We are heading into the run in already with Super Rugby and so this is when teams who have thoughts of the playoffs need to start ramping up. Here are my predictions for round 11.
First here’s a link to my review of last weekend’s action.
How did your predictions go last week?
4 out of 7 was a poor return even if there were a few upsets.
Chiefs v Force
An easy one to kick off the week, the Force haven’t won since round 1 and are playing one of the pre-season favourites. The Chiefs have lost Cruden and will give a guide how they will survive without their All Black fly half.
Chiefs by 10
Brumbies v Highlanders
A couple of weeks ago this would have been an easy call for the home team that were scoring tries for fun. But since then the wheels have come off. Or have they? The Super Rugby scheduling means that you don’t play all the teams in the once and then all the teams once again. That means that all the Brumbies wins have been against the bottom 5 teams int the tournament. So when you look at the detail this looks like an away win.
Highlanders by 5
Crusaders v Blues
The Crusaders have been flat track bullies, racking up big scores against the weaker teams but struggling badly against teams that stop their go forward. The Blues did manage their first win two weeks ago but that was due to the Brumbies missing kicks at goal. So I see the Blues as one of those weaker teams that will get steamrollered by the Saders. That’s even if they have performed better than their results would suggest.
Crusaders by 20
Waratahs v Rebels
The Tah’s loss to the Force in the first round has led to the impression that the Tah’s have not been up to their last season form. But they have been picking up wins and are the only side that has managed to defeat the Canes so far this season. The Rebels have been better the is season and firsts with a win overseas and int he capital but this will be a challenge to far.
Waratahs by 10
Lions v Cheetahs
Who cares? Well actually the Lions have been making people care with their run of 5 wins in 6 games including 3 wins overseas. That has sparked a run that might even take them all the way to the playoffs. After some initial optimism for the Cheetahs on the other hand it;s gone down hill and is looking like another season at the bottom of the South African conference.
Lions by 10
Stormers v Bulls
The Bulls have improved after really worrying their supporters over the first couple of rounds. Over the last few weeks they have been looking like the champions elect of the South African conference. However the Stormers have only lost against New Zealand sides and so I’m going to go with the a home win.
Stormers by 10
Reds v Hurricanes
Bookending the early easy call we have another one, one of the worst performing sides against the best. This should be a large away win even if O’Connor dragged the Reds to a win last week. Just to reiterate, the Reds have quality players but no trust in the coaching staff is leading to failure. The Canes on the other hand are clearly all on the same page even if they are naive and that could hurt them later in the season.
Hurricanes by 10