Super 15 — Round 13 Preview
10 May 2013
Chiefs v Force – The Force get up for 2 opponents each year – the Reds and the Crusaders, (there is some something in there about showing a red rag to ……….) apart from that forget it. Rennie has made his usual multiple changes,injuries a part of that, but is so much change helping? The big gamble this week is Anscombe at 1 5/8 and how he gets the bits and piecesChiefs back-line working. There should be few problems however as you would expect a dominant performance up front – looking forward to seeing how the revampedChiefs front row goes – in particular Afeaki.
Reds v Sharks – What to make of the Sharks? Hit by a huge injury toll they are really battling to get anything going, and looked quite dysfunctional at times last week. So more changes this week will do little tohelp them.Their opposition though are not exactly in vintage form themselves – a lot of huffing and puffing but very little scoring action. Perhaps typified by Diggers – wonderful runner with the ball, butnever gets much of it on the wing, instead he seems to be always "taking it up". They need to get back to some basics, quick ball spun wide quickly perhaps a starting point.
Reds 1 -12
Cheetahs v Hurricanes – The Cheetahs should be far too good here. Am not liking the look of this Hurricanes side at all, and now with C Smith out, and they have benched one of their tough nuts in Shields, they look under powered up front still and may lack organisation in the backs . A comfortable Cheetahs win
Blues v Rebels – The Blues will look to regain there try scoring touch here. A more attacking back-line should give them every opportunity against a sometimes fragile Rebel defence, especially early. I distinctly remember last years game between these two with very mixed emotions – the local team you support vs the team you have supported since the comp began. The latter will always be "my team" and I struggled to watch the debacle unfold that night. Fortunately the Blues are back on much more solid ground this year showing real character. They are adapting well to each challenge, and a few changes this week will hopefully see more tries scored. Particularly like Ranger back at centre were he can get his hands on the ball more often. And great to see Boric starting a game for a change, and he has a lot to live up to after the great form of Retallick recently. And yes Tracey I see your boy O’Connoris starting as well, little will be lost as a result as he too has impressed. The Rebels have improved, but still lack time a team needs to really gel as a club I reckon. And are a top player short in both backs and forwards to make them a real threat – friggin’ Kurtley not helping at all either.
Waratahs v Stormers – This is probably the hardest game to pick this week. After the unopposedtraining run the Waratahs had last week, it is back to reality against the toughest defending team in the comp when it comes to tries. The Stormers have a lot of good, clever players and will be right in this. The Waratahs also have to deal with the travel factor, and in a tight game that may be the one per-center that makes the difference. Izzy to be held on the way to a close Stormers win.
Stormers 1 – 12
Kings v Highlanders – Yawn. Are they really going to play this game? And will anyone watch it?
Highlanders 1 – 12