Vodacom Super Rugby: Round 5 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 13 Mar 2014 at 11:14
Tagged with : , ,

Round 4 proved a little trickier, with the Force’s win over the Rebels completely blindsiding me. I only got 4/6 right, but my overall season percentage of 17 from 22 is still healthy. Let’s see how we do with round 5’s action, which looks considerably tougher to call.

Game 1: Chiefs v DHL Stormers (Friday 08h35 SA time)

This one, unfortunately, doesn’t look terribly hard to get right. The Stormers are limping, having lost some really key men up-front. Jean de Villiers – if pre-match talk is to believed – seems to be banking on South African ref Craig Joubert to help them out of the hole they’re in, a risky strategy at the best of times. No, I fear the Stormers had their chance to score a rare (and unexpected) New Zealand win last week, but they didn’t take it. The Chiefs are only getting stronger and are going to blow away the Stormers’ challenge this week. Chiefs to win by 12 or more.

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Charlie Ngatai, 12 Tom Marshall, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (captain), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Michael Fitzgerald, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Brad Webber, 22 Robbie Fruean, 23 Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

DHL Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.

Game 2: Rebels v Crusaders (Friday 10h40 SA time)

Why am I finding this one harder to call than I should? Perhaps it’s because the Crusaders, to be completely frank, have been rubbish so far this year – and that’s been in New Zealand. They hit the road this week for a game that really could make or break their campaign, because if they’re going to go all the way to the knock-outs in 2014, then they’re really going to have to bank points from this sort of fixture. Then again, last week’s one-sided affair in Perth makes me think that perhaps the Rebels aren’t that flash either and that their big opening win had more to do with how abjectly poor the Cheetahs were than it did with the hosts own game. We’ve seen in seasons gone by, though, how the Melbourne lads tend to blow hot and cold, so I doubt they’ll be flat this week. That said, you have to fancy the Crusaders to win here – surely? Crusaders by 5 points, but if there’s going to be an upset this week, it will happen here.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Lachlan Mitchell, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Sean McMahon, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Angus Roberts, 23 Telusa Veainu.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nemani Nadolo.

Game 3: Hurricanes v Toyota Cheetahs (Saturday 05h35 SA time)

Tricky one to call this…. the Canes have been possibly the biggest disappointment of the season so far, failing to win any of their three games to date and now firmly ensconced at the foot of the table as the only winless team. Can they manage a win against a Cheetahs team that are struggling, but all the same put in a far more competitive performance against the Reds last week? While I’d love to call a win for the visitors here, my feeling is that the dreaded “third week tour blues” will conspire to hand the home team a win. Canes by around 4.

Hurricanes: 15. James Marshall, 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Conrad Smith (Captain), 12. Hadleigh Parkes, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. Chris Smylie, 8. Blade Thomson, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Faifili Levave, 5. Mark Reddish, 4. Jeremy Thrush, 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2. Dane Coles, 1. Ben Franks
Replacements: 16. Motu Matu’u, 17. Chris Eves, 18. John Schwalger, 19. James Broadhurst, 20. Jack Lam, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Matt Proctor, 23. Marty Banks

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Willie Le Roux, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Francois Venter, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip Van der Walt, 7. Pieter Labuschagne, 6. Boom Prinsloo, 5. Francois Jakobus Uys, 4. Lodewyk de Jager, 3. Maks Van Dyk, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Caylib Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Trevor Nyakane, 18. Rossouw De Klerk, 19. Andries Ferreira, 20. Jean Cook, 21. Shaun Venter, 22. Elgar Watts, 23. Hennie Daniller

Game 4: Highlanders v Force (Saturday 08h35 SA time)

The momentum will be with the visitors, after they won last week while the ‘Landers had their feet up. That said, despite a first half blitzkrieg, the Force were held scoreless for 40 minutes by the Rebels and the Highlanders showed, in week 1, that they can probably take down any team at their Dunedin fortress. This should be a close game but I fancy the Highlanders will win by around 7 points.

Higlanders: to be announced.

Western Force: 15. Jayden Hayward, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Junior Rasolea, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Nick Cummins, 10. Sias Ebersohn, 9. Alby Mathewson, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. Matthew Hodgson (Captain), 6. Angus Cottrell, 5. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4. Sam Wykes, 3. Kieran Longbottom, 2. Nathan Charles, 1. Pekahou Cowan
Replacements: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Tetera Faulkner, 18. Oli Hoskins, 19. Adam Coleman, 20. Brynard Stander, 21. Ian Prior, 22. Zack Holmes, 23. Marcel Brache

Game 5: Brumbies v Waratahs (Saturday 10h40 SA time)

An Aussie derby, but with the way the Tahs have been playing, this should actually be a pretty good one. After losing to the Reds in their first game, the Brumbies have bounced back well and look like contenders at least; whether they’ll be able to resist being blown away by the Tahs, who have dispatched fellow conference rivals the Force and Reds with consummate ease, remains to be seen. The smart money is on Isreal Folau to add a few to his try tally, with the Tahs recording yet another win, by around 6 points.

