Watercooler chat: Super Rugby Round 6
South African Super Rugby fans are in for another nailbiting round of Super Rugby action as with the clashes in Canberra and Cape Town topping the bill.
The supersport.com team was on hand this morning to discuss everything you wanted to know about last weekend of what we can expect next.
You shared your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter (hashtag #sswatercooler) and we tried to answer all your questions, share your opinions and give you all the relevant information.
Our team today was made up of senior correspondents Brenden Nel and Gavin Rich, site editor Johan Coetzee and content producer Thando Mxoli.
This week we started off the discussion by getting the team to give us their prediction for the Brumbies/Bulls clash this coming weekend. Our columnist Brendan Venter described the match as a watershed moment for the Bulls' season, "because should the Brumbies win comfortably, the (they) will return to Pretoria in that knowledge that deep down they are no longer genuine title contenders.".
Here is what the guys had to say:
Brenden Nel (@brendennel): The Bulls traditionally say that they need to win two out of four on tour if they are to make it to the playoffs, and since this is their last chance, it will be a tough one. They have only won once in Canberra before – in 2007 – and generally struggle. Considering the way they have been playing, unless there is a massive upswing, I don’t expect them to win again.
Jake’s Brumbies are too organised and at home will be clinical. The Bulls will need something special to beat them.
I’m glad that Jan Serfontein has finally been given a chance to play, but feel the Bulls perhaps need Arno Botha on the field as well. They wasted a perfect chance in Brisbane to win, and they will regret that.
Either way, it will be tough and I expect the Bulls to be brave, but to fall short in the end.
Gavin Rich (@blobby15):I see the Brumbies team has yet to be announced so it's hard for me to make a prediction as I feel that Jesse Mogg's absence or presence will make all the difference to the result. The Brumbies missed their regular fullback at Newlands last week as his absence took a lot away from their kicking game, something the Stormers were able to exploit. Robbie Coleman just isn't in the same league as Mogg when it comes to distance and accuracy of field kicks. If he is absent again this weekend, the Bulls have the kicking game to exploit that, and if that is the case, they will win.
If Mogg is present I think it will be a tight match - the South African teams have been shown how important it is to front the Brumbies physically in the past two weeks - with home ground advantage just edging it to the Brumbies.
Thando Mxoli (@thando82): The Bulls should beat the Brumbies due to a number of things. Firstly, the Bulls would have learnt from the Sharks match, about how dangerous the Brumbies can be if they are allowed to play their game, their backs are very dangerous if given decent ball and they can create some good front foot ball from good runs by Fotu Auelua.
In Christian Lealiifano they have an accurate kicker who will punish teams if they give away kickable penalties, in Henry Speight they have a really dangerous runner with ball in hand who knows how to finish. The Brumbies can be dominated in the collision point like we saw in the Stormers game and the Bulls will be stronger at set pieces. The Bulls backline know how to run the ball and the should ask many questions of the Brumbies on defence. 32-18 for the Bulls.
Johan Coetzee (@jwcoetzee): Bulls flank Dewald Potgieter summed up the Bulls' situation perfectly in the week when he told us that they were no longer and school. To "learn lessons" week after week is no longer acceptable.
This weekend's result will depend on whether he is the only one in the team thinking that way.
This week they have Morne Steyn back in the no.10 jersey, but they are without Bjorn Basson and Akona Ndugane. If they plan on employing their predictable kick-and-chase tactics without their specialist chasers on board, I predict a long afternoon for them. With Jake White in charge the Brumbies will be well prepared for the duel onslaught of high balls and lineout mauls.
If the Bulls are to win, they'll have to ensure that they look after possession and find new ways to get across the gainline. Their track-record this season isn't very good. Will Jan Serfontein be that something new?
Unfortunately I don't see the Bulls change anything dramatically about their gameplan, and that means you must favour the more varied approach of the Brumbies to come out tops on the day.
Well, there you have it. Agree, disagree? And what do you expect to see this coming weekend?