DrivingMaul Rugby Predictions – 08 May 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.

Super Rugby Aotearoa & AU Final

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

There’s a good reason why the home sides have earned that advantage. So I don’t think you’ll see many surprising picks this weekend in either Super Rugby. I’m picking the Crusaders by 3 which is a strange number when you read this next bit. The Chiefs have either lost by an average of 19 points or won by 3 points this season. So if you’re going for a tight one you’d have to go Chiefs surely? Well I’m not but I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull it off.

Join us Live straight after the final whistle for post-match reaction to the Crusaders v Chiefs.

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Again over in Australia I’m going for the home team. They were given a wakeup call in their last game of the regular season losing to the Western Force. With the extra week’s rest I think that they should be in a better place than the Brumbies who, like all teams at this point of the season, are missing key players due to injury. The previous 2 meetings of these teams ended with the Reds winning by 2, so I’m going for that margin again.

Crusaders v ChiefsCrusaders by 3
Reds v Brumbies Red by 2

Record So Far

28 from 41 or 68%, not happy with how my picking has gone. Seems like I miss all the upsets and when I do go for them they don’t happen…..

Check out how my picks are going v the Bookie.

Gallagher Premiership Round 18

I’m not sure how much insight I can add about the Premiership this year. Essentially Sharks have won 7 of their last 8 games so should go well at home. Saints are on a 3 game winning streak where as Gloucester have only once managed to win back to back all season. Exeter to easily beat a would normally be relegated Worcester.

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Falcons v Irish is a really tough one as neither are going well so I’m backing home advantage. I expect Bears to rebound after their loss to Exeter. Finally Quins are having a good season unless they come up against the big boys of Exeter and Bristol, should win at home.

Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers Sale Sharks by 10 
Northampton Saints v Gloucester Rugby Northampton Saints by 5 
Exeter Chiefs v Worcester Warriors Exeter Chiefs by 15 
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish Newcastle Falcons by 3 
Bath Rugby v Bristol Bristol by 5 
Harlequins v Wasps Harlequins by 5

Record So Far

55 from 95 or 58%, I’m having a really poor Premiership season, I’m blaming COVID.

Top 14 Round 23 + Catch Ups

Not only do we have the normal weekend games in the Top 14 but also a couple of mid-week games next week, so I’ve tacked them on to the end here. First up I’m going with the rule fo home advantage with Castres playing Lyon who are next to them on the table. Next up I’m going for an upset with Clermont picking up the away win as Racing 92 are on a 4 game losing streak and are distracted by Europe still.

Agen have lost ever game this season so you clearly pick against them. For the rest of the weekend’s games and the 2 mid-week games I’m goign with home advantage which is so key in France. The game that I wanted to go with the away team is Bayonne v Bordeaux but I couldn’t bring myself to do it in the end.

Castres v Lyon Castres by 3 
Racing 92 v ASM Clermont Auvergne ASM Clermont Auvergne by 3 
Agen v Pau Pau by 10 
Brive v Stade Francais Brive by 5 
Bayonne v Bordeaux Begles Bayonne by 1 
Montpellier v La Rochelle Montpellier by 3 
Toulon v Toulouse Toulon by 3 
Brive v La Rochelle Brive by 3
Montpellier v Toulon Montpellier by 3

Record So Far

95 from 144 or 65%, not great but the SuperBru average is 62% so it’s not really that bad.

MLR Round 8

If there’s one certainty in MLR it’s that the Giltinis will win. That makes the first pick easy enough. After that is all gets a lot harder. I’m backing NOLA over the Cats who have only got wins over Legion and Seawolves who let’s be honest are disappointing this season.

Free Jacks v Gilgronis is a really hard pick. However I’m going with the away team who are on a 4 game winning streak even if this is only their 2nd away game of the season. Utah v Old Glory is another tough one. I’m backing home advantage as Glory haven’t won on the road so far this season.

Toronto might be down as the home team against Atlanta but as the game is in Atlanta it’s not really as COVID is really hurting their season. Atlanta beat the Arrows by 7 points in the opening game of the season on this pitch. I’m going for a closer margin but the same result. Finally the 2 most disappointing sides of the season. I’m backing the Legion to lose it the least.

Rugby United New York v LA Giltinis LA Giltinis by 20 
New Orleans Gold v Houston SaberCats New Orleans Gold by 7 
New England Free Jacks v Austin Gilgronis Austin Gilgronis by 3 
Utah Warriors v Old Glory DC Utah Warriors by 5 
Toronto Arrows v Rugby ATL Rugby ATL by 3 
Seattle Seawolves v San Diego Legion San Diego Legion by 3

Record So Far

17 from 37 or 46%, whilst I’m struggling with my MLR picks so are most other people showing how competitive this league is (well except for LA).

Rainbow Cup Round 3

Wow we actually have a full round of games in the Rainbow Cup with both the European and South African versions happening at the same time. There’s plenty of guessing in this one let’s be honest. How are each of the teams going to use the tournament this weekend? Will we see a fully strength team or the academy turning out?

A quick rundown of my picks sees me go with home advantage over in Italy but the opposite in Scotland where I think Edinburgh have the better form. In Ireland I’m backing Munster after their victory last weekend and Leinster who’ll want to avenge a rare loss to Connacht early this season. Finishing off in Europe Cardiff are on a 10 game winning streak over the Dragons so I’m backing them to continue that at home. Again I’n going with home advantage for Scarlets over Ospreys.

Heading down south and I’m backing the 2 sides that won their opening games in this competition. The Bulls have already beaten the Stormers 3 times this season, however I think the other game will be close.

Zebre Rugby Club v Benetton Rugby Zebre Rugby Club by 3 
Munster Rugby v Ulster Rugby Munster Rugby by 10 
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh Edinburgh by 3 
Cell C Sharks v Emirates Lions Cell C Sharks by 3 
DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls Vodacom Bulls by 5 
Connacht Rugby v Leinster Rugby Leinster Rugby by 3 
Scarlets v Ospreys Scarlets by 3 
Cardiff Blues v Dragons Cardiff Blues by 3

Record So Far

4 from 8 or 50%, this is a total lottery of a competition that’s only happening to fill TV contracts.

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