Weekend teams and predictions

With no love lost, there are proper banana peels on offer for the Bulls and Sharks this weekend. Take in the teams, times, venues, refs, SuperBru community picks and Tank Lanning’s predictions.

Jake White is at it again, this time asking Bok coach Heyneke Meyer to take it easy on his kingpin Frans Steyn at the Bok camp given that he has a knee condition, but then happily slotting him into the flyhalf position for the big game at Kings Park. He has made the call to play monster Willem Alberts at 8 which sees him go head to head with the Stormer’s skipper Duane Vermeulen – a clash that will no doubt render hits felt in in the Moses Mabhida stadium next door! The Sharks have travelled, but will enjoy being back at Kings Park against a side that looks a smidgen fragile up front given the loss of both Schalk Burger and Oli Kebble this week.

At Ellis Park Johann Ackerman has gone with his all-star front row of Julian Redelinghuys, Robbie Coetzee, Schalk van der Merwe against a Bulls side who are giving new Bok tighthead Marcel van der Merwe a rare run. Unlike in Durban, Victor Matfield is being given the week off, which sees Grant Hattingh come in to partner Flip van der Merwe at lock. Still the tall timber loose trio, though as Jacques Engelbrecht comes in at 8, but the Bulls should still have too much in the tank for a Lions side who have travelled back from a horror tour.

So you can probably skip the Friday games, but take it easy on Friday night because you do not want too many cobwebs interfering with the Chiefs vs Tahs game. Blues vs Canes on a gym bike, a wide berth for the Aussie derby in the middle of the day gives you plenty of time to earn the single pink ticket you need for Saturday evening, because that you want completely free of any form of interruption! Lions vs Bulls on a coolerbox while the fire burns down, quick scoff of that rare rump steak cut into thick slices and mixed with garlic butter, then into that dent in your couch with something very spicy in hand for that cracker of a pudding game at Kings Park!

Friday, May 30

09:35 – Crusaders vs Force, AMI Stadium, Addington, Christchurch

Referee: Mike Fraser (NZ)

Assistant referees: Mike Lash (NZ), Richard Kelly (NZ)

Television match official: Vinny Munro (NZ)

Prediction: CRUSADERS to beat Force by 16

SuperBru Community: CRUSADERS (96%) to beat Force by 9

Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Tom Taylor, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (capt), 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Tim Perry.

Bench: 16 Corey Flynn, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Jimmy Tupou, 20 Luke Whitelock, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Adam Whitelock, 23 Nafi Tuitavake.

Force: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Patrick Dellit, 12 Chris Tuatara-Morrison, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Angus Cottrell, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Brynard Stander, 5  Wilhelm Steenkamp, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.

Bench: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Adam Coleman, 20 Ryan Hodson, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Dillyn Leyds.

 

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

Referee: Andrew Lees (Aus)

Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Aus), Graham Cooper (Aus)

Television match official: Steve Leszczynski (Aus)

Prediction: HIGHLANDERS to beat Reds by 5

SuperBru Community: HIGHLANDERS (85%) to beat Reds by 6

Reds: 15 Mike Harris, 14 Dom Shipperley, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Anthony Fainga’a, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Ben Lucas, 9 Will Genia, 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 Andrew Ready, 17 Albert Anae, 18 Sef Faagase, 19 Dave McDuling, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Samu Kerevi, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi.

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 Gareth Evans, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames

Bench: 16 Ged Robinson, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 Chris King, 19 Tom Franklin, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Hayden Parker, 23 Phil Burleigh.

 

Saturday, May 31

06:35 – Chiefs vs Waratahs, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Referee: Chris Pollock (NZ)

Assistant referees: Richard Kelly (NZ), Grant Stuart (NZ)

Television match official: Ben Skeen (NZ)

Prediction: CHIEFS to beat Waratahs by 5

SuperBru Community: CHIEFS (56%) to draw with WARATAHS

Chiefs: 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Dwayne Sweeney, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden (c), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Squire, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Jamie Mackintosh

Bench: 16 Mahonri Schwalger, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Josh Hohneck, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Tanerau Latimer, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Bundee Aki.

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, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.

Replacement: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Jeremy Tilse, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Stephen Hoiles, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Matt Carraro.

 

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

Referee: Garratt Williamson (NZ)

Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (NZ), Mike Lash (NZ)

Television match official: Glenn Newman (NZ)

Prediction: HURRICANES to beat Blues by 9

SuperBru Community: HURRICANES (85%) to beat Blues by 5

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

Bench: 16 James Parsons, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Albert Nikoro

Hurricanes: 15 Matt Proctor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (c), 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks/Reggie Goodes

Bench: 16 Ash Dixon/Motu Matu’u/Goodes/ Michael Kainga, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Goodes/Brendon Edmonds, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Chris Smylie, 22 Tim Bateman, 23 James Marshall.

 

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

Referee: Steve Walsh (Aus)

Assistant referees: James Leckie (Aus), Will Houston (Aus)

Television match official: Peter Marshall (Aus)

Prediction: BRUMBIES to beat Rebels by 9

SuperBru Community: BRUMBIES (97%) to beat Rebels by 10

Brumbies: 15 Pat McCabe, 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 Fotu Auelua, 5 Scott Fardy, 4 Sam Carter, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio

Bench: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Leon Power, 20 Jordan Smiler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Andrew Smith, 23 Jesse Mogg

Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Scott Higginbotham (c), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga’a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Caderyn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Pat Leafa, 1 Toby Smith

Bench: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Paul Alo-Emile, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Jordy Reid, 21 Josh Holmes, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Tom Kingston

 

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

Referee: Craig Joubert (SA)

Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (SA), Sieg van Staden (SA)

Television match official: Marius Jonker (SA)

Prediction: BULLS to beat Lions by 7

SuperBru Community: BULLS (90%) to beat Lions by 9

Lions: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Chrysander Botha, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Warwick Tecklenburg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Rudi Mathee, 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 Elton Jantjies, 23 Deon van Rensburg.

Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe (c), 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.

Bench: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Morné Mellett, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Wimpie van der Walt, 21 Piet van Zyl, 22 Louis Fouché, 23 William-Small Smith.

 

19:10 – Sharks vs Stormers, Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SA)

Assistant referees: Stuart Berry, Stefan Breytenbach (both SA)

Television match official: Johan Greeff (SA)

Prediction: SHARKS to beat Stormers by 11

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

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Bench: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Heimer Williams

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

Bench: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Manuel Carizza, 21 Dylon Frylinck, 22 Demetri Catrakilis, 23 Peter Grant