Sports

Super Rugby Round 13: The Crusaders Should Right the Ship and Here Come the Sunwolves

Also, some bonus throwback genius from Rupeni Caucaunibuca.
May 20, 2016, 3:55am

The Lineout predicted six out of eight winners in the last round of the Super Rugby. Even more impressive; we picked two lines – the Brumbies eight-point victory over the Rebels, and the draw between the Sunwolves and Stormers.

Some people say 'throw enough darts at a board, and you'll eventually get a bulls-eye'. We say it's the results that matter.

In short, if you want returns at the TAB, read on for our preview of Super Rugby's Round 13.

Crusaders vs Waratahs in Christchurch, tonight

The Crusaders headed into last week's game against the Highlanders in Dunedin with eight straight wins to their name, but couldn't turn it into nine in what was an absorbing Southern derby.

They shouldn't have too many problems getting back on the horse back in Christchurch tonight. The Waratahs may be top of the Australian conference, but their history against the 'Saders in New Zealand is appalling.

They haven't won in Christchurch since 2004, and with no Kurtley Beale in the backline – he's out with injury – there's little chance of breaking their duck.

PREDICTION: Crusaders by 10.

Reds vs Sunwolves in Brisbane, Saturday

You could probably argue that the Sunwolves draw with the Stormers last week was their best performance in, this, their debut season in Super Rugby.

The Sunwolves haven't been great at rugby.

The Stormers are no mugs, sitting third overall on the table and most would have betted on them piling twenty plus points on the hapless new franchise.

But they didn't, and the Sunwolves will head to Brisbane this weekend with a renewed sense of confidence in this competition. The Reds have been utter trash this season – so we're predicting another upset for the new boys.

PREDICTION: Sunwolves by 3.

Chiefs vs Rebels in Hamilton, Saturday

Hamilton's never a fun place to visit. It's difficult to play rugby there to, with a fantastic Super Rugby team who've arguably been the comp's best over the last ten years.

Recent losses to the Blues and Brumbies have seen the Rebs lose their early season momentum, and aren't really that deserving of a playoff spot anyway.

While the Rebels did beat the Chiefs in Melbourne last season, there's more chance of no arrests happening on Hamilton's wild and loose Hood St tomorrow night than there is of the Melbourne team nabbing an away win.

PREDICTION: Chiefs by 9.

Force vs Blues in Perth, tomorrow

You've got to feel sorry for Tana Umaga. There's no doubt he'll do great things with the Blues one day, but it's undeniable that a Sir John Kirwan-sized shadow still hangs over the Aucklanders.

Their 43-5 loss to the Lions last weekend was absolutely comical, and they'll stay a long way away from home this week, with a game in Perth.

The Force will be coming off a bye week, and will be rested and ready for what would be their first victory over the Blues since 2008.

It'll be tight and boring, but we see the West Australians taking this one.

PREDICTION: Force by 4.

Lions vs Jaguares in Johannesburg, Sunday

The Lions seven-try demo job on the Blues last week was the Auckland side's second biggest defeat in Super Rugby history.

And while the Lions have been a mixed big this season, the performance deserves attention. Traditionally strugglers against non-South African competition, they should make it two in two this weekend against the Argentinians.

Inspirational captain, and hooker, Agustin Creevy is out of the side with a suspension too, giving the Lions the nod up front.

PREDICTION: Lions by 15.

Sharks vs Kings in Durban, Sunday

One of two 'far too late at night all South African encounters you never watch' matches this week.

PREDICTION: You won't watch it.

Bulls vs Stormers in Pretoria, Sunday

One of two 'far too late at night all South African encounters you never watch' matches this week.

PREDICTION: Are you kidding? You won't watch.

BONUS: CLASSIC SUPER RUGBY THROWBACK MOMENT

There are wingers in rugby, and then there's Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

The Fijian speedster is one of Super Rugby's true cult heroes. Between 2002 and 2004, he was simply the best show on turf in rugby, scoring tries for the Blues, Northland and Fiji with a style and ease rarely seen before.

Then he went to France, blew out – and lost the mojo. But for a brief time, Rupeni was untouchable. Here's a clip of the man at his best, for the Blues against the Crusaders in 2004.