Super Rugga Watch 2018 – Round 4

Already into the fourth round we go this weekend with this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament and we present to you our weekly Super Rugga Watch.

Last week we bagged another 4/7 performance with our SuperBru predictions and we hope we can start improving along with some of the teams in this year’s competition.

Friday 9 March 2018 – Highlanders v DHL Stormers, Forsyth Barr Stadium – 08h35*

As many had predicted, the Australasian tour for the DHL Stormers has gone south and they will probably have one foot on the plane come Friday when they face the Highlanders before returning home. To make things worse they have been hit by an injury storm with some of their key players not making it to the end of the tour. The Highlanders are coming off their first bye of the tournament and will be refreshed to make this game count in their favour.

PREDICTION: Highlanders by 17

Friday 9 March 2018 – Rebels v Brumbies, AAMI Park – 10h45*

The Brumbies will be travelling to Melbourne this weekend where they will be hosted by the Rebels in an all-Australian derby and from what we have seen to date from this year’s Canberra outfit we don’t have much hope of any improvement against a well oiled Rebels team. This match could likely continue the snore fest trend we are getting accustomed to from the Aussies, so plan your meetings and don’t stress to much from missing something good possibly going down.

PREDICTION: Rebels by 13

Saturday 10 March 2018 – Hurricanes v Crusaders, Westpac Stadium – 08h35*

Make sure you are ready to watch top class rugby as this New Zealand derby brightens your Saturday morning when the Hurricanes finally return home to host the high-flying Crusaders in Wellington. The Canes might have stumbled in Pretoria but made up for it against the Jaguares and will be eager to stop the Saders in their tracks this weekend. The form the men from Christchurch are currently in it will make it a brave call to go against them but this clash has always delivered surprises and after some consultation we have decided to back the Canes.

PREDICTION: Hurricanes by 3

Saturday 10 March 2018 – Reds v Vodacom Bulls, Suncorp Stadium – 10h45*

A wet Brisbane has welcomed the Vodacom Bulls on the first leg of their 2018 Australasian tour where they will face a Reds team that nobody has been able to figure out. Most are in agreement that this new Bulls outfit should trounce the home side come Saturday but will it be that easy? The Reds just managed to beat a dismal Brumbies team this past weekend without even scoring a single try so the Bulls will need to keep their discipline at an all time high to eliminate the men in red as they don’t seem to offer much at this stage of the competition. It must be noted that the men from Pretoria have only ever won once away against the Reds back in 2004 by 6 points.

PREDICTION: Vodacom Bulls by 12

Saturday 10 March 2018 – Cell C Sharks v Sunwolves, Kings Park Stadium – 15h05*

Coach Robert du Preez must still be fuming after the fiasco of last weekend when his Banana Boys slipped badly against the Waratahs in a game where the Cell C Sharks held all the cards, yet showed it all to the Tahs to play out to a disappointing draw. The men from Durban are hosting their fellow conference members from Japan after a weekend, which they will also want to forget. The Sharks will want to show their fans and especially their coaches that they are better than their Tahs performance and put the Sunwolves away in what we see will be a one-sided affair at Kings Park stadium.

PREDICTION: Cell C Sharks by 16

Saturday 10 March 2018 – Emirates Lions v Blues, Emirates Airline Park – 17h15*

The Emirates Lions are on super fire and it is starting to look like the cobwebs of the off-season are gone as they are clearly firing on all cylinders now. This weekend they are hosting a Blues outfit that are desperate for a win, having come close in their first two games of the season and now find themselves on tour at altitude. Do they have anything to counter this Lions juggernaut that awaits them in Johannesburg? If you are in the area, do make your way to Emirates Airline Park as this will be a spectacle of note from both sides.

PREDICTION: Emirates Lions by 15

Saturday 10 March 2018 – Jaguares v Waratahs, José Amalfitani Stadium – 23h40*

The final game of the weekend will be over in Argentina yet again when the Jaguares welcome the lucky Waratahs to Buenos Aires. The Jags are still seeking their first win of the season and until now it sure did not seem like it will be anytime soon. The Tahs on the other hand have had all the luck in the world, first against the DHL Stormers and then a brilliant draw in Durban against the Cell C Sharks who kept them in the game last week. The men from Sydney will want to show everyone they do have it in them to compete for the title from an Australian perspective however; the one and only time these two sides have met before, the men from Argentina beat the Aussies in Sydney by a resounding 13 points in a fairly high scoring match. Can the Tahs maintain their lucky streak or will they finally face the music this weekend?

