Firstly, allow me to apologise for the lateness of this thread – but rest assured that you still have time to get your picks in (and take advantage of my superbly accurate predictions) ahead of this round’s first match. I’m always thinking of you guys, see…
Hurricanes v Waratahs (Friday 09h35)
There’s not really much challenge in calling the result of a trans-Tasman clash this year, particularly not if it takes place in New Zealand. The Hurricanes are in great form, the Waratahs not so much so I guess this one is pretty easy. Canes by 10.
Sunwolves v Bulls (Saturday 07h15)
I’m not sure if it’s going against the grain or not here, but I genuinely feel that the Bulls are awful this season and were actually rather lucky to beat the Wolves (their only victory to date) at Loftus last month. The Bulls are at the end of a terrible tour and with rumours of strife within the squad anf injuries to some key players, I just don’t see them winning here. Amazing as it is, I’m calling the Sunwolves to win by 5 points.
Highlanders v Blues (Saturday 09h35)
Tough pick this, since these are the two weaker Kiwi teams this year. As with all derbies, it really could go either way, so let’s back home advantage and call the Highlanders to win this by 4.
Brumbies v Reds (Saturday 11h45)
I think “meh” about sums this one up. Brumbies will win by 5 points at home, but it won’t be entertaining.
Sharks v Jaguares (Saturday 15h05)
A titanic clash awaits at Kings Park and possibly one of the games of the round? The Sharks were sublime at Ellis Park and very unlucky not to come away with the points, but they’ll be up against it this week against a Jaguares team who seem to have found their mojo in this competition. Bok duty means the Sharks are short on practice time this week and may be a little underdone here, but with a win needed to send them happily into their bye week, I’m sure they’ll find a way. Sharks to win by 6 points.
Stormers v Chiefs (Saturday 17h15)
Spicy! The mighty Storm have looked unstoppable so far this year, but for once they face proper opposition here so it’s anyone’s guess how well they’ll do. I want to back the Capetonians to win here, but I just cannot quite make that call. The Chiefs have looked to good (on the whole) this season and will want to put last week’s aberration against the Bulls behind them. Chiefs by 2?
Force v Kings (Sunday 08h05)
Dare we dream here? It would be great to see the Kings pick up an unlikely tour scalp and against the Force, they’ll not stand a better chance. Still, I feel that the Kings are not quite there yet in terms of being able to pull off a result on tour, so we’ll call a Force win by around 8 points.