SportGuru fans, just as we thought the Blues were getting back on track after beating the Lions, it’s all gone wrong again. Looking ahead to Round 15, there are plenty of big clashes between sides at the top of the table. Here’s all the advice you need for your SportGuru picks:
We get underway on Friday with the Chiefs against the Bulls in Waikato. Both teams have been in and around the top spots all season – the hosts being the standout side in the New Zealand conference whilst the Bulls have slipped behind the Stormers in recent weeks – but the Chiefs will undoubtedly have the advantage with the Bulls now on the fourth leg of their gruelling tour. Chiefs by 5.
Saturday then starts with the Hurricanes hosting a rejuvenated Rebels side in Wellington. The Canes pack and defence couldn’t handle the Brumbies last weekend, but then the Rebels pack is not the strongest. The selection of Kurtley Beale at fly-half has proven to be a stroke of luck, but with their leaky defence the Rebels will need more than Beale’s wizardry to get them out of trouble. Hurricanes by 8.
It’s a return home for the Blues after last week’s horrorshow in Christchurch, taking on the Highlanders in the hunt for only their third win of the season. You sense it’s only going to get worst before it gets better for Pat Lam, with the visitors high on confidence after seeing off the Bulls. Highlanders by 10.
Next is the Australian derby between the Brumbies and the Reds. The champions are the only realistic contenders to the Brumbies top spot in the Australia conference and have found form in recent weeks, but Jake White’s team have been so good this season, particularly at home, you can’t look past them for the win. Brumbies by 6.
We then stay in Australia for the Force against the Lions in Perth. Two struggling sides but the Lions looked good in patches last week in Brisbane, admittedly after the result was a done deal. This will be close, and ugly. Lions by 3.
Back in South Africa, the Cheetahs host the Waratahs in Bloemfontein. “Inconsistent” sums up the hosts’ season well, but they are capable of a big performance. The Tahs however might not be the team for them to roll over. Waratahs by 7.
Last but not least, there is the mammoth South African derby between the Sharks and the Stormers. John Plumtree’s side have come back into the playoff hunt with their performances in recent weeks, but to eventually win the South African conference they will have to peg back the Stormers with a win at home. However, the visitors are not top of the log for nothing. This will be close. Stormers by 3.
That’s it for this week, best of luck with your picks and see you in Round 15.
by Ben Coles