Front Row Grunt

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team-sheets

Weekend teams and predictions

Jake pulls a zap at Heyneke. Naka plays all his Boks. Allister shifts Juan to 12. Frans picks Pollard. A look at the weekend’s teams, times, refs, venues, odds, SuperBru community picks and Tank’s predictions.

Sunday rugby is back … As is Friday and Saturday rugby … Yep, it’s a brutal return to 7 game Super Rugby weekends. Only for this and the next, though, before things get whittled down to 6 for what is still a quarter final – yep, just another strange anomaly that is the norm for this beat of a tournament.

It is a bit like starting the whole season again, though, with teams no doubt bringing all kinds of new form to the table. The Bulls will disagree, and might have a point if they win at newlands on Saturday, but realistically the only South African side with real semi-final aspirations are the Sharks, and it is interesting to see coach Jake White’s selection tactics.

The Sharks have both Du Plessis brothers and Willem Alberts on the bench – no doubt to give the massively over played a Boks a little time away from the coalface. White, though, has selected S’Buru Sithole at centre and JP Pietersen at wing – in a clear little 2 finger salute in the direction of Bok coach Heyneke Meyer. Frans Steyn is back – at inside centre – and one has to wonder about his head space given his fallout with SARU. Perhaps out to prove a point? This while Naka Drotske, largely driven by the lack of depth in Bloemfontein, has picked all the Boks that have been returned to him. Many of them only played small roles in the Bok campaign though, and they will be itching to take on the conference leaders. Coenie is back at tighthead so will have to change his spots … again! Not as simple a pick as some are making out perhaps?

In Cape Town Allister Coetzee has followed the trend of moving wings to centre in picking Sailosi Tagicakibau at 13, but then bucked the trend in moving Juan de Jongh to 12. A combination that has potential! And while the Stormers have not had a season to remember, they are enjoying a resurgence that will make them tricky to beat at Newlands. A bench of Siya Kolisi, Louis Schreuder, and Peter Grant confirms that.

With Flip injured, the Bulls have named Matfield as their skipper, and apart from all eyes being on his “Apartheid era Skull Cap”, it is sad to see them having picked Werner Kruger ahead of Bok Marcel van der Merwe … But Pollard does the nod ahead of J-L Potgieter in a strong side. A big day awaits  for Groom and Coleman … As any chance of a win for the home side will need them to keep Pollard and Hougaard quiet. Hattingh ahead of Engelbrecht at 8 in another tall timber, fetcher free loose trio speaks to it being a pretty brutal game. But in the wet, it might be about which of Fourie or Visagie adds the most value at the breakdown!

To the weekend then …

Friday, July 04 2014

09:35 – Chiefs vs Hurricanes, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)

AR’s: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendan Pickerill (New Zealand)

TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Tank’s prediction: HURRICANES to beat Chiefs by 2

SuperBru Community: HURRICANES (56%) to beat Chiefs by 1

OddsChecker: CHIEFS (13/19) to beat Hurricanes (6/4)

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Mike Fitzgerald, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Jamie Mackintosh.

Bench: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Nick Barrett, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Agustine 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 (c), 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.

Bench: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Reggie Goodes, 19 James Broadhurst, 20 Adam Hill, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Cardiff Vaega, 23 James Marshall.

 

19:10 – Lions vs Rebels, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA)

AR’s: Stuart Berry (SA), Cobus Wessels (SA)

TMO: Johan Greeff (SA)

Tank’s prediction: LIONS to beat Rebels by 5

SuperBru Community: LIONS (96%) to beat Rebels by 6

OddsChecker: LIONS (1/2) to beat Rebels (37/19)

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, 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Schalk van der Merwe

Bench: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Jacques van Rooyen/Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Lionel Mapoe.

Rebels: 15 Jack Debreczeni. 14 Tom Kingston, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 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-Emile, 19 Cadeyrn Neville, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Jason Woodward, 23 Telusa Veainu.

 

Saturday, July 05 2014

09:35 – Crusaders vs Blues, AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)

AR’s: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)

TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Tank’s prediction: CRUSADERS to beat Blues by 7

SuperBru Community: CRUSADERS (85%) to beat Blues by 6

OddsChecker: CRUSADERS (2/5) to beat Blues (5/2)

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 (c), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett

Bench: 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: 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Luke Braid (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock

Bench: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Sam Prattley, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Peter Saili, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Francis Saili, 23 George Moala

 

11:40 – Force vs Reds, NIB Stadium, Perth

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)

AR’s: James Leckie (Australia), Ian Smith (Australia)

TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

Tank’s prediction: REDS to beat Force by 7

SuperBru Community: FORCE (57%) to beat draw with REDS (43%)

OddsChecker: FORCE (3/4) to beat Reds (6/4)

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 Matt Hodgson, 6 Hugh McMenamin, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.

Bench: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Dillyn Leyds, 23 Solomoni Rasolea.

Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 James Slipper, 2 James Hanson, 1 Ben Daley

Bench: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Tim Buchanan, 21 Scott Gale, 22 Sam Johnson, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi

 

17:05 – Stormers vs Bulls, Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Craig Joubert (SA)

AR’s: Marius Jonker (SA), Quinton Immelman (SA)

TMO: Shaun Veldsman (SA)

Tank’s prediction: STORMERS to beat Bulls by 5

SuperBru Community: STORMERS (62%) to beat Bulls by 1

OddsChecker: STORMERS (13/19) to beat Bulls (11/8)

Stormers:15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (c), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

Bench: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Bulls: 15. 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 (captain), 4. Paul Willemse, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. Callie Visagie, 1. Dean Greyling

Bench: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Marcel van der Merwe, 18. Morné Mellett, 19. Marvin Orie, 20. Roelof Smit, 21. Piet van Zyl, 22. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23. William Small-Smith

 

19:10 – Cheetahs vs Sharks, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)

AR’s: Stuart Berry (SA), Francois de Bruin (SA)

TMO: Deon van Blommestein (SA)

Tank’s prediction: CHEETAHS to beat Sharks by 3

SuperBru Community: SHARKS (90%) to beat Cheetahs by 8

OddsChecker: SHARKS (2/5) to beat Cheetahs (27/11)

Cheetahs: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.

Bench: 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

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel (c), 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick

Bench: 16 Thomas du Toit, 17 Bismarck du Plessis, 18 Jannie du Plessis, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Odwa Ndungane, 23 Tonderai Chavhanga

 

Sunday, July 06 2014

08:05 – Waratahs vs Highlanders, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

AR’s: Andrew Lees (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)

TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)

Tank’s prediction: WARATAHS to beat Highlanders by 11

SuperBru Community: WARATAHS (91%) to beat Highlanders by 7

OddsChecker: WARATAHS (1/3) to beat Highlanders (11/4)

Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Alofa Alofa, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper (capt), 6 Stephen Hoiles, 5 Kane Dougles, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Bench: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Mitch Chapman, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Jono Lance, 24 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 25 Cam Crawford (two to be omitted).

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, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Kane Hames.

Bench: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Chris King, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Lee Allan, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Phil Burleigh.

Author: Tank

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

2 Comments

  1. Ag no Tank, this political correctness must stop. The Bulls at number 10/15 and on 33 points do not stand a hope in hell of sneaking in the back door to the playoffs yet again. There are 3 kiwi, 2 oz and 1 Saffer side on 40 points way above them and that is probably the 6 who will contest S15 2014 no matter what the Tshwane-ites may think. They were toast when they lost all 4 of their Australasian tour games.