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Super Rugby Unlocked: Round 2 [16 - 17 October 2020]

TRF_heineken

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Friday, 16 October 2020


Venue: Toyota Stadium
Time: 19:00 CAT (SA, GMT+2)

Teams

Toyota Cheetahs:
Clayton Blommetjies, Malcolm Jaer, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Frans Steyn, Rosko Specman, Tian Schoeman, Ruan Pienaar (captain); Jasper Wiese, Junior Pokomela, Andisa Ntsila, Walt Steenkamp, Carl Wegner, Luan de Bruin, Reinach Venter, Charles Marais.

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Boan Venter, Erich de Jager, JP Du Preez, Aidon Daivd, Chris Massyn, Tian Meyer, William Small-Smith


Vodacom Bulls: Gio Aplon; David Kriel, Cornal Hendricks, Clinton Swart, Jade Stighling; Morné Steyn, Embrose Papier; Duane Vermeulen (Captain), Arno Botha, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements Joe van Zyl, Gerhard Steenekamp, Mornay Smith, Sintu Manjezi, Nizaam Carr, Ivan van Zyl, Chris Smith, Stedman Gans.

Saturday, 17 October 2020



Venue: Tafel Lager Park
Time: 16:30 CAT (SA, GMT+2)




Venue: DHL Newlands
Time: 19:00 CAT (SA, GMT+2)
 
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Tx, Heineken.

Bulls by 3, Griquas by 8, Stormers by 10.

My considerations are that the Bulls will come into their match well aware of the danger posed by a bouyant Free State team. The Bulls will just have more in the pack and the Cheetahs won't have the clean possession they had vs the Pumas. Griquas the better side and at home while I believe the Lions will leak a lot of scrum penalties* with Sadie out which will tell in the end.

*With my Stormers prediction I am of course making the HUGE assumption that Willemse will get near a 67% conversion rate at goal.
 

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Cheetahs ,Griquas and Stormers for this round.
 

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Seeing Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar playing for the Cheetahs is very nice to see.
 

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Seeing Francois Steyn and Ruan Pienaar playing for the Cheetahs is very nice to see.
Agreed. Reminds me a bit of that Cheetahs backrow of 6 Brussow, 7 Smith, 8 Vermeulen which is still IMO the best provincial backrow ever. They were flirting with Bismarck if I'm not mistaken. Could be a reunion. Pity they couldn't keep hold of Joseph Dweba at hooker though. Man was woelig.
 

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Cheetahs, Griquas and Stormers for this round.

^^My thoughts exactly.^^ Too bad ESPN+ doesn't carry Super Rugby Unlocked. At least I can see the highlights afterwards on the Super Rugby website. They do a good job.
 

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Tx, Heineken.

Bulls by 3, Griquas by 8, Stormers by 10.

My considerations are that the Bulls will come into their match well aware of the danger posed by a bouyant Free State team. The Bulls will just have more in the pack and the Cheetahs won't have the clean possession they had vs the Pumas. Griquas the better side and at home while I believe the Lions will leak a lot of scrum penalties* with Sadie out which will tell in the end.

*With my Stormers prediction I am of course making the HUGE assumption that Willemse will get near a 67% conversion rate at goal.

My assumption is that Duane Vermeulen will play this match for the Bulls, and hopefully partner up with Arno Botha and Marco Van Staden. I also hope Lizo Gqoboka and Trevor Nyakane start.

As for the backline, I'm happy with the players that started off against Griquas. It was more an issue of execution. Maybe Clinton Swart can have a go too. And it would be a really battle if Kurt-lee Arendse can play against Roscoe Specman
 

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Thats to bad . Rugby has always done terrible in showcasing the game and in some respects wish we promoted the game like USA sports(big NFL fan).
 

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TRF_heineken

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5 changes to the Bulls team that played the Griquas last week. With Duane Vermeulen starting at 8 in place of Agaba. Cornal Hendricks moves to 13 with Clinton Swart taking the 12 spot. And Jade Stighling takes Travis Ishmaiel's spot. Johan Grobbelaar comes in at hooker in place of Corniel Els.

This looks a lot more like the first choice 15 for the Bulls. Which shows they are taking this crunch match very seriously. I would also not be surprised if players in Springbok contention stays on the pitch a little longer than normal, to push their fitness levels up a bit.
 

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5 changes to the Bulls team that played the Griquas last week. With Duane Vermeulen starting at 8 in place of Agaba. Cornal Hendricks moves to 13 with Clinton Swart taking the 12 spot. And Jade Stighling takes Travis Ishmaiel's spot. Johan Grobbelaar comes in at hooker in place of Corniel Els.

