With the Premier League coming to an exciting conclusion last weekend, the sporting attractions shift heavily to the oval ball, with Super Rugby hitting the do-or-die stage, and the World Sevens Series swinging into London. Here’s the matches you can’t afford to miss this weekend:
Crusaders v Waratahs
The Crusaders welcome the Waratahs to Christchurch to kick-off Round 13 of Super Rugby in what also appears to be the pick of the weekend action. Both sides head their divisions in the comp, while the Waratahs have been in good form winning four in a row. They have won their last two against the Crusaders but both games were in Sydney. There is rarely a blowout when these two sides meet. That said, the momentum seems to be with the Crusaders given that they’re playing at home and the Waratahs are returning from their South African excursion.
Prediction: Crusaders by 5.
South Africa v USA
Two of the fastest teams on the Sevens circuit meet up once again when South Africa takes on the USA at the London Sevens. The USA started their World Sevens Series with a bang, but have slipped a bit as of late, while South Africa have missed out on a Cup win the last couple of tournaments. These are two exciting teams that thrive on using pace out wide rather than targeting mid-field gaps. The thought of Seabelo Senatla and Perry Baker going head-to-head is tantalising to say the least.
Prediction: South Africa by 5
Lions v Jaguares
The Jaguares’ only away win so far in Super Rugby came in Round 1 when they visited South Africa to play the Cheetahs, and things haven’t got any better for the Argentines and that isn’t about to start this weekend. They take on the in-form Lions, whose only losses this season have been to Kiwi sides, while they’ve won four of their last five as well. The Lions will be too strong here as well, probably by around 10 points.
Prediction: Lions by 10
South Africa v Samoa
South Africa are forced to take on the Paris champions, Samoa, in their final pool game of the London Sevens. Samoa were in spectacular form in France, taking out the Blitzbokke and series frontrunners Fiji in a nail-biting final. However, the Samoans have struggled with consistancy, while South Africa tends to exceed more often than not. If South Africa’s defence doesn’t falter as it did in Paris, this should be a win for Neil Powell’s men.
Prediction: South Africa by 7
Bulls v Stormers
The Stormers have won their last four games against the Bulls; a fifth straight win would be their longest in the history of this fixture. That said, the Stormers have struggled with consistency this year, and a volatile Loftus crowd could be the tipping point in favour of the Bulls. The Bulls themselves are coming off a tough three-week tour, but with an exciting counter-attacking gameplan that appears to be working for the Pretoria side, we’re giving the Bulls this one.
Prediction: Bulls by 3
What match are you most excited for this weekend? Let us know in the comments below and tweet us at @MenStuffZA.