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Super Rugby Round 11: The Good, The Shockers, and Some Classic Carlos Spencer Arrogance

We're past the halfway point of Super Rugby, and there's plenty to reflect on. Mostly, how far ahead of the rest the Chiefs and Crusaders are - and how appalling the Sunwolves continue to be.
May 6, 2016, 5:07am

We're past the halfway point now in Super Rugby, and there's plenty to reflect on. Mostly, how far ahead of the rest the Chiefs and Crusaders are - and how appalling the Sunwolves continue to be.

THE LINEOUT covers all the games that are worth watching, and the ones that aren't, so can show a tiny bit of rugby intel at that dinner with your in-laws tomorrow night.

Crusaders vs Reds in Christchurch, tonight


The 'Saders have won seven on the trot and host the Reds, who are just terrible. They also welcome back hopeful All Black winger Johnny McNichol from injury after last week's bye, and will have five All Blacks – Joe Moody, Owen Franks, Luke Romano, Andy Ellis and Ryan Crotty – on the bench.

This will get ugly.

PREDICTION: Crusaders by 25.

Brumbies vs Bulls in Canberra, tonight

Two evenly matched teams here. The Brumbies are going to miss Wallabies outside back Matt Toomua, who injured his knee against the 'Landers last week.

They've got some good cattle coming back – three other Wallabies – though South African tails will be up after last week's impressive destruction of the Force in Perth.

The Bulls in action last week.

This one will be a tight one.

PREDICTION: Brumbies by 2.

**Sunwolves vs Force in Tokyo, *Saturday***

The two worst teams in a game played at an hour pretty much no one in Australasia will watch on television.

PREDICTION: You won't watch this game.

**Chiefs vs Highlanders in Hamilton, *Saturday***

There's still some red blood pumping through the veins in the Super Rugby this year – it just happens to be out in the Kiwi provinces. This Chiefs and the 'Landers match should be a classic capable of matching the home team's ripper against the Canes a fortnight ago.

The Chiefs welcome Charlie Ngatai and James Lowe into Super Rugby's best backline after injury absences, while the 'Landers do the same with big winger Waisake Naholo.

Naholo at his best in 2015

The Fijian-born All Black was the top try scorer in the comp last year, but broke his leg in round one in 2016.


Keep an eye on Chiefs star halfback Brad Weber. You could be watching a man who will wear the black jumper for some time.

PREDICTION: Chiefs by 1.

Waratahs vs Cheetahs in Sydney, Saturday

The 'Tahs have underwhelmed all season, while the Cheetahs have been their New South Welshmen's South African mirror.


PREDICTION: You'll miss this one too.

Sharks vs Hurricanes in Durban, Sunday

Insert cliché about 'always being hard to win in South Africa' here. The Canes are a cut above the Sharks, whose recent Antipodean road trip – which featured an impressive victory over the 'Landers in Dunedin – will leave them tired as hell.

That said, it doesn't feel like the Canes season for some reason? Beauden 'They Love Him in the Naki' Barrett's good, but he can't do it all for Chris Boyd's men. That said, his kicking boot has gotta come good sooner or later. Expect it to be later – but there's more than enough gas outside for the Kiwis here.

PREDICTION: Hurricanes by 6.

Kings vs Blues in Port Elizabeth, Sunday

The Kings are absolute rubbish, and even though the Blues are easily the worst of the Kiwi teams, they should smoke the home side here.

The only reason to set the clock for this one would have been speedy Blues winger Rieko Ioane, but he's joining the New Zealand sevens squad for the continued Rio Olympic build-up.

Enjoy your rest.

PREDICTION: Blues by 16.


Mercurial former All Black Carlos Spencer at his arrogant best against the Crusaders (everyone's least favourite team) in Christchurch, 2004: