Thursday, May 2, 2019

Super Rugby Round 12 - Preview

Super Rugby Round 12: Preview 5.3-5.4

Crusaders are out to a thirteen-point lead in the overall standings with New Zealand number two, Hurricanes, a more than a bonus-point victory behind Canterbury’s Finest at minus seven tps, though Hurricanes are better than a bonus-point in front of either other conference leader, Sharks, whom Crusaders host this weekend, or Rebels, who are in Wellington v ‘Canes. 

And not to say that were this a horse race the Crusaders (and probably ‘Canes as well) jockey(s) would already be showered and drinking in the clubhouse while the field is yet contesting placement and position on the track, but not far off that scenario with the real race of 2019 not to begin for another 120 days or so in Japan.

Friday, 5.3:
               Crusaders (39) v (26) Sharks at the AMI, Christchurch - 1:35am MST: visitors looked sharp in victory last week in Oz, but will be facing a host whose been mowing down opposition with comprehension; Durbanites will need to contain the many-faceted home team patterns of long and short rushes from breakdown and the magic of their offloading skill; it will not serve the travelers to get in a kicking game with their hosts on the day; clear and low 50s with a bit of breeze;

               Reds (18) v (11) Sunwolves at Suncorp, Brisbane - 4am MST: home team must look at this one as a means of getting back into the thick of the conference race with victory for the three Australian clubs in front of them by no means assured (see above); travelers will be experimenting as they’ve really naught on the table after this year and that may prove issue and complication for their hosts this day; cloudy and 70, no wind, way outside shot at rain;

               Hurricanes (32) v (24) Rebels at Westpac, Wellington: visitors have dropped their last two while ‘Canes are on a three-happy run; a road win could very well reinstate Rebels into first in the conference should ‘Tahs fail earlier today on the South Island; clear and low 50s on the north side of the Cook Strait as well, really about as fine conditions as there are for a match;
Saturday, 5.4:
                Highlanders (23) v (17) Chiefs at Forsyth Barr, Dunedin - 1:35am MST: should visitors find a way to win sans McKenzie, they’ll be into the mix, though a loss could spell doom for their 2019 campaign; homeboys just into the playoff frame now and will like to remain there with the win; cloudy in the upper 50s with a bit of northwind;

               Brumbies (20) v (20) Blues at GIO, Canberra - 3:45am MST: both clubs just off the extra time pace now; winner could see that elite group; high 50s in the Capital, little wind, no rain;

               Bulls (24) v (20) Waratahs at Loftus Versfeld, Johannesburg - 7:05am MST: homeys on an L-W-L-W-L run in their last handful and are due for a W; victory for the travelers could mean first place in the conference at the end of the day; it’ll be pushing 80⁰ for the derby, clear and no real breeze;
               Jaguares (23) v (23) Stormers at José Amalfitani, Buenos Aires - 1:40pm MST: both clubs behind the playoff pace by a Stormers single table point; upper 60s, little wind with cloud cover and a shot at rain;
Lions on the bye

Overall Table

Conference Tables

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