Super Rugby 2013: Round 3 Preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 28 Feb 2013 at 11:34
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We’ve had a round and a half to look at the various sides in action (well, bar the Crusaders), so this week it should be a bit easier to get the winners right – at least in theory. We made a few wrong calls last weekend, with the New Zealand conference, as always, proving hard to pick. Let’s see how we do in round 3.

Game 1: Blues v Crusaders (Friday, 08h30 SA Time)

This is probably the toughest game of the weekend to pick. The Blues showed early signs of resurgence in winning last week, but we’ve yet to see the Crusaders at all, so don’t know how good the Blues really are yet. The Saders, though, are notorious for starting slowly in this competition and with the Blues having a small head of stem, I’m backing them to squeak this one. Blues by 3, but don’t go to town on that one just yet.

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Ali Williams (captain), 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tom McCartney.
Replacements: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Angus Ta’avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Brendon O’Connor, 20 Bryn Hall, 21 Baden Kerr, 22 Jackson Willison.

Crusaders: 15 Tom Taylor, 14 Adam Whitelock, 13 Robbie Fruean, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Israel Dagg, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Joe Moody, 18 Dominic Bird, 19 Luke Whitelock, 20 Willi Heinz, 21 Tyler Bleyendaal, 22 Tom Marshall.

Game 2: Waratahs v Rebels (Friday, 10h25 SA Time)

Ugh. Aussie derby. Both sides lost last week and neither really looks the business this year, but based on home-ground advantage and having marginally more stars in their ranks, you’d think the Tahs would prevail here. Waratahs to win by around 7, I’d say.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Tom Carter, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (captain), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Mitchell Chapman, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Ben Volavola.

Rebels: 15 James O’Connor (captain), 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Rory Sidey, 11 Richard Kingi, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Jordy Reid, 19 Jarrod Saffy, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Angus Roberts, 22 Tom English.

Game 3: Reds v Hurricanes (Friday, 12h20 SA Time)

We’ve seen very few cross-conference games so far, but this one should be a really good indication of whether the Kiwi teams really are as strong as we think they are. The Reds, despite limping to the top of the Aussie conference last year, have had a mixed start to this campaign and have looked a shadow of the side that won the tournament in 2011. Then again, the Canes weren’t really expected to lose to the Blues either, yet did so last week. While the safe money here should be on a Reds win, I’m going to take a risk and back the Canes to pick up an away win, by around 5 points.

Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 Ed O’Donoghue, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper (captain), 2 Saia Faingaa, 1 Greg Holmes.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Adam Wallace-Harrison, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Nick Frisby, 21 Mike Harris, 22 Luke Morahan.

Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Brad Shields, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Victor Vito, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Reggie Goodes, 18 James Broadhurst, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 James Marshall, 22 Reynold Lee-Lo.

Game 4: Chiefs v Cheetahs (Saturday, 08h35 SA Time)

Oh dear. Only one winner here, given the relative strength of the squads. The Chiefs were imperious against the Highlanders and are only going to be better at home. The Cheetahs weren’t great against the Sharks, apart from a purple patch of 15 minutes or so and are now already deep into their rather thing reserve depth. Chiefs to win by 15 at least.

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam (captain), 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Ben Tameifuna, 18 Craig Clarke, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Patrick Osborne.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Johannes Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Riaan Smith, 22 Ryno Benjamin.

Game 5: Bulls v Force (Saturday, 17h05 SA Time)

The Force are so crap they can’t even figure out who’s in their team! Ok, seriously, if there’s a side that deserves to be kicked out of this competition more than the pretenders from Perth, then I don’t know who it is. They got smacked by the Kings last week and will get slaughtered by the Bulls in Pretoria. Bulls to win by 25.

Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane/Sampie Mastriet, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Morne Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jean Cook, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Jan Serfontein/Francois Venter

Force: TBA

Game 6: Sharks v Stormers (Saturday, 19h10 SA Time)

Saving the best for last, this should be a real SA Conference humdinger. The Sharks, despite what anyone says, will want revenge after WP beat them in the Currie Cup Final, whereas the Stormers will not want to start their season with a 0 from 2 record. There’s a nasty hint of a “favourites tag” hanging over the Sharks’ head going into this one, given how poor the Stormers were at Loftus and as long-time fans, we should all know how that is never a good thing for the laid-back Durban lads. This, I’m sure, will be far closer than many think, but if the Sharks can stick to structure, dominate up front and use the anticipated wet weather to their advantage, they should record a win. Sharks to take it by around 4 points.

Sharks: 15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Paul Jordaan, 12. Frans Steyn (c), 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Pat Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Anton Bresler, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Odwa Ndungane

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Peter Grant, 22 Gerhard van den Heever


  • agree on most of them except i think the crusaders will win

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.02.13 11:42:19 by jovner Reply
  • “……with the Clues having a small head of stem….” :mrgreen:

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.02.13 11:42:54 by diablo Reply
  • @diablo (Comment 2) : ag fΒ£$%Β£$%k…. that’ll teach me to multitask

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.02.13 11:47:47 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Same here, except for a Saders win. Have a feeling that the Blues will take it.

