This is the last round before we take a break for the International window. Teams will be wanting to end on a high especially as there are so few rounds left before the playoffs. Here are my round 14 predictions.
How did your round 13 picks do?
7 from 7, it’s great when you get them all right.
Here is my 30 second One Line Predictions, for the full reasoning read below.
Hurricanes v Highlanders
The Canes have had a rollercoaster couple of weeks. First losing in South Africa and then having to suspend 5 players due to turning up slightly after a curfew. They managed the win but that was at home against the Reds. Everybody said that the Landers had a blip but those 2 losses were only by 1 point each time. Since then the Landers have had 2 victories against top New Zealand opposition. With those 2 victories in mind I’m backing the away team just like the public vote.
Highlanders by 3
Waratahs v Chiefs
The Tahs are top of the Australian conference but with the Brumbies just behind them hosting the Sunwolves they know they need the win. They have been much improved since Foley has returned but Beale has been a loss and they were blitzed early by the Saders last weekend. The Chiefs are having a great season only slipping up twice and those were interestingly at home. I can’t see the Tahs being able to contain the Chiefs counter attacking game.
Chiefs by 10
Kings v Jaguares
A basement battle that will have no impact on the serious part of the season. The only interest is due to the Jags being a new side. If the Jags go with a settled side rather than changing again I think that they should have enough to beat a battling but limited Kings side.
Jaguares by 3
Blues v Crusaders
I’m looking forward to getting back to Eden Park and giving my pre-game, halftime and full-time 30 second reports on Twitter. The Blues have bene going well and a loss away to the Lions is nothing to be ashamed about even if the manner wasn’t great. This weekend though they are coming up against a team that many think can go all the way. I think that the Saders are being overhyped. So far this season the only New Zealand side they have beaten is the Blues. Even so they are still a very good side and should have too much for the emerging Blues.
Crusaders by 5
Brumbies v Sunwolves
Simply the Brumbies will be looking for a TBP win here at home. The Sunwolves have been putting in improved battling performances despite the off field administration issues. This week though they are playing a team that preseason looked destined to go deep into the finals. That lustre has worn off as they have had their own off field issues but they should get their season back on track here as they go top of the Australian conference.
Brumbies by 10
Stormers v Cheetahs
This is one of those lopsided games that we have seen too many of especially in the African conferences. The Stormers will take this game easily and the question is can they get the TBP?
Stormers by 10
Bulls v Lions
This is a big game in the African conferences. If Lions win then they will put themselves clear in their conference from the Sharks and in contention for the top seeding. The Bulls really need the win to keep in touch with the Stormers for their conference. The Bulls have been surprisingly good this season with the exception of their usual touring problems. This weekend though they come up against the Lions who have beaten every team that’s not Kiwi. I’m backing the more expansive all round game of the Lions just like the public vote again.
Lions by 5
Rebels v Force
The Force have been poor and it’s the perfect team for the Rebels to get their season back on track. 3 losses on the trot mean that their playoff hopes have slipped away but this is a long-term project as I found out in my interview last season. The Force will try but should be out gunned.
Rebels by 10
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