Cape Town – What does Week 5 of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby
tournament hold? Time to get your SuperBru campaign back on track!
FRIDAY, MARCH 25
Hurricanes v Kings, Wellington – 08:35
Sadly, the Kings’ season is going largely as everyone
expected it to. Their opening three fixtures have yielded losses by margins of
35, 34 and 33. The Canes have hit some form in the last two games and there’s
no reason to think they won’t win this at a canter.
Prediction: Hurricanes by 45
SATURDAY, MARCH 26
Chiefs v Force, Waikato – 08:35
The Chiefs return home from a brief but successful tour with
two wins from two. The Force remained competitive against the Canes last week
until the last half hour, when the hosts ran amok. Fatigue might be a factor
for the Chiefs after their travels, so they may not pull away from the
Australian side as the Hurricanes did last weekend, but they will still be
strong enough to get the win.
Prediction: Chiefs by 12
Rebels v Highlanders, Melbourne – 10:45
The un-fancied Rebels have quietly put together a run of
three victories from their opening four games, with their most impressive
coming in Japan last weekend as the ran roughshod all over the Sunwolves. The
Highlanders, however, present a wholly more difficult challenge, and although
they allowed the Waratahs back into the game last weekend after storming to a
30-0 lead, the defending champions are playing too well at the moment to do so
Prediction: Highlanders by 6
Sunwolves v Bulls, Singapore – 12:55
The Sunwolves have made a decent start to life in Super
Rugby, with a one point loss to the Cheetahs in round two showing they can be
competitive when they get it right. The problem is, their set piece has looked
wobbly, and against a team as powerful as the Bulls, that makes their chances
of victory here slim.
Prediction: Bulls by 9
Cheetahs v Brumbies, Bloemfontein – 15:05
The Brumbies were brought crashing back down to earth by the
Stormers in the last round, as they failed to even garner a losing bonus point.
The Cheetahs represent a different challenge, less robust up front but more
willing to give the ball some air and play an open game. Unfortunately for the
hosts, the Brumbies can play that way very well. Despite having lost on their
last two visits to Bloemfontein, it should be a comfortable away win.
Sharks v Crusaders, Durban – 17:15
A tricky pick, this one. The Sharks remain the only unbeaten
side in Super Rugby but will be reeling from an astonishing finish against the
Bulls, which essentially saw them grab a draw from the jaws of victory. The
Crusaders pummelled the Kings in the last round, but that tells us very little.
They humped the Sharks on last year’s visit to Durban, but they are a team in
transition this season, and without the forward dominance they usually enjoy in
New Zealand, they could struggle.
Prediction: Sharks by 5
Jaguares v Stormers, Buenos Aires – 23:40
The Jaguares are rapidly becoming everyone’s second
favourite team, with their commitment to throwing the ball around and
offloading bordering on the insane at times. Sadly it has not yielded too many
wins in their opening couple of games. This will certainly be the biggest test
of the Stormers’ mostly watertight defence so far, however, but the visitors’
greater precision should ultimately see them through – just.
Prediction: Stormers by 2
SUNDAY, MARCH 27
Reds v Waratahs, Brisbane – 07:05
It has been an inauspicious start for the Waratahs, with two
losses from three so far, including last weekend’s unreal game which saw them
0-30 down against the Highlanders after 50 minutes. They salvaged a losing
bonus point, but will not be happy. The Reds have shown progress under their
new, albeit temporary, management, and a draw against a dangerous team like the
Blues represents a success. They haven’t beaten the Tahs since 2013, however,
and it’s difficult to see that changing this season.
Prediction: Waratahs by 11