Round 3 was a shocker. You know things aren’t going well when the Sunwolves somehow beat the Chiefs away from home, and that only 3 out of the 7 matches were picked by more than 28% of people on Superbru. Somehow there were 18 people out of nearly 200,000 that managed to pick all 7, but the average was just 3.23 correct picks.
Sadly only two of my predictions were correct, and the one upset I did pick didn’t come off – the Blues laid siege to the Jaguares tryline but couldn’t find a way through. A late score there would have turned my red arrows into green, but that’s how it goes and I’ve taken it on the chin, ready to go again for Round 3. In Super Rugby, you have to pick the right upsets.
Here are my predictions for Round 4 this weekend.
Hurricanes v Highlanders
There hasn’t been an away win in this fixture since 2015, and a home win feels most likely here. The Highlanders lost to the Rebels last week, and only narrowly beat the Reds at home the week before, whilst the Hurricanes were in dazzling form against the Brumbies in Round 3. Hurricanes by 13
Rebels v Brumbies
These teams played each other as recently as Round 1, in which the Rebels won in Canberra. Fresh off a victory over the Highlanders whilst the Brumbies were being thrashed in Wellington, the Rebels ought to win this too. Rebels by 11
Crusaders v Chiefs
What has happened to the Chiefs? Three defeats in a row so far this season, including the most embarrassing of home defeats to the Sunwolves last weekend – and it wasn’t even close. I can’t see them beating the defending champions and I’m not sure how big to go on the margin. Crusaders by 18
Blues v Sunwolves
I feel like the Blues are better than their three defeats so far suggest, and I’m still not ready to back the Sunwolves. I expect a first victory for the Blues in 2019. Blues by 13
Waratahs v Reds
The Waratahs have won 9 in a row against the Reds, and although the Queenslanders have put in some reasonable showings so far this year, the Waratahs are the safest pick in this one. Waratahs by 16
Lions v Jaguares
This is another repeat of a Round 1 fixture, and the Lions won that by 9 points in Argentina. They’ve suffered two defeats since then, whilst the Jaguares have won their two matches, but with home advantage and the travel factor to consider, I’m going for another home win. Lions by 9
Bulls v Sharks
The Bulls are unbeaten in their last 7 matches versus the Sharks, and return to Loftus full of confidence after winning well at the Lions last week. Meanwhile, the Sharks lost at home to the Stormers, and surely the Bulls will make it a full house of home wins in Round 4. Bulls by 7
Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James