Rugby

6 Sports Matches You Need to Watch this Weekend

Sports preview March 24

We take a look at the most important head-to-heads you need to catch this weekend…

The long Easter weekend is here, and what a weekend it’s lining up to be. There are some massive sporting encounters that you can’t afford to miss. From Super Rugby smash-ups to international football, here’s the games you need to watch this weekend:

Hurricanes vs Kings (Super Rugby)

Friday, 08:35

The Kings had a relatively decent start against the Crusaders last week, but the squad depth and fitness showed their shortcomings in the second half when the Crusaders started piling on the points. The Kings have seen some rotation for this week’s encounter against the Hurricanes, though, but things aren’t looking too positive for the men from PE, as the Hurricanes are appearing to hit their stride as they did last season. The Kings could be on the receiving end of a massive scoreline if they don’t switch on for a bigger proportion of the game than they have managed so far.

Prediction: Hurricanes by 25.

Sunwolves vs Bulls (Super Rugby)

Saturday, 12:55

The Sunwolves have shown signs of brilliance against the Lions and Cheetahs, although didn’t have enough to sneak wins in either match. The downside seems to be their set-piece and forward pack – something the Bulls will take note of heading to Tokyo. However, the Bulls have been showing greater inclination to attack from the back these days. It would be surprising if the Pretoria team didn’t get back onto the winning track with some degree of comfort.

Prediction: Bulls by 15 to 20.

Cheetahs vs Brumbies (Super Rugby)

Saturday, 15:05

The Cheetahs have made Bloemfontein quite the difficult destination to win in recent years, and they could cause another upset for the Brumbies following their unlucky loss (with some dubious referee decisions) to the Stormers last weekend. The Cheetahs are one win from four games and will want to make their homeground advantage count. The Brumbies squad is littered with Wallabies who could tear apart any team of their day, and with the likes of David Pocock in fine form, it could be a tough game for either side.

Prediction: Brumbies by 10.

Cameroon vs South Africa (AFCON 2017 qualifier)

Saturday, 16:30

South Africa will head to Limbe in search of a win over heavyweights and Group M leaders Cameroon in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Saturday. Bafana Bafana head into the match having claimed just one point from their opening two qualifiers, after being held to a goalless draw at home by Gambia before suffering an embarrassing 3-1 defeat away to Mauritania. The Indomitable Lions, in contrast, top the pool with two wins from two: 1-0 at home to Mauritania and 1-0 away to Gambia. This effectively means that SA’s hopes of qualifying will depend on them claiming back-to-back wins over the West Africans in the teams’ two meetings.

Sharks vs Crusaders (Super Rugby)

Saturday, 17:05

The Sharks have had a strong start to the year, winning three games and drawing one, which is an indication that there has been massive improvement since this time last year. The Sharks defence has been resilient, but it will be tested massively when the likes of Kieran Read, Nemani Nadolo, and Kieron Fonotia come running at them. The Crusaders have had a massive change of guard with the departure of some pivotal seinor players, but their newcomers are stepping in excellently, with the likes of Richie Mo’unga showing that he is more than capable of running the show at flyhalf. This should be a cracker.

Prediction: Sharks by 3.

Jaguares vs Stormers (Super Rugby)

Saturday, 23:40

The Stormers got the season off with some impressive wins, but their performance against the Brumbies was less than convincing. The Cape side faces a massive task in taking on the open-running Jaguares side in front of a volitile Buenos Aires this weekend. The Jaguares have won one in three and need to get onto the winning trail in their home games if they are to challenge the Sharks and Lions in their group. The Stormers will need to rely on their strong kicking game and set-piece prowess, as the Jaguares have been running at every opportunity they’ve been given, and with the likes of Santiago Cordero and Jaoquin Tuculet, the Sharks won’t want that happening.

Prediction: Jaguares by 5.

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