SuperBru S15 Round 8 preview

    2012-04-11 14:59

    Ben Coles

    Cape Town - The Super Rugby juggernaut rolls on but the SuperBru picks remain as hard to call as ever!

    Teams: Super Rugby Round 8

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    Our featured pick last week was for the Brumbies to continue the Reds’ miserable run in Brisbane, with over 70% of SuperBru players backing Jake White’s side to pick up the win. But what do we know? Wallaby Scott Higginbotham gave the home side some joy with his two tries in the Reds 20-13 win.

    With the Waratahs on a bye last week, there were two more Australian sides in action, starting as early as Thursday when a great performance from James O’Connor helped the Rebels to a 34-23 win against the struggling Blues, who have now lost their last four on the trot, and only 21.22% backed the Rebels to win on SuperBru. The Western Force were unable to follow up their victory over the Reds however, going down to tries from Leila Masaga and Tim Nanai-Williams from the Chiefs.

    The other Kiwi side to pick up a win last weekend was the Hurricanes, who thumped the Sharks 42-18 in New Plymouth, fullback Andre Taylor getting his fifth try of the season. But the other New Zealand sides were less successful with the Highlanders losing for the second time this season against the unbeaten Stormers, down to an outstanding Joe Pietersen try in the first half.

    The Crusaders also ended up on the wrong end of the scoreline away against the Bulls in Pretoria, despite the visitors scoring two tries in the final eight minutes to set up a tense finish. Which left the South African derby between the Cheetahs and the Lions in Bloemfontein, Robert Ebersohn grabbing a brace in the home team’s 26-5 win.

    Looking ahead to Round 8, here’s some advice for your SuperBru picks:

    We get underway this week in Auckland, where Pat Lam’s under-pressure Blues side desperately needs a win against the visiting Sharks. It’s all going wrong for Pat Lam’s team, with off-field indiscipline seeing Peter and Francis Saili both suspended and confidence at rock bottom after one win from six matches. They’ll be hoping the Sharks arrive drained for their fourth match on tour, but with Pat Lambie back for the visitors, the losing streak should continue. Sharks by 8.

    Next we travel to Perth for the Force’s third home game on the bounce against the Waratahs. The home side struggled to threaten the tryline last weekend and will only find it harder against a strong 'Tahs defence. Waratahs by 9.

    Friday starts in Christchurch with a mouth-watering clash between the Crusaders and the Stormers. The visitors’ pack was very impressive last weekend against the Highlanders, youngster Eben Etzebeth starting to turn heads in the second row along with Rynhardt Elstadt behind him. The 'Saders comeback last week was nearly perfect against the Bulls, but they just fell short. Tough to call. Stormers by 4.

    The Brumbies then host the Rebels, with both teams in good spirits after recent results. In what will be a battle of the packs, don’t expect one side to dominate in the scrum. It could come down to a moment of brilliance, but home advantage should tell. Brumbies by 5.

    We then jet over to South Africa, first to Bloemfontein where the exciting Cheetahs host the equally entertaining Chiefs. This looks set to be a very high-scoring affair given the way both sets of back have performed in the last few weeks. The shift to altitude might upset the visitors’ fitness slightly, but expect it to be close. Cheetahs by 3.

    Finally, the lowly Lions face the Bulls in Johannesburg in what is by far the easiest result to pick this weekend. It’s just not going right for John Mitchell’s side at the moment and with the Bulls on a high after defeating old adversaries the Crusaders last weekend, this could be a heavy scoreline. Bulls by 15.

    That’s all for this week, best of luck with your SuperBru picks and see you in Round 9!
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