The pressure is on after a successful SuperBru weekend, scuppered only by the Crusaders home defeat – I’m into the top 10% in the game and knocking on the door at the top of each pool.
However, this weekend’s Super Rugby fixtures throw up a few tough ones, and I’ve gone for a mixture of home and away wins.
First up, after their win over the Crusaders last weekend, I have to back the Highlanders at home – even though the Blues have hit some form with four bonus-point wins out of the last five. The Highlanders have been impressive so far though, and I’m leaning towards the home side at the House of Pain.
The If that is a match between two form teams, the Cheetahs versus the Brumbies is the opposite and with the Aussies making the long trip to South Africa, I think home advantage will tell, just.
Next up it’s the Hurricanes who have a great record against the Reds, having lost to the Queenslanders only once since 2001, but their form this season has been worst than most, so I’m tipping the away side in this one. The Reds have just one defeat to their name in 2011 and that was back in Round 2, so here’s hoping they can carry on winning.
I’m expecting a comfortable win for the Waratahs against the Rebels, and then after a surprise defeat last week that cost me the Grand Slam Points, the Crusaders will bring back the big guns looking to prove a point. I wouldn’t want to be in the Force side facing them this weekend, and I’m looking forward to an impressive victory for the ‘saders.
The Bulls have been a tricky side to predict this season, but I’m getting behind them against the Chiefs. They’ve had the better of that fixture over the last few seasons, and home advantage will hopefully be enough.
And finally, slightly controversially, I’ve gone for a Sharks victory against the Stormers. The home side have had just one defeat so far without setting the competition alight, and I suspect they might be a little cold after their rest week. A bit of a longshot, but come on the Sharks.
Here are my Super Rugby predictions for Round 11:
Highlanders v Blues: Highlanders by 8
Cheetahs v Brumbies: Cheetahs by 5
Hurricanes v Reds: Reds by 10
Waratahs v Rebels: Waratahs by 18
Force v Crusaders: Crusaders by 23
Bulls v Chiefs: Bulls by 8
Stormers v Sharks: Sharks by 8