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Super Rugby Game of The Week – Round 9

We have reached the halfway mark of this year’s Super Rugby tournament and it’s time for any teams that are languishing at the bottom to make their move if they still want a chance at the playoffs this year.

Our stubbornness cost us a GSP in round 8 and it’s time to rectify our wrongs this week.

After running a poll on our Twitter timeline this week, the majority of people that voted asked us to dig into the Vodacom Bulls v Toyota Cheetahs match this week as they feel it’s the toughie of the week to call on SuperBru. Thanks to those that cast your vote and for following us.

Let us not waste any more time and get into the only South African derby of the weekend and what a game it’s set to be.

Both teams are fighting for survival in Africa Conference 1 and also possible elimination from the tournament come 2018. This is the second time they face-off this season after they clashed in round 2 at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.

That round saw the Cheetahs claim a nail biter in which the Bulls made a late charge after they got played off the park in the first half. The game ended favourable for the Cheetahs that evening and strengthened their recent change of fortunes over the men from Pretoria in their head-to-head battle which the Bulls lead 12 – 3.

The Bulls finally found a win last week against the Jaguares in conditions that did not favour the visitors running game as the field was wet due to down pour just before the match got underway. Nevertheless the home side got what they needed and if anything their confidence levels would have been boosted ahead of this weekend’s derby. Another positive for the men in blue was their Springboks coming to the party in a big way, with the likes of Jesse Kriel and Trevor Nyakane being the notables on the night. Handré Pollard also had a flawless evening with the boot, although he will still want to improve on his general game, #watchthisspace

The men from Pretoria face a massive task over the next few weeks but will back themselves being home for most of the time remaining trying to make up the 16 point gap between them and Conference leaders DHL Stormers. The Bulls will have to play out of their socks in trying to do so and best will be if they could get a bonus point or two while at it.

The Cheetahs will still be smarting from their epic failure against the Chiefs after leading 24 – 0 after only 26 minutes, only to see all their hard work be undone and lose 41 – 27. That leaves the men from Bloem with the same record as the Bulls, two wins and five defeats from seven games to date.

This weekend will see the Free State Tahs play their fifth local derby of the season of which they only have the one victory over the Bulls in Bloem to show so far. They have suffered close losses to both the Emirates Lions and Cell C Sharks, which were played at home and got thumped at Newlands not too long ago. As mentioned against the Chiefs they had a perfect 26 minutes with all their stalwarts playing a part and then…

This is really a tough call to make and looking at recent results between these two sides it is bound to be close. The Bulls have a mountain to climb but after their dreadful start, seem ready to prove all the naysayers wrong and if there is one team that CAN turn the tables it is the Bulls.

PREDICTION: Bulls by 6

For more insights into this weekend’s games have a look at what Brenden Nel has to say.

As usual we have the rest of our predictions for the round available here to confuse you even more.

Hurricanes v Brumbies – Canes by 16

Waratahs v Southern Kings – Tahs by 16

Emirates Lions v Jaguares – Lions by 13

Highlanders v Sunwolves – Landers by 28

Crusaders v DHL Stormers – Saders by 7

Western Force v Chiefs – Chiefs by 14

Cell C Sharks v Melbourne Rebels – Sharks by 16

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