And then there were two. We are down to two unbeaten sides, can they keep it going? Here are my predictions for round 5 of the Super Rugby.
First here is a link to my review of the round 4 action.
How did the predictions go last week?
3 from 6, even with a couple of big upsets it was a poor return.
BTW I was asked to include my points difference predictions, so here we go but you’ll find I’m on the conservative side mostly. Well I think I am anyway….
Hurricanes v Blues
The Hurricanes have got their big overseas trip out of the way early and it was very successful with 3 wins and a try bonus point. They are one of only two teams that remain unbeaten and a win here would put them top of the table, even if only temporarily.
The Blues have exactly the opposite problem, 4 losses from 4 but at least they also have got their trip over to South Africa out of the way. Last weekend was a horror show when they were unable to break down the Lions and lost to probably the weakest team in the competition. This week they aren’t going to get anywhere near the same amount of possession or territory and I can’t see them being able to resist the Canes back line.
Hurricanes by 10 points
Force v Rebels
The Force have shown a bit more this season, last weekend they were chasing the game and made a fist of it even if they didn’t really get close. The Rebels have got at least a point out of every game this season so this one should be close. Having had a weekend off last week you have to hope that it hasn’t hurt their momentum. Still in this battle of the basement dwellers I’m going with the home side.
Force by 3 points
Crusaders v Lions
The Lions did get a rare win on the road last weekend but that was against a poor Blues side. They will again tackle their hearts out but against a better quality of opposition that shouldn’t be enough. Crusaders should get a much need moral boosting win but they haven’t clicked yet and aren’t being helped by the gradual introduction of All Blacks. Still at home they should have too much quality for the Lions.
Crusaders by 10 points
Highlanders v Waratahs
The Highlanders will be on a high after a great upset win on the road last weekend. Let’s hope that they can keep up their performance and not suffer a hangover which can so easily happen. There will have been a lot of mental energy used up last weekend but they have a number of All Blacks in there now who will be able to lift their team mates. The Tahs come off the back of an easy win over the Reds but the champs have been a bit off colour before then. For me this one could go either way but the Highlanders have some form and so I’m going for a close home win.
Highlanders by 3 points
Reds v Brumbies
The Reds have quality players but from the outside it appears they have no confidence in the coach and the whole Hunt issue can’t have helped. The Brumbies are a form team on a roll and should roll over the Reds fairly comfortably this weekend. With the quality that is there in these teams there could be some great running rugby to watch so definitely one for the neutral.
Brumbies by 10 points
Stormers v Chiefs
The tie of the round, Stormers didn’t perform that well last weekend but errors by the Sharks let them get away with it. Against the Chiefs that won’t be allowed. The Chiefs obviously had that lost last weekend where Cruden had a nightmare with the kicking. He Will need to show that is a one off for his RWC aspirations. However the Chiefs have other injury issues and have been restricted by the 28 man touring squad limit. So with these artificial impediments against a form team and being away, I think it’s a Stormers win.
Stormers by 5 points
Cheetahs v Sharks
Can the Cheetahs do the double over the Sharks? To be even able to ask that question at this point of the season shows what a convoluted season Super Rugby is. Anyway you have to play by the rules set. The Cheetahs old boy beat the Cheetahs new boys last weekend and that will have been an example of how to go about it. The Sharks have not got the results but the performances have improved and as long as they cut errors should avenge the early season loss.
Sharks by 3 points