SupeRugby 2013 looking ahead.

After the year end break I am looking forward to the new rugby season to get underway. On the weekend the Lions played their first game of the Lions Challenge and I was really impressed with how they played given it was their first outing of the season.

The Lions without their stars are still formiddable and should win most of their challenge games.

This weekend the Lions tackle the Cheetahs, who are usually likened to finish in the last 3 before the superseason begins. This year is no exception. With the bookies only rating the Kings and the Force chances worse then the Cheetahs’s.

According to news from Bloem is that the Cheetahs will field a very weakened team on the weekend. The following players will sit out Boks Coenie Oosthuizen, Johan Goosen, Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow, along with Andries Ferreira, Martin Muller, Phillip van der Walt, Pieter Labuschagne, new recruit Johan Sadie, utility Willie Le Roux and Sevens Bok Rayno Benjamin.

The Stormers and Sharks are the favourites from South Africa while the Bulls will finish mid table according to the bookies.

The Stormers look like a terrifying prospect this year with a possible starting 15 looking a bit like this: Stephen Kitshoff, Tiaan Liebenberg, Schalk Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Burger, Duanne Vermeulen, Dewaldt Duvenhage, Elton Jantjies, Brian Habana, Jean Div, Juan De Jongh, Gio Aplon, Jaco Taute. Leaving guys on the bench like Deon Fourie, Peter Grant, Joe Pietersen to name a few. They will be one of the favourites to win this year no doubt.

The Sharks are also a strong unit with a possible line up like this: Beast, Bismarck (when fit)/ Burden, Jannie, Anton Bresler, Franco van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Willem Alberts, Ryan Kankowski/Daniel, Reinach/Mcleod, Pat Lambie, Mvovo, Frans Steyn, Jordaan/Whitehead, Pietersen, Ludik. The Sharks have plenty of depth just like the stormers and should be one of the favourites too.

The Bulls will be a strong team, but with the retirement/movement and loss of form of most of their stars their strenght has diminished somewhat. they would still have a good team probably looking like this: Greyling, Rallapele, Kruger/Van der Merwe, Flip/Willemse, Juandre Kruger (if he is avaliable)/Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Jacques Potgieter, Dewald Potgieter/Pierre Spies, Hougaard, Steyn, Ndugane, Wynand Olivier, Engelbrecht, Basson, Kirchner. The Bulls are still a very strong team and can make the playoffs if the majority of the team stay fit. The Bulls will mis CJ Stander who was a big cog in their team last year and with the loss of Morne Steyn’s form they will have a few headache’s.

The Cheetahs, well I say this every year, they are capable of getting to the playoffs and this year they have their strongest squad to date. The Cheetahs has depth this year and could well be a suprise package if they play the gameplan that suits them and not try to play a different “kicking” gameplan at the start of the year that is usual. The Cheetahs line up may look like this: Nyakane, Strauss, Coenie, Ferreira, Martin Muller, Heinrich Brüssouw, Lappies Labushagne/Frans Viljoen, Van der Walt, Van Zyl, Goosen, Le Roux, Ebersohn, Sadie, Rhule, Daniller. The Cheetahs has a backline to rip teams apart and if they can fix their defence they might get to the playoffs and with the possible return of Juan Smith it could bode well for the central team. 

The Kings, well their first season of supeRugby. As they could not even get into the Currie cup last year they will get a big shock in their first game. The Kings are wooden spoon contenders for sure and realistically should be setting their sights on winning one or two games. The Kings team could look like this: Jaco Engles, Bandise Maku, Ross Geldenhuys, Sykes, Bulbring, Oosthuizen,Leonardi, Watson, Vergallo, Catrakillis, Sampson, Andries Strauss, Ronnie Cooke, Michael Killian, SP Marais.

Maybe 2013 the final log will look like this.

1. Stormers

2. Chiefs 

3. Brumbies

4. Sharks

5. Crusaders

6. Bulls

7. Hurricanes

8. Reds

9. Cheetahs

10. Higlanders

11. Waratahs

12. Blues

13. Rebels

14. Force

15. Kings

35 thoughts on “SupeRugby 2013 looking ahead.

    • Yup but they also recruited a few good players. Would still be between those two who wins the wooden spoon. Only thing why the Force would probably finish higher is because they play in the weakest conference.

      • As I said in my posts, the Lions side is hardly more than a Vodacom side now, having lost more than 20 players since last year. My Superbru prediction is the Cheetahs by 18, but that will depend on how weak a team the Cheetahs field.

        • The Cheetahs won’t be too weak, guys like Daniller, Sarel Pretorius, Rhule should be in the team. But the Lions really impressed me on the weekend. They did not look too rusty and there is a heck of a lot of talent in that squad. Even though the russians are not the best I still think it was impressive due to the conditions.

          I think it will be a lot tighter.

  1. Wow, that Stormers team looks flippen strong! If they don’t win it this year they never will. Especially with those Lions stars in their team… ha ha
    The Kings team has a few familiar names, but as we all know names on paper means zero. Even if their first choice team is good, you have to have good depth in this competition cause there WILL be a few injuries.
    Even if the queens lose all their games everyone is going to say ja but the Lions haven’t really done much better these last few years. Which is true, but at the Lions are a better team than the queens. Anyways, let me stop my ranting right now otherwise I’ll go on forever, LOL.
    I think I’ll support the sharks this year, the’re not as good a team as the stormers (on paper) but they’ll always be in there with a chance

    • Yes the stormers are very strong, it actually scares me. Only place where they are not as strong is scrumhalf and maybe front row.

      Haha I think the current Lions would beat the Kings.

      Looking forward to the weekend’s clash even though the Cheetahs best players are going to sit out.

