Cape Town - What does Week 12 of this year's Vodacom Super Rugby
tournament hold? Time to get your SuperBru campaign back on track!
Click HERE to challenge the Sport24 'experts' on SuperBru!
FRIDAY, MAY 13
Highlanders v Crusaders, Dunedin - 09:35
It is not unlikely that your GSP will be decided in the
first game of the round, between these two excellent Kiwi sides. The Crusaders
have not lost since the opening round, and look like the team of old, that used
to win trophies for fun. The Highlanders snapped a two game losing streak as
they overcame the Chiefs in style, with Waisake Naholo straight back to his
best to bag a brace. The Crusaders have a good record against the Highlanders,
and the momentum they've got just feels insatiable at the moment. It will be
incredibly close, however.
Prediction: Crusaders by 2
Rebels v Brumbies, Melbourne - 11:45
Both of these sides started strongly, before simultaneously
succumbing to bouts of serious inconsistency. Neither side has recorded back to
back wins since way back in round four, so given that the Brumbies won last
week and the Rebels lost, fans of statistical patterns will be backing the men
from Melbourne here. That said, the Rebels are yet to beat a side in the top
half of the table. Again it should be tight, but the Brumbies are good enough
to get the win here.
Prediction: Brumbies by 7
SATURDAY, MAY 14
Hurricanes v Reds, Wellington, 09:35
The Hurricanes were blown away by a powerful performance by
the Sharks last weekend, but it is unlikely that the Reds will be able to
replicate that to good enough effect. The men from Wellington are still
committed to their all court running game, and it should be more than enough to
blow away a limited Reds side.
Prediction: Hurricanes by 32
Waratahs v Bulls, Sydney - 11:45
The Bulls were brought back down to earth by the Brumbies
last round, a game which they never threatened to win. Indeed, they are yet to
beat a team in the top half of the table - which is amazing when you consider
that they have lost just twice. The Waratahs may not be there either, but they
are hitting form ominously, winning their last three, including two against
South African opposition. They have a terrible record against the Bulls,
winning only one in their last nine - but crucially that one win was the most
recent one, in Sydney. They should repeat that this weekend.
Prediction: Waratahs by 9
Sunwolves v Stormers, Singapore - 13:55
Quite a few people were caught out by the Sunwolves' loss to
the Force last weekend, but in truth they are still a hugely young side that is
going to struggle against more established outfits for the near future. With
that in mind, it is the perfect game for the Stormers to bounce back in after
their disappointing home loss to the Waratahs. They should be too powerful and
precise for the Japanese newbies.
Prediction: Stormers by 21
Cheetahs v Kings, Bloemfontein - 17:05
This could be a massively high-scoring game, given the
defensive frailties of these two sides. The Cheetahs will be happy to see home
soil, after a dispiriting tour of Australia that saw three reasonably heavy losses.
By the end of the game against the Waratahs last week they looked completely
out on their feet. Perennial whipping boys the Kings, then, represent the
perfect tonic, and while they likely won't repeat the 92 point haul of a few
weeks ago, the home side should win this very comfortably.
Prediction: Cheetahs by 42
Lions v Blues, Johannesburg - 19:15
The Blues notched their first win since 2012 in South Africa
against the Kings last weekend, but in truth the scoreline probably flattered
them in what was a scrappy game in horrible conditions. The Lions have had a
week off to come to terms with another pummelling at home by a Kiwi side, after
they shipped 50 points to the Hurricanes. The Blues, then, will arrive holding
no fear, but in reality they are several notches below the other New Zealand
franchises at the moment, and the men from Johannesburg should be good enough
to return to winning ways.
Prediction: Lions by 12
Jaguares v Sharks, Buenos Aires - 22:40
The round ends in Argentina, when the Sharks arrive in
Buenos Aires fresh from a morale-boosting win over the Hurricanes. They
outmuscled and out-thought the Kiwi side, and deserve kudos for an excellent
win. The Jaguares, despite their record of two wins from nine games, are a
tough prospect and only lost the corresponding fixture in Durban by four points,
despite being down to 13 men at one stage. It is tempting to plump for an
upset, but as it's still (relatively) early in the SuperBru season, the head
dictates that you should probably play it safe for now.
Prediction: Sharks by 3
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