This looks a lot more like the first choice 15 for the Bulls. Which shows they are taking this crunch match very seriously. I would also not be surprised if players in Springbok contention stays on the pitch a little longer than normal, to push their fitness levels up a bit.
I am a bit unconvinced with the line up for the cheetahs. I think it would have been better to perhaps start Manjezi in Nortjé's place on lock to ensure that we grind them down a bit more as Manjezi is more physical and imposing than Nortjé. And then we can bring on Nortjé in the second half if the game becomes less tight, to play the role of a Francois Mostert with his work rate.

I am also worried about our midfield combo as Hendricks hasn't really impressed me thus far. It wil be interesting to see the match up between Clinton Swart and Frans Steyn.

I hope Papier can have a really good game, but I think a combo of Chris Smith and Papier would've been more potent. Unfortunately, Morné Steyn does not really offer anything on attack, but I hope he can also have a better game than he did against Griquas.

In the end, the biggest threat is the Cheetahs backline. If we can keep the ball away from them for long enough periods then they won't run us of our feet from the get go.

Our defense will be tested immensely, so I am interested to see how our defensive patterns can adapt.
 

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I am a bit unconvinced with the line up for the cheetahs. I think it would have been better to perhaps start Manjezi in Nortjé's place on lock to ensure that we grind them down a bit more as Manjezi is more physical and imposing than Nortjé. And then we can bring on Nortjé in the second half if the game becomes less tight, to play the role of a Francois Mostert with his work rate.

I am also worried about our midfield combo as Hendricks hasn't really impressed me thus far. It wil be interesting to see the match up between Clinton Swart and Frans Steyn.

I hope Papier can have a really good game, but I think a combo of Chris Smith and Papier would've been more potent. Unfortunately, Morné Steyn does not really offer anything on attack, but I hope he can also have a better game than he did against Griquas.

In the end, the biggest threat is the Cheetahs backline. If we can keep the ball away from them for long enough periods then they won't run us of our feet from the get go.

Our defense will be tested immensely, so I am interested to see how our defensive patterns can adapt.
I also would've gone with Manjezi ahead of Nortje. Although Jenkins will take the role of enforcer at the locks. And sometimes it's better to have a guy like Nortje to partner up with an enforcer. Nortje does give us an advantage at lineouts with his height, and he has been good at the rucks and tackling.

I disagree with you on Hendricks and Steyn though. Hendricks has especially impressed me with his move to centre, and the more he plays there, the better he gets. Steyn was pre-lockdown probably in his best form in a very long time, and he has shown he still has that last week. Plus he put in a few monster tackles last week, which reminded me of his days when he played 12 when he started out at the Bulls.

With Papier Starting, I hope we will play a bit faster with the backline, and maybe have a bit more short passes to the forwards, especially with Duane, Botha and Eskom starting out.

The Bulls forwards should be the difference between the 2 sides.
 

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Cheetahs to win by a margin
Griquas to win slightly
Lions to beat the Stormers with Jantjies converting a penalty on the 80 the minute to unlevel the scores
 

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I also would've gone with Manjezi ahead of Nortje. Although Jenkins will take the role of enforcer at the locks. And sometimes it's better to have a guy like Nortje to partner up with an enforcer. Nortje does give us an advantage at lineouts with his height, and he has been good at the rucks and tackling.

I disagree with you on Hendricks and Steyn though. Hendricks has especially impressed me with his move to centre, and the more he plays there, the better he gets. Steyn was pre-lockdown probably in his best form in a very long time, and he has shown he still has that last week. Plus he put in a few monster tackles last week, which reminded me of his days when he played 12 when he started out at the Bulls.

With Papier Starting, I hope we will play a bit faster with the backline, and maybe have a bit more short passes to the forwards, especially with Duane, Botha and Eskom starting out.

The Bulls forwards should be the difference between the 2 sides.
I would like to know what you think Hendricks and Steyn did good against Griquas?

Steyn and Hendricks were good against the Sharks. Steyn played the situations almost to perfection, and it started with that clever kick-off which immediately put the Sharks under pressure in their 22. Hendricks was good in the sense that he made space for Gans and offloaded at the right times. One perfect draw and pass leading to Arendse's 2nd try.

But in the Griquas game it was the complete opposite. Steyn's kicking was misfiring by his own standards (missed the first penalty which he would nornally slot easily and missed a penalty kick to touch). I also only saw one monster hit from him on the 9 of Griquas (which was touch and go for being a late tackle), but otherwise he was always going backwards whenever ball carriers ran on him. In terms of attack, he offered nothing and he also couldn't get the backline going.

This is where Hendricks also comes in. Jake White mentioned that the reason the attack wasn't working in the 1st half was because the Bulls kept playing from side to side and weren't direct. Hendricks was mostly the reason for this I believe as he mostly ran sideways and cramped up Stedman Gans. He also passed a tad too late most of the times which put extra pressure on Gans. Morné again passed way too early which gave the Griquas defence enough time to rush up and shut the space down. Hendricks also (again) lost the ball while going over for a try.

