Vodacom Super Rugby Semi-finals and promotion/relegation coming up
The home stretch of Vodacom Super Rugby 2013 has arrived. Next week this time we will know which two teams are to contest the final. We will also be a step closer to knowing who will be the 5th South African team to compete in the 2014 competition.
First up this weekend will be the promotion/relegation game between the Southern Kings and the Lions at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Kick-off is Friday night at19:00 SA time. Saturday will see the Chiefs take on the Crusaders at 9:35 SA time in Hamilton at the Waikato Stadium. At 17:05 SA time the Bulls will host the Brumbies at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. All 3 games promises to be entertaining.
Southern Kings v Lions (promotion/relegation)
This game is one that is as important as the semi-finals on Saturday. This is to decide who will play in next year’s competition. The Kings had an impressive start to their Super Rugby history, but did not do much better than the Lions did last year. They do however have a tast for it now and would want to remain in the big leagues. They have struggled to win over the last couple of weeks and injuries to key players may play a big role in defending their status.
The Lions are hungry to regain entry into the Southern Hemisphere’s top competition. They have had a run of victories going into the play-off games, but it has been to weaker opposition. They are struggling with injuries as well and have lost key players to other teams. Still it will come down to who wants it most. Will it be the Kings that are already in the competition or the Lions trying to get back in?
Prediction: The Kings to win a tight contest.
Chiefs v Crusaders (semi-final 1)
Three weeks ago these two teams played each other and the Crusaders gave the Chiefs a proper hiding. This is however a semi-final. The Crusaders are on the up and have put in three good performances in the last 3 weeks. Winning with ease and not conceding easy points.
The Chiefs on their part has been up and down in their last couple of encounters. Home ground advantage is on their side but that doesn’t mean a lot against the Crusaders. They will have to be on top form to beat the Crusaders and even then it will be difficult.
Prediction: Crusaders to win.
Bulls v Brumbies
The Bulls are currently suffering with some injuries and their last game against the Stormers highlighted their weeaknesses. They will have the advantage of not having to travel, but that doesn’t say much. A clinical display will be needed by them.
The Brumbies only just beat the Cheetahs in a hard fought play-off. They now have to travel and will hope that the Bulls injury misery continues. I just can’t see them beating the Bulls.
Prediction: Bulls to win.
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