SA’s Super Rugby teams prepare to redeem themselves
The Stormers, Sharks, Cheetahs and the Bulls crashed to defeats over the Easter weekend.
CAPE TOWN - South Africa's (SA) Super Rugby teams will seek to redeem themselves this weekend, following a rather uneventful Easter weekend for South African rugby.
The Stormers, Sharks, Cheetahs and the Bulls crashed to defeats, while the Lions were the only local team to bag a win in round eight; claiming the bragging rights in the trans-Jukskei derby with a memorable win over the Bulls.
The Sharks were humiliated by the seven-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders in the Shark tank, while the Stormers suffered back-to-back defeats on tour when they went down to Hurricanes in Wellington.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Tasman Sea, the Brumbies made easy work of the Cheetahs, handing them their fifth defeat of 2015.
But it's a new week, with the South African sides desperate to right the wrongs of last weekend.
WARATAHS VS STORMERS, SYDNEY: SATURDAY 11:40AM
With influential eighth man and captain Duane Vermeulen rested this week, the Stormers will need to dig deep to avoid three defeats on tour, and a fourth loss of the season.
But the men from the Cape will take heart of their second half performance against the Hurricane's last week, when they almost fought back to beat the Wellington side.
The defending champions, the Waratahs, will be hoping that a demoralised Stormers side arrives in Sydney as they seek three wins on the trot for the first time in this campaign.
The Stormers have had the better of the 'Tahs in Sydney before, having won there on three occasions. This weekend may just be a fourth win in Sydney for the Capetonians as coach Allister Coetzee desperately tries to turn his team's season around.
FORCE VS CHEETAHS, PERTH: SATURDAY 1:45PM
Despite this week's opponents lying beneath them on the table, unfortunately the Cheetahs look like they're in for another loss this week.
The numbers and the stats don't lie, they're a reflection of how good, or bad a team plays and the Cheetahs have the dishonour of holding claim to few rather unwanted statistics.
In terms of defenders beaten, metres run and carries made, the Cheetahs are ranked fifteen.
They also average the second most missed tackles in the competition. They are however putting in the tackles, ranked fourth overall, but that's because they spend most of the game defending their try line and not on attack.
Coach Naka Drotske will still fancy his team's chances. Their opponents are looking to avoid a seventh straight defeat. A win for the Cheetahs will see them end a run of five straight defeats away from home.
LIONS VS SHARKS, JOHANNESBURG: SATURDAY 5:05PM
Joburg is a happy place; The Emirates Lions are on a roll. Three wins on tour and a win over the Bulls in the trans-Jukskei derby makes them the outright favourites against the Sharks.
The Sharks, aaah…. what can one say about the Sharks? They were putrid against the Crusaders last weekend. As simple as that!
Not only were they terrible, but they were also thuggish. Jean Deysel was the latest Sharks player to get banned for dangerous play after he kneed an opponent in the head.
The Sharks look broken, and one doubts if it can get any worse than it did last week. The Lions should string together a fifth consecutive win and make Durban an even more miserable place by putting the Sharks to the sword.
BULLS VS REDS, PRETORIA: SATURDAY 7:10PM
The Bulls host the worst Australian team currently in the competition and should easily brush aside the visiting Reds.
It's been a dismal campaign for the Queenslanders who currently occupy fourteenth place on the log after six defeats in seven games.
To make matters worse, they face the Bulls without Quade Cooper, James O' Connor and James Horwill.
They shouldn't pose much of a threat to the South African conference leaders on their home turf. In fact, the Bulls will probably pick up a bonus point win and extend their lead at the top of the SA conference.