The Rugby Championship Predictions 2012: Round 1

Rugby ChampionshipWith the first round of The Rugby Championship getting underway this weekend, it’s time to get your SuperBru picks in. Here are Hutch’s best efforts for the first two matches.

Australia v New Zealand

Going into the first round of matches, Super Rugby form is perhaps the best indicator of how the matches will go, and that means I’m very much leaning towards the All Blacks.

The Chiefs and Crusaders were the form sides over the last few weeks of the season, whilst only the Reds qualified for the knockout stages from the Australian conference, and then lost to the Sharks at home in the playoffs.

A couple of extra weeks of rest might do them good, but a glance down the teamsheets tells me that the All Blacks should win this test. They’ll be dominant up front against the Aussie pack, and it looks as though Ma’a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams have been picked to steamroller Berrick Barnes and put him off his game.

My SuperBru prediction is New Zealand by 13

South Africa v Argentina

Few people are giving the Pumas any chance whatsoever in their first Test match, and travelling to Cape Town won’t help their chances. But they’ll be the best-prepared team in the tournament having been together as a squad for some time, and the Springboks have been dealt several injury blows.

I still think the Boks will win, but predicting the margin is not easy. Some people have gone for a big victory, but I suspect it won’t be a particularly high-scoring game, with both sides playing a fairly conservative match to open their campaign.

However, Heyneke Meyer will be feeling the pressure to deliver a comfortable victory, and with Morne Steyn’s boot becoming less reliable, they may need to score some tries – I think it will be close for 60 or 70 minutes with a couple of late scores taking the game away from Argentina.

My SuperBru prediction is South Africa by 13

I seem to have picked the same margin for both matches…what are your SuperBru picks?

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