Front Row Grunt

Rugby … with cauliflower ears

team-sheets

Weekend teams and predictions

Let’s say it all together … Come on you Landers! Saders win that game and Newlands on Sat night is academic! Catch all the weekend’s teams, times, odds, SuperBru community stats, and Tank’s predictions

The final league weekend of Super Rugby is here, and while we only have a single side in the mix who are guaranteed at least third place given that all 3 countries have to have a representative in the top 3 of the overall log, only 6 points separate positions 2 to 8. The Waratahs have the top spot sewn up (which might well affect their attitude on the field against the Reds), but for the rest it is a proper scrum. 4 of the 7 games will impact on which sides make the finals series!

Top 8 on the log going into the weekend:

Waratahs (played 15) – 53 points

Crusaders (played 15) – 46

Sharks (played 15) – 46

Highlanders (played 15) – 42

Hurricanes (played 16) – 41

Brumbies (played 15) – 40

Force (played 15) – 40

Chiefs (played 15) – 40

Should the Crusaders beat the Highlanders in the morning (as is anticipated by both the bookies and brus), then the game at Newlands on Saturday evening becomes academic, but should the Landers upset the Saders, the Sharks will then have second spot on the log to play for, and a chance at that all important home semi-final! Come on you Landers – Make it spicy for us!

The Stormers are on a roll, playing a much more ball in hand kind of game that Gert Smal asked for. The players look like they are enjoying themselves, and skipper Schalk Burger, back to his best, wants to give the players who are leaving the franchise a proper send off. This while the Sharks are probably paying for a lack of rotation earlier in the season (that Bok front row has been hammered), and playing the kind of rugby that got the Stormers into trouble with their Cape based fans who wanted a more attacking approach. In Durban a few weeks back, the Stormers put on a remarkable Houdini act to pull the rabbit from the proverbial hat, but this weekend the Sharks may have a whole lot more to play for!

To the weekend then …

Friday, July 11 2014

09:35 – Blues vs Chiefs, Eden Park, Auckland

Tank’s prediction: CHIEFS to beat Blues by 12

SuperBru community pick: CHIEFS (54%) to DRAW with BLUES

OddsChecker: BLUES (1/1) to beat Chiefs (11/10)

Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Lolagi Visinia/George Moala, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (c), 1 Sam Prattley.

Bench: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Peter Saili, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Jackson Willison, 23 George Moala/Albert Nikoro.

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (c), 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 Nathan Harris, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Nick Barrett, 19 Matt Symons, 20 Tevita Koloamatangi, 21 Augustine Pulu, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Dwayne Sweeney.

 

11:40 – Brumbies vs Force, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Tank’s prediction: BRUMBIES to beat Force by 4

SuperBru community pick: BRUMBIES (85%) to beat Force by 6

OddsChecker: BRUMBIES (6/17) to beat Force (11/4)

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Clyde Rathbone, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Nic White, 8 Ben Mowen (c), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Leon Power, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Scott Sio.

Bench: 16 Ruaidhri Murphy, 17 Ruan Smith, 18 JP Smith, 19 Fotu Auelua, 20 Tom McVerry, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Joe Tomane, 23 Pat McCabe.

Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Solomoni Rasolea, 12 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Zack Holmes, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (capt), 6 Brynard Stander, 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 Chris Alcock, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Luke Burton, 23 Dillyn Leyds/Sias Ebersohn.

 

19:10 – Bulls vs Rebels, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Tank’s prediction: BULLS to beat Rebels by 11

SuperBru community pick: BULLS (98%) to beat Rebels by 12

OddsChecker: BULLS (1/8) to beat Rebels (12/1)

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jono Ross, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Morné Mellett.

Bench: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Dean Greyling, 19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, 20 Marvin Orie, 21 Jesse Kriel, 22 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23 William-Small Smith.

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Jack Debreczeni, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Colby Fainga’a, 7 Scott Fuglistaller (capt), 6 Luke Jones, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 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 Lopeti Timani, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Rokobaro.

 

Saturday, July 12 2014

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

Tank’s prediction: CRUSADERS to beat Highlanders by 16

SuperBru community pick: CRUSADERS (95%) to beat Highlanders by 8

OddsChecker: CRUSADERS (2/7) to beat Highlanders (7/2)

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.

Highlanders: 15 Trent Renata, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (c), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Tom Franklin, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames.

Bench: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 JP Koen, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Phil Burleigh.

 

11:40 – Reds vs Waratahs, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Tank’s prediction: WARATAHS to beat Reds by 4

SuperBru community pick: WARATAHS (91%) to beat Reds by 9

OddsChecker: WARATAHS (3/7) to beat Reds (5/2)

Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Rod Davies, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Lachie Turner, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Scott Gale, 8 Jake Schatz, 7 Beau Robinson, 6 Curtis Browning, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 James Hanson, 1 James Slipper.

Bench: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Ben Daley, 18 Albert Anae, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Sam Johnson, 22 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 23 Chris Kuridrani.

Waratahs: 15 Cam Crawford, 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 (c), 6 Stephen Hoiles , 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Will Skelton, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Bench (one to be omitted): 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Mitchell Chapman, 21 Pat McCutcheon, 22 Brendan McKibbin, 23 Jono Lance, 24 Taqele Naiyaravoro.

 

17:05 – Lions vs Cheetahs, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Tank’s prediction: LIONS to beat Cheetahs by 2

SuperBru community pick: LIONS (62%) to beat Cheetahs by 1

OddsChecker: LIONS (7/9) to beat Cheetahs (5/4)

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Elton Jantjies, 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 Corne Fourie, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Derick Minnie, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Courtnall Skosan

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 (c), 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.

 

19:10 – Stormers vs Sharks, Newlands, Cape Town

Tank’s prediction: STORMERS to beat Sharks by 6

SuperBru community pick: SHARKS (51%) to DRAW with STORMERS

OddsChecker: SHARKS (1/1) to DRAW with STORMERS (1/1)

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 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Alistair Vermaak.

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

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 S’bura Sithole, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Thomas du Toit.

Bench: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Tonderai Chavhanga.

Author: Tank

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

3 Comments

  1. Hi. You say that if the ‘saders beat the Highlanders, then the Newlands game becomes academic. Maybe I’m getting it all wrong, but the way I see it, if the ‘saders get a 4 point win and the Sharks get a 5 point win, then the Sharks end up in 2nd place. Even if they both get 4 or 5 point wins, then I would imagine it comes down to points difference, and as things stand, we are only 8 points behind them wrt points difference. Bottom line, we need to win, and win big.
    Thanks for a great blog.
    Rob

    • You are 100% right, Rob. I just do not see the Sharks scoring 4 tries against a side that has only leaked 3 points at home this season. But yes, it could happen!

  2. Oops on the last match Tank (LOL)