Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

Weekend predictions …

It might be cheers to Super Rugby for a few weeks, but my oath, it’s a truly monstrous weekend crammed with international rugby. Watch all this at your own peril, both on the family front, but also on the “Pimples on your arse” front as well! Industrial couch denting …

Check it out … Along with the odd pesky prediction …


Friday 8 June:
 
Junior World Championship
 
Fiji vs Samoa at UWC, Bellville — 14:45
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistants: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
TMO: Lyndon Bray
Assessor: Tappe Henning
Tank’s prediction: Fiji by 9

Australia vs Argentina at Danie Craven Stadium — 14:45
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistants: Greg Garner (England), Daniel Fortuin (South Africa)
TMO: Clayton Thomas
Assessor: Donal Courtney
Tank’s prediction: Australia by 28

France vs Scotland at UWC, Bellville — 16:45
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistants: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Tappe Henning
Assessor: Lyndon Bray
Tank’s prediction:  Scotland by 9

New Zealand vs Wales at Danie Craven Stadium — 16:45
Referee: Angus Gardiner (Australia)
Assistants: Greg Garner (England), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Donal Courtney
Assessor: Clayton Thomas
Tank’s prediction:  New Zealand by 22

South Africa vs Italy at UWC, Bellville — 18:45
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistants: Rasta Rashivenga (South Africa), Sindile Mayende (South Africa)
TMO: Lyndon Bray
Assessor: Tappe Henning
Tank’s prediction:  Boks by 24

SA: 15. Marais Schmidt (Golden Lions), 14. Tshotsho Mbovane (Western Province), 13. William Small-Smith (Blue Bulls), 12. Jan Serfontein (Blue Bulls), 11. Travis Ismaiel (Blue Bulls), 10. Handrè Pollard (Western Province), 9. Vian van der Watt (Golden Lions), 8. Braam Steyn (Sharks), 7. Wiaan Liebenberg (Blue Bulls, captain), 6. Khaya Majola (Sharks), 5. Ruan Botha (Golden Lions), 4. Paul Willemse (Golden Lions), 3. Oliver Kebble (Western Province), 2. Jason Thomas (Blue Bulls), 1. Steven Kitshoff (Western Province)
Bench: 16. Mark Pretorius (Golden Lions), 17. Allan Dell (Sharks), 18. Pieter Steph du Toit (Sharks), 19. Fabian Booysen (Golden Lions), 20. Abrie Griesel (Blue Bulls), 21. Tony Jantjies (Blue Bulls), 22. Pat Howard (Western Province), 23. Maks van Dyk (Sharks)

England vs Ireland at Danie Craven Stadium — 18:45
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistants: Leighton Hodges (Wales), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Glen Jackson
Assessor: Clayton Thomas
Tank’s prediction:  England by 3

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Saturday 09 June:

New Zealand vs Ireland at Eden Park, Auckland – 09h30
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistants: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Tank’s prediction:  New Zealand by 18

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Zac Guildford, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Victor Vito, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock
Bench: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Ben Smith
 
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O’Driscoll (captain), 12 Keith Earls, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Dan Touhy, 3 Declan Fitzpatrick, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy
Bench: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Donncha O’Callaghan, 19 Kevin McLaughlin, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O’Gara, 22 Darren Cave

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Australia vs Wales at Suncorp Stadium – 12h00
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistants: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Tank’s prediction: Australia by 7

Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Cooper Vuna, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 David Pocock (captain), 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson
Bench: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Dave Dennis, 19 Michael Hooper, 20 Nic White, 21 Anthony Fainga’a, 22 Mike Harris

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 George North, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins
Bench: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Paul James, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Ryan Jones, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 James Hook, 22 Ashley Beck

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South Africa vs England at Kings Park, Durban – 17h00
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistants: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Simon McDowell (Ireland)
TMO: Iain Ramage (Scotland)
Tank’s prediction:  England by 2
 
