Super 15 — Round 11 Preview
26 Apr 2013
Wellington hosts the first AFL game for competition points ever outside Australia onANZAC Dayevening. Should be a good game, though Sydney will be too good for the Mighty Saints. And there is even a link to the All Blacks as a Sydney player, Mike Pyke, used to play for the Canadian rugby team and scored a try against the All Blacks playing on a wing – it is a great story!Hoping for great weather and a good crowd on what is a special day for New Zealand and Australia. 93,000 at the MCG today for Essendon v Collingwood – amazing!!!
Hurricanes v Stormers – Intriguing game this. Heaps of changes for the Hurricanes – Savea a big out (though a good decision on his part to stand down) but perhaps offset by the inclusion of Vito. They will need to be on their game as the Stormers have as good a record as any SA sides in NZ and are just the type of team to beat these Hurricanes. Strong defensively and good enough up frontto cause problems, they will want a close scrap, and with the game breakers they have in the backs, in the likes of the Flash and de Jong, though not used with any real enthusiasm, arestill a threat. I reckon the Stormers will be absolutely desperate and winin a close one.
Stormers 1 – 12
Reds v Blues – Probably the game of the round. And a big test fora developing Blues team. Thought the Reds blew it last week, the decisions to keep on attacking from all the penalties awarded to them ultimately cost them the game. They were totally in control up front and would have won if they had backed themselves and taken the kicks.Horwill blew itin what seemed to become a "me mightier than you" contest.But an excellent T5, really hard working loosies, and of course the terrible two working their magicthey are really hard to beat at the moment. TheBlues will need another big defensive effort as you feel they will struggle with possession. And they must treasure what possession they do get a bit more in the unforgiving Suncorp – and they are maturing. Needbig games from Ranger, Weepu and the loosies, and some defence from Noakes!
Reds 1- 12
Chiefs v Sharks – Both teams had unsatisfactory losses last week in games they would have expected to win. So this clash of last years finalists is one where they need to get their respective mojo’s back. And boy have the Chiefs made some changes to try and get going again. Plenty of pace and flair in the revamped backline,Cruden needs to take charge, and the forwards need to get back to supplying the quick ball that backline needs. And against this depleted Sharks line up, pace is going to be the deciding factor. The Sharks look down on pace out back and light on experience up front. Not going to that easy of course but still comfortable for the Chiefs.
Brumbies v Force – Should be a reasonably comfortable win for the Brumbies. This is a pretty settled Brumbies team now, they showed all sorts of character, and no little skill in staying with the Reds last week – Mogg is a star! They just have too much for a willing but limited Force.
Bulls v Waratahs – Huh, I see one of the Waratahs forwards is talking himself up in the week before they hit Pretoria – FOOL!! It is still one of the toughestplaces to win at, and the Waratahs haven’t won there since 2002. Though I do have to say it was a gutsy win last week against the Chiefs, something the Waratahs are not known for!Can their rediscovered running game overcome the patented altitude rugby that the Bulls play. The Waratahs back 3 are going to field a lot of bombs, a whole new experience for big Izzy and what are going to pretty inexperienced wingers. The Bulls will have too much.
Cheetahs v Kings – Should be a good old fashioned arse kicking.
Crusaders v Rebels – Should be a goodold fashioned arse kicking.