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Super Rugby 2019: Round 18 Predictions

Here are Hutch’s predictions for the final round of the regular season. Which teams will make the playoffs?

Round 17 last weekend was a disappointment, with my 4 correct picks out of 7 falling short of the community average, resulting in red arrows. The Waratahs let me down in particular, losing at home to the Brumbies and they’ve now given up on the playoffs.

It’s the final round of matches this weekend, with several places in the knockout stages still up for grabs. Here are my Super Rugby predictions for Round 18.

Highlanders v Waratahs
The Tahs have a slim chance of making the playoffs, but they seem to have thrown in the towel – fly-half Bernard Foley, captain Michael Hooper, maverick Kurtley Beale are all rested, along with Sekope Kepu and Rob Simmons, and I think they’ll be thrashed in Invercargill. Highlanders by 28

Rebels v Chiefs
This should be a cracker with the winner going through, and the loser going home. The Rebels rested their stars last week in anticipation of this more winnable match, whilst the Chiefs also had a break following their win over the Crusaders in Suva a fortnight ago. Superior Super Rugby pedigree has me leaning towards the Chiefs to win. Chiefs by 4

Jaguares v Sunwolves
The Jaguares can secure second seed with a bonus point win here, so they shouldn’t be going too easy on the lowly Sunwolves. Jaguares by 23

Hurricanes v Blues
The Canes have already secured a home quarter-final, and so will likely rest some key players, but it would take a brave man to pick a Blues win here. If they can’t beat the Reds, they can’t beat the Hurricanes surely? Hurricanes by 13

Brumbies v Reds
The Brumbies have already won the Australian conference, and barring a calamity in Buenos Aires, will be 3rd seeds going into the knockout stages. I’d expect them to beat the Reds at home, to continue their momentum into the playoffs. Brumbies by 16

Stormers v Sharks
This is another game where the winner will go through, and the loser will likely be out. Given that the Stormers have only lost once at home all season, added to the fact that they beat the Sharks in Durban earlier in the season, a home win is the sensible pick here. Stormers by 8

Bulls v Lions
The Bulls are already in the playoffs but can improve their prospects with a higher seeding if they beat the Lions, whilst a defeat for their local rivals could mean they miss out on the knockout stages this year. The Lions have won 6 of the last 8 against the Bulls, but home advantage at Loftus is significant, and given that the Bulls also won away at the Lions in March, I’m giving this one to the Bulls. Bulls by 2

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

2 replies on “Super Rugby 2019: Round 18 Predictions”

Potential upset due more to ‘Canes’ ‘B’ team being fielded, rather than Blues having AB’s (SBW?) back. Former’s ‘D’ was woeful in the 1st. Also failed to convert possession. Too many errors. Bringing on their AB’s, Peranara & Savea for instance, along with G-Bishop’s (?) chips, helped turned the game. 24 unanswered points in the 2nd 1/2.

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