Super Rugga Watch 2018 – Round 3

Well, well, what a weekend it was and now everyone is finally on the board for the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby season as we look ahead to round 3 this coming weekend.

Due to a few gambles we took we suffered a few blows but also had a great comeback to end the weekend on a high thanks to our 3-point prediction of the Vodacom Bulls who stuck their hands up high to make their presence felt in this year’s competition, and may it continue for them and their trusted supporters.

This weekend there are more difficult predictions to make with some big clashes on the cards, none bigger than the game of the weekend between the Vodacom Bulls and Emirates Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

First up however will be a few Friday morning kickoffs over in New Zealand to get things started.

Friday 2 March 2018 – Blues v Chiefs, Eden Park – 08h35*

With news that Sonny Bill Williams is out of this clash due to a knee injury suffered in last week’s match against the Highlanders one has to realise he will be missed sorely. The Chiefs will want to bounce back after the howler they had in Christchurch that saw them concede 7 tries of which two were intercept tries. Both these teams are seeking their first “W” of the season but we are backing the Chiefs to continue the losing streak of the home side to New Zealand teams.

PREDICTION: Chiefs by 7

Friday 2 March 2018 – Reds v Brumbies, Suncorp Stadium – 11h00*

Scott Higginbotham’s side could not have had a worse start to the season losing two players to ill discipline, including their Captain for the next few weeks. Being a young team they need all the experience they can get from what is left in their ranks to combat a Brumbies outfit that struggled against the beleaguered Sunwolves a week ago. The men from Canberra will want to show they are true contenders this year from an Aussie perspective and will want to regain their dominance over their Queensland neighbours of recent years gone by. Snore fest or not, only time will tell.

PREDICTION: Brumbies by 5

Saturday 3 March 2018 – Sunwolves v Rebels, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium – 06h15*

A week ago the Sunwolves started like a house on fire only to let it slip in the last 10 minutes against the Brumbies. This week they face a rejuvenated Rebels side that has been bolstered by a number of ex-Force players who made a big impact in their win against the Reds in their season opener. With both teams now having a game under their belts things should become smoother from here on out and therefore we think Dave Wessels and his men from Melbourne will be able to do the business in Japan.

PREDICTION: Rebels by 13

Saturday 3 March 2018 – Crusaders v DHL Stormers, AMI Stadium – 08h35*

The Crusaders had the best start to their 2018 campaign when they smashed the Chiefs in their season opener at home and will be salivating at the prospect of hosting the DHL Stormers in Christchurch. A year ago the Capetonians received a rugby lesson of note from the current defending champs and will have their work cut out if they have any ideas of improving that score line. Siya Kolisi and his men did not start their tour in the way they wanted to in a game that they lost to the Waratahs. They had more going for them to seal the deal and they did not and have now made this tour longer than it should have been. We don’t see things improving for the men from Cape Town any time soon.

PREDICTION: Crusaders by 16

Saturday 3 March 2018 – Cell C Sharks v Waratahs, Kings Park Stadium – 15h05*

Over in Durban the Cell C Sharks return from their first bye of the season and will look to get their campaign going after their 1st round loss to the Emirates Lions, which they could have won bar a few dismal decisions. They will feel fresh from their break when they welcome the touring Waratahs, who edged a nail biter over the DHL Stormers in Sydney a week ago. The New South Wales outfit will also want to improve on their first round performance but should find it tough against a determined Sharks team that has all the big guns in place this year to make it all the way.

PREDICTION: Cell C Sharks by 12

Saturday 3 March 2018 – Vodacom Bulls v Emirates Lions, Loftus Versfeld – 17h15*

The game of the weekend, which is now also being billed to be the South African Conference game of the season, keeps building up as the hours tick by towards game day. The Vodacom Bulls finally “showed their hand” when they edged the Hurricanes by 2 points last week. With only 22% of the SuperBru community backing John Mitchell’s men, the tongues are wagging about a sudden revival in Pretoria. They do however face an even stronger opponent in the Emirates Lions this week and everyone is waiting to see how much improvement there really has been over at Loftus. Swys de Bruin did not waste any time to announce his team for this trans-Jukskei derby, making his side known on Tuesday already, two days earlier than normal. What will the Bulls do to try and stop this Lions juggernaut that are currently on a 16-run winning streak against South African teams? The Bulls were the last SA team to beat the Lions back in May 2015. Has the time come to end it all or will the Lions extend that record even further? As a guy that is always keen for a gamble, I am going to go with the former.

PREDICTION: Vodacom Bulls by 6

Saturday 3 March 2018 – Jaguares v Hurricanes, José Amalfitani Stadium – 23h40*

The Jaguares are finally back home after almost 4 weeks in South Africa and will want to jump on the back of what the Vodacom Bulls did to the Hurricanes to get their winning column going. They are as predicted, the naughty boys of the tournament once again and if they can’t get their discipline sorted they are in for their worst season to date. Chris Boyd was a very frustrated man after their loss at Loftus a week ago and will want to make up for it this week. We believe the Canes will bounce back hard this weekend and it won’t be something the Jags will want to remember.

PREDICTION: Hurricanes by 18

* – denotes kick-off South African time.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and predictions below in our comments area and remember to keep an eye out for exciting competitions.

