The lead at the top of the Super 14 changed hands last week as the Waratahs overtook the Bulls, but I’m expecting that to change again this week.
The first game is a repeat of last year’s final, and I’m backing the Bulls to win again. The hosts are without captain Mils Muliaina, and the Bulls should have overcome any jet lag on the second leg of their tour.
The Force now have David Pocock back in their ranks, and after their win over the Stormers last weekend, I fancy them to win again, particularly as the game is in Queenstown rather than Dunedin.
The Blues should beat the Stormers in Auckland, and then the Crusaders against the Waratahs could be the best game of the round. It’s third against first, and I’m predicting a win for the home side on the basis that the Tahs have not beaten the Crusaders since 2004.
Finally, I think there will be more misery for South Africa’s two second-string sides, with the Brumbies to beat the Cheetahs and the Reds to win away at the Lions.
Game 52: Chiefs v Bulls: Bulls by 6
Game 53: Highlanders v Force: Force by 5
Game 54: Blues v Stormers: Blues by 13
Game 55: Crusaders v Waratahs: Crusaders by 7
Game 56: Brumbies v Cheetahs: Brumbies by 17
Game 57: Lions v Reds: Reds by 8