17 May

Super 15 — Round 14 Preview
by WAJ
17 May 2013

Hurricanes v Chiefs – Don’t really know what to make of this game. On results it should be a comfortable Chiefs win, but they are stumbling along a bit, and have a heap of injuries – and the confidence that the Hurricanes will have gained last weekend will make them very dangerous. Or did they just meet a flat Cheetahs team. And some really good match ups in this – Afeaki v Franks, Cruden v Barrett, TKB v TJP. The latter two could be the deciding of this game, though I still think the Hurricanes forwards are les than top class. An 80 minute performance from the Chiefs will be enough.
Chiefs 13+

Rebels v Stormers – Not holding out a lot of hope here for the Mighty Rebels. They are down to their 4th string 1st 5/8, and in such a key position that is a worry. They will also struggle to hold the Stormers up front in what looms as a bit of a maul fest. The Stormers will look to shut them down and with a rearranged backline and the loss of the x-factor that Beiber and Kurtley bring I think the MR will get whacked.
Stormers 13+

Force v Sharks – A bit of a nothing game. Sharks crap, Force very average.
Sharks 1 – 12

Crusaders v Blues – Gotta be the game of the weekend. And a few things to factor into this game. 1) Scrum – a huge Crusaders strength and they will exploit it and . 2) Lineouts – Again a strength of the Crusaders with there attitude of competing at most. The Blues have to be accurate here. 3) Defence – the Blues have had the best NZ defence all year until last week and they need to get the intensity right up. Carter will send a runner or two straight at Noakes (the comp leader in missed tackles!!) and the Blues have to watch this. 4) Attack – Expect the Blues to get the ball wide when able to use the speed and size of the back four. Saili not staring will cut back a bit of the attack, but equally Willison will bolster the Noakes channel a bit more. 5) Goalkicking – Carter can have a huge influence here, it is not a strength of the Blues with far too many points lost to date with missed shots. I think the Crusaders extra forward grunt will see them win a close one.
Crusaders 1 – 12

Waratahs v Brumbies – A good old Aussie derby. And another close result expected. Two very strong sides have been named, big forward packs and great match ups for Dingo to keep an eye on. The Waratahs have kept up their improvement and look a much better side of late, if they can keep this up against this well drilled and disciplined Brumbies side the could well pull off a win. The Brumbies don’t make a lot of mistakes though and I fancy will exert the greater pressure. Will be very close.
Brumbies 1 – 12

Bulls v Highlanders – This could get ugly for the Highlanders. Dominated by the Kings last week, so what are the Bulls going to do to them. Still hard to believe they are so bad this year.
Bulls 13+

Cheetahs v Reds – This should be a good game. And though it is a bit of a cliche I think this is a game that will be won by whoever gets it right on the day. Both teams have been a little out of sorts, though it was a good 1st half by the Reds last week, but previous to that they had 2 draws and a 1 point (undeserved :-) win over the Blues. The Cheetahs were well beaten by the Hurricanes and lacked intensity last week, so expect a big improvement. They are the most improved SA team in the comp and need to be contained in the backs or they will get away. But sides are on to them a bit more now and this good Reds outfit has plenty of weapons themselves. Most will be on Rocky watch again as he continues his bid for a Wallaby recall. WIth the addition of Horwill the Reds should get the points, but…..
Reds 1 – 12

Regards Waj

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