I killed any chance of Grand Slam Points last weekend by suggesting that it was a fairly straightforward round, and then was scuppered by the Stormers and the Bulls, as well as the Force-Brumbies draw. I’ve dropped a few places as a result, but here’s what I think will happen this weekend.
First up is a match between two teams with just three victories to their name all season. I’m backing the home side after their rest week in Round 14, and on the basis that the Force have nothing to play for now that the playoffs are out of reach.
I can’t look past the Highlanders against the Lions, and I fancy the Stormers to beat the Brumbies after their confidence-boosting win over the Blues last weekend that came without Jaque Fourie and Jean de Villiers.
The Sharks versus the Waratahs could be a cracker, and I’m tipping the home side despite their defeat at the same venue last weekend. You never quite know what to expect from the Tahs, but a home win is the safest prediction here.
After a dreadful start to the season, the Cheetahs have now won four in a row – including that Crusaders scalp – but I still can’t find it in me to back them at Loftus Versfeld. A Bulls win for me.
Then finally, it’s the tie of Round 15 between the Reds and the Crusaders – maybe even the game of the season. The Reds have been a real handful this year, with 5 bonus-point victories and just two defeats, and they are unbeaten at Suncorp Stadium. Can the Crusaders end that streak? It could come down to Quade Cooper v Dan Carter, which is a tasty-looking clash, but I’m leaning towards the Reds for this one for what would be a slight upset according to the bookies’ odds.
Here are my Super Rugby predictions for Round 15:
Hurricanes v Force: Hurricanes by 9
Highlanders v Lions: Highlanders by 17
Brumbies v Stormers: Stormers by 8
Sharks v Waratahs: Sharks by 6
Bulls v Cheetahs: Bulls by 8
Reds v Crusaders: Reds by 5