Super Rugby 2014 Predictions: Semi-finals

trophyCrusaders v Sharks

How much can we take from the result here earlier in the season when making predictions for this game? As the Sharks learnt last week, when they beat a side that had won the exact same fixture earlier in the season, not a great deal. That they won here in Round 14, then, probably won’t have a great deal of bearing on the result this weekend – although it will likely give them the confidence to know they can get a victory. The Crusaders have had a couple of weeks off so will be well rested (or rusty?) but one thing they need to ensure is that their pack hit the ground running – they will have seen the way the Sharks tight five eviscerated the Highlanders last weekend, and need to find a way of making sure the same doesn’t happen to them.

It is a very difficult game to call – probably the more difficult of the two semi-finals. The Crusaders have home advantage, but have already lost three times in Christchurch this season, so that doesn’t tell us a great deal. The Sharks have performed well against the New Zealand franchises this season, and I just feel they’ve got one more big performance in them to overcome a Crusaders side that have played too laterally at times recently.

SuperBru prediction: Sharks by 2.

Waratahs v Brumbies

This looks a slightly easier one to call. The Waratahs, despite having had a weekend off, bring insatiably good form into the game, have not tasted defeat since 25th April. They beat the Brumbies by 31 in this exact fixture just a few weeks ago – incidentally, their joint highest margin of victory all season. The Brumbies played well on the whole last weekend against the Chiefs, but were guilty of switching off at times and could quite easily have been held to a draw had Aaron Cruden had his kicking boots on in the last few minutes.

The Brumbies will look to fly out of the blocks and catch the Waratahs cold after their week off, but unless they can build a huge lead early on it’s tough to see them coming away from this one with a win. Whatever happens, the prospect of the likes of Toomua, Speight and Mogg going up against compatriots Beale, Ashley-Cooper and Folau is a mouthwatering one, to say the least. The way the Waratahs have played this season, though, it would be a travesty if they didn’t at least make it to the final.

SuperBru prediction: Waratahs by 9.

By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43

9 thoughts on “Super Rugby 2014 Predictions: Semi-finals

  1. I reckon you have the Crusaders tip wrong, there is no team who is more successful in knockout rugby than the saders. It is going to be a tough match nonetheless, I think with Mcaw and Read and Dagg and that train Nadolo and not to mention Carter or Todd, the Crusaders can do it. Not by much but I think by 3. They are not vintage this season by any means but have managed to do just enough when it counts. If the Sharks can do what they did against the Highlanders then it really is on, but I am sure Blackadder would have fully briefed his pack. Couple all of this with travel….. I don’t think the sharks are the side to beat em, the Warratahs more than likely but not the Sharks.

  2. The Sharks will put up a big fight but I expect the many All Blacks (5 forwards and 3 backs of the test 23) will be unstoppable at home and fired up. What happened in May is irrelevant. Crusaders by 9.

  3. Ooh the Sharks.. We will all be cheering for them but I don’t even think it is going to be a close game… Crusaders by 12. Too much rugby for the boys in black. It will be a Waratahs vs Crusaders where the Tah’s will choke on the final hurdle…. Crusaders know how to get to and to win finals.

  4. Don’t think the Sharks have the BMT or the staminaa to take the crusaders in a semi on their home ground

    Tahs to take their semi easy

  5. Agree with BigD (not boasting I hope) regds Sharks v Crusadres & also Andrew for picking the Waratahs to win… altho not so sure about the ‘easy’ bit. Home advantage surely.

    The author says that the ‘Sharks tight five eviscerated (is he a Jack the you know who fan?)the Highlanders…’. Well they did… at times & yet the Shark eaters could only win at home by an anorexic whisker. The Crusaders will have seen this & if there’s 1 thing NZ teams do, it’s their homework… & they don’t usually make the same slip up x2 (even tho it was actually a Hi’lander’s slip up). They’ll also have to agressively parry the Sharks maul. Let the Sharks get a sniff of Mo Mowlam here & the Crusaders could be in deep guacamole. But with no ‘bad luck & trouble (i.e.’ a dodgy ref) & a following tail wind, the Cantabs by 7?

    Haven’t seen too much of the Wild Horses & the ‘Tahs, but the latter’s latish run did put them on top of the comp. And as aforementioned, with a home game & altho I don’t think it’s going to be a Little Big Horn, I do thgat think the New Sth Welshmen will be too sharpe up front, @ breakdown & in the backs to not make the final.

  6. Don’t underestimate the Sharks!!! They will not go down without a huge fight…that is to say if they are going down! Lets not be mistaken about the fact that even other good teams also have bad days… The Sharks might just do it… If they make the final then i would say i would be a bit worried but the saders are not unbeatable…

  7. Don P the Sharks will surely have improved their game from the Highlanders and don’t think they will not have worked on other tactics as well. Their game plan will not be a copy of the Highlanders game… You can bet on that! They also know that they have to approach this game differently… But be sure of one thing though……….our forwards will not be no pushover! I believe that you will see this. However my ? mark is in fact the backline… But if the forwards can dominate and lay the foundation for the backs i think you will see a different team from last Sat…….. Lets see!!!

  8. Jaco

    Well we did see… altho retro wisdom is a wonderful thing I know.

    Both home teams won. Somehow seems a disproportionate advantage.

    Sharks didn’t give themselves a chance by kicking the ball away to the Crusaders. V English philo for me. Territory 1 thing, possession another.

    Heard it said too often here that ‘D’ wins finals rugger, a 1/2 truth. Scoring pts also wins matches.

    Basically when you have the pill score pts, when you don’t, stop the oppo from scoring.

    Crusaders by & large did this, the Sharks didn’t.

    Jake White for pres. Not this yr I’m afraid.

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