I could just as easily have taken the less bumpy road and picked the Boks by 2, but I have a sneaky feeling that the Poms might snatch the first Test, with the Boks then kicking into gear for the next two games. Bottom line is that I think this will be a seriously close, brutal battle that could be won by either side. This is a brand new Bok side with three new caps, though, two of which are replacing perhaps the best pair of international locks ever put on a rugby field! Marcel Coetzee has been brilliant for the Sharks, but he is no Heinrich Brussow, Pierre Spies has not had a good game in a long time, and it’s in the properly physical encounters that he is most invisible, and I do not have a huge amount of faith in Zane Kirchner. This against a side who used the Six Nations to start a rebuilding phase, yet still pulled off some impressive victories. The Poms have had a few weeks off since the Aviva Premiership final, were not involved in the Heineken Cup final, and seem to have escaped the limelight while on a controversy free tour here in SA. This while the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions were smashing the stuffing out of each other just last weekend! I think it will take some time for Heyneke Meyer to mould this side …

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Bench: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Pat Lambie, 22 Wynand Olivier
 
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler
Bench: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Phil Dowson, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Toby Flood, 22 Jonathan Joseph

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Top 14 Final: Toulouse vs Toulon at Stade de France – 20h00 (on SS1 at 22h30)
Referee: Romain Poite
Assistants: Christophe Berdos, Cyril Lafon
TMO : Daniel Gillet
Tank’s prediction:  Toulon by 2

—-
Canada vs USA at Richardson Stadium, Kingston, Ontario – 20h00
Referee: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
Assistants: Dave Pearson (England), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Tank’s prediction:  Canada by 7

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Argentina vs Italy, Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario – 20h40
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistants: George Clancy (Ireland), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Tank’s prediction:  Argentina by 7

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Sunday 10 June:

Pacific Nations Cup, Fiji v Samoa — 05:00
Tank’s prediction:  Samoa by 9
 
Enjoy …

Author: Tank

Ex WP prop with a fair amount of experience in all things media ...

7 Comments

  1. You are right with the hard stuff but the first 20min will be vital for the boks! If they succeed by not giving points away they will be the winners!! That is where they will get used to one another!! I see that no of these test will be won or lost by more than 10 points!! HM said in the beginning that he just what to win this series!!

  2. AWESOME! Weekend of test rugby and Juniors

  3. I cannot bring myself to bet against the Boks. I think they are going to surprise us with a rampant performance. The Poms won’t know what to expect from our new Locks and the likes of Etzebeth will have them on their knees whimpering! I also actually think that last weekends Super Rugby games will count in a favour.

    Boks by 12 with F Steyn, Habana and Bismarck scoring a try a piece!

  4. There are some “juniors” at the RWC who look like they need their birth certificates validated – unless youngsters today age a lot quicker.

  5. Somebody mentioned in a previous post about “running rugby” – I always find those words fascinating because what exactly is running rugby. In the ’60′s&’70′s Natal supposedly played a brand of running rugby under the coaching of the supposed messiah of running rugby, Izak Van heerden – in that era, Natal probably lost 85% of their games – they ran alright but in circles displaying numerous fancy moves, but still lost. Under Meyer the Bulls used two, according to popular opinion, kicking fly halves (D Hougaard & Steyn) yet they have won more games then they lost, they won trophy after trophy and scored more tries than any other SA team – rugby is about possession and territory, two aspects that HM has as a priority – just as Craven, Markotter,Christie,Mallett and White did. I am sure that over the next 4 years we will see the ‘Bok side playing basic constructive rugby and scoring a lot of tries – maybe not in the next 3 weeks, but I will be surprised if it does not happen.

  6. i actually think this side has amazing potential. Personally, I would’ve picked Lambie at 15 but then I haven’t coached any sides to super rugby glory so perhaps I’ll have to accept it. I think the 6 nations was pretty average as rugby goes so don’t think England can be judged on their performances there. I think we will win by 15 if we click or by 3-5 points if we struggle… although I’m not racing to the bookies with that…