Vodacom Super Rugby 2014: Round 18 preview and predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 3 Jul 2014 at 11:30
Tagged with : ,

It’s the penultimate round of regular season action and there’s a lot still to play for.

Game 1: Chiefs v Hurricanes (Friday at 09:35 SA time)

This is an interesting game, with the Canes (who have a bye next round) needing to win well and then hope for other results to go their way. The Chiefs, oddly, are bottom of the kiwi standings and will want to finish with a flourish, even if a knock-out place now looks out of reach. I feel the ‘Canes challenge comes to an end this week, as the Chiefs bounce back and win by 10.

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

Hurricanes : 15. Matt Proctor, 14. Cory Jane, 13. Tim Bateman, 12. Hadleigh Parkes, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Beauden Barrett, 9. TJ Perenara, 8. Brad Shields, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Jack Lam, 5. Blade Thomson, 4. Jeremy Thrush (Captain), 3. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 1. Ben Franks
Replacements: 17. Chris Eves, 18. Reg Goodes, 19. James Broadhurst, 20. Adam Hill, 21. Chris Smylie, 22. Cardiff Vaega, 23. James Marshall

Game 2: Lions v Rebels (Friday at 19:10 SA time)

A game that means little to anyone. Backing the Lions to pull off a 5-point win.

Lions : 15. Coenie van Wyk, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Alwyn Hollenbach, 11. Anthony Volmink, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley (Captain), 7. Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk (FS) van der Merwe
Replacements: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. Willie Britz, 20. Derick Minnie, 21. Francois de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Lionel Mapoe

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

Game 3: Crusaders v Blues (Saturday at 09:35 SA time)

The Saders suffered a shock loss last week which put a dent in their ambitions, but surely they can’t lose twice in a row? The Blues were unexpectedly comfortable in stuffing the Force, though, so this one could be close too. Expect the Crusaders to take it by about 7 points, though.

Crusaders : 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Kieron Fonotia, 13. Ryan Crotty, 12. Dan Carter, 11. Nemani Nadolo, 10. Colin Slade, 9. Andy Ellis, 8. Kieran Read (Captain), 7. Matt Todd, 6. Jordan Taufua, 5. Sam Whitelock, 4. Dominic Bird, 3. Owen Franks, 2. Ben Funnell, 1. Wyatt Crockett
Replacements: 16. Corey Flynn, 17. Joe Moody, 18. Nepo Laulala, 19. Jimmy Tupou, 20. Luke Whitelock, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. Tom Taylor, 23. Johnny McNicholl

Blues : TBA

Game 4: Force v Reds (Saturday at 11:40 SA time)

The Force can still finish second on the Aussie conference and possibly sneak a wild card berth if they win well here. The Reds did well to beat the Rebels last week vut are still some way off their best form, so we’ll back the Force to sneak a win here, by around 4 points.

Force: 15. Jayden Hayward, 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Marcel Brache, 12. Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11. Nick Cummins, 10. Zack Holmes, 9. Ian Prior, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. Matthew Hodgson (Captain), 6. Hugh McMeniman, 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. Justin Turner, 22. Dillyn Leyds, 23. Junior Rasolea

Reds : TBA

Game 5: DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls (Saturday at 17:05 SA time)

Another big derby that has little significance in terms of play-off permutations. Expect a dull game played in atrocious weather, which the Stormers edge by 2 points.

DHL Stormers: 15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nick Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen (Captain), 7. Schalk Burger (Captain), 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Michael Rhodes, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Alistair Vermaak
Replacements: 16. Tiaan Liebenberg, 17. Sithembiso Sithole, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Manuel Carizza, 20. Siya Kolisi, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Peter Grant, 23. Seabelo Senatla

Vodacom Bulls: 115 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Jono Ross , 5 Victor Matfield (Capt), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Mornè Mellett, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 William Small-Smith

Game 6: Toyota Cheetahs v Cell C Sharks (Saturday at 19:10 SA time)

Two exciting and possibly quite evenly-matched sides will come up against each other here. Only the Sharks really ahve anything to play for, though and boast a far stronger bench. That will ultimately swing what could be a close contest in their favour. Sharks to win by 6 points.

Toyota Cheetahs: 15. Willie Le Roux, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johann Sadie, 12. Rayno Benjamin, 11. Raymond Rhule, 10. Johan Goosen, 9. Sarel Pretorius, 8. Philip Van der Walt, 7. Teboho Mohoje, 6. Torsten van Jaarsveld, 5. Francois Jakobus Uys, 4. Lood de Jager, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Adriaan Strauss (Captain), 1. Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16. Caylib Oosthuizen, 17. Luan De Bruin, 18. Carl Wegner, 19. Jean Cook, 20. Henco Venter, 21. Shaun Venter, 22. Elgar Watts, 23. Hennie Daniller

Cell C Sharks: 15. SP Marais, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Sibusiso Sithole, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Tim Swiel, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel (Captain), 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Anton Bresler, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Lourens Adriaanse, 2. Kyle Cooper, 1. Dale Chadwick
Replacements: 16. Thomas du Toit, 17. Bismarck du Plessis, 18. Jannie du Plessis, 19. Willem Alberts, 20. Lubabalo Mtembu, 21. Charl McLeod, 22. Odwa Ndungane, 23. Tonderai Chavhanga

Game 7: Waratahs v Highlanders (Sunday at 08:05 SA time)

We’d all love the Highlanders to win here, but I don’t see it happening. The Waratahs will romp to another comfortable victory, by 9 or more.

