Super 14 Preview Week 3 Part 2


The Super 14 in round three is spread right across the weekend as there are matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Saturday which often has five matches has just four this weekend and Sunday has one.


Here we a have a quick look at Saturday’s matches and Sunday’s one.


 

Chiefs vs Sharks

The Chiefs start every year looking to hit the ground running and every year it’s seems we only start taking them really seriously as play off contenders at the end when they have to win their remaining four or five matches.


This year they played extra warm up matches ahead of the Super 14 but it has done little to turn the fortunes around. They have lost both of their opening matches but admittedly both of those were played away from home.


Time is running out for the Chiefs to get started and it’s a pity that this week they come up against the team that most are ranking as South Africa’s top team – the Sharks.


The Chiefs have been weakened by the absence of Mils Muliaina (back) and Richard Kahui (hip).Sione Lauaki has in the past troubled the Sharks so Ryan Kankowski will have be on form in defence.


The Sharks are unbeaten since June last year and have named a largely unchanged team and are brimming with confidence even though they have yet to pick up a bonus point for four tries.


The Sharks have won away from home against the Chiefs three times in the past – in 1997, 1999 and 2003. Since that time it’s largely been decided by home advantage apart from 2004 when the Chiefs beat the Sharks in Durban.


The Bookies have given the Chiefs a 1.5 point start which is one of the closest we have seen and we have to agree this is a tough one to choose. We think the Sharks will just edge it by 3.


Chiefs v Sharks
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick off: Saturday 28 February, 5.35pm (local)
Referee: Bryce Lawrence


Head to Head: Played 11: Sharks 6, Chiefs 5


Last five results
2008 Sharks won 25-47 at Durban
2007 Chiefs won 35-27 at Hamilton
2006 Sharks won 21-30 at Durban
2005 Chiefs won 40-5 at Hamilton
2004 Chiefs won 34-27 at Durban

Teams


Chiefs
Sosene Anesi; Lelia Masaga, Dwayne Sweeney, Callum Bruce, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Stephen Donald, Brendon Leonard; Sione Lauaki, Tanerau Latimer, Liam Messam (captain), Kevin O’Neill, Craig Clarke, James McGougan, Aled de Malmanche, Sona Taumalolo.


Replacements: Hika Elliot, Ben May, Toby Lynn, Serge Lilo, Toby Morland, Mike Delany, Jackson Willison.


Sharks
15. Stefan Terblanche, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Adrian Jacobs, 12. Francois Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Ruan Pienaar, 9. Rory Kockott, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Johann Muller (Captain), 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Deon Carstens


Replacements: 16. John Smit, 17. Tendai Mtawarira, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Keegan Daniel, 20. Ross Cronje, 21. Riaan Swanepoel.

 

Brumbies vs Force


This match could not have come at a better time. Last week Force fly half Matt Giteau announced that he would be leaving the Force for the Brumbies.


What should he do this week then ? Should he play at his best and remind them how lucky they are to have signed him for next year or go easy on his next team ? Who knows.


Brumbies coach Andy Friend is undefeated so far this year but he has surely gained a few grey hairs along the way as the Brumbies have used their get out of jail cards in the lat five minutes twice this year.


The Brumbies may have been lucky to have pulled off a win against the Crusaders in the last minute last week but they do look a lot more settled than the Forc

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