Thursday, July 19, 2012

Super rugby - time for the semi semi finals

After 18 rounds of slugging it out, we’re down to the knockout stage of Super Rugby. This week I guess is the semi semi final, and the intricacies of the system mean that if the Sharks beat the Reds, the Stormers play the Sharks at Newlands in the semis. Should the Reds win however, the Stormers will play the winners of the Crusaders/ Bulls match.

So, there’ll be two things on the Crusaders minds this weekend – beating the Bulls and hoping like hell that the Reds win, otherwise they’ll be on the plane to SA for the next round. The Crusaders (or team Whitelock as they are now known), have only one key player missing , Kieran Read. McCaw has stepped into the breach and is covering the number 8 position and lying all over the ball.  I can see a yellow card in this match – for standing on McCaw at a ruck. The Bulls have namedan impressively large team, and I’m sure the strategy will be to pulverize the Crusaders pack, score on the breakaway, and kick the penalties. The critical question is will they be able to contain the flair of the Crusaders backs? I’m saying, no, they won’t so a home win for the Crusaders.

The Reds have sneaked into this final, with some very up and down form, mainly as a result of a long string of injuries. They will be missing Quade Cooper, not renowned for any type of tackling, and then last week he goes and does a tip tackle. How Will Genia plays is absolutely crucial for them, he could take them through on his own.  The Sharks have picked Alberts at lock, and are planning to pulverize the Reds pack – where have I heard that before? Without Lambie in the backs they are little short on flair, so again I’m going with the home team to get the win.

Super Rugby
Saturday , July 21
Crusaders vs Bulls 08:35
Reds vs Sharks 10:40


  1. Sharks - Reds should be a good game.

    Alberts at lock could be a masterstroke...or could backfire badly, as it will make the lineout more predictable. As good a lifter as the Beast is, I don't think he will particularly enjoy lifting Alberts above his shoulders!

    It certainly solves the backrow problem for now though. Four can't fit into three.

    My picks would be Crusaders and Sharks.

    Reds will miss Cooper I think.

  2. The Sharks Reds match should be close, and I'm a Sharks supporter so I hope they win. That travel is a killer though. If they do win, back to SA to face the Stormers, and then if they win that potentially back to NZ. Could be a lot of airmiles!