Waratahs: TBA

Highlanders : 15. Ben Smith, 14. Richard Buckman, 13. Malakai Fekitoa, 12. Shaun Treeby, 11. Patrick Osborne, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Nasi Manu (Captain), 7. Shane Christie, 6. Elliot Dixon, 5. Joe Wheeler, 4. Tom Franklin, 3. Ma’afu Fia, 2. Brayden Mitchell, 1. Kane Hames
Replacements: 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Matias Diaz, 18. Chris King, 19. Josh Bekhuis, 20. Lee Allan, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Hayden Parker, 23. Phil Burleigh


  • but but …. POLLARD !

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.07.14 11:36:47 by Zibbie Reply
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  • Come on Lions, don’t end last.

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.07.14 11:58:50 by MysticShark Reply
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  • Landers are at home, aren’t they? Hope that gives them the edge!

    Edit: Oops, no they aren’t!

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.07.14 12:02:10 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Let’s be honest – no offense Cheetah fans – but these are not almost evenly matched sides. Almost every player in the Sharks backline can wreck havoc on his own, while the Cheetahs have Willie and maybe Hendricks. The rest had moments, but not consistently.
    They are playing without a long list of loosies as well. With the form Marcel and Deysel is in, without Boom, Brussow and Lappies, it looks like a mismatch.
    The benches are in different leagues, altogether. If Swiel and Steyn have a terrible game, then the Cheetahs will be in with a chance, but only then.

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.07.14 12:05:41 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • Canes

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.07.14 12:07:50 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 4) : Steyn to have a moer of a game I think

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.07.14 12:08:38 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @Blue Centurion (Comment 4) : True, but much the same could have been said for the Stormers game.

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.07.14 12:31:40 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 7) : much the same was said

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.07.14 12:39:25 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : Yeah but then Morne arrived and agreed with us

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.07.14 12:41:13 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : That could unfortunately still happen 👿

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.07.14 12:45:18 by Bokhoring Reply
  • Highlanders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    oh wait and


  • Comment 11, posted at 03.07.14 12:46:24 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 8) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.07.14 12:46:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • The Sharks need to win this one to keep the Cheetahs at the bottom of the log 🙂

    I’m just worried that JW is doing his rotation to late and at a crucial time in the season

  • Comment 13, posted at 03.07.14 12:47:02 by Baylion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : And I fully agreed with Morne, believeing that not even his curse would would be enough to trip up those Sharks.

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.07.14 12:48:55 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 13) : have to agree to an extent.

    Would have been better to rest the Dups/Beast against the Stormers and be at full strength for this game.

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.07.14 12:49:33 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : On the plus side though… Resting our 1st choice players a bit for the next two games means they should be fresher during the knock out stages. Also our bench players will have very recent game time during the knock outs.

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.07.14 13:20:27 by gregkaos Reply
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  • @gregkaos (Comment 16) : it’s true.

    And whatever is going to happen is going to happen.

    I refuse to believe that starting with Dale, Kyle and Lourens significantly weakens our chances of beating the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.07.14 13:23:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : so long as they all forget to choke

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.07.14 13:47:03 by benji Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :

    I’m with you on this one, which begs the question – why hasn’t JW rotated the front row at least once or twice before this season? Does he not fully agree with your statement?

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.07.14 14:17:11 by Letgo Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) : I believe they have proven themselves to be quite steady players – Dale and Kyle in the currie cup and Lourens throughout last year. If they can hold the game in check until the 2nd half, the monster bench waiting to replace them will finish the game off. Can’t remember when last I’ve seen such a bench in recent years.

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.07.14 14:19:26 by Blue Centurion Reply

    Blue Centurion
  • @Letgo (Comment 19) : Bismark is the captain and he has the right to start every game,we also know Bissie doesn’t like to play without his Boetie,and Beast fills a considerable quota,with aplomb.
    I agree that this ”second” front row,doesn’t weaken the team but all things being equal the ”first ” front row would walk into any team in the world,they kinda pick themselves,like Victor and Bakkies.

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.07.14 14:34:57 by The hound Reply
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  • You will be happy to know I actually tip the Cheetahs…

    Scary thing is, I usually get one right a year and it almost always involves the one against the Cheetahs.