  2. Stormers opening 3 games: vs Bulls at Loftus, vs Sharks at “The Tank” and vs champions Chiefs in CT. You really think they will win these games.? Bulls might edge them, Sharks will destroy them and Chiefs should win this one.

    • Devan as we saw last year, it was a tight affair. I don’t think the Bulls has a chance in beating the Stormers with that team. The sharks might have a better chance but they won’t destroy them, ironically it was thought that the Sharks would destroy WP in the Currie Cup final and that did not happen. Chiefs lost Sonny Bill and a few other guys. They would be there and there about should be close. All in all the Stormers are the team to beat on paper.

    • Without the big guns in our backline I doubt we will see a thrashing on the weekend. I imagine guys like Francois Brümmer, Hansie Graaf, Cornal Hendriks, Joubert Engelbrecht, JP Nel and Rocco Jansen getting a run in the backline with the likes of Torsten v Jaarsveld, Ligtoring Landman, Marnus Schoeman getting a run in the forwards.

  3. Agree with what you have said.
    On paper the Stormers have probably the best team in SA at the moment just edging the Sharks who also have an awesome team. (although Bismark will still be out for a while)

    Thing is it will depend on how the Stormers team gels it all good and well to have the best team on paper but you need to execute the game plan to win.

    I am with Leeubok though if we do not win this season we may never win.

  4. I see Stormers beating both Bulls and Sharks,but im afraid Chiefs will be a hill to far for them.Strangely Stormers come unstuck too often playing in front of”All Black” supporters @ Newlands.If however they do get lucky against Chiefs,only the Crusaders can stop them from winnning S15

  5. Im afraid paper and predictions rarely, if ever,determine the final outcome…..Stormers had a pretty easy start last yearand were going hell for leather….and we all know how they imploded in the end….this year if they come away with 3 wins after 3 games….i’ll still be holding my breath after 80 odd minutes into the final IF THEY GET THERE…and believe me im not a fatalist!!!!

  6. I think your predictions of position at the end of tournament are pretty accurate…alrhough maybe Reds and Hurricanes might do better and Bulls and Cheetahs might lie a bit lower.Holding thumbs Lions win Vodacom Cup as that will really show up SARFU for the dumb decision on Queens even more….

    • The Bulls and Cheetahs should realistically aim to be higher than those positions, they have the squad to do it. With a bit of luck both of them couldve finished higher than where they finished last year. However the pre tournament favourites last year, the Blues, finished 12th. Thats the nature of this competition and it makes it very difficult to predict. The only thing that i am 99.95% sure of is that the Kings will finish last.

  7. i think you have it wrong!!although the stormers is a strong never say they dont have a chance!!on the day even the cheetahs will beat the stormers!!

    • On the contrary I did say the stormers have a chance. And yes as I said to one of the other guys here that the tournament is so strong that pre-tournament favourites does not always end up as being front runners. Only thing that I am 99.95% sure of is that the Kings will be wooden spoon winners.

      Also the Cheetahs has a good enough team to win anyone, even make the play-offs but a team like the stormers are very constant and like we saw last year their defence win them games.

  8. But for years now, WP have had arguably the best team on paper. The so called “Springbok Backline” and so forth. Maybe their Management must change. But just my opinion. They did manage to win the Currie Cup last year, but did The Sharks really give their 100% in that game? Sharks saved their worse game for the Final.

    Me still thinks Bulls and Sharks to beat them. Chiefs as well.

    • The Stormers have shown for two years now that its not the group phase that they struggle in. It is in the playoffs where they cant go into another gear.

      The Bulls have lost too many good players while their current goal scoring machine has lost his edge. The Chiefs have lost SBW and Taumololo and a few others and have not replaced them with big names.

      So if I think about it the Sharks is the only team that I (if I had to) would’ve bet on to win against the stormers.

      For the CC Final, the sharks were dominant for most of that game and we know that WP struggle to play catch up. But they came from behind and won that game. They were outplayed by a stronger and more physical WP team.

  9. Cheetahs team for the Lions game – still a strong side even though they re resting some key players but I think they’re going to struggle in the scrums:

    Hennie Daniller, Jannie Boshoff, JP Nel, Robert Ebersohn (k), Raymond Rhule, Francois Brummer, Pieter van Zyl, Boom Prinsloo, Tertius Daniller, Marnus Schoeman, Francois Uys, Lodewyk de Jager, Rossouw de Klerk, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Caylib Oosthuizen.

    Subs: Hercu Liebenberg, Trevor Nyakane, Ligtoring Landman, Waltie Vermeulen, Tewis de Bruyn, Barry Geel, Hansie Graaff.

    I see Martin Muller is out for about 3 months.

    • Muller is a big blow. He was my first choice nr.5. I have always rated Waltie Vermeulen, but he has yet to really break through.

      The team for saturday is actually quite strong, I will look forward to see how Ebersohn does at inside centre and the battle between Marnus Schoeman and Derick Minnie.

      What is interesting about that team is that there is no flanker replacement on the bench, two locks, I would then imagine that francois uys will move to the side of the scrum to accomodate both of the locks.

      You are right the scrums may be the only place that the cheetahs will struggle, however Caylib Oosthuizen did well for the lions last year when he played and Nyakane is also starting to get better (even though he is on the bench).

  10. Devan i think you’re making arguably the worst mistake of your life there. The Sharks played pretty well. Had they got their line out right… things would have been tougher for us. WP always knew getting the lead would be tough… as you know by now – no one can hold onto a lead like we do. chasing games aren’t what we’re the best at… but protecting a lead? #bestdefence #nuffsaid. Bulls will get beaten at Loftus, The Sharks game will be 50/50 and the Chiefs will not be the force they are now without Sonny and Taumalolo. They will come up short against us.

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