24 May

Super 15 — Round 15 Preview
by WAJ
24 May 2013

Chiefs v Crusaders – What a bugger both Franks and Afeaki are out. It would have been great to able to compare them to see where Afeaki is. Still a great game in prospect. Or is it? I reckon this will be a real battle of attrition. The Crusaders have certainly tightened things up in recent weeks, relying on their forward strength and Carter’s nous to get them home. The early season side to side crap has been shelved and they are back on track – who’d have thought! And with the Chiefs only doing what is necessary to win of late the Crusaders should go into this as deserved favourites. Injuries and the constant changes Rennie has made have taken there toll and the Chiefs look to have gone into their shell a bit, their defence in particular is letting them down. And why is Cane on the bench – strange!! So for me the Crusaders pack and the guidance and all round play of Carter to get the win.
Crusaders 1 – 12

Rebels v Waratahs – Never say never with the Mighty Rebels, but this one might be a bit too much. The Waratahs have been in bloody good nick of late, scoring plenty of tries on the way to generally outscoring the opposition, as they have let in a few themselves. And that is the key for the MR here, score plenty of points yourselves and you might just get up. But the greater class through the Waratahs will be the difference and they are unlikely to have a second half fade out as other Rebels opponents have had recently.
Waratahs 1 – 12

Blues v Brumbies – This is a must must must win game for the Blues. A loss will probably seem them drop out of the Top 6 and some tough games ahead won’t make it easy to get back. That said who would have thought they would be where they are at the moment. So the Blues have proved to be a good defensive side, have struggled a bit at the set pieces and have shown a good attack, though lacking in consistency in this area as well.. The Brumbies will challenge them through their disciplined game – solid at set piece and they then play the percentages well so are always making progress when in possession and with a couple of jets on the wing conjure tries very quickly. But the Blues showed last year that they have the runners to trouble the Brumbies who have not beaten anyone of note recently, and rarely win at Eden Park.
Blues 1 – 12

Force v Highlanders – Wow 14th v 15th. This one should pull in the viewers! What new depths can the Highlanders fall to?
Force 1 – 12

Kings v Cheetahs – Good comeback from the Kings last week after their Waratahs nightmare. But then the Cheetahs are a much more formidable opponent than the Highlanders. When the Cheetahs attack gets going they are a real menace and they showed signs last week of that happening after the bye put them off their game. And the Kings don’t defend well against a good running team.
Cheetahs 13+

Stormers v Reds – The Reds will still be trying to work out how they lost to the Cheetahs. Lots of possession put through plenty of phases, but no penetration. So a good test of the Reds brains trust to get the attacking spark back, because the defence will be no less intense this week. Plenty of injuries for the Stormers to contend with – and they showed some touches of real class last week, but they can’t finish off games this season and even the games they have won have been close affairs. Backing the Reds to get it right this week with a big game from Genia.
Reds 1 – 12

Sharks v Bulls – An out of form team v an in form team. Simple really.
Bulls 1 – 12
Regards Waj

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