Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

team-sheets

Weekend teams and predictions

Sharks and Cheetahs stick to the knitting, Bulls bring back Matfield, Lions crouch and hold, while Brache gets a start for the Force. All the teams, times, refs, venues and Tank Lanning’s predictions.

Not one, but two Aussie derbies this weekend! But here is the truth, and it’s a pretty damn bitter pill to swallow, they are not half bad this year, and probably producing better rugby than we are seeing from the Currie Cup look a likes! And with the likes of Marcel Brache, Sias Ebersohn, and Wilhelm Steenkamp starring for SA by the sea in Perth, it makes them quite fun to watch. They remain pretty damn tricky to predict though.

So it is a nasty “Root Canal” for the Bulls game on Friday morning, and then complete freedom until 5 o clock on Saturday for the Cheetahs game! Hells Bells, you might even get that Force game past management … But no use wasting a pink ticket on it … Fire burns down for Cheetahs vs Saders, and then feet on well stocked coolerbox while enjoying a kg of well-tanned chicken wings washed down by something from said coolerbox while taking in the Lions vs Sharks!

What are your thoughts on these 19h00 games on a Saturday? I hate them … Right at the time when most normal people are having supper, they seem to interrupt an afternoon of chop tanning and frivolity instead of being part of it …

Friday 11 April

09:35 Highlanders vs Bulls, Forsyth Barr, Dunedin

Referee: Rohan Hoffman (Australia)

AR’s: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Prediction: BULLS to beat Highlanders by 2

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.

Bench: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 John Hardie, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Nasi Manu.

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 J J Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Grant Hattingh, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip van der Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Marcel van der Merwe, 18 Morné Mellett, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 William Small-Smith, 23 Ulrich Beyers

 

11:40 Reds vs Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

AR’s: James Leckie (Australia), Will Houston (Australia)

TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Prediction: BRUMBIES to beat Reds by 3

Reds: 15 Ben Lucas, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Eddie Quirk, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper.

Bench: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Jono Owen, 19 Ed O’Donoghue, 20 Curtis Browning, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Mike Harris/Dave McDuling, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

Brumbies:15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Joe Tomane, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Robbie Coleman, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Jordan Smiler, 5 Tom Staniforth, 4 Scott Fardy, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio

Bench: 16 Siliva Silva, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Jack Whetton, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Christian Lealiifano

 

Saturday 12 April

09:35 Chiefs vs Rebels, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Referee: Matt O’Brien (Australia)

AR’s: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Ben O’Keefe (New Zealand)

TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

Prediction: CHIEFS to beat Rebels by 7

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Mils Muliaina, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Tanerau Latimer, 5 Brodie Retallick (c), 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.

Bench: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 Liam Messam , 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Jordan Payne.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Nic Stirzaker, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga’a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Toby Smith.

Bench: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.

 

11:40 Force vs Waratahs, NIB Stadium, Perth

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)

AR’s: Ian Smith (Australia), Damien Mitchelmore (Australia)

TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

Prediction: FORCE to beat Waratahs by 3

Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.

Bench: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Oli Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Crawford, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Dave Dennis (c), 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jacques Potgeiter, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sepoke Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson

Bench: 16 Silatolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Stephen Hoiles, 20 Patrick McCutcheon, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Matt Carraro .

 

17:05 Cheetahs vs Crusaders, Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)

AR’s: Jaco Peyper (SA), Francois de Bruin Francois (SA)

TMO: Johan Greeff (SA)

Prediction: CRUSADERS to beat Cheetahs by 9

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Hennie Daniller, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Lappies Labuschagné, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Maks van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane.

Bench: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Howard Mnisi.

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ryan Crotty (c), 11 Nemani Nadolo , 10 Colin Slade, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 George Whitelock, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Corey Flynn, 1 Wyatt Crockett.

Bench: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Tom Taylor.

 

19:10 Lions vs Sharks, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Craig Joubert (SA)

AR’s: Marius van der Westhuizen (SA), Stefan Breytenbach (SA)

TMO: Marius Jonker (SA)

Prediction: SHARKS to beat Lions by 7

Lions: 15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Willie Britz, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Willie Wepener, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Bench: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni, 20. Jaco Kriel, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Alwyn Hollenbach

Sharks: 15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura 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

Bench: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Paul Jordaan, 23. SP Marais

 

Author: Tank

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

One Comment

  1. It never gets any easier. It seems that almost every game could go either way. It is a tipster’s nightmare sometimes. I am picking Highlanders, Brumbies, Chiefs, Waratahs, Crusaders, Sharks. Just as well there are only six games this round.