Super Rugby 2019: Round 3 Predictions

Super Rugby Predictions

It was another week with 5 out of 7 correct picks on Superbru, with the Brumbies thrashing of the Chiefs (picked by 14%) and the Stormers beating the Lions (19%) catching me out.

Round 1 had seen 6 away wins out of 7, but it was the reverse in Round 2, with 6 home victories – only the Waratahs edging past the Sunwolves prevented a clean sweep.

It’s reassuring to know that Super Rugby remains as unpredictable as ever…here are my predictions for Round 3 this weekend.

Hurricanes v Brumbies
With such an impressive win over the Chiefs last week and the fact that they beat the Hurricanes last season, the Brumbies could win this. Add in the fact that the Canes have not looked too convincing, and perhaps an away victory shouldn’t be discounted here. Nevertheless, that’s what I’m going to do as I can’t really see the Brumbies winning in Wellington, particularly as it looks as though Beauden Barrett will feature. Hurricanes by 13

Rebels v Highlanders
This is a tricky one, with the Rebels playing at home for the first time after an opening round win and then a bye, and the Highlanders only narrowly overcoming the Reds in Dunedin last weekend. However, the Rebels have only ever beaten the Highlanders once, back in 2013, and my instinct is telling me to back the Kiwis over the Aussies. Highlanders by 4

Chiefs v Sunwolves
It has been a tough start to the season for the Chiefs, but this fixture should see them back to winning ways after last week’s embarrassing defeat in Canberra. Chiefs by 23

Reds v Crusaders
The Reds were significantly better than expected against the Highlanders last week, in what turned out to be a very entertaining game. I’ll need a bit more evidence before I start picking them to win though, especially against the defending champions. Crusaders by 13

Lions v Bulls
The Bulls’ away form is nothing like their home form, and add in the fact they’ve been to Argentina and back in the last week, I would expect a home win here. Lions by 9

Sharks v Stormers
Another South African derby, with the Sharks high on confidence after two bonus point wins in a row. The Stormers put their first round thrashing behind them, but like the Bulls, they are a different team on the road and have not won in Durban since 2014. Sharks by 8

Jaguares v Blues
Such is the strange Super Rugby format that this is the first meeting between these teams on Argentinian soil. The Blues have lost both their matches so far, and were undone by the Sharks’ power game last weekend – they can expect more of the same from the Jaguares this weekend, who beat the Bulls in the rain in Round 2. However, the Superbru Insights tells me it’s going to be sunny and warm and that might lend itself more to the Blues’ running game. Tough pick, but I’m taking a chance on a Blues win. Blues by 5

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

16 thoughts on “Super Rugby 2019: Round 3 Predictions

  1. Most results seem plausible, with scorelines, as ever, being difficult to pick with the odd unexpected result possibly being thrown in. Hurricanes should prevail v the Brumbies, but what scoreline? With B Barrett back & having home advantage they’ll look to get back on the horse (no pun) after hast week’s awful 1st 1/2 v the Crusaders. By 10? The Rebs looked the surprise packet last time & as the Oz franchises have generally seemed more threatening so far, it could well be as tight as suggested. Highlanders @ home to sneak it.. by 10. Chiefs, whom need to bounce back v Wolves, looks about right, but by 21. Crudaders by by 17. Lions v Bulls? Dunno. Bulls ^ & down, but Lions by 12. Sharkies looked powerful last week, whereas the Stormers didn’t. Sharks @ home, by 15? And Blues really can’t afford to lose another 1, but the Jags can’t either. However, the Aucklanders by 10.. yet again. Fingers xxed!

    1. Boy, this prediction bizzo! Had Hi’landers by 10! A blow out! Chiefs by 21, another blow out. Canes by 10, an underestimate by..10. Crusaders by 17, not 10. Need a QBE actuary’s feed. Watch the rest through my fingers!

  2. Law 14 .5 reads
    Tacklers must:
    Immediately release the ball and the ball-carrier after both players go to ground.
    Immediately move away from the tackled player and from the ball or get up.
    Be on their feet before attempting to play the ball.
    Allow the tackled player to release or play the ball.
    Allow the tackled player to move away from the ball.
    Sanction: Penalty.

    Tacklers may play the ball from the direction of their own goal line provided they have complied with the above responsibilities and a ruck has not formed.
    Tackled players must immediately:

    Make the ball available so that play can continue by releasing, passing or pushing the ball in any direction except forward. They may place the ball in any direction.
    Move away from the ball or get up.
    Ensure that they do not lie on, over or near the ball to prevent opposition players from gaining possession of it.
    Sanction: Penalty.
    The application of this ‘law’ is my opinion of a very poor quality.In the Hi-landers -Brumbies game ,players are over the tackled ,taking a rest on their hands.Now if this not obstructive play,what is?
    Time to bring the old fashioned rucking back, which did wonders ,supplying quick front foot ball,at least in the time in played the game.

