Another enthralling round of Super Rugby certainly some upsets and do we have another contender emerging? Check out the Super Rugby 2020 Round 2 Review where Steven Harris and I go over all the games.
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Blues v Crusaders – Crusaders by 7
The Blues might have good opening games to the season but by the third round that has worn off. Sure they beat the Waratahs last weekend in Newcastle but let’s not build too big a bandwagon from that. At least this season the Blues look like they know what they are trying to do. Unfortunately they just don’t have the cattle to get above mid-table.
The Saders will be looking to bounce back from their loss to the Chiefs last weekend. Let’s be honest I think everyone is going to expect that and I wouldn’t be surprised if the bookmakers have already stopped taking bets on them to win.
Rebels v Waratahs – Rebels by 3
The Rebels and Tahs have both started the season poorly. The Rebels have been really poor losing to the Sunwolves and then it’s all over by halftime against the Brumbies.
The Tahs haven’t been much better with their best player in Beale taking the wrong options. At least they managed to stay in touch with the Blues until halftime this weekend. So in a game of who’s going to lose it the least I’m going with the home side.
Sunwolves v Chiefs – Chiefs by 7
I so want to pick the Sunwolves after their display in the opening weekend. They played with such joy and freedom. You can see that the players are enjoying the licence to play up there and when it clicks it’s devastating.
However we need a dose of reality in this pick. The Chiefs have won their opening two games. In both cases they have had to come back from halftime deficits. It’s not been the headline 40odd point wins but it’s the kind of wins that championships are built on. I would normally say complacency could be an issue but not after the attacking display they put on a couple of weeks ago.
Hurricanes v Cell C Sharks – Hurricanes by 3
This is another really hard game to pick. The Canes were really poor in the opening round but bounced back with a good win over the Jaguares. It does mean though that they have done a lot of travelling. Playing in South Africa then Argentina and now back to New Zealand.
The Sharks have started better than I think we all expected. You do need to temper that with the sides they have faced. The Canes have played two sides that we could see in the semi finals. On the flip side I don’t think that either the Bulls or Highlanders will be making the playoffs at all. I have gone with the home side but they will have traveled more and also the Sharks go well in NZ historically. Remember their 21-21 draw in Christchurch last season. I’m going with the home side but not with a lot of confidence.
Join me straight after the final whistle for post match reaction to Hurricanes v Sharks.
Brumbies v Highlanders – Brumbies by 5
This is a form pick rather than a history pick. The Landers have won the last four games between these two sides. However they looked like a side that hadn’t spent much time with each other last weekend. That shouldn’t be so surprising with so many new players. I also don’t like the selection of Ioane at 12, I think he should be given the 10 jersey for the season.
The Brumbies have started the season well, grinding victories out over conference opponents. I still don’t expect them to go far in the playoffs but in a weak conference they are looking the best or least worse. At home against an un-cohesive team I expect them to get the job done.
Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers – DHL Stormers by 7
If there’s one game that you should just watch the highlights for then this is it. I fully expect this game to be littered with mistakes and for the defences to be on top. Just holding onto the ball last weekend was a struggle as you can see in the tweet below their opponents got plenty of scrummaging practice!
Still this Stormers side know how to win games and that’s with defence. So far they haven’t conceded a point this season. This Lions team is a shadow of what it was a couple of years ago and won’t trouble the Stormers who I see as semi-finalists.
Jaguares v Reds – Jaguares by 10
Whilst it’s been two losses for the Reds so far at least they have picked up losing bonus points. But again you have to look at who they’ve played. The Brumbies and Lions, neither of whom are going to be troubling the engravers.
The Jaguares lost a close one last weekend to the Canes as they faded in the latter part of the game. I don’t think that they have to worry about that with the Reds who just don’t have a bench to match the Canes. The Jags will be looking for a TBP as well in what’s looking like a really competitive Africa conference.
Bye – Bulls
With 2 losses and no bonus points this might be a good time for the Bulls to have a bye. The players don’t need the rest yet from a conditioning point of view. On the other hand they need to sort out their game quick or the season will be effectively over.
Record So Far
10 from 14 or 71% is a solid start.
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