack Holmes, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (Captain), 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Peter Kimlin, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Scott Fardy, 3. Dan Palmer, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Ben Alexander
Replacements: 16. Anthony Hegarty, 17. Ruaidhri Murphy, 18. Leon Power, 19. Ita Vaea, 20. Ian Prior, 21. Robbie Coleman, 22. Tevita Kuridrani

Reds: TBA

Force v MTN Lions 26 May at 13:40

Are the Lions really bad enough to lose to the Force? Yes, I’m afraid, yes they are. Force to win this battle of the never-weres by about 6 points. The only thing we can say with certainty about this game is that the definition of the word “super” may have been watered down somewhat by the end of it.

Force: TBA

Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Jaco Taute, 11. Michael Killian, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Tian Meyer, 8. Joshua Strauss (Captain), 7. Grant Hattingh, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Franco van der Merwe, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. CJ van der Linde
Replacements: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. JC Janse van Rensburg, 18. Cobus Grobbelaar, 19. Jaco Kriel, 20. Ross Cronje, 21. Ruan Combrinck, 22. James Kamana

Toyota Cheetahs v Waratahs 26 May at 17:05

These two sides are in a remarkably similar position – both languishing fourth in their respective conferences and very close to each other on the combined log too. The only difference is, the Cheetahs have probably done better than expected in getting to where they are, while the boring Tahs have once again failed to live up to any pre-tournament hype and have simply been dire pretty much all season. Really hoping that the Cheetahs can find their winning mojo again (after losing their last two) because losing to this Waratahs side at home is something that no South African side should do! Cheetahs by 4.

Cheetahs: 15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Rocco Jansen, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Willie Le Roux, 10. Riaan Smit, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Philip Van der Walt, 7. Ashley Johnson, 6. Heinrich Brussow, 5. Izak van der Westhuizen, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Hercu Liebenberg, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Francois (FS) Uys, 19. Justin Downey, 20. Tewis de Bruyn, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Philip Snyman

Waratahs: TBA

Sharks v DHL Stormers 26 May at 19:10

The final game of the round is probably the most interesting one from a South African conference perspective; the Stormers can virtually seal top spot with a win here (assuming the Bulls lose), while the Sharks have been in “finals mode” ever since their bye and despite picking up 14 points in the last 3 weeks, will no that they can’t afford to stop winning any time soon. Both sides have momentum, both sides look settled and with so much at stake for both teams, it’s really hard to pick a winner here. We’re going to go with the majority, though and point to worsening fatigue within the Stormers ranks as the reason for a tight Sharks win, by around 6 points.

Sharks :15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (capt), 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Odwa Ndungane, 22 Louis Ludik.

Stormers: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Jebb Sinclair, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Don Armand, 20. Nick Fenton-Wells, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Burton Francis


  • I’m going the same except for a Brumbies win!

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.05.12 09:30:44 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • This weekend could either go horribly wrong, or spot on..

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.05.12 09:41:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • i’m also going for a brumbies win, and then a tahs win, cheetahs just aint the same without goosen

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.05.12 09:47:59 by MJ Reply

  • In complete agreement with Rob on this one – Waiakto stadium is a hoe-ground! 😈

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.05.12 13:05:19 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well at least the Keolings are in disagreement about the Sharks-Stormers result

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.05.12 13:14:18 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Rebels – 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (c), 7 Tim Davidson, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Jono Owen, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
    Subs: 16 Adam Freier, 17 Rodney Blake, 18 Al Campbell, 19 Tom Chamberlain, 20 Richard Kingi, 21 James Hilgendorf, 22 Stirling Mortlock

    Blues – 15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 David Raikuna, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Peter Saili/Luke Braid (c), 7 Luke Braid/Daniel Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Tevita Mailau, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
    Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Angus Ta’avao, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Daniel Braid / Peter Saili / Danny Pryor, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Ma’a Nonu, 22 Lachie Munro

    Western Force – 15 Alfie Mafi, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Will Tupou, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Ben Seymour, 9 Brett Sheehan, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock (c), 6 Matt Hodgson, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Toby Lynn, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
    Subs: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Salesi Manu, 18 Phoenix Battye, 19 Richard Brown, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 David Harvey

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.05.12 13:49:50 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • I`m not so sure about the Cheetahs, but I agree with the Reds prediction.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.05.12 13:51:32 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.05.12 18:26:05 by Franshark Reply
  • My Crazy picks:

  • Comment 9, posted at 25.05.12 08:49:52 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner

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