Brumbies: to be announced

Waratahs: 15. Israel Folau, 14. Alofa Alofa, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Kurtley Beale, 11. Peter Betham, 10. Bernard Foley, 9. Nick Phipps, 8. Wycliff Palu, 7. Michael Hooper, 6. Dave Dennis (Captain), 5. Kane Douglas, 4. Jacques Potgieter, 3. Paddy Ryan, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson
Replacements: 16. Tola Latu, 17. Jeremy Tilse, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Will Skelton, 20. Stephen Hoiles, 21. Brendan McKibbin, 22. Rob Horne, 23. Matt Carraro

Game 6: Lions v Blues (Saturday 15h00 SA time)

After starting well, the limited Lions have been brought down to earth with a bit of a bump. The Blues, on the other hand, have flattered to deceive and were exposed, somewhat ruthlessly, by the Bulls at Loftus last week. That said, they’ve now had an extra week to acclimatise and while the Lions have made some smart picks this week, I just don’t see them holding a team with quite as many strike threats as these kiwis have. Blues to win by around 9, I reckon.

Lions: 15. Coenie van Wyk, 14. JW Jonker, 13. Deon van Rensburg, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (c), 7. Willie Britz, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe,
Replacements: 16. Willie Wepener, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni, 20. Warwick Tecklenburg, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Ruan Combrinck

Blues: 15. Benji Marshall, 14. Frank Halai, 13. George Moala, 12. Pita Ahki, 11. Charles Piutau, 10. Chris Noakes, 9. Piri Weepu, 8. Steven Luatua, 7. Luke Braid (Captain), 6. Brendon O’Connor, 5. Tom Donnelly, 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 2. James Parsons, 1. Tony Woodcock
Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Sam Prattley, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Liaki Moli, 20. Jordan Manihera, 21. Bryn Hall, 22. Simon Hickey, 23. Jackson Willison

Game 7: Cell C Sharks v Reds (Saturday 17h05 SA time)

The Sharks have been forced into some changes this week, which could either disrupt them or add a little bit more unpredictability and verve to their play. They looked flat at times against the Lions, but nonetheless recovered from a late change at playmaker and recorded an impressive win. The Reds scored plenty of tries in what was still a rather laboured win against the Cheetahs last week and looked defensively rather suspect, despite their exploits at the other end. They’re a quality team with dangerous backs and a world-class halfback pair, but a long flight, coupled with a lack of grunt up front should see them succumb to the Sharks’ slow poison this week. Sharks to win by 10 or so.

Cell C Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis ,2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 Jaco van Tonder.

Reds: 15. Aidan Toua, 14. Rod Davies, 13. Chris Feauai-Sautia, 12. Mike Harris, 11. Lachlan Turner, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Jake Schatz, 7. Liam Gill, 6. Ed Quirk, 5. James Horwill (Captain), 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Greg Holmes, 2. Saia Faingaa, 1. James Slipper
Replacements: 16. James Hanson, 17. Ben Daley, 18. Jono Owen, 19. Ed O`Donoghue, 20. Beau Robinson, 21. Nicholas Frisby, 22. Ben Tapuai, 23. Dom Shipperley


  • Chiefs by 6
    Crusaders by 9
    Cheetahs by 6
    Highlanders by 7
    Waratahs by 9
    Lions by 6
    Sharks by 15

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.03.14 11:42:51 by Baylion Reply
  • @Baylion (Comment 1) : Saturday will tell whether the Lions have finally realised that this is SR, and not CC.

    They’ve always been competitive against SA sides, but they’ve in the past come across as though they didn’t really care about the NZ & Oz teams.

    Let’s hope they start to play not only for themselves, but also the greater good of all SA teams.

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.03.14 11:52:55 by FireTheLooser Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 2) : Strue. Most of the guys have never played against the Kiwi or Aussie sides,it will be a new experience. My prediction a bit heart but I think we have a chance if we can keep our defence up and get more ball. Our backline is a bit pedestrian though and that worries me.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.03.14 11:59:35 by Baylion Reply
  • Predicting 2 upsets this weekend, Brumbies over Tahs (I hit my head m’kay) and Lions over Blues (yes, THAT hard) :mrgreen:

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.03.14 12:04:17 by Die Kriek Reply
  • Looking forward to seeing Reinach vs Genia this weekend especially.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.03.14 12:32:57 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • 100 % the same as rob this weekend .. oh crap …

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.03.14 12:35:09 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • I got Brumbies over Tahs otherwise pretty much the same

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.03.14 12:36:14 by TheLegend Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Zibbie (Comment 6) : hey, I’ve been in good form so far

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.03.14 12:38:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I genuinely believe, if we play hard and smart, we will put a 15+ buffer on these guys. Show the opposition respect. Respect their strengths – Cooper, Genia – and the results will come

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.03.14 12:43:22 by pienaar111 Reply

  • @Baylion (Comment 3) :
    In my opinion, more ball won’t help the Lions. They do not score from constructed play, and that’s not their game plan.

    They do score from sustained pressure and enforced errors, particularly at the breakdown. This means that they need to play the game in the right half -they need to win the territorial battle.

    I rate Jantjies as being very talented, but I said last year that if Boshoff was moved to 10 then he would push for higher honours. His kicking game from half back is going to be critical.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.03.14 12:44:03 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @robdylan (Comment 8) :

    just hope it doesnt go the other way . my picking has been pretty rotten this year 😛

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.03.14 13:19:50 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • Only the Brumbies to win here 😕

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.03.14 13:34:45 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • I agree with the results, i reckon the tahs should get a bonus point win against their fellow aussies again. Hopefully not tho.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.03.14 15:50:26 by Dunx Reply


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