For all the talk of the new Super Rugby format, there is something appealing about six local derbies in Round 1.
I’m generally going for home advantage, even in the big Blues v Crusaders game where the absence of Richie McCaw for the visitors just swung it for me.
My only away team picks are for the Waratahs taking on the new Melbourne Rebels team – I’d like to see the Rebels start on a winning note, but I think the Tahs will have too much for them. Fascinated to see how they get on though.
The other one is the Bulls over the Lions, which is usually a no-brainer and the respective squads suggest that this season will be no different.
Here are my Super Rugby / Super 15 Predictions for Round 1:
Hurricanes v Highlanders: Hurricanes by 8
Rebels v Waratahs: Waratahs by 13
Blues v Crusaders: Blues by 5
Brumbies v Chiefs: Brumbies by 9
Sharks v Cheetahs: Sharks by 17
Lions v Bulls: Bulls by 23
Reds v Force: Reds by 11