Super Rugby Saturday Round 14 Preview

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum

There are four rugby matches scheduled for Super Rugby Saturday this weekend. The Blues host the Chiefs in a New Zealand derby, The Reds and the Waratahs face off at the Suncorp, the Stormers have a tough task when they host the Crusaders, and the Lions host the Highlanders at the Newlands stadium. Check out our full preview below. 




Blues v Chiefs
09h35
Eden Park

The Blues can reclaim fourth position on the New Zealand conference with a win over the Blues at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Aucklander's have made a marked improvement in 2019 after perennially under-performing in recent years. They come off the back of a 12-22 home loss to the Hurricanes but will feel confident considering the Chiefs’ wayward form this season.

The Chiefs narrowly prevailed 33-29 in April’s reverse clash after a tense encounter at the FMG Stadium. Being New Zealand’s two lowest sides, the loser may well go on to finish bottom of the conference with just two-points separating the two at this stage. The hosts, though, do have a game in hand.

The men from Waikato may be boosted by the return of All Black flanker Sam Cane, who could make his first appearance since October after breaking a bone in his neck during last year’s Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld.

Playing at home, the Blues should sneak what is sure to be another tight one at Eden Park.
Verdict: Blues by five or more.

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Reds v Waratahs
11h45
Suncorp Stadium

After both suffering narrow away losses last week, the Reds and Waratahs will be determined to get back to winning ways when they clash on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

The hosts are one-point and one place above the Tahs on the Australia conference, occupying third. While they, much like most of their compatriots, have endured some haphazard form this season, derbies are always a personal affair. They will look to lift themselves for what could end up being a very important encounter indeed.

The Tahs came out on top in March by 28-17 and will use that result to drive them forward. They were unlucky not to come away from Johannesburg with a win last week; eventually going down by one-point in a tight 28-29 loss.

The visitors will look to channel their frustration from their defeat to the Lions into a positive performance this weekend. The Reds’ shaky D may just be their undoing at home.
Verdict: Waratahs by seven or more.

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Lions v Highlanders
15h05
Emirates Airline Park

The Lions will look to follow up their slender win over the Waratahs with victory against the Highlanders in Johannesburg on the weekend.

For all their troubles this season, Swys de Bruin’s charges are still in contention for a playoff berth. The three-time runners-up sit just three-points behind the SA conference-leading Sharks with three home games still to play.

That said, the Highlanders will offer up staunch opposition on Saturday. Aaron Mauger’s men have won three and drawn one of their last four as they continue to keep pace with the likes of the Bulls, Rebels and Jaguares in pursuit of a playoff place.

The Kiwi side look to be hitting their straps at the right time and could come away from Emirates Airline Park with an invaluable win. The Lions’ inconsistency may come back to bite them.
Verdict: Highlanders by six or more.

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Stormers v Crusaders
17h15
Newlands Stadium

The Crusaders should be too strong for the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.

Unless they put on a Shark-like display at home, odds are that Siya Kolisi’s side will succumb to the might of the back-to-back defending champions this weekend.

The men in red put seven tries past the Bulls in Pretoria last Friday and considering the Stormer’s poor run in 2019, they shouldn’t be too confident.

In spite of their bye, the Stormers are in danger of being run off their feet at Newlands. They would do well to pay particular attention to Sevu Reece following the 22-year-old’s Loftus hattrick. However, this would only give the Crusaders’ other gamebreakers more time and space on the ball.

It could be a long afternoon for Cape-based supporters.
Verdict: Crusaders by 21-points or more.



Written by Shaun Goosen

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