Super Rugby 2019 Round 3 Predictions

Round 2 of Super Rugby taught us that you can’t underestimate the Australian sides this year or it will bite you. South African sides still can’t play away. The New Zealand sides aren’t up to speed yet. How does that all play into the predictions? Find out below.

Catchup with what happened in Round 2 with the DrivingMaul Round 2 Review hosted by Steve from the Cornflake YouTube Channel.

Here is my video with my Super Rugby 2019 Round 3 Predictions:

VIDEO COMING

Before we get into the actual predictions, I have started a new series “DrivingMaul v The Bookie”. I’m putting money where my mouth is and you can follow the progress here.

Hurricanes v Brumbies – Hurricanes by 5

The Hurricanes were given a humbling experience last weekend when they never really got close to the Crusaders. They really need to get some of their All Blacks back such as Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett. The restriction of All Blacks to 180 minutes in the first 3 games might also be behind TJ Peranara starting on the bench.

The Brumbies put in a much improved performance last weekend against the Chiefs and no one will take them lightly now. Any chance they had of ambushing the Hurricanes is out the window. It’s going to be interesting to see if they can reach that level again. I think that on the road it’s going to be hard to see them getting the result either way.

I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction.

Rebels v Highlanders – Highlanders by 5

Well how good are the Rebels? We have only seen them in 1 game where the beat the Brumbies. Now the Brumbies have beaten the Chiefs what does that tell us? Not very much to be honest and we need to see some more games. The Rebels issue is the high number of new players which suggests they’ll be inconsistent early in the season.

The Highlanders got pushed by the Reds but with 2 wins from 2 games they will be happy. I’m not sure if any of their All Blacks will have to be taken out of the starting 15 to meet the 180 minutes criteria. I do know that Ioane has been playing well at 10 and answered the question of who would replace Sopoaga. I expect their good form to continue and they know how to win tight games

Chiefs v Sunwolves – Chiefs by 7

There are some worried people in Hamilton. This Chiefs squad is looking very thin in some places. Losing in the opening 2 rounds including at home has got people nervous. Having a visit from the Sunwolves though should be the kind of tonic they need to get that win on the board.

The Sunwolves were improved against the Tahs last weekend. Arguably they should have won the game due to the citing of a player in the last couple of minutes within goal kicking range. However you need to take it out of the refs hands and they failed to do that. A trip to New Zealand without their Japanese internationals is a really tough ask even if the Chiefs aren’t in great form.

I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction.

Reds v Crusaders – Crusaders by 7

The Reds put in a really good performance last weekend against the Highlanders but came up short. It doesn’t get any easier for them as the back to back champions come to visit. They’ll be looking for another 80 minutes performance even if the win is probably out of their reach.

The Saders were quick to pull their key All Blacks in the second half against the Hurricanes. That might mean they have enough minutes in the bank to turn out again this weekend. All All Blacks are supposed to only play a maximum of 180 minutes in the first 3 rounds. In having the game against the Hurricanes won by half time they have helped out Razor in juggling his troops.

Join me on the DrivingMaul Journey over at Patreon

Emirates Lions v Vodacom Bulls – Emirates Lions by 7

Both these sides backed up good opening round wins with a loss. To make it even worse they were losses against side that had lost in the opening weekend. Hot and cold springs to mind but as both sides had long haul travel between Argentina and South Africa that might have also played into it. The Bulls have had to make that trip again to get home. So whilst an away trip to the Lions is only down the road (in Super Rugby terms) travel will be a factor. Less travel and the Bulls poor away form leads me to back the Lions.

Cell C Sharks v DHL Stormers – Cell C Sharks by 10

The Sharks have started this season well and look much more like the team we can see on paper. We do have to temper our expectations a little as they have faced the 14th and 15th placed teams from last year. This weekend they face a Stormers side that put in a much improved performance from last weekend.

The big problem with the Stormers though is they really don’t like travelling. So expect a fairly comfortable home win.

Jaguares v Blues – Jaguares by 5

This is the big game of the round for me. We are hosting a watching party brunch at Waitemata Rugby Club. We have special guest Eroni Clarke and it’s $25 including buffet brunch so get your tickets if you’re in Auckland and support Waitemata Rugby Club.

The Jaguares have been up and down in the opening couple of weeks. Losing to the Lions before seeing off the Bulls. The second game was really wet and they coped with the conditions much better. If they are to have a good season though we are going to have to see them play in the dry. They are going to need to get their scintillating backs some space to run in.

The Blues backed up a good performance against the Crusaders with an error strewn one against the Sharks. They aren’t going to have much time to put things right as they’ll be travelling this week and having to recover. It’s going to be a tight one but I’m backing the home side to prevail.

I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction.

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