Super Rugby Predictions 2018: Semi-finals

Crusaders

Picking the Highlanders to beat the Waratahs last weekend nearly came off – they had some chances to win it in the closing stages, but to be fair to the Waratahs, their defence late on was outstanding and they deserve their place in the semi-finals.

Here are my predictions for the two matches this weekend, where two home wins would be the obvious picks if you are leading your Superbru pools, but I need to pick an upset if I’m going to challenge for silverware.

Crusaders v Hurricanes
This is the match for the upset. Everything points to a win for the Crusaders, and that’s definitely the sensible pick, but with only three matches left in the season, I need to pick the underdog in one of them. And it’s this one. The ‘Canes have won three of the last five against the Crusaders, which includes a win by 25 points in Christchurch in 2016, and unlike most away teams in previous semi-finals, they haven’t had to travel around the world to get to the game. Up against familiar foes, if there’s one team that can stop the Crusaders winning the title, it’s the Hurricanes. Hurricanes by 2

Lions v Waratahs
Having fought so ferociously to come through a huge test in Sydney last week, I think the Waratahs will struggle to compete at altitude, after a long flight from Australia. They haven’t won at Ellis Park since 2009, when the Lions were not nearly as strong as they are now, and I think the Lions will win – and we might as well go for a big margin to hunt that bonus point. Lions by 18

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

15 thoughts on “Super Rugby Predictions 2018: Semi-finals

      1. John
        Bit defensive? It’s not I suppose, but is the actuality of taking yr eye off the ball 1? An issue for England rugby generally? How does a gambling game have anything to do with reality?




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  1. I think crusaders will be too strong

    sensible pick is the lions at home, but think the warratas if they can somehow get parity up front, their backs (folau, beale and foley ) can run tehm ragged

    IMO beale and Folau are the two best in their positions in the world right now




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    1. Gary
      Can understand your opinion about Beale, but as for Folau’s being a better full back than Ben Smith? Why? Can he run, pass, kick, beat people, defend (including leaping like a salmon), make decisions @ speed, has he a better positional sense & anticipation than Smith? I’m unconvinced that he can or does. However, it’s possible that he comes in as 2nd.




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  2. Just as suggesting 2 away wins seems fanciful given past history, surely logic dictates 2 home wins. To state that the Canes will win as it’s the game for an upset (why?) & is also necessary for other than purely rugby reasons, implies skewed thinking? Hope this game does turn out as predicted, but I wouldn’t bet on it any more than I would on Dave’s future comments being any less genteel than his ones already posted above!




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    1. He states it is due to him playing the Superbru prediction game, where he is behind in his league and therefore would need to predict something unlikely to catch up…

      Looks like a few of you need to lighten up!




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      1. Ted
        Thanks for the heads up, will try & take yr advice. However, isn’t the ‘Superbru’ prediction game a non-rugby reason? Anyway, perhaps I should join in?




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  3. No surprises here then. Canterbury were just too efficient in attack & clinical in defence. Smothered the Canes with the latter. The Barrett’s kicking especially, was ?able again. Stating ‘Hurricanes by 2’ seemed akin to asserting that William Tell went close after shooting his son in the head instead of hitting the apple.

    Waratahs started like a well oiled machine, but Good, effective back line passing saw them motor into a lead, but they got ground down & had too little pill as the game progressed.




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