Super Rugby 2017: Round 3 predictions

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 9 Mar 2017 at 10:21
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Fresh off a credible 7 from 9 last week, I’m feeling pretty bullish about my chances in round 3. Let’s see how the games might pan out.

Chiefs v Hurricanes (Friday 08h35)

The game of the round, I reckon, as the two currently-unbeaten pace-setters in the competition square off in Hamilton. The Canes have run up huge victories against soft opposition in the opening weeks, while the Chiefs have had to do it the hard way, but have nevertheless recorded impressive bonus-point victories against Kiwi opposition. You can probably tell from that opening that I’m leaning away from the smart money here. I think the Canes have picked up regulation wins against the tournament chaff and have yet to be tested in any way. The Chiefs are at home and are already battle-hardened, so I’m expecting the steely Mooloo Men to withstand the frantic Canes and pick up the points. Chiefs by 5.

Brumbies v Force (Friday 10h45)

Hell, this is unlikely to be much entertainment. The Force surprised in beating the Reds in Perth last week and were also credible in their loss to the Waratahs in Round 1. The Brumbies don’t apepar to have all that much going for them this season either, so this should be dull. Expect the Brumbies to win it by 6 or so.

Blues v Highlanders (Saturday 08h35)

Another classic between two Kiwi teams that suffered losses last week. The Blues came badly unstuck in Hamilton after being written up as contenders in week 1, while the Highlanders tried manfully to overcome some early injuries, but ultimately fell to the Crusaders in the closing minutes. On paper, I’d say the Blues look better (especially since the Highlanders are missing Ben Smith, a key strike weapon) but I somehow just can’t see the South Islanders, who won the competition just two years ago, starting the season with three losses. I’m backing the Landers to find a way here, so it’s Highlanders by 4 points.

Reds v Crusaders (Saturday 10h45)

No real contest here, I’m afraid. Like the Sharks did in round 1, the ‘Saders may find the Brisbane stickiness something of a leveller in the opening period, but they will recover as they do and will finish strongly -far too strongly for this ageing Reds side to live with. Crusaders by a handy 10 points.

Kings v Stormers (Saturday 15h05)

I don’t think this is going to be quite as easy as many would have you think – simply because I remember the Stomrers battling to overcome the Kings in the past. That said, the injury curse is already taking hold down in the Bay and even a decidedly weaker Stormers team should have too much for these plucky Kings. Stormers by 15.

Cheetahs v Sunwolves (Saturday 17h15)

This should be fun to watch, especially if you enjoy watching the Cheetahs score tries. Last year they scored 92 points against the hapless Japanese side and I feel like this year’s Cheetahs crop are even better. This is going to be slaughter and I’d expect the Cheetahs to win by 60 or more. Yes, that much.

Sharks v Waratahs (Saturday 19h30)

160+ passes apiece in the Durban humidity? Add that to things like seeing Elvis and income tax being abolished…. not going to happen, folks. No, I’m afraid this game is most likely going to be a bit less “all action” than what we saw from the Sharks in Canberra, which may actually result in a more comfortable victory as a result. The Lions threw caution (and defence) out of the window and outscored the ‘Tahs by eight tries to five. The Sharks are not yet able to win that way and I for one hope they don’t try to. This Waratahs team, I feel, will be even more vulnerable to the direct approach and I expect that the Sharks pack will have just too much for them without the backs needing to do anything flashy. In other words, I think we’ll grind out a win here, but it will be an important win all the same. Sharks by 8.

Jaguares v Lions (Saturday 21h40)

Johan Ackermann doesn’t learn and for the second year running, he’s heading to Buenos Aires with an under-strength team. The Jaguares are again ill-disciplined, but boast a solid team and will be buoyed by home support. I’m expecting them to turn the tables on a Lions team yet to really find their mojo this year. Jaguares ganar con 7 puntos, o más!


  • Agreed on your predictions with one exception.

    The Hurricanes will win.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.03.17 13:17:04 by Bump Reply
  • Canes, Brumbies, Blues, Saders, Stormers, Cheetahs, Tahs, Lions

    Canes worry me a bit, they’ve only had two practice matches so far but the Chiefs discipline is an issue

    Blues start with their All Blacks this week and hopefully they won’t get another red card

    Sharks travelled back while the Tahs have acclimatised. Sorry, but the Sharks haven’t been convincing in either their games. Their defence has been weak and they struggled to score tries, depending on Lambie kicking penalties.

