We picked four from four last weekend, but there’s room for improvement – I was slightly big on one or two of the margins, and as we get deeper into ‘knockout footy’, the games do always tighten up a little.
With that in mind, here are my Superbru picks for the two games this weekend.
Crusaders v Chiefs
The Crusaders were impressive last week, dominating the game from start to finish, and denying their opposition even a shot at goal. They’ve only lost one match all season (away at the Hurricanes), and have been the best side in the competition. Their opposition this weekend have only lost two matches, and have been sublime at times, but the overriding factor here is the travel – they have been to Cape Town and back, whilst their hosts had their feet up in Canterbury before preparing for this game. History says the home team will win this, and I think the Crusaders will prevail. Crusaders by 6.
Lions v Hurricanes
So the Lions have only lost one game all season, but they haven’t actually played a Kiwi team yet. They nearly came unstuck at home to the Sharks last weekend, relying on a monster penalty from Ruan Combrinck to scrape through late on. The Hurricanes meanwhile dispatched the Brumbies comfortably (in the end), and will fancy their chances in Johannesburg. Against non-NZ teams this year, home or away, they have an average winning margin of over 32 points – whilst I don’t think it will be anything near that this time, and I would like to see a SA-based Super Rugby final, I do think the Hurricanes will be able to overcome the Lions. Hurricanes by 4.
One or two people have written to me to say they are winning their Superbru pools having followed my predictions, and asking if they could buy me a pint. Now, I don’t share my picks for money, I probably drink too much beer anyway, and there’s a lot of luck involved in Superbru predictions, so you can click on the picture of a pint to use Paypal only to assuage any guilt of winning your pools with someone else’s picks.
Or you can just follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James