Let’s hope the round has a little less controversy and we can concentrate on the rugby. Here are my rugby predictions for round 7.
First here is a link to my review of round 6.
How did the predictions go last week?
2 from 6, an absolute shocker and my worst round yet.
Hurricanes v Rebels
The Hurricanes sit top of the table with their perfect record. If you look at their results a bit closer you will see that they have won three of those games by 7 points or less and only had big margins against the Lions and Force. The Rebels are putting in better performances even if the results are coming, again though most of their games have been close. Also the Rebels picked up their first ever overseas win against the Crusaders in round one. I still think this will be a home win but not by a big margin.
Canes by 10
Reds v Lions
They have only managed 3 wins between them! The Reds will have been working hard with their bye week but how much are the players listening to the coaches? If nothing else they will be refreshed for this fixture. The Lions are coming to the end of their 4 match NZ and Australia tour so will be tired. The flip side to that is that they have won two out of three games so will be full of confidence. My first reaction is that the Reds have too much quality for the Lions but that team unity and defence is big, so I’m going to back narrow away win.
Chiefs v Cheetahs
The Chiefs are back from their tour of South Africa with a win and a narrow loss in poor conditions. After such a tough and controversial game they will be happy to be home and with a fixture against one of the bottom teams. The Cheetahs last weekend had a total melt down and lost heavily to the Crusaders. I can’t see that happening again this weekend but the are up against a better side and it should be big loss even if the Chiefs will rest some players.
Chiefs by 25
Highlanders v Stormers
The Highlanders pushed the Canes all the way last weekend in a wonderful game of rugby and are probably the surprise package to the tournament so far. At least in a positive way. There were a bunch of early surprises but only the Highlanders have managed to maintain that form. The Stormers have had a good but relatively easy start to the tournament having their first loss to the Chiefs two weeks ago. They have a bye week to get over that and also the jet lag so should be ready for this test. I think that this one could go either way so I’m backing a tight home win.
Highlanders by 3
Waratahs v Blues
The Tahs finally sparked into life last weekend against the Brumbies and if they are to have any chance of defending their title need to continue that this week. Lucky they play his tot the worst team in Super Rugby who have no wins so far. Has the bye week allowed the coaches to fix some of the problems? To be fair there was some good rugby played in those losses but to be the only team 0 from 5 has to be demoralising and visiting the champs isn’t ash easy fixture.
Tats by 10
Sharks v Force
The Sharks have managed to string a couple of wins together, but the real question is how they have handled the controversy of last weeks 3 red card game. Steyn has got lucky and not received a ban for his spear tackle but if he continues the way he has been playing it’s only a matter of time. The Force also have disciplinary issues giving up 22 penalties last week. So whilst they are more likely to keep all their players on the park they could have no field position. The Force also have to pick themselves up from that late 1 point loss to the Bulls and I just don’t see them having the quality to win against the Sharks on the road.
Sharks by 5
Bulls v Crusaders
A great match up from the past and two sides that the pundits are saying have found their form. Yes the Bulls have won the last 3 games but it’s included the Cheetahs and the Force. Also they used a “get out of jail” card in that win over the Force. The Crusaders have racked up two big wins but it’s been against the Lions and the Cheetahs where they were lucky to keep all 15 players on the pitch. So this is a big test for both sides that feel they should always be challengers. Don’t expect it to be pretty as this one is going to be won up front and by which ever team takes it’s few chances.
Crusaders by 5