Vodacom Super Rugby 2014: Round 7 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 27 Mar 2014 at 12:43
Tagged with : ,

Let’s see if we can pick the correct winners this time around.

Game 1: Crusaders v Hurricanes (Friday 08h35 SA time)

The Crusaders haven’t really been on song so far this season, but apart from a big win against the pathetic Cheetahs, the Hurricanes have been awful. Hard to see a result for the visitors here. Crusaders by 10.

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. Sam Whitelock, 4. Luke Romano, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Ben Funnell, 1. Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16. Codie Taylor, 17. Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Dominic Bird, 20. Jordan Taufua, 21. Mitchell Drummond, 22. Kieron Fonotia, 23. Nemani Nadolo

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

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

The Rebels are unpredictable, but you fancy that the Brumbies, who are on a role and challenging hard for conference honours already this season, aren’t going to miss this opportunity to pick up points. It could be an exciting, possibly high-scoring game, but one which the Brumbies should take by around 8 points.

Rebels : 15. Jason Woodward, 14. Tom Kingston, 13. Tamati Ellison, 12. Mitch Inman, 11. Tom English, 10. Bryce Hegarty, 9. Nick Stirzaker, 8. Scott Higginbotham (Captain), 7. Scott Fuglistaller, 6. Colby Faingaa, 5. Luke Jones, 4. Hugh Pyle, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. Pat Leafa, 1. Max Lahiff
Replacements: 16. Shota Horie, 17. Paul Alo-Emile, 18. Cruze Ah-Nau, 19. Cadeyrn Neville, 20. Sean McMahon, 21. Luke Burgess / Ben Meehan, 22. Male Sa’u, 23. Angus Roberts

Brumbies : 15. Jesse Mogg, 14. Joseph Tomane, 13. Tevita Kuridrani / Andrew Smith, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Robbie Coleman, 10. Matt Toomua, 9. Nic White, 8. Ben Mowen (Captain), 7. Jarrad Butler, 6. Jordan Smiler, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Scott Fardy, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Jean-Pierre Smith
Replacements: 16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Ruan-Henry Smith, 18. Ruaidhri Murphy, 19. Jack Whetton, 20. Locky McCaffrey, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Stephan van der Walt, 23. Christian Lealiifano

Game 3: Blues v Highlanders (Saturday 08h35 SA time)

A tough one between two sides that have not really convinced yet this season. Hard to pick against the home team, as the Highlanders appear to be missing that special spark this season. The Blues are, well, the Blues – good and bad in equal patches. Blues to squeak it by 4 points.

Blues: 15. Charles Piutau, 14. Frank Halai, 13. Jackson Willison, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. George Moala, 10. Simon Hickey, 9. Bryn Hall, 8. Steven Luatua, 7. Luke Braid (Captain), 6. Jerome Kaino, 5. Hayden Triggs, 4. Liaki Moli, 3. Charlie Faumuina, 2. Tom McCartney, 1. Tony Woodcock
Replacements: 16. James Parsons, 17. Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18. Angus Ta’avao, 19. Tom Donnelly, 20. Peter Saili, 21. Sonatane Tukulua, 22. Pita Ahki, 23. Benji Marshall

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Shaun Treeby.

Game 4: Reds v DHL Stormers (Saturday 10h40 SA time)

Sorry Stormers, but that makeshift pack isn’t going to secure you a rare win in Brisbane. The Stormers ahve simply lost too many big guns to be considered a real threat here; Reds to win by 10 points.

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

DHL Stormers: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Damian de Allende, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (Captain), 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Michael Rhodes, 4. Jurie van Vuuren, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Brok Harris, 19. Mthetheleli Fuzani, 20. Sikhumbuszo Notshe, 21. Nick Groom, 22. Demetri Catrakilis, 23. Jaco Taute

Game 5: Vodacom Bulls v Chiefs (Saturday 15h00 SA time)

One of two really big games for South African teams, the revitalised Bulls face the champs, who suffered a shock loss to the Force last week. The Bulls are good at Loftus – let’s face it – and they have a proud record against the Chiefs at this venue. It’s hard to see them straying from what has worked in the past (although Jake White was wrong about that last week!) but it’s also unlikely that the Chiefs will play as dumb a game against them as the Sharks did last week. This will probably be close, but I fancy the Bulls to grind out a close win, by about 5 points.

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Bjorn Basson, 10. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9. Francois Hougaard, 8. Dewald Potgieter, 7. Jacques Du Plessis, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield (Captain), 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling
Replacements: 16. Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17. Marcel Van Der Merwe, 18. Grant Hattingh, 19. Jono Ross, 20. Piet van Zyl, 21. Handre Pollard, 22. Ulrich Beyers, 23. Morné Mellett

Chiefs: to be announced

Game 6: Cell C Sharks v Waratahs (Saturday 17h05 SA time)

Yoh, but the nerves are a-flutter for this one! The Sharks toko several really big steps backwards last week and are now being exposed a bit in the second row and at scrumhalf, due to injuries. The Tahs have lost Israel Folau, but while he has scored most of their tries this season, there are plenty of other danger men in that backline. Coupled with a vastly improved forward pack, the Waratahs will present the Sharks with by far their toughest test of the season so far. The way Jake White’s team bounces back after the setbacks of last week will, I feel, define their season. Closing my eyes and backing the Sharks to win this by around 6 points.

