Round 10 was fairly extraordinary in terms of upsets, with only one match won by the community favourite on Superbru – and that was the Hurricanes beating the Sunwolves, which was almost the biggest shock of them all.
I managed three correct picks out of six, including the Canes win, the Highlanders beating the Blues (42% got that one right), and the Waratahs beating the Rebels. I certainly didn’t expect wins for the Lions (13%), Reds (7%) and the Brumbies (10%).
At first glance, Round 11 looks a little more straightforward, but isn’t that always the case?
Crusaders v Lions
This should be a simple one to start off with: a repeat of last year’s final, and given the Crusaders never lose at home, you have to back them here and it should be relatively comfortable I think. Crusaders by 18
Sunwolves v Highlanders
The Highlanders have rested a few players for this one, whilst others are absent through injury, but I’m still not comfortable picking the Sunwolves. That said, their coach Tony Brown knows a thing or two about the team he used to coach, and so a home win isn’t out of the question. Highlanders by 8
Hurricanes v Chiefs
It looks as though there’s a bit of rain forecast in Wellington, but this should be a cracking Kiwi derby as usual. Matches between these teams are usually decided by a few points either way, and I’m picking a home win here. Hurricanes by 6
Waratahs v Sharks
Losing two straightforward matches at home was not the ideal preparation for the Sharks’ tour, and although they could conjure up a performance like the one that thrashed the Lions, on recent form, you have to go with the Tahs. Waratahs by 4
Stormers v Bulls
Recent form becomes less relevant in a big SA derby like this, which is handy because the results for both teams have been very mixed so far. The Bulls haven’t won in Cape Town for ages, and I think home advantage gives the Stormers the edge. Stormers by 2
Jaguares v Brumbies
The Jaguares return home after recording their first-ever wins in Pretoria and Durban, and now face a Brumbies side that I don’t rate very highly – and they are missing key man David Pocock. This looks like another win for the home team to me. Jaguares by 6
What do you make of these predictions? All home wins (except the Sunwolves obviously!).
Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James