Rugby

Super Rugby Predictions #3: Week 7 2013

My highlights for the Easter weekend are the Chiefs vs Blues and the Stormers vs Crusaders (both on Saturday)

First off, I have been a little bit slack, but mostly busy, with posting the past two weeks of predictions beforehand, but in the interest of monitoring my progress completely, I have updated my past two weeks of predictions in the Archive and they weren’t pretty. Week 4 also wasn’t much better. For weeks 4 & 6 I only managed to get 3/7 right each week and week 5 saw me only get 4/6. So moving along then, I hope week 7 can bring me a better result…

See all this year’s predictions here

Highlanders vs Reds

All Time

  • Average Score:  29  – 22
  • Highlanders W-D-L: 9 – 7 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 38 – 17
  • Hurricanes W-D-L: 7 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Highlanders by 4

I’m tempted to say that the Reds will win it, but the home game stats speak for themselves here, the Highlanders should get away with their first win!

Hurricanes vs Kings

All Time

  • Average Score:  N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score:  N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

My Prediction: Hurricanes by 4

Relative newcomers the Kings play their second NZ conference game against the Highlanders. The severe beating that was incurred against the Crusaders last week has shown them what to expect and I still have hopes for them, even if my predictor doesn’t…

Chiefs vs Blues

All Time

  • Average Score:  26 – 24
  • W-D-L: 9 – 10 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 25 – 21
  • W-D-L: 4 – 5 – 0

My Prediction: Chiefs by 10

Without considering past scores, the Chiefs should take this one by at least a try or two. No matter what happens though, this should be a very high scoring game with at least 80 points on the board

Brumbies vs Bulls

All Time

  • Average Score:  32 – 27
  • W-D-L: 8 – 6 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score : 39 – 22
  • W-D-L: 5 – 1 – 0

My Prediction: Brumbies by 4

Should be the Brumbies game, considering their form this year and that they have the home advantage!

Cheetahs vs Rebels

All Time

  • Average Score:  37 – 24
  • W-D-L: 2 – 0 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score : 41 – 21
  • W-D-L: 1 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Cheetahs by 3

The Cheetahs have come back from a successful Australasian leg, while the Rebels are coming from a major ass-whipping in Durban against the Sharks.

Stormers vs Crusaders

All Time

  • Average Score:  21 – 30
  • W-D-L: 4 – 13 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score:  23 – 28
  • W-D-L: 4 – 5 – 0

My Prediction: Crusaders by 12

The Crusaders have bounced back nicely the past few weeks… and the Stormers have a few injury concerns.

Waratahs vs Force

All Time

  • Average Score:  21 – 30
  • W-D-L: 4 – 13 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score:  18 – 17
  • W-D-L: 1 – 2 – 1

My Prediction: Waratahs by 4

Against my better judgement I’m gonna back the Tahs, even though the Force could surprise them…


Super Rugby Predictions #2: Week 4 2013

Southern Kings

Can my local team, the Southern Kings, win it this weekend against my favourite team, The Sharks?

Last weekend’s predictions were a teeny bit off… okay they sucked, but that is how it goes. This week heralds the arrival of v1.1 of my prediction engine. A few changes were made in the inner workings, firstly, small adjustments to balance the handicap score out a bit with the teams performance building up to that specific point and also added sort of compensation amount to adjust the final predictions.

See last weeks predictions here

Hurricanes vs Crusaders

All Time

  • Average Score:  19  – 28
  • Hurricanes W-D-L: 5 – 15 – 3

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 18 – 27
  • Hurricanes W-D-L: 2 – 6 – 2

My Prediction: Crusaders by 1

The Crusaders are off to their usual bumpy start, and the Hurricanes still have something to prove this year. Should be a close one despite what the stats show us.

