Super Rugby Predictions: Round 9

Super Rugby Predictions: Round 9

Rugby pundit Brenden Nel had one of his more forgettable weeks in Round 8, with a less than flattering return of 4/7 but hopes to redeem himself again this week.

Super Rugby

Rugby pundit Brenden Nel had one of his more forgettable weeks in Round 8, with a less than flattering return of 4/7.

 Not like Brenden, but he did gamble on the Kings nicking an away win over the Reds in Brisbane, the Bulls to go down to the Jaguares and nobody could hold it against him for calling a Brumbies victory over the battling Rebels.

 Let’s isolate the fixtures for a moment and focus on the South African contenders.

 The Jaguares wrap up their road trip against the Lions at Emirates Airlines Park on Friday evening (kick-off at 19h00) but based on their results on the road, one can't help predicting that they will be on the wrong end of the scoreboard again.

 The Lions are oozing confidence following their all-conquering visit to Newlands last week and at best, if the Argentine visitors play out of their socks and match the Lions physically, they could just board their flight home with a bonus point in the bag.

After another encouraging showing against the Reds, the Kings also have a Friday evening appointment with the Waratahs in Sydney and providing they start plugging the defensive leaks against an attack-minded Tah's outfit on their home patch, the Nelson Mandela Bay team may prove to be far more competitive.

From a South African perspective we would all love to be wrong on this one, but one cannot help backing a Waratahs win, but nobody should anticipate a stroll for the hot and cold-blowing Aussie side.

The under-fire Rebels, off the back of a confidence-boosting win over the Brumbies and unsure of their future in the southern hemisphere's showcase series, visit Kings Park on Saturday for a clash against a Sharks side refreshed from a bye week.

While there were a few matches that turned the form books upside down last week, the Sharks should have too much in their cupboard for the Melbourne side.

From a South African perspective, it doesn't get any more important perhaps than the Bulls-Cheetahs derby at Loftus Versveld on Saturday afternoon (Kick-off 5.15 pm).

Both sides haven't exactly sparked this term and owe their fans a decent performance.

The Bulls, despite still being on the back foot after a disastrous bout of away games, are a different proposition at their Loftus Kraal, but much like the Rebels and Force in Australia, lock horns with a Cheetahs team under siege, unsure of their immediate future in the competition and with a point to prove.

Nel, who backed the Jaguares last week -- a pretty fair call based on form it has to be said -- feels the Bulls are building a bit of momentum and fancies them to overturn their early season defeat to Franco Smith's side in Bloemfontein.

The Stormers, brought down to earth by the Lions last week, face arguably the biggest challenge of their season so far when they face the rampant, unbeaten Crusaders in Christchurch (09h35 SA time Saturday).

We share the opinion that their stumble to the Lions may not have been such a bad thing and left Robbie Fleck's men as well as their passionate supporters, who were gloating when they downed New Zealand heavyweights, the Chiefs, more grounded.

Hopefully the Stormers, without captain Siya Kolisi for their tour opener, have learned from last week's defeat and can regain the kind of intensity that put them on the right side of the score line against the Chiefs the previous week.

 Another tough call -- Marginal victory to the home side -- Go on Stormers -- prove us wrong!

 Other matches:

 Hurricanes vs Brumbies (Friday 09h35 SA time) -- Brenden points out that the Australian conference is in dire trouble at present and cannot llok much beyond a comfortable triumph to the defending champions.


Highlanders vs Sunwolves (Saturday 07h15 SA time) -- While the Japnese side remain competiive at times, their form remains extremely patchy and one cannot see them posing a threat to the New Zealanders.

 Watch Brenden's predictions here: 

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