I know I might come across as a very critical Bulls supporter, but I really want them to finally get back up to where they were. Therefore, I choose to look at the games a bit more critically as I believe with Jake White at the helm and the players we have, our standards should be higher.

Nonetheless, I will be shouting my lungs out and the supporting the guys on Friday !
 

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I would like to know what you think Hendricks and Steyn did good against Griquas?

Steyn and Hendricks were good against the Sharks. Steyn played the situations almost to perfection, and it started with that clever kick-off which immediately put the Sharks under pressure in their 22. Hendricks was good in the sense that he made space for Gans and offloaded at the right times. One perfect draw and pass leading to Arendse's 2nd try.

But in the Griquas game it was the complete opposite. Steyn's kicking was misfiring by his own standards (missed the first penalty which he would nornally slot easily and missed a penalty kick to touch). I also only saw one monster hit from him on the 9 of Griquas (which was touch and go for being a late tackle), but otherwise he was always going backwards whenever ball carriers ran on him. In terms of attack, he offered nothing and he also couldn't get the backline going.

This is where Hendricks also comes in. Jake White mentioned that the reason the attack wasn't working in the 1st half was because the Bulls kept playing from side to side and weren't direct. Hendricks was mostly the reason for this I believe as he mostly ran sideways and cramped up Stedman Gans. He also passed a tad too late most of the times which put extra pressure on Gans. Morné again passed way too early which gave the Griquas defence enough time to rush up and shut the space down. Hendricks also (again) lost the ball while going over for a try.

I know I might come across as a very critical Bulls supporter, but I really want them to finally get back up to where they were. Therefore, I choose to look at the games a bit more critically as I believe with Jake White at the helm and the players we have, our standards should be higher.

Nonetheless, I will be shouting my lungs out and the supporting the guys on Friday !

I think more credit has to go to Griquas in this case. The reason why the Bulls played side to side was because the Griquas defence rushed them so well, which reminded me a bit of the Japan team's rush defence.

They might not have been on top of their game against Griquas, well as much as you would've wanted them to be, but they were the 2 backline players with the least amount of errors on the day. Gans, Ishmaiel and Aplon made a mess of posession, and either knocked on or threw the ball to nobody to keep it alive. They also got over the advantage line, only to have the ball turned over as there were no support, granted, I think this was more the forwards fault than theirs.

But I wouldn't be so overcritical of the guys in their first competitive match after being off the pitch for more than 5 months. Something that only happens to these guys in past when they had a serious injury.
 

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I think more credit has to go to Griquas in this case. The reason why the Bulls played side to side was because the Griquas defence rushed them so well, which reminded me a bit of the Japan team's rush defence.

They might not have been on top of their game against Griquas, well as much as you would've wanted them to be, but they were the 2 backline players with the least amount of errors on the day. Gans, Ishmaiel and Aplon made a mess of posession, and either knocked on or threw the ball to nobody to keep it alive. They also got over the advantage line, only to have the ball turned over as there were no support, granted, I think this was more the forwards fault than theirs.

But I wouldn't be so overcritical of the guys in their first competitive match after being off the pitch for more than 5 months. Something that only happens to these guys in past when they had a serious injury.
Yes, Griquas played exceptionally well. It was almost if their last game wasn't a year ago

Let's see what the Bulls can do tomorrow !
 

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Hmm. With the team sheets out I am a little less certain of a WP win. That said there was enough evidence in our win over the Lions in the warm ups to have me still believe we have their number especially at home. I mean, surely Willemse will be able to get half his kicks over?!
 

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Hmm. With the team sheets out I am a little less certain of a WP win. That said there was enough evidence in our win over the Lions in the warm ups to have me still believe we have their number especially at home. I mean, surely Willemse will be able to get half his kicks over?!

The Lions' pack will need to stand up to the Stormers pack, and the scrums should be an area the Stormers should target, especially with Carlu Sadie being out injured.

I'm actually hoping Jaco Kriel gets some of his old Lions form back.
 

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The Lions' pack will need to stand up to the Stormers pack, and the scrums should be an area the Stormers should target, especially with Carlu Sadie being out injured.

I'm actually hoping Jaco Kriel gets some of his old Lions form back.

I had the same ideas about an expected dominant Stormers pack, especially at the coast. I do see however Carlu Sadie is listed as playing (unless I looked in the wrong place). Should be interesting to have that battle that dominated the warm up game IMO reignited.

I am missing a few guys for us in the backline (and of course any team will miss a fit and firing PSDT) but I still feel we will have to much for them up front and should edge this one unless the Lions get a few lekker bounces/calls and Willemse is hooribly off the mark with his shots at goal. Oddly I see the Bulls as being in the same boat as the Sotmers in that both sides will rely on dominant packs.
 
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