Match Date: Friday 17th May
The Rebels host the Stormers for the second time in Melbourne looking to erase the memory of their 40-3 ass whipping during their inaugural season. The home side has been at trying to play rugby while the visitors are in the business of preventing it (sorry Cape Townians, but the stats don’t lie!). This doesn’t have the makings of a classic battle but we’re hoping for a surprise this Friday. Goodness knows, this season has delivered plenty of those already.
We’re getting rather tired, and so must you be, of watching highlights of Stormers snorefests so we found this clip on Youtube that’s more exciting
The Rebels 15 are a 5-point-maximum dispensing unit these days, always managing to lose very entertainingly. The men from Melbourne have lost their last 4 games by 7 points or less but have won the hearts of the neutral fans, in contrast to their opponents this week who’s fixtures have been well worth missing.
Speaking of missing: Kurtly The Real Deal Beale! That’s what we used to call him; we reckon we need a new name. Kurtley too drunk to feel; Kurtley half-price drinks deal; Kurtley Break the Seal… any ideas? Send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Beale’s other half, James O’Connor has been picking up the slack and working well with the Mitches: centres Lachlan Mitchell, and Mitch Inman who scored a brace of tries.
Enough about the backline, the Rebels forwards are where it’s at! Scotty Scott Higgers Higginbotham
is a handful for defenses and for fantasy managers who don’t have him in their team. The big number 8 loves hanging out on the wing, mixing it up on the fringes, parking at first receiver… basically anywhere tries are to be found. 5 scores for the loosie this season, ignore him at your peril!
The difference between the 2 sides is one likes to play, the other won’t let you. The Stormers have the ability to stifle even the most creative attacks and the Rebels will have to conjure up some magic to get passed the South African tourists.
Is there a more boring team in Super Rugby? No. We’re not criticizing we’re just stating a fact. The Stormers defense is the best in the competition which mean they hardly concede tries, they’ve given away just two 4-try bonus points in their last 58 Super Rugby games. They also don’t score many tries so what we’re left with is a team that fails to entertain, okay now we are criticizing. Fortunately when we go to Newlands the fans provide plenty of that!
The Stormers current 9-10 combination is horribly sub-par. The worst in the competition; Dewald Duvenhage has perfected the box-kick which he manages to kick straight back to the opposition with sublime accuracy. On the odd occasion that he does pass. it’s too Gary van Asswagon who’s about as useful as bacon at a Bar Mitzvah. The number 10 simply can’t pull the trigger for the backline and we’ve harped on it before, the Stormers best flyhalf is playing at the Kings.
Eben Etzebeth’s return to the starting lineup didn’t bring the demolition derby that we hoped for but there’s plenty of season left. Ultimately, as far as fantasy aspirations go we might recommend Joe Pietersen who has been kicking everything like a lunchbox filled with broccoli; the Fullback has nailed 39/46 goal attempts for a 85% success rate. However, that takes away a backline player from your team which our stats man Freddi tells us is the most lucrative try-scoring area in Fantasy rugby.
So what we’d really like is the Stormers to stop trying to strangle opposition to death and try a couple of roundhouse kicks or maybe employ the people’s elbow. What we can expect though is another grapple at close quarters despite the Rebels wanting to free their arms.
2 games played between the sides and the Stormers have won both for a 100% win record. The last time they played in Melbourne the Stormers ran riot, thumping the home side 40 points to 3.
The home side have been struggling for results and will continue to do so as long as the off the field nonsense continues. STORMERS to finish their away tour on a high by punishing the Rebels!
7 or less, as recent Rebels history would suggest.
We reckon the Rebels will be given a 7 point head-start.
The Stormers are firm favourites with the Rebels 3 to 1 underdogs at home.
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Kurtley drink with my meal?