8 Mar

Super 15 — Round 4 Preview
by WAJ
8 Mar 2013

Hurricanes v Crusaders – Critical game for both teams even at this early stage of the comp. The Hurricanes cannot afford to let so many chances go to waste this week. Plenty were saying they should have won last week, and yes Hollywood was a problem, but you still have to be good enough to take opportunities and the Hurricanes weren’t. Still too many players not at the required level. The Crusaders were just out and out horrible last week, apart from the set pieces. No go forward, no sharpness in their play, or thought. Some changes in the back 3 give the backs a better look, but they need some of the experienced players to step up and play to the level required, Carter, Ellis, both starting Whitelocks. You would have to back them in doing this. And then getting the defence right, because the Hurricanes will give it a go.
Crusaders 13+

Rebels v Reds – Again the Rebels are not quite getting the job done. The forwards are holding up well enough, butthey lack consistent penetration and finishing fromthe backs and someone who can hoof the ball a mile as well.. Too much reliance is put on JOC and Kurtley, there is no real speed in the outside backs…….. The Reds too are not yet playing as well as they can, and the 2nd half that the Hurricanes put in last week will offer some encouragement to the Rebels.Mmmmm – the Rebels are better at home, no Kurtley might encourage more from the other backs, like JOC at 1 5/8 more than fullbackthe changes in the backline for the Rebels offer more pace. But is this enough??

Reds 1 – 12

Highlanders v Cheetahs – This should be a straight forward win for the Highlanders. They will want to get their game going a bit more convincingly than a fortnight ago, though a swag of changes may make that a bit more difficult. Good to see Slade named in the reserves, he needs aq change of luck that boy. The Cheetahs are brave but underwhelming, not enough class across the paddock and Goosen still finding his form.

Highlanders 13 +

Brumbies v Waratahs – The Brumbies continue to impress with their no nonsense game. And they have namedtheir strongest team this year. And they rarely lose at home to the Waratahs. And, lets face it,the Waraths are still shit!

Brumbies 1 – 12

Stormers v Chiefs – Hard to pick this oneI reckon. On displayed form the Chiefs should be all over it. But they don’t win too often in Capetown. And the Stormers have turned their home ground into a bit of a fortress over the last couple of years where they rarely lose. This will be by far the Chiefs toughest match up front this year, and they have gone for a pretty experienced 8, no doubt with that in mind. But it is in the midfield that the Chiefs will have too be strongest with de Villiers and co bound to test TNW’s defence. I think the Stormers will be a bit too strong in defence themselves, and that is a real strength of theirs, and win a close one.

Stormers 1 – 12

Kings v Sharks – Has a bit of interest from the point of view of seeing howcompetitive the Kings really are. They were the best of 2 average sides a fortnight ago, but face a different kettle of fish in the Sharks. The Shrks will be wanting to prove a pointto their neighbours. Could get ugly!

Sharks 1 – 12

Blues v Bulls – Don’t often see a Sunday arvo game these days. Just going to mention the one stat here. The Bulls have never beaten the Blues in NZ. Never ever!! And a swag of changes looks like they aren’t backing themselves too much this round either.

Blues 13+
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