Super 14 Rugby

Super14 preview Week 7 Friday



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The Super14 picks up again on Friday and here we have a quick look at the matches coming up on Friday in Round Seven of the 2008 Super 14 starting with the Hurricanes vs Crusaders.


The Hurricanes have something of a reputation for stopping the Crusaders and many will be hoping that the Crusaders will be exposed this week. A quick look over the stats however indicates that the Crusaders will remain unbeaten this weekend.

The two teams have met 15 times and the Crusaders have won 11 times and the Hurricanes 3 (1draw). That stat points to another Crusaders victory but even more so is the fact that Crusaders have remained unbeaten this year and they have scored a bonus point in all but one of their campaign.

The Hurricanes lost their opening match and then remained unbeaten until their BYE which came last week. They have Nonu back and he has been the difference in many of their matches. The Canny Robbie Deans will know how this and will have worked a plan to neutralise him.

Leon MacDonald is back for the Crusaders which will create a more stable defence and as usual an excellent attacking platform.

The Hurricanes have the ability to beat the six time Super Rugby champions but it depends on whether they arrive with their full game. Even if they do it probably won’t be enough to stop the Canterbury Crusade.

Crusaders by 12

Friday March 28
Venue :
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees : Keith Brown (New Zealand), Josh Noonan (New Zealand)
TV Match Official : Kane McBride (New Zealand)
Reviewer/Perf. Auditor : Kim Eichmann (New Zealand)
Head-to-Head: Played 15, Crusaders 11, Hurricanes 3, Drawn 1
In Wellington: Played 6, Crusaders 4, Hurricanes 2
Last season: Round 12, April 20 2007: Crusaders 23-13 Hurricanes at Jade Stadium, Christchurch



15 Cory Jane, 14 Ma’a Nonu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Tamati Ellison, 11 Shannon Paku, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Rodney So’oialo (c), 7 Chris Masoe, 6 Jerry Collins, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Craig Clarke, 3 Neemia Tialata 2 Andrew Hore, 1 John Schwalger.

Reserves: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Tim Fairbrother, 18 Jeremy Thrush, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Tane Tu’ipulotu, 22 Hosea Gear.


15. Leon MacDonald, 14. Scott Hamilton , 13. Casey Laulala ,12. Tim Bateman ,11. Kade Poki , 10. Daniel Carter , 9. Andrew Ellis , 8. Mose Tuiali’i , 7. Richard McCaw (captain), 6. Kieran Read , 5. Ali Williams , 4. Brad Thorn , 3. Greg Somerville , 2. Corey Flynn ,1. Ben Franks

Reserves:16. Ti’i Paulo , 17. Wyatt Crockett ,18. Michael Paterson ,19. Nasi Manu ,20. Kahn Fotuali’i , 21. Caleb Ralph , 22. Sean Maitland.



The Cheetahs are having a seriously disappointing season. They are the Currie Cup champions but they look like they have lost all confidence and defensive abilities. This view is supported by the fact that they have the worst defensive record in the tournament so far.

The Waratahs will be looking for big improvements from last week when they conceding 28 points in the final 27 minutes of their Crusaders match. Coach McKenzie’s job appears to be on the line if they don’t perform over the next four weeks or so.

Expect Sam Norton-Knight to make an impact in his first start of the season but the Waratahs must not write off the Cheetahs ahead of the match because they have finished four of their Six matches within 7 and only the Blues when they were on fire managed to pull away from them.

Waratahs by 12+

Friday March 28
: Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees : Brent Murray (New Zealand), Damian Mitchelmore (Australia)
TV Match Official : George Ayoub (Australia)
Reviewer/Perf. Auditor : Wayne Erickson (Australia)
Head-to-Head: Played 3, Waratahs 2, Cheetahs 1
In Sydney: Played 2, Waratahs 2, Cheetahs 0
Last season: Round 3, February 17 2007: Cheetahs 30-26 Waratahs at Absa Park, Kimberley



1. Benn Robinson,2. Tatafu Polota-Nau ,3. Matt Dunning^ ,4. Dean Mumm ,5. Dan Vickerman ,6. Rocky Elsom ,7. Phil Waugh [c] ,8. Wycliff Palu ,9. Brett Sheehan ,10. Kurtley Beale ,11. Lote Tuqiri ,12. Tom Carter ,13. Ben Jacobs ,14. Lachie Turner ,15. Sam Norton-Knight
Reserves:16. Adam Freier,17. Al Baxter ,18. Will Caldwell,19. Beau Robinson,20. Josh Valentine,21. Daniel Halangahu,22. Rob Horne
^ 91st NSW Cap ‘ sixth highest all time


Hennie Daniller; Eddie Fredericks, Hendrik Meyer, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Tewis de Bruyn; Duanne Vermeulen, Darron Nel, Heinrich Brussow, David de Villiers, Rory Duncan (c), CJ van der Linde, Adriaan Strauss, Wian du Preez.



The Force are having their best ever season and as we said two weeks ago they are looking like contenders for the play offs. In 2007 they finished in seventh place 10 points behind the Semi finalists on 32. After Six rounds they have accumulated 19 points having played 5 matches away from home and they are currently sitting in fourth place.

It all looks very rosy for the Force but then a look at the stats shows that they have not beaten the Stormers at home in Perth. They have only played them once in Perth and that was in 2006 when the Force were not the Force they are today and on that occasion they only lost by one point (25-26).

Last week the Stormers lost in the last minute to a Blues team that was a fair way off it’s best without Nick Evans. That last minute loss will have hurt and coach Rassie Erasmus will need to have something special up his sleeve to stop the Force from continuing with their run.

Force by 12+

Friday March 28
Venue : Subiaco Oval, Perth
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees : Vinny Munro (New Zealand), Geoff Acton (Australia)
TV Match Official : Steve Leszczynski (Australia)
Reviewer/Perf. Auditor : Brendan McCormick (Australia)
Head-to-Head: Played 2, Force 1, Stormers 1
In Perth: Played 1, Stormers 1, Force 0
Last season: Round 2, February 10 2007: Force 22-3 Stormers at Newlands, Cape Town


1. Pek Cowan,2. Tai McIsaac,3. AJ Whalley,4. Tom Hockings,5. Nathan Sharpe (c),6. Scott Fava,7. David Pocock,8. Richard Brown,9. Chris O’Young,10. Matt Giteau (vc),11. Drew Mitchell,12. Scott Daruda,13. Ryan Cross,14. Scott Staniforth,15. Cameron Shepherd

Reserves:16. Luke Holmes,17. Troy Takiari,18. Sam Wykes,19. Tamaiti Horua,20. James Stannard,21. Lachlan MacKay,22. Nick Cummins.


Conrad Jantjes; Tonderai Chavhanga, Gcobani Bobo, Jean de Villiers (c), Sireli Naqelevuki; Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie; Luke Watson, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker, Ross Skeate, Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.

Reserves – Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Adriaan Fondse, Robbie Diack, Conrad Hoffmann, Gio Aplon, Tony Brown.


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