Cape Town - Round 5 of Super Rugby was reasonably straightforward on
SuperBru, certainly compared to some of the weekends over the past couple of
months. The biggest shock result, according to the community, was the Chiefs'
win over the Stormers, picked by just 24%, while there were 4 205 GSP winners.
What's in store this weekend?
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FRIDAY, MARCH 20
Highlanders v Hurricanes, Dunedin - 08:35
The two form teams of the competition face off in the
opening game of the weekend in what should be quite a spectacle. The Hurricanes
are the only unbeaten team left, but they take on a vastly improved Highlanders
outfit who themselves are on a three game unbeaten run. They made light work of
the champions last weekend and will be confident of continuing their winning
run at home. The Canes are playing some typically sublime rugby, but they did
look vulnerable at times against the Blues, whose lack of accuracy let them
The Hurricanes have had a gruelling schedule at the start of
this season, and their winning run will come to an end at some stage. I think
this might be the week.
Prediction: Highlanders by 5
Rebels v Lions, Melbourne - 10:40
The Rebels are proving themselves to be a tougher nut to
crack than many had anticipated, and have taken something from every game
they've played so far. They might not possess any bona fide stars, but in the
likes of Scott Higginbotham and Mike Harris - both capped Wallabies - they have
on-field leaders with enough experience to drive the team on. The Lions have
had a difficult start to the season and were brought crashing back down to
earth by the Crusaders last weekend after their shock win over the Blues in
It'll be more of the same for the South African touring side
this weekend I fear.
Prediction: Rebels by 12
SATURDAY, MARCH 21
Crusaders v Cheetahs, Christchurch - 08:35
It's usually about this sort of time that the Crusaders
start to find some form, and last weekend's ruthless crushing of the Lions
would appear to signal that it is happening again. They welcomed back some of
their big guns in Kieran Read, Nemani Nadolo and Dan Carter all of whom add
star quality to an already competent line-up. This week they face another
feline South African outfit in the Cheetahs. These cats are looking for their
first win in Christchurch, but have slumped to two consecutive losses to wash
the sheen off what was a highly competent start to the season.
The first game of their overseas sojourn is unlikely to
yield a win, as the Crusaders should continue to flex their muscles.
Bulls v Force, Pretoria - 17:05
The Force have only won once at Loftus Versfeld, way back in
2007, and their chances of doing so again this weekend would appear to be slim.
Their excellent win over the Waratahs is starting to feel like a different life
time, and they desperately need another victory to back that one up. The Bulls
are starting to come into some form, however, and remain a tough nut to crack
at their altitudinous home.
It's going to go from bad to worse for the Force this
weekend, against a rested Bulls side, you suspect.
Prediction: Bulls by 15
Sharks v Chiefs, Durban - 19:10
The Sharks went back to basics to beat the Cheetahs last
weekend, sticking it up the jumper for Marcel Coetzee to benefit with two tries
that were almost carbon copies of each other. That may have been enough against
their South African rivals, but the Chiefs proved last week against the
Stormers that they have the wherewithal to defeat a side that simply tries to
bully them physically. So, will the Sharks try to do just that, or will they
try to match the Chiefs at their own game?
Either way, I fear it will end in failure for the home side
- they have a horrible record against the visitors, too, having not beaten them
Prediction: Chiefs by 6
SUNDAY, MARCH 22
Waratahs v Brumbies, Sydney - 07:05
The Waratahs have not quite been the all-conquering side
they were in 2014 yet this season. They have lost as many as they have won and
it's not about to get any easier, with the Brumbies in town. The Canberra-based
side have four wins from five games, three of which have seen them garner bonus
points. They have been playing some exhilarating rugby and rightfully sit atop
both the Australian conference and the overall log.
This a grudge match, however, and the Waratahs have a good
record at home to the Brumbies, beating them twice last season by a collective
margin of 49. I think they'll return to winning ways this weekend.
Prediction: Waratahs by
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