Super Rugby Round 5 is another full round featuring seven matches with only one local derby, but the Brumbies vs Waratahs match is sure to be a cracker! Otherwise there are teams scattered all over the South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, including two South African teams preparing themselves to play in a tropical cyclone in New Zealand. The Blues are in South Africa, while the Force will be glad they are playing indoors in Dunedin. The Crusaders head to Melbourne.
The Bulls have the bye this round, but this shouldn’t affect players of fantasy rugby games too much, although it leaves managers with plenty of returning players to choose from with the Chiefs, Highlanders and Waratahs back in action.
It is also interesting to note that some of the previously strong teams have struggled in Super Rugby 2014, making it difficult to know if you should pick on form or reputation. Teams like the Bulls, Hurricanes, Stormers and Crusaders are not as strong as they used to be, while the Sharks and Waratahs have started well in 2014.
For Super Rugby Round 5 Team Lists go to
Chiefs vs Stormers
How apt that the Stormers could find themselves playing in Tropical Cyclone Lusi in Hamilton on Friday night against the Super Rugby champions. It all depends when it hits, but these conditions could affect the game between these two teams have who have shown plenty of defence, but not much on attack in 2014. The Chiefs welcome back some reinforcements after their bye week who will help, while expect a bruising battle up-front. The Stormers still have their usual hooker Deon Fourie as part of a quality back-row while they have reinforcements in their front row. It will be interesting to see if the return of Gareth Anscombe and the inclusion of the exciting Tom Marshall in the midfield can spark the home team into scoring some tries. One thing is for sure, Liam Messam will be leading that Chiefs forward pack by example on Friday night and it probably won’t be a high scoring game with the lead up being about the Stormers questioning illegal tactics by the Chiefs and Crusaders.
My pick – Chiefs
Players to watch in www.testrugby.com – Liam Messam will be up for the challenge against the Stormers, while Aaron Cruden is always a good option for the Chiefs. There are some bargains in this game with young Tasman Makos talents Liam Squire, James Lowe and Tom Marshall good value after outstanding ITM Cup form last season. Jean De Villiers, Tiaan Liebenburg, Deon Fourie and Duane Vermeulen are good points-scorers for the Stormers while Damian De Allende is a bargain. Don’t expect a high scoring game!
Rebels vs Crusaders
The Crusaders are hot favourites to beat the Rebels in Melbourne, but I wonder if the bookies are being a bit generous here. The Rebels were great pre-season and in their opening round win over the Cheetahs, but plenty will depend on if they can replicate their form from Round 3 or their form from Round 4 which saw them get hammered by the Force in Perth? The Crusaders have hardly set the world on fire with two losses and a narrow win. They have tinkered with their backline again in an attempt to get some fluidity out of it finally. The Crusaders have a great pack, but the Rebels are a tough side to beat at home.
My pick – Rebels
Players to watch – Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham is always dangerous in www.testrugby.com for the Rebels, while his opposite, Kieran Read is a rather handy player himself to put it lightly. Pat Leafa and Tom English are bargains for the Rebels while the Crusaders have some quality players in Read, Sam Whitelock and Ryan Crotty.
Hurricanes vs Cheetahs
Neither of these two teams have set the competition alight in 2014. The Hurricanes haven’t won a game while the Cheetahs haven’t done much better. It is hard to know how the Hurricanes will go if there is a cyclone hitting New Zealand, but these teams both need a win to get their campaigns back on track. This should be a high scoring game given how these teams love to attack, even if conditions aren’t ideal. Conrad Smith’s 100th cap should be enough to inspire the home team.
My pick – Hurricanes
Players to watch – Dane Coles has been playing well in www.testrugby.com while the Hurricanes backs will fancy their chances of scoring some tries, so Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett and Conrad Smith are options. Keep your eye on Ardie Savea. The Cheetahs have their own fantasy studs in Willie Le Roux, Adriaan Strauss, Francois Venter, Philip Van Der Walt and the bargain priced Boom Prinsloo are great options.
Who are you picking to win Super 15 Rugby Round 5 matches?
In the Super Rugby Tips SuperBru conference, can Olec and dave continue their great form to catch Rocky at the top of the table?