Preview: SuperBru Super Rugby Week 8
Cape Town - What does Week 8 of this year's Vodacom Super Rugby
tournament hold? Time to get your SuperBru campaign back on track!
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FRIDAY, APRIL 15
Crusaders v Jaguares, Christchurch - 09:35
The Jaguares are having a pretty miserable tour, which was
to be expected when they chose to leave many of their headline stars at home.
The Crusaders are quietly looking quite formidable, and although they nearly
threw it away against the Force last week that was likely just a blip.
Prediction: Crusaders by 16
Rebels v Hurricanes, Brisbane - 11:45
An intriguing one, this. The Rebels have been far less of a
pushover than many people were expecting, while the Hurricanes have recovered
well after losing their opening two games. The Canes are a team, though, that
tend to relish games on the road just as much as at home, and given that the
Rebels have already been walloped by the Highlanders at home this season, I
think we'll see another Kiwi win here.
Prediction: Hurricanes by 6
Cheetahs v Sunwolves, Bloemfontein - 19:00
The Sunwolves came almightily close to downing the Cheetahs
in the reverse of this fixture earlier in the season, the one point loss
representing the closest they have come to a win yet. That was at home,
however, and as their time on the road starts to take a toll, this should be a
more comfortable win for the men from Bloemfontein.
Prediction: Cheetahs by 12
SATURDAY, APRIL 16
Blues v Sharks, Auckland - 09:35
After a stellar start to the season the Sharks have hit a
real roadblock with a draw and two losses in their last three games - not ideal
preparation for a tour of New Zealand. Facing the Blues first up could be seen
as a soft landing in the country, but in reality the men from Auckland are a
tough proposition at home, and could well register their first win against the
Sharks since 2005.
Prediction: Blues by 7
Waratahs v Brumbies, Sydney - 11:45
This is certainly one of the trickier ones to call this
weekend. The Waratahs are struggling with the loss of Michael Cheika this year,
while the Brumbies' issues look like they are starting to creep out of the boardroom
and onto the pitch. The loss of David Pocock to suspension will hit them hard,
and for that reason I think a narrow home win could be on the cards.
Bulls v Reds, Pretoria - 17:05
The Reds managed their first win of the season in style
against the Highlanders in round seven, and their reward is a tough trip to the
Highveld. The Bulls haven't lost since the opening round, although they haven't
always looked that convincing. The Reds, however, haven't won for an awfully
long time at Loftus - it doesn't look like that's about to change.
Prediction: Bulls by 18
Lions v Stormers, Johannesburg - 19:15
The weekend finishes with another difficult-to-call derby.
The Lions have been winning many plaudits for their entertaining brand of rugby
- the Stormers less so, but it's the men from Cape Town that sit higher on the
log. The Stormers have the better of this rivalry historically, but with their
injury issues at fly-half and the Lions' confidence high after winning in
Durban last weekend, this one looks like a home win.
Prediction: Lions by 5
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