Rebels vs Reds

All Time

  • Average Score: 11 -32
  • Rebels W-D-L: 0 – 4 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 18 – 33
  • Rebels W-D-L: 0 – 2 – 0

My Prediction: Reds by 18

The Rebels haven’t beaten the Reds in any of the 4 games played between these two teams, including 2 at home. I don’t see that changing this year either, but they haven’t had a completely bad start to the year and barely lost to the Waratahs last week

Highlanders vs Cheetahs

All Time

  • Average Score: 27 – 20
  • Highlanders W-D-L: 7 – 0 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 26 – 15
  • Highlanders W-D-L: 3 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Highlanders by 11

Both teams are coming from a heavy Chiefs defeat, but the Highlanders have had time to lick their wounds. The Cheetahs are a bit more worse for wear, they’re travelling from 2 weeks of losses, the first to the Sharks at home and then the whipping they got last week in Hamilton

Brumbies vs Waratahs

All Time

  • Average Score: 24-22
  • Brumbies W-D-L: 9 – 11 -0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 31 – 14
  • Brumbies W-D-L: 7 – 2 – 0

My Prediction: Brumbies by 2

History show that home games between these 2 teams favours the Brumbies, but as with any local derby game, anything can happen

Stormers vs Chiefs

All Time

  • Average Score: 26 – 24
  • Stormers W-D-L: 8 – 6 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 23 – 21
  • W-D-L: 4– 2 – 0

My Prediction: Chiefs by 13

The Chiefs have been on fire, so if they can break through the brick wall that is the Stormers defense, they should get a decent gap.

Kings vs Sharks

All Time

  • Average Score: N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: N/A
  • W-D-L: N/A

My Prediction: Sharks by 5

I’m very torn about this game, the Sharks are my favourite team, but the Kings on the other hand are the first local team to get a shot at the Super 15, despite a large percentage of the province’s talent playing now for the other SA teams. I kinda want them to win all possible game this year and based on the support they had against the Force, I expect it to be a major boost for the local team again.

Blues vs Bulls

All Time

  • Average Score: 35 – 26
  • Blues W-D-L: 9 – 5 – 0

Home Game Advantage

  • Average Score: 42 – 19
  • Blues W-D-L: 7 – 0 – 0

My Prediction: Blues by 7

The Blues look on fire and they should win this one, although not as easy as you’d think.

Final Table positions prediction:

CL: Conference Leaders

WC: Wildcard Teams

(+/-): Position Change from previous week

  1. (+2) Bulls (CL)
  2. (+1) Crusaders (CL)
  3. (-2) Brumbies (CL)
  4. (+2) Sharks (WC)
  5. Chiefs (WC)
  6. (-1) Blues (WC)
  7. (+2) Waratahs
  8. (-1) Hurricanes
  9. (-1) Stormers
  10. (+1) Kings
  11. (-1) Reds
  12. Highlanders
  13. (+1) Force
  14. (+1) Cheetahs
  15. (-2) Rebels

To view previous predictions and more info on how I get the predictions , click here: https://myconflictedself.wordpress.com/super-15-predictions-archive/


Rugby Fever

The Rugby World Cup trophy - the William Webb ...

Image via Wikipedia

It is less than 24 hours until the Rugby World Cup 2011 starts with the first game between New Zealand and Tonga.

The first game I am really looking forward to is the one on Sunday between the Springboks and Wales though, not that the entire world cup doesn’t excite me. Unfortunately for most of the games I am going to be looking at highlights or possibly listen to the radio, but I will try see as much of it live as possible. I am quite an avid fantasy league player as well and this time there are quite a few fantasy games going on.

Ultimate Dream Teams has two games going, a fantasy league game and a score prediction game.

The score prediction game is sponsored by Etana and if you wanna join, just go here:

http://predict.etana.co.za/rugbypredictor/

The grand prize is an Apple iPad 2 16Gb with 3g/WiFi

The fantasy league game is sponsored by Blackberry and you can go here to join:

http://www.udt.co.za/fantasyrugby

The prizes have not yet been announced.

Supersport also have 2 games running, and you guessed it, they have a fantasy league game and a score prediction game. What I find quite funny is that they used to run their fantasy games through Ultimate Dream Teams.

Their games are located here:

Fantasy League: http://fantasy.supersport.com/rwc/

Score Prediction: http://games.supersport.com/predictions/rwc/

No prizes have been announced for these games either.

As always, Superbru also have a prediction game going, and you can check it out here.

http://www.superbru.com/rwc

Their prizes are actually pretty kick-ass, so go check it out here:

http://www.superbru.com/rwc/prizes.asp

The last game that I have registered for is a prediction game for the Springbok games only (currently)from BMW. The prize here is a trip for two to the final in New Zealand.

