March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized
The Cheetahs and the Bulls recorded good victories against Kiwi opposition over the weekend and this could translate to good tours down under.
The Cheetahs, often their own worst enemies, put together a massive defensive display to beat the Highlanders and when one look at the tackle stats it becomes clear just how great an effort it was. They attempted a total of 273 tackles, compared to only 80 by the Clan, and although many tackles were missed (41) they still made a massive 220 tackles.
The Cheetahs will go into their remaining games against the Waratahs and the Force with confidence and, unless they shoot themselves in the foot, could come away from tour with three wins and their best result ever.
The Waratahs are in deep trouble. Not only are they plagued by injuries there is also an air of uncertainty to their game, possibly aggravated by the fact that 29 of their players will be off contract by the end of the season, and they are struggling to put a good game together. For the Cheetahs they are ripe for the picking.
And the Force, well, they lost to the Kings – enough said.
The Bulls, on the other hand, face a tougher task with three games of their tour remaining, against the Crusaders, the Reds and the Brumbies.
Coming off an unexpected win over the Blues, unexpected by most people anyway, after playing an unfamiliar brand of rugby, a running came that was totally unexpected by the Kiwis they next face the Crusaders.
Don’t be fooled by the Crusaders oh from two results so far. In their game against the Canes they scored four tries to two and only indiscipline and Beauden Barrett’s boot prevented a win. And the Bulls and the Crusaders are old foes so one can expect a tough and brutal game but the Bulls definitely have a good chance to come away with the spoils.
The Reds haven’t really convinced so far scraping through wins but, apart from their game against the Brumbies, they have been winning and the little genius, Will Genia, will get his first run against the Force this weekend, a week before they face the Bulls, and it has been obvious so far the Quade Cooper and the Reds just aren’t the same without him.
The Bulls’ last match on tour is against the Brumbies and they have looked clinical and polished in their performances so far but they have only played against Aussie opposition and we’ll only know this weekend how good they are when they play the Sharks. It is t the Bulls advantage that they take on the Brumbies a week after they return from their trip to South Africa when they will have the same jetlag problems the Saffer teams have first game up.
The Bulls can come away from the tour with a clean sweep but that’s unlikely although I wouldn’t bet against three from four.