Tank Lanning

Stormers to pip Lions

2009-03-13 09:02
Tank Lanning - Sport24 editor

Tank Lanning – Sport24 editor

Yes, I was born with a hide thicker than a rhino’s … Given last weekend’s fiasco where I got only three out of six predictions correct, and none of those within five points of the correct margin, you would think that I might crawl back into the hole I came from to enjoy a hot cup of “Shut the hell up” …

Nope, not this cheerful chunky. It’s about the banter you see … it’s half the reason we love this sport after all, and the reason we all give each other grief round the braai each weekend. And if I am the kippie that gets this discussion going on Sport24, more than likely at my own expense, then so be it …

Just take this as due warning though … use these predictions to make your SuperBru picks at your own peril!

So to the Super24 weekend ahead …

Friday 13th
Blues v Cheetahs 08:35 North Harbour

The Cheetahs were a lot better than I thought they would be against the Hurricanes last weekend, but they were still comprehensively outplayed. The Blues, on the other hand, travelled half way round the world and lost by only four points to what is looking like the best side in the tournament. So this weekend they will have got over the jetlag and be fired up for some revenge, aiming to inflict some pain on a South African side closest to them. And that would be the boys from Bloem. I reckon Jongi Nokwe will glide past a few troops for a classic try – boy but that man has some gas - but it will be in consolation. Blues by 22

Brumbies v Waratahs 10:40 Canberra
The Tahs are the men of the moment. Having despatched pre-season talk of them fighting for the wooden spoon, they instead find themselves at the top of the log with four wins from four games. The Brumbies, on the other hand, have had a week off to reflect on what was a pretty proper bashing by the Force two weeks ago. I reckon it will be very closely fought Ozzie derby, and probably fairly low scoring. It seems that most of the Brus on Superbru are going for a Tahs win, but I see the Stirling Mortlock lead men coming out on top – just. Brumbies by 3

Saturday 14th 

Crusaders v Western Force 06:30 Christchurch
Just a few short seasons ago, we would have been grappling over whether the home side could get to fifty points or not. Today we have a situation where, going into the 5th round of the tournament, the Force are three positions above the Crusaders on the log! Who would have thought? The home side came second to the Highlanders in one of the dullest matches ever played last weekend, while the visitors were given a rugby lesson by the Chiefs. The champs are again without their fearless leader, but for some reason, I think they are going to get it right this weekend. But not that right … Crusaders by 4

Highlanders v Chiefs 08:35 Invercargill
Revenge of the snore … Very good time to take the aunty out for brekki and buy the little guy a plastic motorbike to make the cat’s life even more miserable. Read the report on Sport24 on Monday. Chiefs by 6

Reds v Sharks 11:05 Brisbane
I predicted a loss for banana boys last weekend and paid very dearly for my sins. I apologise and admit openly that I underestimated this Sharks side. They are a class act and will have to implode monumentally not to get a home semi final. Stefan Terblanche is having the season of his life (surely a Bok contender, even at his age) while Rory Kockott, to my mind, has been the player of the tournament thus far. This while Francois Steyn thrives on being selected in the same position every weekend and combines excellently with the sublime Adrian Jacobs. Not mad about Smit playing tighthead, especially given how well Jannie du Plessis has played, but I can see a certain logic and want to do what’s right for the national cause. Actually not sure why I have been so conservative in my prediction … Sharks by 8

Stormers v Lions 17:00 Newlands
Heinke van der Merwe vs Brian Mujati! I would not go so far as to say that the winner of this contest will decide the outcome of the match, but it will influence the game in a big way. What I do not understand, though, is Rassie Erasmus’ continued selection of Schalk Brits at hooker. Especially given Deon Fourie’s performance last weekend, and the fact that the home side will be up against the country’s strongest scrummaging hooker in Willie Wepener. Fourie is much better come scrum time, and as such, Mujati starts with a slight handicap – this against man-beast Van der Merwe! Both sides will be desperate for a win, though, and this game could define their seasons. Jacque Fourie vs Gcobani Bobo and Jean de Villiers will be worth the entrance price in itself. It will be tight, and no doubt a fairly dour kicking affair, so going with the home side. Stormers by 6

So it’s Pimms and grilled calamari for the Sharks destruction of the Reds, to try and prove to Ouma that you do have a little class, but once the family depart, it’s wet beef biltong, ice cold beer from the cooler box, and a groaning Weber to get you through the Newlands derby. Not the worst way to spend a Saturday …


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