It was a crazy weekend of rugby opening with a draw and including a couple of big comebacks. However last weekend wasn’t about the rugby at all after the horrific events in Christchurch. Our thoughts will still be with Christchurch as the Crusaders return to action away from home this weekend.
Here is my video with my Super Rugby 2019 Round 6 Predictions:
Blues v Highlanders – Highlanders by 5
The Blues had a weekend off after getting their first win of the season. SBW has taken this week off to be in Christchurch and help the community down there. With the Highlanders having their game cancelled last weekend this will be a very strange and difficult week for both squads.
Purely from a rugby point of view though it has been so long since the Blues have beaten another New Zealand side that it’s hard to back them. Sure the Highlanders have lost their last 2 games but that did include when they rested the Smiths that are so important to them. Even with Nonu slotting into that 12 jersey you have to feel that this is a mountain too high for the Blues and that the Highlanders will get their season back on track.
Hurricanes v DHL Stormers – Hurricanes by 5
With no Friday night game in Australia we are straight onto the Saturday 7:35pm game in New Zealand. The Canes picked up a draw against the Chiefs which some might think is underperforming but it was an away game and they picked up those 2 points.
After a really poor opening game the Stormers have put together a good run of results. The thing to remember is that this is a tour game and the South African sides do struggle on the road. To be fair the Stormers did beat the Canes away in 2013, but that’s a lifetime ago isn’t it. It should be a good game as 2 of the form teams in the competition goes head to head. I just can’t see past that travel for the Stormers though.
I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction.
Waratahs v Crusaders – Crusaders by 7
The Tahs got out muscled by the Brumbies last weekend and whilst they do have 2 wins this season they have been against the Sunwolves and Reds. Yup 2 teams that are struggling to get those wins. That pack is going to cause the Tahs problems all season long you feel.
If this week is going to be difficult for the Blues and Highlanders then it’s doubly so for the Saders. How much tragedy can 1 city take? We’ve seen in the past that the Saders pull together in times of adversity. There’s no reason to think that it will be any different this time. They are the best team in the competition and I think they will be extra motivated this weekend.
Sunwolves v Emirates Lions – Emirates Lions by 3
The Sunwolves are improved and have been there or there about for all their games except the opening weekend. We are expecting to see the introduction of their Japanese internationals from this weekend. I’m not expecting wholesale changes as they have been competitive. It does mean thought that they will have better depth off the bench so they can go deeper into the game.
The Lions have been so up and down that it’s tough to call what they are going to do. They are the best touring South African side as we saw in the opening round with their win in Argentina. With that in mind I’m looking at a narrow away win and another LBP for the Sunwolves.
Vodacom Bulls v Chiefs – Vodacom Bulls by 7
The Bulls top an amazingly close South African Conference. All the teams are within 4 points and 3 teams are only separated by points difference at the top! The Bulls though have looked like the best side in South Africa so far. We did see their touring woes in Argentina but at altitude at home they are a match for just about anyone.
The Chiefs are still looking for their first win of the season. Even with that draw last weekend with the Canes they sit bottom of the log. Retallick is travelling to South Africa (but not onto Argentina) so that’s a big boost for them. Even so we have not seen the form this season to suggest that they will turnover the Bulls.
Cell C Sharks v Rebels – Cell C Sharks by 3
How do you lose a game from 5-33 up? There are going to be some shellshocked Rebels players. The coaches are going to earn their pay this week that’s for sure as they try to get the players back up.
The Sharks needed the rest week after losing 2 conference games. They had started well with good wins over the Sunwolves and the Blues only to come a cropper against the Stormers and Bulls. This is a dangerous weekend for them, will the Rebels come in demoralised or bouncing back? I’m going with a narrow win which means I’m not overly confident in the Sharks but home advantage should tell.
Reds v Brumbies – Reds by 3
The Reds finally opened their account last weekend away to the Sunwolves. It wasn’t the most convincing and they do have a lot of work still to do. Sure they have put in some good performances early on but they have young inexperienced players in key positions. That means they are likely to have off weeks as they learn but being at home should help.
The Brumbies haven’t travelled well this season. Their 2 wins have come at home and that win over the Chiefs is looking less and less impressive as the season goes on. Beating their rivals the Waratahs was important last weekend. I think the travel up north will hand the advantage to the Reds who they won’t be able to bully up-front.
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