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.07.14 14:43:21 by Morné Reply
  • @The hound (Comment 21) : please do not use the “q” word here. Thanks

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.07.14 14:51:01 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 19) : I think by his actions he’s made it clear that he doesn’t agree with my statement at all 🙂

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.07.14 14:51:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 23) : I am not saying he is a quota player,merely saying that a quota exists,hell you can’t deny that.
    I ‘d pick Beast before any other South African prop.That is what we want the best players on the field.
    S.A.R.U. on the other hand want a racial mix,best to fill those spots with the best players till we get to a position that colour doesn’t matter.
    Nobody can acuse,Beast, Mvovu ,J.P or Sithole of being quota players.

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.07.14 15:04:16 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 21) :

    The captain doesn’t have the right to do anything that will not be best for the team – it would have been best for the Sharks if thee three guys were given a rest for one or two games during the season.

    With the workload they carry and how important they are to us, any argument that doesn’t include something to the effect that Kyle, Dale and Lourence would weaken the team too much, is a bad one.

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.07.14 15:26:09 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Morné (Comment 22) : Please tell me you are tipping the Tahs too 😀 😀

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.07.14 15:51:28 by West Indies Cricket Board Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 25) : ok, matey, I don’t want to go all hard core on your ass, but the point is we don’t discuss it here. It’s in the site rules.

    Please just steer clear of the topic.

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.07.14 15:52:58 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 26) : Kitch Christie always said you pick a captain and then you pick a team around him,the AB’s on the other hand,pick the team first and then pick the captain from that team.
    Jake White has always been a captain first coach,look at his history and relationship with John.
    I presume he operates and allows the same perimeters with Bismark.One thing you tell about Bismark he wants to be on the field every minute of every game,no other player visually displays his displeasure at being subbed like he does.
    The other thing you can be sure about Bismark is how fiercely he depends on Jannie ,enough said

  • Comment 29, posted at 03.07.14 15:53:08 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : No disrespect meant , fair enough your site your rules.

  • Comment 30, posted at 03.07.14 16:08:28 by The hound Reply
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  • 15. Jaco van Tonder
    14. Jongi Nokwe
    13. Heimar Williams
    12. Quentin Crocker
    11. Sizo Maseko
    10. Fred Zeilinga
    9. Hanco Venter
    8. Jacques Botes (C)
    7. Johan Meyer
    6. Francois Kleinhans
    5. Marco Wentzel
    4. Wiehan Hay
    3. Wiehahn Herbst
    2. Franco Marais
    1. Danie Mienie

    16. Jacques Taylor
    17. Sangoni Moxoli
    18. David Fisher
    19. Khaya Majola
    20. Cameron Wright
    21. Jean-Luc du Plessis
    22. Tyler Fisher

  • Comment 31, posted at 03.07.14 16:31:37 by NamShark4Life Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 30) : thanks pal. I find it’s the best way for us all to get along 🙂

  • Comment 32, posted at 03.07.14 16:44:44 by robdylan Reply
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  • @West Indies Cricket Board (Comment 27) :

    Tahs are shit hot, I do tip them although I hope the Landers smash them.

  • Comment 33, posted at 03.07.14 16:57:02 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 33) : there’s just no way they’re losing that game, unfortunately.

  • Comment 34, posted at 03.07.14 18:03:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 34) : stranger things have happenend this year.

  • Comment 35, posted at 03.07.14 18:07:11 by Pokkel Reply
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  • I seriously hope the Sharks beat the Cheetahs by more then 6

  • Comment 36, posted at 03.07.14 20:28:24 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 36) : Sharks must just beat the Cheetahs even if it’s by one point.

  • Comment 37, posted at 03.07.14 23:12:31 by JD Reply
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  • Hurricanes by 25 points
    Rebels by 40 points
    Blues by 35 points
    Reds by 50 points
    Bulls by 60 points
    Cheetahs by 1000 points
    Waratars by 89 points

    My predictions
    Cheers mates

  • Comment 38, posted at 04.07.14 00:20:36 by Windgat101 Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 22) : Reversing your own jinx? Not cool Morne 😀

  • Comment 39, posted at 04.07.14 09:57:29 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Besides the Sharks games, I would be cheering for Highlanders this weekend. I sincerely hope that they would be able to do us a huge favour.

  • Comment 40, posted at 04.07.14 23:38:55 by BluffShark Reply

  • I think we are under estimating the Highlanders. The Waratahs is on a high, especially with their home ground advantage, but I think the Highlanders compete for the top spot, at least in the NZ conference. They are going to do it. Pity I’m going to miss church on Sunday.

    And the Stormers with their excuses of being a depleted team and massive rains being expected at Newlands are going to overtake the Bullies on the log. Noticeable, the Sharks is on top of SA log, but it is mostly only about the possibility of the Bullies still reaching the playoffs on the Rugby chat programs on TV.

  • Comment 41, posted at 04.07.14 23:51:35 by BluffShark Reply

  • @BluffShark (Comment 41) : Does that really surprise you,as a Sharks supporter you must expect such rubbish

  • Comment 42, posted at 05.07.14 09:29:14 by benji Reply
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