Preview: SuperBru Super Rugby Week 6
Cape Town - What does Week 6 of this year's Vodacom Super Rugby
tournament hold? Time to get your SuperBru campaign back on track!
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FRIDAY, APRIL 1
Highlanders vs Force, Dunedin - 08:35
The Force are coming to the end of a mightily tough Kiwi
sojourn that will, by the end of it, have seen them play the three top
franchises in New Zealand. In the past two weeks, they have remained
competitive until around 50 minutes, whereafter fatigue from too much defending
has seen them leak try after try to the point where the final result belies the
hard fought opening stages. Against a Highlanders side playing some
scintillating rugby, it's tough to see anything other than that trend
Prediction: Highlanders by 38
Lions v Crusaders, Johannesburg - 19:10
These two have somehow only met four times since 2010 - even
allowing for Super Rugby's ever-changing logistical structure, that doesn't
seem like a lot. Either way, the Lions' record in this fixture doesn't look
great - they have lost the the last six instalments. Last week the Crusaders
snuck past the Sharks, but left 11 points on the pitch through missed kicks.
The Lions have proved themselves capable of beating the top Kiwi sides with
their hammering of the Chiefs, but the Crusaders are looking ominously good at
Prediction: Crusaders by 2
SATURDAY, APRIL 2
Blues v Jaguares, Auckland - 08:35
Just the one win between these two so far this season, which
is immensely disappointing given the talent at both side's disposal. The
Jaguares have, however, taken a bonus point from their three losses. They start
a tricky Australasian tour having left some big names (captain Creevy,
Leguizamon, Hernandez, Cordero) at home to rest. The Blues are a different
prospect at home than away and I expect them to come through what should be a
scintillating game of rugby.
Prediction: Blues by 6
Brumbies v Chiefs, Canberra - 10:45
The Chiefs have not won in Canberra since 2008, but given
the way they have been playing of late they will be confident of reversing that
nasty trend. The Brumbies have plenty to worry about off the pitch, but on it
it has been mostly smooth sailing, particularly at home where they put a
combined 84 points past the Waratahs and the Hurricanes in their first two
matches. This will be a close game between two sides that will be right up
there come the end of the season, so once again home advantage could swing it.
Prediction: Brumbies by 3
Kings v Sunwolves, Port Elizabeth - 17:05
Eight games, zero wins - this is the unfortunate combined
record of these two so far. The Sunwolves, to their credit, have at least come
close, picking up losing bonus points against the Cheetahs and Bulls. The Kings
have largely been as dire as everyone expected them to be, with their smallest
losing margin so far standing at 22. This represents both side's best chance of
winning all season, but everything so far points towards a first win for the
new Japanese side.
Prediction: Sunwolves by 5
Bulls v Cheetahs, Pretoria - 19:15
The Cheetahs will enter this one with plenty of confidence -
they beat the Bulls at Loftus by 13 points last season, one of the bigger
upsets of the campaign. They have just a single win from four games this year, however.
The Bulls go one better, with two from three - although they also have a draw.
If conditions hold, it could be quite an entertaining game with the likes of
Bulls' tyros Jamba Ulengo and Warwick Gelant both emerging as real ball-running
talents this year.
Prediction: Bulls by 10
SUNDAY, APRIL 3
Waratahs v Rebels, Sydney - 08:05
The Waratahs have only beaten the Reds this season, which
seems a strange thing to say when their win percentage is 50 - just one of many
quirks of the 2016 Super Rugby calendar. The Rebels had been quietly going
about their business, until they were brought to earth with a rather large bump
by the Highlanders last weekend. The Tahs desperately need to win this - and
probably with a bonus point - if they are not to be left behind by the
Prediction: Waratahs by 6Click HERE to follow Jamie Hosie on Twitter