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2019 Vodacom Super Rugby – Round 13

It’s a new week with new beginnings as most of us try and rebuild our Vodacom Super Rugby Superbru standings after what was surely the worst round for most this season.

We gambled with two games and sadly it did not work out for other reasons other than the norm but we try again.

So what has Round 13 got in store from our point of view (a dangerous prospect mostly).

Friday 10 May 2019 – Vodacom Bulls v Crusaders, Loftus Versfeld 19:10*

The anticipation to this game has been building all season for many Vodacom Bulls supporters with the hope of doing the impossible as some might say, but when the Crusaders run out on Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening they will know that it won’t be another walk in the park…or will it be?

This fixture has been hotly contested and since 2009 the Bulls have only lost once at home and that was in 2017 when the Crusaders last came to Pretoria. Only two of the five wins saw the men from Pretoria win by less than 6, where the other three games the winning margin was more than 12. The victory the Saders got in 2017 was however emphatic and in fact the biggest to date, smashing the Bulls 24 – 62. A day many blue supporters won’t want to remember.

The nine-time Super Rugby Champions from New Zealand have already been surprised by the Waratahs earlier this season away from home and would caution against another away loss especially after they almost lost at home for the first time in 26 matches a week ago against the Cell C Sharks.

Coach Pote Human has selected possibly his strongest available team for this encounter, including the surprise selection of Andre Warner at scrumhalf that has been under the radar for most of 2019.

Scott Robinson has bought back all his big guns that were rested last week against the Sharks and that in itself will make a huge difference for the men from Christchurch.

The Bulls don’t have much going for them except history and home ground advantage but as we have come to see in recent years, that Fortress Loftus factor is not as strong as it use to be and will need a monumental effort of defence and self belief to pull of what is possible if the men from Pretoria can give a precision display of rugby that we saw in the first few weeks of this year’s competition.

We are going to do the unthinkable and back Pote and his men, although we won’t recommend it if rugby is only about Superbru for you.

Officials:

Referee – Rasya Rasivhenge

Assistant ref – Jaco Peyper

Assistant ref – Egon Seconds

TMO – Willie Vos

PREDICTION: Vodacom Bulls by 3

Saturday 11 May 2019 – Chiefs v Cell C Sharks, FMG Stadium 09:35*

It’s the final tour match for the Cell C Sharks in this year’s Super Rugby as they head to Waikato to face the Chiefs and face them they will especially after they almost beat the Crusaders a week ago.

The men from Durban will be oozing confidence and hopefully not the same as when they smashed the Emirates Lions earlier this season and were brought back to earth only a week later by the Jaguares.

The Chiefs aren’t having the best of seasons themselves and will have to be up for the challenge when Coach Robert du Preez and his team arrive.

The men from Waikato are still without Brodie Retallick after he was ruled out for a further three weeks and of course there is no Damian McKenzie whatsoever.

Will Coach du Preez still stick with Curwin Bosch or venture back to his son Robert jnr for this clash? We doubt it strongly and if he does that would surely be asking for the chop from his superiors back at Jonsson Kings Park.

This game could go a long way for the Sharks’ season if they can beat the Chiefs and we are backing the men from Durban to do the business…so much for being a biased Bulls supporter.

Officials:

Referee – Nic Berry

Assistant ref – Paul Williams

Assistant ref – Brendon Pickerill

TMO – Aaron Paterson

PREDICTION: Cell C Sharks by 6

Saturday 11 May 2019 – Emirates Lions v Waratahs, Emirates Airline Park 15:05*

The Emirates Lions are back from their final bye of the tournament and welcome the Waratahs to Johannesburg for their final game in the Republic.

Coach Swys de Bruin is also back after taking some much needed time off from the game due to a medical condition and along with his team will be raring to go and get their campaign back on schedule again. Warren Whiteley is also back after his short injury layoff and many will hope that it’s the end of those for Captain Fantastic.

The Tahs are still smarting from their narrow loss to the Bulls a week ago and will look to salvage something from their tour before they head back home.

The big question on most Lions supporters lips will be whether their team will avoid the bye-syndrome most teams have fallen for in this year’s Super Rugby or not.

Playing at home has not been as fruitful for the men from the Highveld as in previous seasons and will need a strong effort against the only team in the tournament to have beaten the table topping Crusaders.

We reckon Swys’ men will hit the ground running and get a convincing win over Daryl Gibson’s men this Saturday.

Officials:

Referee – Egon Seconds

Assistant ref – Jaco Peyper

Assistant ref – Rasta Rasivhenge

TMO – Willie Vos

PREDICTION: Emirates Lions by 12

Other Round 13 predictions:

Friday 10 May 2019 – Blues v Hurricanes– Hurricanes by 8

Friday 10 May 2019 – Rebels v Reds– Rebels by 13

Saturday 11 May 2019 – Highlanders v Jaguares – Highlanders by 3

Sunday 12 May 2019 – Brumbies v Sunwolves – Brumbies by 13

Let us know your thoughts on our predictions for this weekend and make sure to keep the banter going on Twitter.

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