PREDICTION: Jaguares by 8

* – denotes kick-off South Africa Time

We welcome your thoughts, comments and predictions below in our comments area and remember to keep an eye out for exciting competitions.

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Have a super weekend!


  1. Sean Blom

    March 8, 2018 at 1:08 PM

    Seems we think the same this weekend, again. I did my own preview yesterday, and it is quite similar to yours. Here goes:

    So, after round 3 (and some very disappointing results regarding my Superbru picks), we are heading into the 4th round of the competition. It was a difficult weekend for most, and a very unpredictable one as well. Some of the teams really never played to their full potential, and I am starting to wonder whether the competition will be that much better this year, without the Force, Kings and Cheetahs. Look, the Kings are losing matches like they are getting paid to, but the Cheetahs are at least hanging in there. The PRO14 isn’t that much of a lesser tournament than Super Rugby either, and they have some strong international flavour in the teams that take part.

    Anyway, back to the Super Rugby. If week 3 is anything to go by, I will not be making assumptions again, and I will rather go with my gut-feel for this weekend’s match-ups. I will also have a look at the history between teams facing each other this weekend. I feel this might give me a better idea of who to pick as favourites, because as you know, history has a way of repeating itself.

    So, let’s have a look at the match-ups for the coming weekend, and my take on things to come:

    Friday 9 March – 08h35 SA Kick-off Time – HIGHLANDERS vs. STORMERS

    The Highlanders had a nice rest last weekend, which wouldn’t have meant too much, seeing as they only played one match since the season started. They had no notable injuries or niggles to personnel after the win against the Blues. The Highlanders are usually slow starters to the tournament, but they already got that monkey off their back by starting off with a V. At this stage, they couldn’t have asked for a better opponent to keep on the winning track. They showed some impressive handling in the first match they played, and their kicking game is still a very strong part of their game-plan. In Smith and Sopoaga, they have two great kickers of the ball, and a back three that is almost as comfortable in the air as Maverick in Top Gun. The Stormers on the other hand, are struggling to find their feet, and with some issues in key positions, they seem to be in for a long tour, and season. I think the side from Dunedin will take this one by at least 14 points.

    Friday 9 March – 10h45 SA Kick-Off Time – REBELS vs. BRUMBIES

    This is a tough one to call, because it seems that this is a very different Rebels side than previous years. Dave Wessels is really doing some good work with these guys, and they are also playing some exciting rugby so far this season, albeit only two games long for them. The Rebels basically ran over a thirteen (and 14) man Reds in their season opener, and they really handed it to the Sunwolves away last weekend. The Brumbies on the other hand, struggled against the Sunwolves, and only sneaked it in the end, then last weekend they looked like they ran from Canberra to Brisbane, before taking on the Reds at home. They were out on their feet for most of the game, which doesn’t say a lot for the Reds, as they only beat them by 8 points. It was an appalling display of rugby at times, and then at times, there was a spark of (wait for it….) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I will be giving this one to the men from Melbourne, by some 15 points. If the Brumbies however decide to run to Melbourne before the game (they might have some logistic issues?), I’ll change that to 25.

    Saturday 10 March – 08h35 SA Kick-off Time – HURRICANES vs. CRUSADERS

    An exciting match is on the cards here, as the previous two winners of the competition face each other this weekend. The Canes of course dropped the first match against the Bulls in round two, which was quite a surprise to most people, but they really bounced back well against the Jaguares, away from home, and after a long flight. They were not always at their best, but still very good, and way too good for the Argentinean side, which remains to be a bit of a disappointment. It’s still early days, and the Hurricanes will probably be a contender when the season comes to a close, as they have the right personnel and good structures in place. This weekend however, they will face the current in-form team and that after another long flight home. The Crusaders seem to be the team to beat again this season, and they very seldom miss out on an opportunity to strike, whether off set plays or the oppositions’ mistakes. My prediction for this one is a very hard, fast and exciting game of rugby, with the Crusaders coming out on top with around 8 points. Had they been playing at home, I would’ve given them another 7 points to the margin.

