DrivingMaul Rugby Predictions – 27 Mar 2021

Welcome to the new format for my rugby predictions. Instead of having separate posts for each competition I’m going to put all my predictions for the week in 1 post going forwards.

6 Nations France v Scotland

France gave themselves a chance of winning the tournament by beating Wales on Super Saturday. France need to win the game with a try bonus point and by 20 points to take the title or Wales will be Champions (even though they missed out on the Grand Slam).

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If this game had taken place on the original date I would have picked Scotland for this game due to all the disruption that the French team would have had. Now though the disruption is to the Scottish side as they don’t have access to all their players. The main name that’s missing is Sean Maitland apparently as they are only allowed to pick 5 players based in England.

With this disruption and that France have managed to get back into the swing of things, I have to go with the home side.

BTW we rounded up how all the 6 Nations sides have gone in the DrivingMaul Show this week.

France v Scotland France by 3

Record So Far

7 from 14 or 50%, this 6 Nation has been a total disaster from a picking point of view.

Check out how my picks are going v the Bookie.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 5 & AU Round 6

Before I get into the picks, you can remind yourself what happened last weekend with out Super Rugby Review Show.

With the hierarchy pretty much figured out in both Super Rugby Aotearoa and AU the picks should be fairly straight forward from here on in. For this weekend’s games as we don’t have any sides playing a team just 1 position away in the table it’s even easier.

The Hurricanes have a lightweight front 5, an injury crisis at 10 and unbalanced back-row. Unsurprisingly that’s led them to 3 losses so far. The Highlanders are firmly in that 3rd place on the table for a reason and should see off this Canes side fairly comfortably.

Over in AU we’ve been saying all season long that the Reds and Brumbies are a step above all the other sides. So easy to pick those 2 sides even if the Reds are on the road.

That just leaves the Chiefs v Blues. BTW I’ll be at this game so look out for post match interviews up on the Facebook page afterwards. Steven says that it would be typical for the Blues to be tipped over by the Chiefs this weekend. However I think that win by the Chiefs over the Canes last weekend will end any complacency that the Blues might have had and they should take it. However I do think it’s the closest call of the weekend.

Highlanders v Hurricanes Highlanders by 10 
Brumbies v Western Force Brumbies by 10
Chiefs v Blues Blues by 5
Waratahs v RedsRed by 10

Record So Far

15 from 18 or 83%, is not bad and I’m expecting it to stay high as I feel this is a fairly predictable competition.

Check out how my picks are going v the Bookie.

Pro14 Final and Catch-up Games

Just 3 games left including 1 that’s after the final. Yes we do live in crazy times. Anyway onto the games themselves.

Benetton have lost every games this season. Why should that change now? Glasgow might be coming into this after losing to the Dragons but surely even they can’t lose this one? The only thing going against them is that Benetton can have their players back from International action whilst Glasgow will still be missing their best players.

With Edinburgh missing their best players we should be seeing Dragons beating both Scottish sides in consecutive weeks after their 26-17 win over Glasgow last weekend.

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On to the final. Leinster had a surprise loss to Ospreys last weekend when they were 19-3 up with 12 minutes to go. A yellow card and 3 tries to Ospreys though turned that around into a 19-24 loss!!! There’s also the question about how seriously the 2 sides will take this game as there’s back to back weekends of European Champions Cup straight after this game. Either way if Leinster are playing you have to pick them with their record. I know I haven’t mention Munster at all in this as they only alter the margin of my pick not if Leinster will win or not.

Glasgow Warriors v Benetton Rugby Glasgow Warriors by 7
Leinster Rugby v Munster Rugby Leinster Rugby by 5 
Dragons v Edinburgh Dragons by 3

Record So Far

64 from 93 or 69%, this has been a tough season for me in the Pro14 and from a picking point of view I’m glad it’s coming to an end so I can have a fresh start.

Check out how my picks are going v the Bookie.

Gallagher Premiership Round 15

The first couple of games are easy. Exeter are the reigning Premiership and European champions and Bristol are top of the table showing they are the team to beat this season.

At the moment you have to pick against Worcester and Falcons as they both got wins (well in Worcester’s case a win) early on but are on losing streaks that are going to be hard to break.

That leaves 2 tricky picks. Irish and Bath are 6th and 7th respectively in the table. Irish have also only lost once at home all season (their inability to win on the road is holding them back). However Bath are on a roll winning 5 of their last 6 games (after losing 6 of their opening 7 games). I’m backing the recent form of Bath to take this.

I broke my rule on the last game. I picked Wasps first up but then looked at it again and have gone with Sale. I’m undecided as Sale haven’t won on the road since the beginning of February. OK it’s only been 2 games but they have lost both whilst winning at home. Sale have a history of not doing well on the road as well. However Wasps haven’t won at home since the beginning of January! Who’ll lose the game the least???

Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs Exeter Chiefs by 5 
Bristol v Harlequins Bristol by 5 
London Irish v Bath Rugby Bath Rugby by 3 
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints Northampton Saints by 5 
Wasps v Sale Sharks Sale Sharks by 3 
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons Leicester Tigers by 7

Record So Far

41 from 77 or 55%, I’ve not really got into this season of the premiership and that’s showing in my picking.

Top14 Round 20

My Top14 picking is fairly simple. Go with the home team unless you can find a good reason not to. There are 2 games that I felt I could go with the away teams. That was Clermont away at Stade, perhaps harsh on Stade as whilst they have only won 2 of their last 7 games those were their only 2 home games. However Clermont have knocked over sides near Stade in the table on the road and are in decent form.

Bayonne hosting Racing, clearly Racing are the better of these 2 sides so I’ve gone with them. But not with a lot of confidence. Racing lost to Toulon last time out and how much will they be looking forwards at Europe coming up???

As I’ve said I’ve gone with all the other home sides but La Rochelle are clearly a dangerous side so could they cause an upset? I don’t think so but that’s the one that I’m least sure of.

Stade Francais v ASM Clermont Auvergne ASM Clermont Auvergne by 3 
Bordeaux Begles v La Rochelle Bordeaux Begles by 5 
Bayonne v Racing 92 Racing 92 by 3 
Brive v Agen Brive by 20 
Castres v Pau Castres by 7 
Toulouse v Montpellier Toulouse by 7 
Lyon v Toulon Lyon by 3

Record So Far

86 from 130 or 65%, really 130 games? That’s a lot of games and apparently I forgot to pick 3 games this last round.

MLR Round 2

I had a shocking opening round, just like everyone else by the looks of things on SuperBru. The question is, how much weight do you put on that game compared to what you’ve learned from previous seasons?

First up I’m going with RUNY, look they beat the Legion on the road! OK the Legion are playing in Vegas rather than their home San Diego but still that was a major upset. With NOLA only picking up the draw I’m backing the boys from the big apple.

Old Glory are hosting Atlanta and I’m going for the cold of DC to be the deciding factor here in home advantage. Atlanta did get a good home win to kick things off but that’s in nice warm Georgia.

The SaberCats won at home in week 1 and the Free Jacks lost on the road, so I’m going for a repeat here.

I was really surprised by the Arrows going down to Atlanta and this picking might be too heavily weighted on 1 round of games. However the impact of the Arrows having to live in Atlanta away from home can’t be underestimated. That’s why I’m going for Utah who also picked up a win last weekend so will have some confidence.

The Legion can’t be beaten 2 weeks on the trot can they? For all the talent the Gilgronis have brought in brought in, it didn’t work in week 1. Put those together and I’m backing an away win.

Seattle have not looked the same since Phil Mack left the coaching staff. Sure they are the reigning champions but that’s from 2 years ago and they only won 1 game last season. Until I see otherwise I’m going to be down on Seattle despite their roster. Add to that the Giltinis winning their first ever competitive game and why shouldn’t they go back to back?

New Orleans Gold v Rugby United New York Rugby United New York by 3 
Old Glory DC v Rugby ATL Old Glory DC by 3 
Houston SaberCats v New England Free Jacks Houston SaberCats by 5 
Utah Warriors v Toronto Arrows Utah Warriors by 3 
Austin Gilgronis v San Diego Legion San Diego Legion by 3 
LA Giltinis v Seattle Seawolves LA Giltinis by 3

Record So Far

1 from 6 or 17%, clearly I know nothing about American rugby….. then again the average is 31% correct on SuperBru at the moment.

The Franchise Cup Round 4

Ok we are into the final round of the Franchise Cup or South Africa Preparation Series. I’ve been paying so little attention to this that I didn’t realise this was the last round of games. I had to look up to see if there were finals or not (doesn’t look like it).

I’ve gone with a couple of away wins for the Bulls and Lions which I think is a little risky. But their results have been much better than the Sharks and Stormers so I’m backing those away sides to maintain their winning records.

For the Griquas v Pumas I’m going back to their Currie Cup/Super Rugby what ever it was called tournament. In that one the Pumas won both games against the Griquas by 5 and 6 points. So I’m backing the Pumas to continue that form especially as they got a win over the Cheetahs last round.

The last pick is easy, go against the Elephants. The only question is margin and I’m going 35 as the Cheetahs haven’t been setting the world alight in this tournament.

Cell C Sharks v Vodacom Bulls Vodacom Bulls by 3 
Griquas v Phakisa Pumas Phakisa Pumas by 3 
DHL Stormers v Xerox Lions Xerox Lions by 3 
Cheetahs v EP Elephants Cheetahs by 35

Record So Far

10 from 12 or 83%, whilst I’m going well in this competition it’s not something that I have been paying much attention to.

Please do let me know what you think of the new format.

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