The internationals are behind us and we are starting back with Super Rugby. This week also sees the Chiefs taking their “home” game to Fiji. Here are my predictions.
How did your round 14 predictions go?
5 from 8, a great comeback after getting the first 3 wrong.
Here are my 1 Line Predictions, check out my reasoning below.
Chiefs v Crusaders
The Chiefs are taking their game to Fiji for the first ever Super Rugby game in the Pacific Islands. They are going slightly wounded with Cruden only appearing on the bench and Beaver back starting in the 10 shirt. The Crusaders though are the top side in the competition having only lost 2 games. The flip side is that the only New Zealand side they have beaten is the Blues. It’s going to depend on how quickly each of the sides has reintegrated their internationals. In the end I’m backing the Saders to to win by about a score.
Crusaders by 5
Brumbies v Reds
The Brumbies started well and then stumbled with their off field issues. Those are behind them having won their last 4 games but they do have to cope without Pocock. The Reds, as we have discussed many times this season, have improved this season but are still not getting the results. This should be a Brumbies win by a couple of scores.
Brumbies by 10
Sunwolves v Waratahs
Japan had a decent international window against Scotland where they pushed them but their discipline let them down. Even so they have had a poor season and coming back down to Super Rugby with some of their stars heading back to other teams. The Tahs will be wanting to put the internationals behind them and get back into the task of getting ahead of the Brumbies. This should be an easy win on the road.
Waratahs by 15
Hurricanes v Blues
The Canes know that all the games from here on in need to be wins to get as high up the playoff seeding as possible. Their players had a mixed international window but Barrett is in fine form. The Blues have had a better season but losing another midfield player in the international window will be dealt with Ranger already out. The Canes should be able to take advantage of that and should win this one.
Hurricanes by 10
Rebels v Stormers
The Rebels didn’t lose too many players to the internationals and so will have had a good training block together. The Stormers know that they are in a fight with the Bulls for the top spot and a home quarterfinal. Even so South African sides don’t travel great and the Rebels are a decent team.
Rebels by 5
Cheetahs v Force
This is a game that really doesn’t matter. The Cheetahs should take this one at home for a rare win. The Force are in a bit of disarray off the pitch losing their coach and the ARU getting involved in running things. So it will be interesting if the Force can stick together and not fall apart with nothing except their contracts for next year to play for.
Cheetahs by 7
Kings v Highlanders
The Kings have only won 2 games this season and both of those were against the new teams, the Jags and Sunwolves. This has away TBP win written all over it.
Highlanders by 20
Lions v Sharks
This would have been the game of the round if it weren’t for the first game in the Pacific Islands. This game could decide who finishes top of the table and secure a home playoff. The Lions players have played a big part in the Boks squad and will be less used to coming back to their Super Rugby side. Still I think that their style of rugby will be too much for the Sharks.
Lions by 10
Jaguares v Bulls
Argentina had a mixed window but at least the players will have mainly stayed together. Still their season has been poor and even though the Bulls are the worst of travellers this should be an away win.
Bulls by 7
This season I’m competing with Rugby Numbers, check out his algorithmic predictions.
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