    Lions just because they’re the Lions 🙂 Ackers taking a risk and selected some rookies to start with a high impact bench but the Jaguares also travelled and they are missing a number of key players.

    Still very difficult to judge the relative strength of sides but this weekend will give some indication

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.03.17 16:14:17 by Baylion Reply
  • So I got 7 out of 9 in both weeks…here’s my shot at 8 out of 8:
    Canes by 4
    Brumbies by 5
    Highlanders by 6
    Crusaders by 9
    Stormers by 21
    Cheetahs by 51
    Sharks by 7
    Lions by 5
    Let’s see how we go…

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.03.17 17:18:33 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Baylion (Comment 2) : Jaguares playing essentially the same team that played the Stormers and who travelled back this week. Only changes are Desio and Hernandez on the bench

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.03.17 17:50:00 by Baylion Reply

  • After last week I’m not even going to mention my picks!!! 😳

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.03.17 22:17:18 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 5) : I’ve got a feeling we are going to be wrong with a lot of results this weekend!

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.03.17 08:34:47 by Quintin Reply

  • Canes discipline getting them 2 yellows. HT 17-6 in the Chiefs favor.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.03.17 09:29:04 by Quintin Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 3) : @Quintin (Comment 7) : Oh well, there goes my 8 out of 8…
    Final score 26-18 to the Chiefs…

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.03.17 10:37:51 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 8) : Chiefs will win Super rugby this year.Brodie Rettalick is one of the strongest and most athletic players to have ever played the game and he is only 25.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.03.17 12:30:01 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 9) : Yup…they must be favourites right now. They certainly look impressive…

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.03.17 13:21:47 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 9) : I feel a fully fit PSDT is a better lock. When I was in New Zealand 18 months ago I noticed an article saying Retallick is the ultimate modern lock.

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.03.17 15:27:59 by Hulk Reply

  • @Hulk (Comment 11) : The difference between the two is PSDT is hardly ever fully fit and Rettalick is very seldom injured.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.03.17 15:38:33 by The hound Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 10) : They seem quite amazing at this point, they have beaten 3 tough teams, 2 with bonus points. Of course early season form is rarely a good indicator of how well they will be playing at the end of the comp (Crusaders were always an excellent example of how to end strong). The only question in my mind is if the Chiefs can maintain this level of intensity for the entire contest, especially at the end. This is going to be interesting. Also playing and winning your tough matches at the beginning of the season is great, but it means you’re probably playing weaker teams toward the end of the comp which can lead to either complacency or over-confidence. This is going to be interesting indeed.

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.03.17 16:09:31 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 12) : Spot on. Etzebeth is also incredibly strong and athletic, but does not seem to have the “mental toughness” of Rettalick.

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.03.17 16:10:59 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 14) : Maybe its because I have a serious dislike of anything in a blue and white striped jersey, but Ethebeth to me has looked very ”Spies ” like recently ,kinda like Samson post haircut if you catch my drift, the power just doesn’t seem to be there

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.03.17 16:27:13 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 15) : I’m with you 100%, I believe the physical strength is there, but like Spies, he lacks the mental toughness and disappears for minutes and sometimes entire matches.

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.03.17 16:29:58 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Hulk (Comment 11) : @The hound (Comment 12) : @Dancing Bear (Comment 14) : PSDT vs. Retallick is like Ockert Brits vs Sergei Bubba. Or Wayne Ferreira vs. Pete Sampras, etc. etc.

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.03.17 16:36:10 by Culling Song Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 17) : Or Chad le Clos versus Michael Phelps oh sorry wrong analogy, lets stick to the White Buffalo Fransie Botha versus SBW.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.03.17 17:01:25 by The hound Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 8) : @Quintin (Comment 6) : well hard to believe after last week’s train wreck I’ve got both right and got margin points in both!

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.03.17 17:02:41 by JD Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 13) : Very fair comment…and it will be interesting…

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.03.17 17:42:27 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 20) : Personally I am hoping RdP has taken something from the Crusaders’ playbook and the Sharks will move from strength to strength as the season progresses, and really hit their stride in the playoffs.

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.03.17 17:55:27 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 21) : That would be great… 😀

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.03.17 18:29:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 13) : @pastorshark (Comment 20) : yes some good points you mention. Yes I think they can keep the intensity and playing against “weaker” opposition before the playoffs will allow players to be refreshed and ready to give 100%!

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.03.17 22:07:46 by JD Reply
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