Go here to enter: http://bmw.co.za/springboks/


Proud To Be A Sharks Supporter!

2008 Currie Cup Premier Division

Image via Wikipedia

After a rugby game like the one I witnessed, between the Sharks and Western Province, it makes me very proud that I support the Sharks.  Two weeks ago I witnessed them outplay the ogreish Blue Bulls. The Sharks beat them by playing smart rugby and I realised that ‘golden boy’ Patrick Lambie, as fly-half, played a key role in that.

According to Wikipedia:

A fly-half is crucial to a team’s game plan. The fly-half is usually the one who calls set moves, or makes tactical decisions. Fly-halves need to be quick-thinking in a game, such is the speed at which a situation can deteriorate, and need to be able to communicate with all the backs and adapt them to the attacking or defending situation.

What makes Lambie even more remarkable, is that he only turned 20 about a week ago. If you go back and look at some of the key points on their last two games, Lambie made choices that changed the games for the Sharks. During the game today one of the commentators made a remark: “He has a head of someone 10 years his senior”. He hit the nail on the head with that remark because that is exactly I saw.

But admittedly he was not the only player on the field and the rest of the team played just as well, if not better. Players like Andries Strauss, Lwazi Mvovo & Charl McLeod have given the Springbok selectors something to think about next time round, even if they didn’t get selected for the end of year so-called ‘Grand-Slam Tour‘ to the northern hemisphere. Although grand-slam is not accurate unless we win all of the games, but that’s not really important.

After the post-game ceremony, the Springbok Team was announced, which was a moment to treasure, as 9 of the Sharks were selected in the thirty man squad. Four of the six previously uncapped players were from the Sharks. This is the first time in ages they have overtaken the all the other teams as the majority (the Blue Bulls have 8 players in the squad, Western Province have 6, Freestate Cheetahs have 4, the Golden Lions have 1 and 2 players are based overseas).

The Springboks’ fixtures are:

November 6 v Ireland (Dublin)
November 13 v Wales (Cardiff)
November 20 v Scotland (Edinburgh)
November 27 v England (Twickenham)
December 4 v Barbarians (Twickenham)

Tour squad (in alphabetical order. * Indicates new cap):
Backs

Gio Aplon (Vodacom Western Province); Age: 28; Test caps: 9
Bjorn Basson (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 23, 2
Juan de Jongh (Vodacom Western Province); 22, 6
Jean de Villiers (Vodacom Western Province); 29, 63
Francois Hougaard (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 22, 5
Bryan Habana (Vodacom Western Province); 27, 66
* Elton Jantjies (Xerox Golden Lions); 20, 0
Ricky Januarie (Vodacom Western Province); 28, 47
* Patrick Lambie (The Sharks); 20, 0
* Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks); 24, 0
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster, N Ireland); 26, 43
Frans Steyn (Racing Metro, France); 23, 39
Morne Steyn (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 26, 21

Forwards
* Willem Alberts (The Sharks); Age: 26, Test caps: 0
Bakkies Botha (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 31, 68
Schalk Burger (Vodacom Western Province); 27, 63
* Keegan Daniel (The Sharks); 25, 0
Bismarck du Plessis (The Sharks); 26, 32
Jannie du Plessis (The Sharks); 28, 20
Alistair Hargreaves (The Sharks); 24, 2
Ryan Kankowski (The Sharks); 25, 16
Victor Matfield (captain, Vodacom Blue Bulls); 33, 101
Tendai Mtawarira (The Sharks); 25, 22
* Coenie Oosthuizen (Vodacom Cheetahs); 21, 0
Chiliboy Ralepelle (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 24, 17
Juan Smith (Vodacom Cheetahs); 29, 65
Pierre Spies (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 25, 37
Adriaan Strauss (Vodacom Cheetahs); 24, 7
CJ van der Linde (Vodacom Cheetahs); 30, 65
Flip van der Merwe (Vodacom Blue Bulls); 25, 6

It really is a moment to be a truly proud Sharks supporter!

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