Landers face season-defining match

The Rebels continue to defy the pundits — especially this one — after crushing the Drua at home, 41-20. (Note to self, only pick the Drua at home)!

The Rebels may well stay in the championship for longer than this year, which is a real concern for the Landers, who take them on this Saturday.

Predictably the Blues crushed the Force 50-3 and the Jafas now sit alongside the Canes at the top of the pole.

The Chiefs bounced back and put Moana Pasifika to the sword in nearly hitting 70.

The woeful Waratahs capitulated to the Brumbies 16-40 to strengthen the Canberra lads’ position on the table.

Super Rugby needs to have a look at their scheduling, with only four games being played last weekend and not one real contest among them — no wonder crowd numbers are on the decline.

In the South, Ben from Shoe Clinic still leads but the margin is only one as Richard from Collingwood Foodcentre clawed back the margin. But it is tight as there is only 6 points between the top 5.

Reece from RDR Builders has work to do as he is currently sucking on the wooden spoon.

So, is this week’s curtailed draw (only four games) any better? In a word, yes.

Moana Pasifika host the Reds, which in itself is bizarre as they don’t really have a home ground. I’m afraid the Reds (13+) will probably be too good although we’d prefer that not to be the case.

The Crusaders (13+) are in Australia for a couple of weeks and take on the Waratahs, who they have already lost to. Take it to the bank that won’t happen on Friday night in Sydney; the Crusaders will crush them as their crusade to the playoffs and redemption is well under way.

The big game of the weekend focuses on the Cake Tin, where the Canes host the Chiefs on Saturday night. The Canes (12-) are red hot but are coming off the bye and the Chiefs are back from a big win last weekend so it’s nearly too close to call. The Canes’ pack may make the difference.

The Chiefs were suspect against the Crusaders and we may see the same again as the Canes’ pack is very, very good.

So, what happens in Melbourne? The Landers have slipped to eighth after an average performance against the Canes and this is a must-win game for them. The Rebels are playing well so they go in as favourites in my book. For the Landers (12-), this match is season-defining. The Landers get up just.

Good luck on the punt.

 - By Paul Dwyer