    Saturday 10 March – 10h45 SA Kick-off Time – REDS vs. BULLS

    As I discussed in the Brumbies and Rebels preview, the Reds are not playing any stadiums on fire at the moment. They struggled to put away a very tired looking Brumbies side last week, and against the Rebels they were absolutely nowhere, with some ill-discipline to boot. Sure, the Bulls aren’t the greatest at touring in this competition, but one thing they do have this season, is a lot more fitness amongst the players, especially the forwards. The Bulls played very well against the Canes, and at times against the Lions last week; they looked like a winning side. Unfortunately a few unforced errors and sloppy decision making cost them dearly, and against the Lions you can’t afford to let your concentration slip for even one second. Now, the Reds are no Lions, and even though the Bulls had to travel this week, I feel they will be able to put away the Reds without too much trouble, and win this one by 8 to 12 points.

    Saturday 10 March – 15h05 SA Kick-off Time – CELL C SHARKS vs. SUNWOLVES

    If the Sharks can only be more patient on the attack, and start to play the type of rugby that they are capable of, they will beat the Sunwolves by a large margin on Saturday. They are still stuck in 1st gear, and it is time for them to up the tempo and cut-out the unforced errors. They practically threw away a victory against the Waratahs last weekend, and I still believe they could’ve beaten the Lions in their first match of the season. They have all the players to make this a very successful season, but somehow the guys are just not working as a collective at the moment. They will get there, and I hope that it will be this weekend. The Sunwolves are a fair bit better than previous seasons, but then again they only played against two Aussie sides so far. If the loss against the Rebels is anything to go by, they should well lose by a fair bit more this weekend. I would like to think, the Sharks by about 25 points at home this weekend, they owe it to themselves and the fans.

    Saturday 10 March – 17h05 SA Kick-off Time – EMIRATES LIONS vs. BLUES

    The first real test of the season for the Lions will be the Blues this weekend. The Bulls at times gave the Lions some trouble, but in the end they were not good enough to really make the Lions panic. The Blues might be the weakest side from New Zealand, but they play very much the same type of rugby, and are as exciting as the Lions. This will be a very fast paced game, and I expect a lot of running, from both sides. The Blues though can’t seem to get it together, even with the great talent they have in their side, whereas the Lions play for each other and even the “lesser” players are charged up by the more experienced players in the side. Once the Lions get going, they are hard to stop, and I reckon they will be the winners of this battle by at least 12 points.

    Saturday 10 March – 23h40 SA Kick-off Time – JAGUARES vs. WARATAHS

    Honestly, probably the match that I am least interested in. The Jaguares are not playing great rugby; the Waratahs are not too great themselves at this stage, so I expect this one to be the most boring of all the matches this weekend. The Waratahs were lucky to draw against the Sharks this weekend, and even with payers like Folau and Hooper, they just don’t seem to have the same impact as in previous seasons. Yes, it is only the 4th round, but if you haven’t found your 2nd and 3rd gear by now, you are going to fall way behind during the coming rounds of the competition. Although the Jaguares are a bit of a bore, more often than not, they tend to every once in a while pull off a good performance. I feel that this weekend, will be one of those times, and I predict, that after the flight from South Africa, the Waratahs will be a bit flat footed. I give this one to the Jaguares, at home, with 7 points.

    Here’s to hoping for some better results that last week. It is going to be another great weekend of rugby, and let’s hope the SA teams do well, even if it doesn’t boast well for our Superbru. Remember, it’s all about the Bokke in the end!

    • Jacques Henning

      Jacques Henning

      March 8, 2018 at 4:59 PM

      Lekker Sean! We need to find a way to get you to only comment on what we said and not take our shine LOL! It is awesome to know we starting to think alike…besides for the Canes v Saders match…hopefully on Monday we have a bigger smile than you hehehe. Thanks for your comments aka preview Sir!

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