Super Rugby Predictions 2017: Round 18

Sharks Rugby

Last week looked fairly straightforward on paper, until the Reds beat the Brumbies (picked by 8% on Superbru), Jaguares took down the Waratahs (9%) and the Kings overcame the Bulls (11%).

This weekend is the last round of regular season action, with all 18 sides involved.

Highlanders v Reds
The Reds have won 5 of the last 6 matches against the Highlanders, but it should be easy enough for the home side this time, which has already confirmed a playoff place – albeit as 7th seed (or potentially 8th in an unlikely sequence of events). Highlanders by 18.

Rebels v Jaguares
You have to pick the inconsistent Jaguares over the Rebels, with just one win all season, but it could go either way. Jaguares by 6

Kings v Cheetahs
It’s not often that the Kings have more green than red on their streak, and they’ve had two 30-31 victories in consecutive weeks. Back at home, I think they’ll make it a third win a row against the struggling Cheetahs – and this fixture may well be seen in the Pro12 next season as these two sides bow out of Super Rugby. Kings by 4.

Sunwolves v Blues
The Japanese side has shipped an average off 55 points in their last three matches – and none of those were against Kiwi opposition. The Blues could run riot in their last match of the season. Blues by 53.

Chiefs v Brumbies
The Chiefs have said they’ll be resting their frontline All Blacks this weekend, but there’s enough depth to see off a Brumbies side that lost to the Reds last weekend. Chiefs by 28.

Hurricanes v Crusaders
I’d quite like to see the teamsheets for this one, as several players would have been involved with the All Blacks and may be rested. The ‘Saders will want to preserve their unbeaten record, whilst the ‘Canes need to secure second place in the Kiwi conference. I’m tipping the Hurricanes to sneak a close one. Hurricanes by 2.

Force v Waratahs
Could this be the last Super Rugby match for the Force? That prospect could spur them on for a win over the unpredictable Waratahs. Force by 2.

Bulls v Stormers
I felt like the Bulls’ season has been summed up in the last fortnight – they beat the Sharks away, and then lost to the Kings at home. With that in mind, the Stormers should be too good for them as they look to continue their momentum going into the playoffs. Stormers by 8.

Sharks v Lions
The Lions have won the last four matches between these two sides, and they could cement number 1 seeding with a win in Durban if the Crusaders lose in Wellington. Lions by 7.

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

4 thoughts on “Super Rugby Predictions 2017: Round 18

  1. right final round predictions
    Highlanders v Reds – Highlanders by 12 (Reds could keep this closer than TRB predicts)
    Rebels v Jaguares – Jaguares by 11 (Rebels should be the Aussie team given the boot and not the Force)
    Kings v Cheetahs – Kings by 9 (Pro12 Match next season potentially)
    Sunwolves v Blues – Blues by 30 (Blues to definitely win but Sunwolves will keep it closer at home)
    Chiefs v Brumbies – Chiefs by 20 (Cane, Retallick and ALB rested = no difference in this game)
    Hurricanes v Crusaders – Canes by 6 (Unbeaten season for the Crusaders? maybe not)
    Force v Waratahs – Force by 14 (Waratahs simply dreadful, Force will be inspired)
    Bulls v Stormers – Stormers by 12 (Loftus = fortress no more)
    Sharks v Lions – DRAW (the Sharks won’t want to lose this and allow the Lions top seeding).

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