It really feels like we are into the Super Rugby season now, the big interest of this round will be the first home game for the Jaguares which has been a sellout! Here are my predictions for Round 4 of Super Rugby.
First here is a link to my roundup of the action from last weekend.
How did your round 3 predictions do?
4 from 7, I made some bold predictions that didn’t come off.
Hurricanes v Force
The Canes picked up their first win of the season last weekend away to the Blues. They haven’t been helped by playing all their games so far away and so it will be nice sleeping in their own beds for a change. The Force are also on win from three games however their’s came against the limited Reds. The Canes are far from their form of last year but I still can’t see anyway that the Reds will pickup their firs twin again the Canes since 2007.
Hurricanes by 11
Waratahs v Highlanders
A repeat of their semifinal clash last season. Also there’ll be a few scariest settle from the Rugby World Cup final, so there should be plenty of tension around this one. The Tahs started the season strongly but that was before we realised just how limited the Reds are. Then came up short against the Brumbies who are the best team in the competition. So they are somewhere between those! The Landers came to life against the Lions and are back to their counter attacking best. The problem will always be when they come up against a strong pack. If the Landers get their tactics exactly right and execute then they’ll win but I’m going with the home team as I don’t think they’ll be able to do it again like last year.
Waratahs by 5
Bulls v Sharks
It is still early doors for form of some teams, for example the Bulls have only played two games so far. They lost to the Stormers then won against the Rebels who have never won in South Africa. So there’s not really a lot to learn from there. The Sharks on the other hand have three wins already including away to the Stormers. So whilst the Sharks don’t have a great record at Loftus I’m going with early season form to carry them through.
Sharks by 7
Sunwolves v Rebels
The Sunwolves have impressed people with better than expected performances so far. However they have both been losses and the Cheetahs are one of the weakest sides in the competition. The Rebels have not been great overseas picking up their first overseas win last season. Even with that this Rebels side should be looking at putting these games away if they have any pretences of making the playoffs and that has to be the target this season.
Rebels by 10
Crusaders v Kings
Very simple this one, the Kings are poor and will get steamrolled. Last season the Crusaders racked up some big scores against the weaker side and I’m expecting them to carry that on this season.
Crusaders by 40
Reds v Blues
The Reds have a decent set piece but after that they are a mess which is why they are winless so far. The Blues have been a much more dynamic side this season but put in a poor performance away to the Saders. Hopefully we won’t see the same number of changes and they have learnt from that. As long as the Blues scrum can hold up and West kicks better than last week this should be a comfortable win. I can’t see both those happening so it might stay closeish but it should still be a Blues win.
Blues by 7
Lions v Cheetahs
The Lions had a good tour to kickoff the campaign. Two from three is something they will be happy with and the home support will give them a warm welcome. The Cheetahs got their first win over the Sunwolves in Singapore so both sides will have been travelling. The Cheetahs just are another limited side who lost too many players in the offseason. This is one that the Lions will be targeting a TBP as they fight for a playoff spot.
Lions by 10
Stormers v Brumbies
One of the really intriguing games of the round. The side that I thought would be the strongest South African side against the strongest side in the competition. The Stormers will be looking to bounce back from their home loss last weekend and they aren’t going to lose many at Newlands. The Brumbies will be looking at making a big statement like they did against the Tahs. This season feels like the Brumbies season and if that’s going to happen then this game will be a good sign. I’m going bold with a travelling win.
Brumbies by 5
Jaguares v Chiefs
The Jaguares get host their first ever competitive game in front of a full house. The Chiefs have been on the road and even had to split up into three planes at one point in this trip as they were so small. That travel has to have impacted the Chiefs whilst the Jaguares had a week off. So I’m going for a home win even if the South American’s discipline has been letting them down and they have been playing too expansively so far.
Jaguares by 3
Check out Rugby Numbers algorithmic predictions, so far he’s winning by 2 rounds to 1.