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I know after last week's drubbing by the Bulls everyone will be eager to write off the Cheetahs... but I think you'll be making a mistake. I know the Cheetahs are much better than that (and can certainly defend better than that), so I'm backing them to bounce back and beat the Brumbies this week.
The Waratahs did well to finish off a bumbling Rebels team, but the Highlanders have been one of the most impressive teams of the tournament so far. They beat the Crusaders at this maginificent new cauldron last week, so I'm backing them to get a win against the 'Tahs too.
The Lions have picked a strong line-up and will show improvement, but they've also shown signs of immaturity... wheras the Sharks looked very focussed at Newlands last week. Unlike previous years I don't think the Sharks' losses had anything to do with a lack of attitude... So with Alberts and Whitehead back, I think things will finally fall into place for them at home.
Which Blues team will rock up? If they play like they played against the Crusaders, they'll smash the Bulls... but if they play like they did last week, they'll get smashed by the Bulls. Two essential things if they want to win this game:
1. TAKE THEM ON UP FRONT. The Blues have a strong scrum - if they can put pressure on the Bulls here (and at rucks), half the battle will be won, because it's the foundation of the Bulls game. Hougaard (their best player) is also not there, so this will also put pressure on Vermaak.
2. AVOID LINEOUTS! The Bulls WILL target these - even on the Blues' throws - and WILL win most of them... and WILL start driving. The Blues should take away this advantage by using quick throw-ins, or selecting scrums or quick taps for penalties if they can't kick. Their skillful, dangerous backs are their biggest weapon... So take the ball away from the Bulls' fatties and give it to your backs!
Posted 09:36 09th March 2012
|All times are local|
|Friday , June 28|
|Chiefs vs Hurricanes||08:35|
|Saturday , June 29|
|Highlanders vs Crusaders||08:35|
|Sharks vs Blues||14:00|
|Bulls vs Southern Kings||16:05|
|Stormers vs Cheetahs||18:10|
|Friday , July 5|
|Crusaders vs Chiefs||08:35|
|Saturday , July 6|
|Hurricanes vs Highlanders||08:35|
|Cheetahs vs Blues||14:00|
|Southern Kings vs Stormers||16:05|
|Bulls vs Sharks||18:10|
|More Super Rugby fixtures|
|All times are local|
|Sunday , June 9|
|Western Force 13 - 28 Waratahs|
|Friday , June 7|
|Brumbies 39 - 17 Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday , June 1|
|Highlanders 38 - 28 Blues|
|Reds 33 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
|Stormers 19 - 11 Southern Kings|
|Cheetahs 25 - 30 Bulls|
|Friday , May 31|
|Crusaders 23 - 22 Waratahs|
|Brumbies 30 - 23 Hurricanes|
|Saturday , May 25|
|Blues 13 - 20 Brumbies|
|Western Force 19 - 18 Highlanders|
|More Super Rugby results|