Cell C Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais.

Waratahs: 15. Jonathan Lance, 14. Rob Horne, 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. Sekope Kepu, 2. Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1. Benn Robinson
Replacements: to be confirmed


  • Still think Beale may be a bigger threat than Folau. Folau may have scored the tries but he was put into space by Beale for what seems like most of them. Sbura, Steyn and Fred will need to be extra sharp on defence.

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.03.14 13:08:01 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • All sound picks I reckon, although I fancy the Chiefs might be able to win at Loftus. All depends on them turning things around after their poor showing against the Force last week…

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.03.14 13:10:09 by Greg Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 1) : I’m hoping Frans tackles all creativity out of him on Saturday.

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.03.14 13:13:09 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @gregkaos (Comment 1) : Beale and Folau are a great team for sure. Beale can find the gap and puts the finisher (Folau) into space. So yes, will be interesting to see how one plays without the other.

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.03.14 13:16:21 by Greg Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 3) : Hell yes!

    @Greg (Comment 4) : That is true.

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.03.14 13:21:21 by gregkaos Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Agree with all the picks, except for the Chiefs/Bulls. I think on Saturday we were poor, instead of the bulls being good. Chiefs should bounce back from the humiliating loss against the force, and will be out to prove a point. Chiefs by 4

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.03.14 13:24:05 by Sharkszen Reply

    Another Nick
  • Where should I go with LMS pick?

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.03.14 13:42:51 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 7) : It’s a tough week. I eventually decided on a bye but if I had to pick I’d probably go with the Brumbies this week.

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.03.14 13:55:08 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Did go with a bye in the end. Tough weekend indeed.

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.03.14 13:58:55 by Son Of Mayhem Reply
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  • @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 9) : Smart man 😎

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.03.14 14:00:33 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Sithole needs to watch his discipline, especially his offside tendencies.

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.03.14 14:18:48 by David12246 Reply

  • @gregkaos (Comment 1) : Truth.

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.03.14 14:19:43 by David12246 Reply

  • Thing is… when you look at the Stormers team on paper. It’s not a bad side. Not at all. It’s really at 5,4 and 3 where the weak links are. And after a few seasons, I’m yet to be convinced by Kitschoff.

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.03.14 14:53:11 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @Son Of Mayhem (Comment 7) :

    I was kicked out by the Force. I picked against them 3 times in a row.

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.03.14 15:24:32 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 14) : I’m sure the Lions also ensured a few earlier than expected exits :mrgreen:

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.03.14 15:29:56 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Greg (Comment 4) : And their counterparts in the Sharks team are…
    Never mind.

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.03.14 15:31:40 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • @rhineshark (Comment 16) : We have quite a few good finishers, Mvovo, JPP and even McLeod are in that category I think. Maybe a bit thin on someone to create space though, which is conventionally the role of 10 or 12. JW’s gameplan so far this season hasn’t been much about creating space out wide or anywhere else for that matter. I think that will start to become a factor from now on…just my feeling based on team selection 🙂

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.03.14 16:51:41 by Greg Reply

  • Crusaders by 7
    Brumbies by 9
    Highlanders by 6
    Reds by 6
    Bulls by 9
    Sharks by 6

    Went for the Sharks before this spate of injuries but now I don’t think so. Let’s hope

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.03.14 17:50:38 by Baylion Reply

  • @Greg (Comment 17) : It should always be a standard part of our gameplan. Unfortunately, SA has very few players with that ability. Willie le Roux being one.

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.03.14 18:06:16 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
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  • Sjoe. JPP normally plays 14 for the Boks. Ad Odders has played 15 quite well too for us. How about a Lwazi on 11, JPP on 14 and Odders on 15?

    I cant ever remember Mvovs on 15..?

    Lets hope the gamble works on my Superbru picks too!

    Good to see Fred back!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.03.14 21:36:11 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • I think the gamble on Mvovo at 15 might be a good thing, he can be our own Folau, he does have an okay boot on him, not spectacular but enough to get the ball out when needed, this might see us getting a better balance between the kicking and running game, with 4 real speed freaks on the pitch
    My weekend predictions
    Crusaders – 6
    Brumbies – 12
    Blues – 7
    Stormers – 3(my upset for the weekend, think the travel factor and Lions messed with their heads, I hope)
    Chiefs – 6
    Sharks – 14(have to back the best always)

  • Comment 21, posted at 28.03.14 06:52:07 by Henkb Reply

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