Finally I got all my picks right last weekend! That’s the first round this season and something that I’d normally achieve 3-4 times in a Super Rugby season but this year it’s been all over the place.
Catchup with what happened in Round 15 with the DrivingMaul Round 15 Review.
Here is my video with my Super Rugby 2019 Round 16 Predictions:
Blues v Vodacom Bulls – Blues by 5
I’m looking forward to being at this game with the West Stand Massive so if you’re going do pop by and say “Hi”. I’ll also try to put up a match preview on Twitter just before the game.
The Bulls really put the cat among the pigeons for picks a couple of weeks ago by beating the Rebels in Australia. That was their first win in ages outside of South Africa but normal service resumed last weekend in Canberra against the Brumbies. The Bulls travelling woes is what is really pushing to back the Blues but they have also looked decent at home for most games this season.
I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction from Eden Park.
Rebels v Waratahs – Rebels by 5
After leading the Australia conference for so long it looks like the Rebels might just stumble at the wrong moment. A few people that I have talked to say that we are seeing lady luck even things out. There were a few games earlier in the season where the Rebels were getting results when their performances didn’t warrant it. Luckly for them they got their winning mojo back against the Sunwolves and the Tahs are looking a right old mess at the moment.
Sunwolves v Brumbies – Brumbies by 3
The Brumbies have an awful away record with only 1 win from 7. That was against the Stormers and we know that games involving the Africa conference are a coin flip. Also the Sunwolves haven’t had a win in a while so could the Brumbies go into this game overly complacent? It’s not enough to make me pick the Sunwolves but it is enough to make me really uncertain which is why I’ve gone for a narrow margin.
Chiefs v Crusaders – Crusaders by 7
Whilst this is a “home” game for the Chiefs they aren’t playing in Hamilton. This game is being taken to Fiji just like last year. It’s good to grow the game in the Pacific Islands but if they aren’t going to put a Super Rugby side there I don’t see the point. It’s meant that Chiefs fans haven’t be able to see the Crusaders players in the flesh for a couple of years now. If I was a season ticket holder I wouldn’t be happy.
The game is a fairly easy pick. The Chiefs are missing a whole bunch of players (13 from memory for the last game) and the Crusaders are the Crusaders. However the Saders haven’t been preforming to their normal standards. The Blues game was closer than expected and also they have 3 draws in their last 4 games. Will the Chiefs have been able to learn anything from those games???
I will be Live on YouTube straight after the final whistle with post match reaction from the Zone Sports Bar.
Reds v Jaguares – Jaguares by 5
After a slow start to the season the Jaguares have hit a purple patch. With 6 wins in their last 7 games they have moved to top of the Africa conference. We were all impressed by them making the playoffs last year and there is the real possibility of them host a home quarter final this year.
The Reds in contrast are on a 3 game losing streak that’s seen them drop to 14th overall in the competition. This is a great opportunity for the Jaguares to put some real pressure on the teams playing in the 2 games in South Africa after this.
Cell C Sharks v Hurricanes – Cell C Sharks by 3
If the Jaguares get a result in Australia this becomes a must win game for the Sharks. Already the Sharks are 3 points behind the Jaguares. Their real problem has been stringing wins together. The only time the Sharks have managed back to back wins were in their opening 2 games.
The Canes on the flip side have looked like the clear 2nd best team in this tournament. However their loss to the Jaguares last time out has raised a whole bunch of questions. That’s probably unfair as the only other team they have lost to is at the Crusaders (twice). This 2 match tour to South Africa really is going to be season defining for them as 2 losses would put their home quarter final in jeopardy.
Emirates Lions v DHL Stormers – Emirates Lions by 5
This is another must win game. These 2 teams sit in the bottom 2 places of the Africa conference and they team that loses could be losing its playoff spot. With so much on the line I can see it being a cagey affair, a bit like a lot of finals are. This is a nightmare pick as both sides are up and down. I’ve gone with home advantage but the Stormers with a draw against the Saders and beating the Highlanders last time out will be feeling good about themselves.
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