This will be the most rewarding weekend for South Africa’s teams in the Vodacom Super 14. The bones have picked three wins from four, with a very timeous weekend off for the Stormers.
The bones have been on the charge, with three successive five from six weekends — and this is the weekend when the bones have risked again, but with confidence that it will be six from six.
The Sharks will give South African cheer with a hard fought win against a Hurricanes outfit that has played all its ‘get out of jail’ cards. The Canes should have left South Africa with three defeats. Instead, they departured with two last minute wins!
Now it is payback from the high-riding Sharks, whose win against the fatigued Highlanders a week ago has rejuvenated the squad. They are into their fifth week on tour. It is a fantastic effort that they could have come back from three defeats to win as well as they did in Dunedin. It would be a huge achievement for them to make it two from two in New Zealand.
The bones are picking the Sharks by 10.
In Sydney the Waratahs will continue their good form with a home win against the Blues, who may have beaten the Brumbies, but will struggle to beat too many more. There are greater issues at play in that region than just the 80 minutes of footie we see every weekend.
Tahs to take it by 10.
In SA, the Cheetahs will get a comfortable win against the rubble Reds — a team only marginally better than the Perth circus that travels as the Farce. Losing Juan Smith is a big blow, but in Bloemfontein the home team will be too strong. I’ve seen poor Cats teams beat good Reds team in Bloem. Now we have a decent Cheetahs side up against a bunch of rubble dressed in maroon and playing as the Reds. It has to be the Cheetahs.
In Canberra the Brumbies will get their campaign back on track with a 10 pointer against the Chiefs. If this match was in Hickville the cowbells would have been too hectic for the wild horses from Canberra. Instead, back in the comforts of ‘crazy’ Canberra, it will be the Brumbies by 15.
In Invercargill, the Cats will again make a strong start against a limited Highlanders team that will suffer because of the absence of Nick Evans at flyhalf. The Cats won’t outmuscle the Highlanders forwards and there will be a bit too much skill among the home team, who will be desperate to get four handout points against the travelling Cats, who we are led to believe will only start to roar when they get home.
Highlanders by 10.
And finally, to Perth we go for the second SA away win of the weekend. The Force are not up to it at this level and they don’t have the team to threaten the Bulls. The visitors will win by 20 points and get the five league points. They’ll also break the spirit of the Farce to ensure even the Stormers leave Perth with a win.
Bully Boys by 20 and South Africans to enjoy a rare weekend of Super 14 cheer.