  • Comment 4, posted at 28.02.13 11:58:17 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : I know it’s hard to fathom, but the Chiefs vs Cheetahs could be alot closer. They drew in 2010 and lthe margin in 2012 was 6 points. Chiefs play a similiar style to the Cheetahs, which will suit the Cheetahs, as we saw against the Sharks.

    Chiefs should win, but I doubt by a large margin

  • Comment 5, posted at 28.02.13 12:27:38 by KingCheetah Reply

  • @SteelShark (Comment 4) : so do I, hence picking the Blues to win…

    is reading not a strength? πŸ™‚

  • Comment 6, posted at 28.02.13 12:29:10 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • The talk of the local drinking hole on the river last night was if one put R1000 down on the Kings to win you would have got back R1 Mil.
    Guess those odds wont come up again in a hurry…

  • Comment 7, posted at 28.02.13 12:33:22 by Caratacus Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 6) : I did read, did you. πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 8, posted at 28.02.13 12:33:28 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 8) : I can try to write a bit clearer.

  • Comment 9, posted at 28.02.13 12:34:50 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @KingCheetah (Comment 5) : i also feel the chiefs will win but i am also hoping that the cheetahs backline clicks with the forwards coming to the fore as well. Hoping for a great try fest

  • Comment 10, posted at 28.02.13 12:39:11 by Dunx Reply

  • Perfect. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 28.02.13 12:45:13 by McLovin Reply

  • @Caratacus (Comment 7) : no, can’t be.

    Any bookie who would’ve given odds of a 1000-to-1 against the Kings beating the Force simply doesn’t know a thing about rugby.

    At the risk of being patronising, it was only sentiment-driven fans who got that result wrong. Most of the scribes got it right.

  • Comment 12, posted at 28.02.13 12:46:02 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 9) : ok, I’m scoobied. What did you mean? πŸ™‚

  • Comment 13, posted at 28.02.13 12:46:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) :

    I agree, enlighten us SteelShark.

  • Comment 14, posted at 28.02.13 12:51:11 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 13) :

    I have the same picks as you except I have the Reds for a win. The Reds have only lost something like 4 from their last 27 matches in Brisbane.

  • Comment 15, posted at 28.02.13 12:53:29 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 15) : that one caused me to scratch my head and can definitely go either way…

  • Comment 16, posted at 28.02.13 12:55:50 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 16) :

    But what the hell do I know anyway. I got 2 from 7 last weekend. 😳

  • Comment 17, posted at 28.02.13 13:05:44 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 13) : @Pokkel (Comment 15) : I have the same picks as you except I have the Saders up for a win. But I think the Blues will win it. So I thought like you but picked difirently πŸ˜›

  • Comment 18, posted at 28.02.13 13:47:48 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 18) : that’s just stupid πŸ™‚

    Why not pick what you think?

  • Comment 19, posted at 28.02.13 14:06:13 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Because I picked 1st and thought later 😈

  • Comment 20, posted at 28.02.13 14:55:20 by SteelShark Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 20) : aaaah, gotcha πŸ™‚

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.02.13 15:13:21 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SteelShark (Comment 20) : LOL…Glad to know that I am not the only one who does that. πŸ˜›

  • Comment 22, posted at 28.02.13 15:50:36 by Just a Fan Reply

    Just a Fan
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : kings were 1000-1 before the competition started, not to beat the force, but to win the competition.

  • Comment 23, posted at 28.02.13 17:33:12 by Greg Reply

  • @Greg (Comment 23) : oh ok… fair enough

  • Comment 24, posted at 28.02.13 18:11:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Any money for kings to win super rugby comp will be lost, rather give it to me to buy beer. With me you will have an equal chance of seeing your money (or beer) again.

  • Comment 25, posted at 28.02.13 18:54:53 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 25) : yes sure, only a fool bets that they’re going to win the competition…. but the odds on a first-round win cannot have been very low

  • Comment 26, posted at 28.02.13 19:49:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 26) :

    King to win the first match was 2/1

    The Force were 4/10 favorites.

  • Comment 27, posted at 28.02.13 20:18:03 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : really? Jeez, do the bookies not watch rugby?

    Sorry, but I still maintain the Force are the worst team ever to play Super Rugby…

  • Comment 28, posted at 28.02.13 21:09:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) :

    Yes, I agree with you..

    But the odds are volatile, since its a demand and supply thing.

    Punters wanted to cash in on the Kings losing more than the Force winning. So there was lots of money on the opposition, and the odds had to shorten on the Force..

  • Comment 29, posted at 28.02.13 21:26:27 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • Saders 15 Blues 20 45 mins

  • Comment 30, posted at 01.03.13 09:30:04 by Just a Fan Reply

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