Only three rounds to go until the playoffs. There are still 10 teams that can make it but the top 6 are looking fairly settled. Here are my predictions for this weekend.
First here’s a link to my review of last weekend’s rugby.
How did your predictions go last week?
6 from 7, a return to normality with no major upsets last week.
Crusaders v Hurricanes
The Hurricanes will be wanting to wrap things up this week so that they can manage their players going into the playoffs. As you will know I see the Crusaders as flat track bullies and their limited attacking game will be contained by the Canes. Even so it will be interesting to see Carter at 10 rather than 12 and what form he will be in. Just to note that both sides are missing players but then so is nearly every team at this end of the season.
Hurricanes by 5
Brumbies v Bulls
This is an easy one to call, the Bulls can’t win overseas and so home win it is. Also the Brumbies are playing for their playoff place so there will be no slacking.
Brumbies by 10
Sharks v Rebels
This is one that I found difficult to call, the Sharks have had a hard season but got a good result last time out. It was only against the Reds but a win is a win and they do have some key players back. Rebels have been having a break out season and they have won their first overseas game. Still they haven’t won in Africa and I feel this will be a step too far this season.
Sharks by 5
Highlanders v Chiefs
This is the clash of the round between the two chasing kiwi sides. Both are expected to make it into the playoffs but the order could matter as they could easily be playing each other. So this game still matters and both sides will be going at it full guns blazing. It should be a good spectacle and I expect the home side to edge it.
Highlanders by 5
Force v Reds
Does anyone care by this point of the season? Both these sides will be finishing near the bottom and the question is more about what happens in the future. The Reds are in a mess with silly hugging photos on twitter supposed to paper over a half time bust up. I’m going to back the home side again but not with any confidence as the more skilled Reds could find their mojo.
Force by 4
Stormers v Cheetahs
The Stormers are marching towards a conference title and this also offers them the opportunity for revenge. They admitted to being complacent the last time these two teams met but that won’t happen again. So with revenge on their minds it will be a big win.
Stormers by 15
Lions v Waratahs
This was another that I found hard to call, in the end I decided that my desire to see the underdog do well clouding my judgement. So whilst I think that the Lions are performing better than early season suggested I also think the run of wins flattered them. All their wins have been by single figures and the Tahs are finding some form. The loss of a couple of players due to discipline will hurt them but it could also unite the squad.
Waratahs by 5
Junior Rugby World Championship
The JRWC kicks off at the beginning of June and I’ll be doing my usual predictions and reviews for that as well. Please join in the fun with my SuperBru prediction league.