Super Rugby, Round 11: Preview
Round 11 will surely be an entertaining one as we are reaching the latter part of the competition and teams are trying to secure conference wins and quarterfinal sports.
There are two mouthwatering derbies to look forward to this weekend; the clash in New Zealand between the Hurricanes and the Chiefs and the South African North-South derby between the Stormers and the Bulls.
The conference leaders will try to keep hold of their leads by winning their respective matches.
The players returning from injuries will need to have solid performances in order to get the attention of their respective international coaches.
We as the Rugby republic can definitely expect a couple of upsets in the round, which could make a considerable difference to the overall Super Rugby log as well as the respective conferences.
Crusaders vs Lions (Friday, 9:35am CAT)
The Lions will have a difficult task this weekend against the Crusaders at home, the Lions have never won a game against the Crusaders in Christchurch.
The Lions captain, Warren Whiteley had to be withdrawn from the match day squad due to an injury. Kwagga Smith will take over the captaincy for the Crusaders clash.
Crusaders – 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Harry Allan, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Michael Dunshea, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Eretara Enarai, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Ngane Punivai.
Lions – 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Elton Jantjies, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Carlü Sadie, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Sti Sithole.
Subs: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan Mcbeth, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Marnus Schoeman, 21 Ross Cronjé, 22 Franco Naude, 23 Tyrone Green.
Prediction: Crusaders by 17
Sunwolves vs Highlanders (Friday, 12pm CAT)
The Sunwolves have been in very good form at home and will pose a challenge for the Highlanders without a doubt.
The Tokyo crowd will also have a major impact on the result of the game, they are always very much behind their team and the noise levels will be through the roof.
The key player for the Sunwolves is Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, his shift to the midfield will test the Higlanders' defense. Vosayaco is a very powerful runner and relishes the contact situation. There is a certain upset on the cards in this match.
Sunwolves – 15 Ryohei Yamanaka, 14 Gerhard Van den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Rahboni Warren Vosayaco, 11 Semisi Masirewa, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Hendrik Tui, 7 Dan Pryor (c), 6 Grant Hattingh, 5 Luke Thompson, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Hiroshi Yamashita, 2 Nathan Vella, 1 Pauliasi Manu.
Subs: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Alex Woonton, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Tom Rowe, 20 Ben Gunter, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Jason Emery.
Highlanders – 15 Matt Faddes, 14 Patelesio Tomkinson, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Elliot Dixon, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Luke Whitelock (c), 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Subs: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Dillon Hunt
Prediction: Sunwolves by 3
Hurricanes vs Chiefs (Saturday, 9:35am CAT)
This New Zealand derby is always an entertaining game, both teams love to run with the ball and show off their skills.
The Hurricanes squad have been boosted this week with the return of the Barrett brothers and Ardie Savea.
Beauden will certainly make a massive difference in attack and the defensive organisation of the back-line. Ardie Savea's return will give the forwards a lot of momentum and will ensure the back-line receives front foot ball.
The Chiefs will have a very difficult task at hand against a very talented Hurricanes team.
Hurricanes – 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Chase Tiatia, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara (c), 8 Reed Prinsep, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Kane Le’aupepe, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Ben May, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong.
Subs: 16 Ricky Riccitelli, 17 Xavier Numia, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 20 Sam Henwood, 21 Richard Judd, 22 James Marshall, 23 Salesi Rayasi.
Chiefs – 15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Ataata Moeakiola, 10 Marty McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Michael Allardice (c), 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Atu Moli.
Subs: 16 Liam Polwart, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Alex Nankivell.
Prediction: Hurricanes by 12
Waratahs vs Sharks (Saturday, 11:45am CAT)
The Waratahs will face a new look Sharks team this weekend in Sydney.The coach of the Sharks, Robert Du Preez made positional changes to the back-line with Curwin Bosch moving to Fly-half and Aphelele Fassi moves to the fullback position.
They will also welcome the return of Jean-Luc du Preez in the Loose Forwards, du Preez is a very powerful ball carrier and very solid in defense .The Waratahs have not been convincing in the absence of their attacking weapon, Isreal Folau. The Sharks might upset the Waratahs if they are able to dominate upfront.
Waratahs – 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Jack Dempsey, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes.
Subs: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Rory O’Connor, 18 Chris Talakai, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Lachlan Swinton 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Lalakai Foketi, 23 Alex Newsome.
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira (c).
Subs: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Robert du Preez, 23 Marius Louw.
Prediction: Sharks by 5
Stormers vs Vodacom Bulls (Saturday, 3:05pm CAT)
The South African North-South derby as it is known to the rugby public will be an epic battle. The Stormers will welcome back a couple of Springbok players to their team.
The return of Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth will strengthen the Stormers pack against a well rested bulls team, The derby will be won upfront with forward domination securing front foot ball to the young and exciting back-lines.
Stormers – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Kobus van Dyk, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Handré Pollard (c), 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jannes Kirsten, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Wiehan Herbst, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Divan Rossouw.
Prediction: Bulls by 8
Jaguares vs Brumbies (Saturday, 11:40pm CAT)
The Jaguares are always a force to be reckoned with with especially when they are playing at home. The Argentinians always play with an immense amount of passion and determination especially in front of their home fans.
The Jaguares have a lot of international experience in their squad and this could be priceless against a well drilled Brumbies team.
The Brumbies have opted to start the exciting scrumhalf, Matt Lucas, he will have his work cut out against the Argentinian international, Thomas Cubelli. The Brumbies will have to be clinical in all areas of the game to be victorious.
Teams are yet to be announced
Prediction: Jaguares by 5