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  1. @1ultimatefan

    February 28, 2018 at 9:25 PM

    My blog is still under construction, still finalizing a few design issues, so I will add my reviews here,
    I (@1ultimatefan) added comments where I differ with you,

    – Chiefs by 7

    – Brumbies by 10

    – Last weekend Sunwolves had their best game in the comp to date, home games
    within their conference remain their only realistic chance of winning a
    game this season, particular against the rebels. For Inter-conference
    games I give them no chance, if they cant beat the rebels at home then
    this will be a very long season for them
    Sunwolves by 7

    – I don’t see what happened last year to them at this venue changing, I
    predict another klubbering, I predict a saders victory by 20, and that’s
    me trying to remain patriotic… it could be embarrassing
    Crusaders by 20

    – Sharks should prove too much for the Tahs, but just. As it was last year,
    the Sharks will always play to the level of the opposition, the Tahs will
    be in the game til the very end
    Sharks by 10

    – To the game of the weekend, the Month of March will be very decisive for
    the men from the Jacaranda city, starting with the Lions this weekend and
    ending with the Stormers (both at Home) and sandwiched between that the
    Australasian tour, we will learn a lot of the (new) bulls. What happened
    last week was truly amazing, but I don’t want to get carried away, lets
    wait for April fools day before reading anything into that result. So for
    now that outcome remains the SHOCK OF THE WEEKEND… i.e. that’s a bold
    statement considering what happened at Murryfield
    Lions by 15

    – I back jaguars to be competitive at home, but I must put a disclaimer, my
    prediction is only valid if the Jags play 80 minutes with 15 men
    Hurricanes by 7

    • Jacques Henning

      Jacques Henning

      February 28, 2018 at 10:27 PM

      Great comment Sir and this is the beauty of what we do. We give opinions and people are there to decide what they want to stand by or not. My season’s predictions this year have not been great but it could always get better, so let’s wait and see 😉

  2. Sean Blom

    March 1, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    What a weekend of rugby that awaits us. How great was the Scottish victory and False Bay old boy shutting old Eddie up for once?

    Anyway, back to the SupeRugby. I seem to agree with Mr Henning on all the picks, maybe not on the margins, but definitely on the winning sides!

    – The Chiefs should be too strong for the Blues, and as you said, SBW will be missed in the midfield. They do have the Ioanes though, and they can turn a game on its head at the click of a button. Your son quickly flicks the channel to see what’s happening on CeeBeeBees, and when you flick it back they might have scored twice. They are magical! The Chiefs have too much firepower though, and I think once McKenzie finds his feet at Flyhalf, things will start falling into place for these guys.

    – The Brumbies are not a bad side, and I think the Sunwolves will kick themselves for throwing away the game last weekend. But it took some big nuggets from the Aussie-side (spit) to pull that one from the fire. They are not the Brumbies of old, but I believe they have the personnel to do well this season. They should be much too strong for the Reds, who looks to me like the team that will be battling it out for the wooden spoon this season.

    – The Rebels, under Dave Wessels, and with a few Force-stars, look like the real deal this season. I am not saying they are going to be one of the teams in the play-offs just yet, but they played a great game last week, albeit against 14 and 13 men respectively. It was a huge margin, and something that the Rebels don’t often pull-off. I just feel that they might be one of the top two teams in the Aussie (spit) conference this season.

    – Not much to say about the Crusaders. They are the in-form side, and usually the tournament favourites. I think they might open the floodgates against the Stormers, and I expect a big winning margin. The Stormers are starting with Leyds at 10, which is not ideal. They don’t have depth at 10, and that is a huge problem, especially against the Crusaders.

    – I think The Sharks would have learnt from the loss against the Lions, and the BYE would have given them the opportunity to reflect on the unforced errors they made in that first game. I don’t think they will make the same mistakes again, and the backline will be much too good for the Tahs. Folau and Beale are dangerous, but the Sharks are building on something special under Robert Du Preez, and I think its only a matter of time before they fire on all cylinders.

    – The Lions are a quality side, and I don’t need to tell anyone that. Damn, that Dyantyi is something special, and if he keeps playing with the intensity shown in the first two weeks, he will soon be playing test rugby. Mostert on flank is however a very strange call, almost as if Swys has something up his sleeve. What that is I don’t know, but I don’t think it will work out for them. Where the Lions might have the upper-hand in this game, is in the midfield and on the wing. The Bulls have a good pack, not all of them big names, yet, but they are mobile and they are fit. The handling of the forwards are also a breathe of fresh air, and this is where I believe the Bulls might just tip the game in their favour this weekend. My blue blood tells me that the Bulls will just sneak a win this weekend. (I hope so at least)

    – Nothing much to say about the Hurricanes game. They should win it comfortably against a Jaguares side that seems will never come to the party. With all the test players in the side, somehow they just forget how to play rugby when they wear the Jaguares jersey. Ill discipline and some horrendous decision-making is a part of their game plan. The Canes will put them away with ease.

    Lets hope for a great weekend for the SA teams. We need some positive vibes to filter through to the Springbok-setup, for later this year.

    • Jacques Henning

      Jacques Henning

      March 1, 2018 at 11:26 AM

      Love your contribution Sean. Why don’t you help us write our previews? Jy ken jou rappie goed!

      • Sean Blom

        March 2, 2018 at 9:19 AM

        Hi Jacques. Thanks a lot. I wouldn’t mind that at all sir. Not sure that I always know my rugby that well, maar ek probeer. Always liked writing, especially about rugby, so as julle iemand in die toekoms soek om te assist, ek doen dit met plesier!

        • Jacques Henning

          Jacques Henning

          March 7, 2018 at 3:10 PM

          Lekker Sean!

      • Sean Blom

        March 5, 2018 at 11:30 AM

        Hi Jacques. Ek sal glad nie omgee nie. Alhoewel my predictions vir die naweek maar lelik skeef-geloop het. Maybe I see something in some of the teams that just isn’t there? Maar ja, ek help graag as julle ooit iemand sou nodig hê. 😉

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