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2019 Vodacom Super Rugby – Round 14

Looking ahead at this weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby fixtures it’s probably one of the most difficult weekends of the season to predict. It’s been a season of guessing rather than calculated decision making on Superbru for most of us.

Just a couple of examples for the weekend: Vodacom Bulls have a good record against the Rebels but of late the men from Pretoria have looked out of sorts with a backline who’ll struggle to score from a set move on a Friday Captain’s Run never mind on match day.

In previous seasons a Chiefs Blues game would have been a banker to get the “W” point and Margin point, but this season it’s probably the most difficult game of the weekend.

Without further a due let’s get guessing…

Friday 17 May 2019 – Rebels v Vodacom Bulls, AAMI Park 11:45*

Jeez, where to start…

It seems like Coach Pote Human has lost the plot completely. The skills level of the players remind me of the era pre John Mitchell, and the team looks like it’s worsening every week. The only positive the Bulls have is there set piece.

The Rebels on the other hand are playing better every week. With Haylett-Petty probably the best 15 in the competition and a really dangerous backline the Rebels will be hard to stop.

From a South African perspective if the Bulls go into the match and play like they have nothing to lose, dominate upfront and slow the game down (they should play the old style of Bulls rugby yes), they might just squeeze a win.

Officials:

Referee – Federico Anselmi

Assistant ref – Damon Murphy

Assistant ref – Aaron Pook

TMO – Ian Smith

PREDICTION: For Bulls fans who is a sucker for punishment, like me…Vodacom Bulls by 8.

For everyone else it will be Rebels by 6

Saturday 18 May 2019 – Emirates Lions v Highlanders, Emirates Airline Park 15:05*

Another very difficult match to call.

The Emirates Lions and Highlanders are both coming off wins with the Lions very lucky and with a little bit of help from a certain Ref (I know Lions fans will hate me for saying this).

With uncertainty around the availability of Warren it might be a long afternoon for the men from Johannesburg.

If the Lions go into this match thinking they will out score the Highlanders like they did against the Waratahs last weekend they are making a big mistake. This Highlanders side is very dangerous and underrated.

A lot will depend on how effective Kwagga and Malcolm will be in slowing down Highlanders ball at ruck time.

I think it’ll be a close game but unfortunately I can’t see Swys de Bruin’s men winning as much as I want to on Saturday.

Officials:

Referee – Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant ref – Jaco Peyper

Assistant ref – Griffin Colby

TMO – Willie Vos

PREDICTION: Highlanders by 7

Saturday 18 May 2019 – DHL Stormers v Crusaders, DHL Newlands 17:15*

The Crusaders are travelling to their second home ground this weekend and after annihilating the Bulls a week ago they will be feeling positive for their fixture against the DHL Stormers and hoping to make it 10 points from a possible 10 on their South African safari.

The Capetonians are coming of a bye and will be well rested and prepared for this match.

The set piece will be absolute key for the Stormers in this match. If they can exert some sort of dominance and unsettle the Crusaders they might be in with a long shot.

The Saders will do what they do week in and week out. Suffocate the opposition and be in your face. They will play on the offside line and test the ref at every ruck and get away with it…

If the Stormers allow them to dictate things on Saturday it will be a very long afternoon in Cape Town.

Unfortunately I think the Crusaders play a lot smarter than any South African side. The Stormers will still be in the match at halftime but will be outplayed in the second half.

Officials:

Referee – Nic Berry

Assistant ref – Marius van der Westhuizen

Assistant ref – AJ Jacobs

TMO – Marius Jonker

PREDICTION: Crusaders by 17

Other Round 14 fixtures and predictions:

Friday 17 May 2019 – Hurricanes v Jagures  Hurricanes by 12

Saturday 18 May 2019 – Blues v Chiefs  Blues by 7

Saturday 18 May 2019 – Reds v Waratahs – Waratahs by 8

Thanks to SA Sports Critic for this guest preview and let us know your thoughts on his predictions for this weekend and make sure to keep the banter going on Twitter.

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