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Super 15 Predictions a Tough Call

T20 World Cup

To join us in the fun prediction pool, please go to the Moonstone pool Tref & Trap. The pool code cedeveil, and the tournament is called World T20.

Cheetahs vs Blues

The opening SA match of the weekend sees the Blues, freshly home from their African excursion, host a Cheetahs side desperate to get their train back on track after a disastrous start to the competition.

Both sides only have one home win to their credit, which must make the Blues favourites for this encounter in Auckland. The Cheetahs have the backs to win the match for them, but unless they get their defence in order, the efforts of Willie le Roux and Super Sarel will all be in vain. Hennie Daniller will add extra protection against the modern kicking game at the back, but stopping Frank Halai will be his first priority.

Blues:
15.Charles Piutau, 14.Frank Halai, 13.George Moala, 12.Jackson Willison, 11.Tevita Li, 10.Simon Hickey, 9.Piri Weepu, 8.Peter Saili, 7.Luke Braid (c), 6.Steven Luatua, 5.Tom Donnelly, 4.Liaki Moli, 3.Charlie Faumuina, 2.James Parsons, 1.Tony Woodcock.
Replacements:
16.Tom McCartney, 17.Angus Ta’avao, 18.Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19.Jerome Kaino, 20.Hayden Triggs, 21.Bryn Hall, 22.Ma’a Nonu, 23.Benji Marshall.

Cheetahs:
Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Johann Sadie, Rayno Benjamin, Hennie Daniller, Johan Goosen, Sarel Pretorius, Philip van der Walt, Jean Cook, Boom Prinsloo, Francois Uys, Lood de Jager, Nicolaas van Dyk, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements:
Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Rossouw de Klerk, Andries Ferreira, Lappies Labuschagne, Shaun Venter, Elgar Watts, Howard Mnisi.

Brumbies vs Stormers

The Brumbies are unbeaten in three matches at home. The Stormers have also not lost at home, but they only played one match at Newlands, and lost the other three. Like the Cheetahs, they are desperate to get at least one win on this trip, and though they may not have pencilled in Saturday’s match as a possible win, it is not unlikely that they can win. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The Brumbies have been forced into four personnel changes and nine positional switches in their game-day 23-man squad for the clash against the Cape Town Stormers at Canberra Stadium on Saturday night. There are eight Brumbies out of action, including five Test players and Wallabies in waiting Henry Speight and Fotu Auelua.

Brumbies: 
1. JP Smith, 2. Stephen Moore, 3. Ben Alexander, 4. Scott Fardy, 5. Sam Carter, 6. Jordan Smiler, 7. Jarrad Butler, 8. Ben Mowen, 9. Nic White, 10. Matt Toomua, 11. Robbie Coleman, 12. Pat McCabe, 13. Andrew Smith, 14. Joseph Tomane, 15. Jesse Mogg. 

Replacements:
16. Siliva Siliva, 17. Ruan Smith, 18. Ruaidhri Murphy, 19. Jack Whetton, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Michael Dowsett, 22. Stephan van der Walt, 23. Lionel Cronje.

Stormers: 
Gio Aplon, Kobus van Wyk, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Peter Grant, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Deon Fourie, Michael Rhodes, Ruan Botha, Frans Malherbe, Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Stephan Coetzee, Oliver Kebble, Juan Harris, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Demetri Catrakilis, Juan de Jongh.

 Lions vs Reds

The Lions will not have the advantage of being underestimated any longer, and a Reds side, boasting the best attacking halfbacks in the competition in Genia and Cooper, will sorely test their defensive skills. In my view, the single biggest reason for the success of the Lions thus far is that they refused to be awed by the big names. If they can maintain this on Saturday, Mr Cooper and company may just find themselves flustered by the lack of respect. A doubting Cooper nullifies the rest of the backline, so I expect Whiteley and Wille Britz, in particular, to target him. Should he cross paths with Willie Wepener, he may just reconsider doing his normal “jakkalsdraffies”.

Lions:
15. Coenie van Wyk, 14. JW Jonker, 13. Deon van Rensburg, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Willie Britz, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco van der Merwe, 4. Franco Mostert, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Willie Wepener, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Substitutes:
16. Mark Pretorius, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni, 20. Stephan de Wit, 21. Ross Cronjé, 22. Lionel Mapoe, 23. Ruan Combrinck

Reds:
15.Aidan Toua, 14.Rod Davies, 13.Ben Tapuai, 12.Mike Harris, 11.Lachie Turner, 10.Quade Cooper, 9.Will Genia, 8.Jake Schatz, 7.Liam Gill, 6.Eddie Quirk, 5.James Horwill, 4.Rob Simmons, 3.Greg Holmes, 2.Saia Fainga’a, 1.James Slipper.

Replacements: 
16.James Hanson, 17.Albert Anae, 18.Jono Owen, 19.Ed O’Donoghue, 20.Beau Robinson, 21.Nick Frisby, 22.Anthony Fainga’a/Ben Lucas, 23.Dom Shipperley.

Bulls vs Sharks

Those who consider the first encounter between the Sharks and the Bulls this season as an indication of what can happen in the main match at Loftus on Saturday has obviously not watched rugby for the last two weeks. The only fairly safe prediction is that the teams will play in a manner that reflects their names. The Bulls will play their normal physical game, while the Sharks will be as sleek and deadly as their nautical namesakes.

The single biggest difference from the previous encounter is Jacques-Louis Potgieter, who takes on the opponents in a very direct manner. Add to this the return of the horticulturists, Pottie and Steggie, and the match will be a much more tightly contested affair.

The Sharks boast a full house of wins, but in Durban. A packed Loftus, however, will be a daunting test of Jake White’s ability to get his charges in the right frame of mind, but, then again, he is a master at that, isn’t he?
Vodacom Bulls:
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 J J Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter, 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Flip vd Merwe (captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling

Replacements:
16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Marcel vd Merwe, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Handré Pollard, 22 Ulrich Beyers, 23 Morné Mellet

Cell C Sharks:
15.SP Marais, 14.JP Pietersen, 13.S’bura Sithole, 12.Frans Steyn, 11.Lwazi Mvovo, 10.Patrick Lambie, 9.Cobus Reinach, 8.Ryan Kankowski, 7.Willem Alberts, 6.Marcell Coetzee, 5.Stephan Lewies, 4.Anton Bresler, 3.Jannie du Plessis, 2.Bismarck du Plessis, 1.Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements:
16.Kyle Cooper, 17.Dale Chadwick, 18.Lourens Adriaanse, 19.Etienne Oosthuizen, 20.Tera Mtembu, 21.Charl McLeod, 22.Tim Swiel, 23.Andre Esterhuizen.

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