Well tomorrow is the first semi-final game of the Super 15. It has been one hell of a season. It has been gruelling and closely fought. One of the closest competitions I can remember.
Chiefs vs. Crusaders – Hamilton (Fri 09:35am)
Chiefs: 15 Robbie Robinson, 14 Tim Nanai-Williams, 13 Andrew Horrell, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Kane Thompson, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Mahonri Schwalger, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Ben Afeaki, 18 Michael Fitzgerald, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Brendon Leonard, 21 Jackson Willison, 22 Lelia Masaga.
The Chiefs face the Crusaders tomorrow morning. In my opinion the Crusaders should win this battle. I know the Chiefs have Sonny and Cruden playing some excellent rugby, but the fact is that the Crusaders know how to win semis. That coupled with the fact that they don’t have to travel 22000km’s and that they have some momentum going in, should tip the scales in their favour. It will be a close battle… or should be at least, but the Crusaders should take it by 5 or more.
Stormers vs. Sharks – Newlands (Sat 17:00pm)
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Deon Fourie, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Don Armand, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
This is another of those tight games you wouldn’t want to put money on. The Sharks have come off an excellent win against the Reds. Their forwards dominated and their backs played like they have learnt their trade inNew Zealand. The return of all their first choice forwards has really helped the Sharks in the latter part of the tournament. Lambie and Jordaan won’t make the game. Lambie’s loss won’t be felt that badly since Ludik has found some excellent form. However, Jordaan’s loss might be the Stormers gain. Bosman is not a player that instils any confidence in his play, and with the memory still fresh of how Jean schooled him last year it might have a negative impact on his play. Plus I think overall he is just a mediocre player at best. The Stormers have had to endure another season of heavy losses but somehow still managed to top the table, the mark of any quality side. The break might not have been such a good thing since the Sharks head into the match with momentum, on the other hand they just had to travel 22000km’s. I expect the Stormers to just squeak through by 3 point or more.