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Super Rugby 2017: Round 13 Predictions

Check out these predictions for Round 13 of the 2017 Super Rugby season, highlighted by the New Zealand Conference clash between the Crusaders and the Chiefs. 


Weekend Lineup

Friday 19 May

Chiefs vs Crusaders

Stormers vs Blues

Saturday 20 May

Hurricanes vs Cheetahs

Force vs Highlanders

Sunwolves vs Sharks

Kings vs Brumbies

Lions vs Bulls

Sunday 21 May

Waratahs vs Rebels

Byes: Jaguares and Reds

Predictions

Chiefs vs Crusaders

With this game being played in Fiji no one has home advantage. The Crusaders are still the only unbeaten team in the competition and they are bolstered with Sam Whitelock returning from his two-week suspension.

Head to head clashes: Richie Mo’unga and Aaron Cruden bring yet another clash of two All Black quality fly-halves. Mo’unga kept the Hurricanes at bay last week with help from an excellent Crusaders’ pack at home. The battle up front will decide this game with two forward packs full of All Blacks, especially in the second row where four of them ply their trade.

The Crusaders have built this unbeaten record for a reason and while we know every team has to lose sometime I do not expect it to be this weekend, especially as the Crusaders have a point to proof with their poor recent record against the Chiefs!

Head to head record: Played 29 – Crusaders 16 – Chiefs 13 – Draws 0

Prediction: Crusaders by 4

Stormers vs Blues

Can the Stormers rebound from a horror tour where their defence gave a lot of free tries away?

The Stormers have had bad luck this season, especially in the midfield where they lost three internationals (Damian de Allende, Huw Jones, and Juan De Jongh) early in the year. 

Head to head clashes: There are a couple of interesting clashes in this game with Dillyn Leyds moving to the fly-half position and the return of the lock duo Pieter-Steph du Toit and Eben Etzebeth. The real excitement in this game will be the battle of the sevens stars with Rieko Ioane, Akira Ioane, Augustine Pulu, Cheslin Kolbe and Seabelo Senatla, all capable of changing this game.

Head to head record: Played 17 – Blues 9 – Stormers 8 – Draws 0

Prediction: Stormers by 8

Hurricanes vs Cheetahs

The Cheetahs are embarking on a very tough tour to New Zealand with this clash against the Hurricanes. They are an interesting team, with the stats not being nearly as bad as the results. Many games seem to be going in the Cheetahs’ favour, but they just seem to switch of after the 60 minute mark and the game fades away. Good leads over the Bulls, Chiefs, and even the Crusaders, at the halfway mark of games, would see them in a much better position if they could learn to close out matches.

Head to head clashes: The challenge in this game will be to stop the vicious attack of the Hurricanes, with the Savea and Barrett brothers running the show and the excellent finishing ability of Ngani Laumape.

Head to head record: Played 9 – Hurricanes 6 – Cheetahs 3 – Draws 0

Prediction: Hurricanes by 25

Force vs Highlanders

Waisake Naholo will be missing out on this one after picking up a one-week suspension last time out against the Bulls. This game welcomes yet another good All Black fly-half back from injury as Lima Sapoaga starts from the bench.

Head to Head clashes: Malakai Fekitoa and Curtis Rona make for an interesting battle in the midfield, but it is very difficult to stop a beast like Fekitoa if you are going backwards behind an overmatched forward packjust ask the Bulls!

The Force will need to prduct something special to pull of an upset and I just don’t see it.

Head to head record: Played 10 – Force 6 – Highlanders 4 – Draws 0

Prediction: Highlanders by 11

Sunwolves vs Sharks

The return of exciting back Shota Emi to the Sunwolves after the bye week, plus the pressure on the Sharks after losing to the Kings last weekend gives this game a bit more spice than would usually be the case. Sharks coach Robert du Preez has his work cut out for him with injuries, especially the newest concussion suffered by fly-half Pat Lambie, to avoid what would be a history-making defeat.

Head to Head clashes: Willem Britz and Jean-Luc du Preez are big bruisers but they offer a lot in loose play to boot. I would not be surprised if we see a lot of carries from these two on the day.

Head to head record: Played 1 – Sharks 1 – Sunwolves 0 – Draws 0

Prediction: Sharks by 9

Kings vs Brumbies

These two teams have only met once before and that was in Australia where the Kings came away with a shocking draw on their travels. While the Brumbies are coming off of a bye week the Kings came away with a great win against the Sharks last weekend. This momentum is great for the Kings, but they will surely miss Chris Cloete who is out for this clash.

Head to Head clashes: Makazole Mapimpi faces Henry Speight out on the wing in a classic one on one battle of pace and power.

Head to head record: Played 1 – Kings 0 – Brumbies 0 – Draws 1

Prediction: Kings by 5

Lions vs Bulls

RG Snyman received a four week ban for his red card last week and that ban begins with the Bulls on the road against the Lions. The home team is coming back from a big Aussie tour, so the men in blue might get an opportunity to face a worn-out squad in the second half. Derbies are always close games, but I think the Lions should get a home win in this one.  

Head to head clashes: Warren Whiteley and Hanro Liebenberg are both in the number eight jerseys and captaining their teams. That makes this another good game for selection purposes and to look at a possible captain for the ‘Boks. There are also three Springboks playing in the centers in what should be one of the better games of the round.

Head to head record: Played 22 – Bulls 14 – Lions 8 – Draws 0

What do you think of these predicitions? What will be the game of the round? Comment below!

Prediction: Lions by 6

Waratahs vs Rebels

The Waratahs are another team back from a bye week and eager to get back to playing rugby. It has not been a great season so far for the Waratahs in 2017, but if their Wallabies begin to show some form then they can still make a run in the messy Australian Conference.

Head to Head clashes: In the backline, we have Israel Folau vs Reece Hodge, while in the pack the big battle is on the flanks where Sean McMahon faces Michael Hooper. It is high time we had a good contest featuring a couple of Australian sides as their derbies have been dull and boring as of late.

Head to head record: Played 12 – Waratahs 10 – Rebels 2 – Draws 0

Prediction: Waratahs by 8

Ruan Nortje

I am a rugby Know it all and I love chatting to other people that share the same interest in the brilliant sport that is... Rugby!!

 

Super Rugby 2017: Round 13 Predictions

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