Glorious green arrows everywhere after last week’s picks, which included the Chiefs to defeat the Highlanders (only 17% picked that), the Sharks to beat the Lions (31%) and the Waratahs to overcome the Rebels (50%).
I did not see the Brumbies win coming, and nor did 95% on Superbru, and although I considered picking the Sunwolves against the Bulls, I couldn’t join the 19% that got that one right.
Onto Round 18, and here are my Super Rugby predictions.
Crusaders v Highlanders
Undefeated at home so far this year, you can’t pick against the defending champions here, and they’ll secure the top seeding with a win. Crusaders by 8
Reds v Rebels
The Reds are out, but I imagine they’d still like to rain on the Rebels’ parade. The fact that they are pretty dreadful though means that I’ll pick the Rebels to keep pushing for top spot in the Australian conference. Rebels by 6
Chiefs v Brumbies
That’s three wins in a row now for the Brumbies, including that Hurricanes scalp last weekend. Away from home in New Zealand this week though, and a win in Waikato still feels beyond them. Chiefs by 18
Hurricanes v Blues
Having strung together 10 consecutive wins, the Hurricanes have now lost three in a row, whilst the Blues notched their first home victory of the season last weekend. But the Aucklanders haven’t beaten any of the other Kiwi teams this year, and I think the Canes will get back to winning ways. Hurricanes by 9
Waratahs v Sunwolves
A bonus point win this weekend would likely seal the Australian conference for the Waratahs. The Sunwolves have lost all their away games this season, by an average of 19.5 points, so let’s go with that. Waratahs by 19
Bulls v Jaguares
The Jaguares have completed their all-green streak on Superbru for the first time ever, with 7 remarkable wins a row. Now they have the top spot in the South African conference in their sights, whilst the Bulls are down and out. Loftus pride counts for something, but with that added motivation, I’ll pick the Jaguares. Jaguares by 4
Stormers v Sharks
The Sharks kept their faint qualification hopes alive with a win over the Lions last weekend, and their record at Newlands will give them confidence in this game – they have won four in a row against the Stormers home and away, and haven’t been beaten in Cape Town since 2015. I’m going to tip the Sharks for the upset, but may bottle it nearer the time if it’s the GSP decider. Sharks by 2
Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James