We enter the second half of the regular Super 14 season this week, and the form teams are starting to show. Nevertheless, this week, there are some very tricky games to predict.
The New Zealand derby is first up, and I’m backing the Crusaders who had a bye in the last round, and have only lost one game all season. It should be close, but their recent results suggest that Dan Carter and Richie McCaw’s team will edge it.
I’m expecting yet more misery for the Force against the Stormers, and then slightly controversially, I’m backing the Blues to end the Bulls’ unbeaten run. This is only the Champions’ second game out of South Africa, and although they have won every game, they’ve had a few scares and have looked beatable – and they’ve never beaten the Blues in Auckland.
I’m also predicting home victories for the Chiefs and the Waratahs against the Highlanders and the Cheetahs respectively, and then I’ve gone for the Reds to beat the Sharks in Durban – the Durban side have looked a little shaky, whilst the Reds have been very impressive with Quade Cooper and Will Genia running the show, so I can see a narrow away win.
Here are my Super 14 predictions for Round 8:
Game 46: Hurricanes v Crusaders: Crusaders by 5
Game 47: Force v Stormers: Stormers by 13
Game 48: Blues v Bulls: Blues by 6
Game 49: Chiefs v Highlanders: Chiefs by 9
Game 50: Waratahs v Cheetahs: Waratahs by 13
Game 51: Sharks v Reds: Reds by 5