    1. Frans, I didn’t particularly notice the issues that you rightly mention in the aforementioned match, because I wasn’t esp watching out for them & also because I believe that they are now commonplace in the current game. They shouldn’t be, I agree. Refs ought to be reinstructed to simply apply the rules & hammer cheats with cards & or by their being marched 10. Unfortunately, not releasing the ball also applies to lineouts, scrums, pens, turnovers etc. There’s also much illegal ‘shepherding’, or blocking now, whereby players not only run lines to protect their own catcher, but they then stop in front if tacklers to prevent their actually tackling. Ball carriers also run behind & across their team mates using them as shields to prevent their being tackled. The lying on in the breakdown, which you highlight, is also another area which is being ignored & so illegally stops play from being continued. The rucking you mention certainly helped stop the cheaters from hanging around for too long & produced quicker ball. Policed properly with a 1000 cameras, it might help to alleviate this particular issue. Unfortunately, these days the lack of will & or interpretation of actual laws, is being encouraged by WR & refs by their not enforcing, or instead, the intermittent ‘coaching’ of players . Incidentally, I spoke to a local ref in London recently who opined that if ALL laws weren’t ‘interpreted’, there wouldn’t be a game. I suggested that he should do his job.. or get another 1. Bloody frustrating for those of us whom just want to see a game being actually ‘played’. Regds.

      1. Picking up on a sentence in your comment got me thinking DP… Is the ‘marched 10’ an underused deterrent by referees in this day and age? It seems to me that it is solely reserved for back-chat and/or petulance but I think there is scope to apply it more broadly. Of course this brings into play the individuals referee’s interpretation and how to enshrine any law around it into black and white. But for the moment, I am going to leave it as I started it – I think it is underused.

        1. Agree SJ, marching 10 IS under used. In fact can’t recall when I last saw it ulised. Need to look up, but could be used & or in conjunction with pens for persistent offending, ‘cheating’ for instance. May result in less yellows?

  3. JOHANNESBURG – If the Lions continue to lose players at the rate they have in the past year they’ll field an almost completely new-look side in next year’s Super Rugby competition. The exodus of players from the Lions is nothing short of a crisis.
    The weakening of the Rand and gloomy economic prospects, and of course their former coach influence are in my opinion the main reasons for the Lions demise.

    To do well in international events such as the
    the Rugby championship and World cup the southern hemisphere national sides,need that their franchises perform well in Super Rugby.
    This has been proven by the Kiwis over and over again.

    It is not only the Lions that are under threat, a number of prominent Sharks players will also leave the franchise after the completion of Super rugby and will leave sooner if not selected for the world cup squad.

    Don’t get me wrong,I know rugby is now a professional sport.but I have to ask, is the influx of foreign players really beneficial in improving local rugby? Are you not depriving and discouraging local talent.
    Are you not heading in the same direction
    as soccer with extremely strong local competitions and teams, only facing early exit in World cup competitions, as stars leave their clubs to join their national teams?

    Should the RFU not consider a limit on the number of foreign players any club may recruit?

    1. Frans, no one’s ‘listening’ to you, apart from me. Now I’ve stopped too. Communication usually requires @ least 2 people. G’luck.

      1. So Don what do you think-the influx of foreign players-a good or bad thing for English rugby.

        I am glad to see that the Kiwis have taken steps
        to retain their All Blacks and that SA rugby is
        doing the same.

        1. Well hello Frans! Influx of foreign players is ultimately a lose, lose situation. This northern drift continues to undermine SH rugby & in turn NH teams, countries. However, with a seemingly gutless WR condoning this spurious practice, I see the old human nature of greed alive @ well. I read somewhere a while back that there are, I think, 300+ SA’s playing abroad. Undermines S Rugby teams & therefore weakens international side. Likewise in NZ, although they’ve mainly, thus far, retained 1st line AB’s, it’s the guys ‘fringing’ whom go offshore; e.g., Piatau, Siaeli, Lowes, Luatua, Parkes, Maitland etc. Gosper of WR stated that commercial interests rule, ok?!; or words to that effect. Gloomy.

          1. Surely you don’t begrudge players the chance to maximise their earnings? Whether that be in their country of birth or abroad?
            After all rugby players don’t have long at peak earnings in the game and it could all be ended by one unfortunate tackle.
            If the country losing the players has an issue with it, then is not entirely up to them to try and keep their players, whether through increased salary or other inducements?
            As for foreign players in other leagues, why is it necessarily a bad thing? They bring new ideas and new experience that can help, not hinder, their new clubs.

  4. Depends on whether you take a commercial or a moral view Pablito. Also, forethought as to the likely impact on the global game. With Saracens yet again in the frame for breaching fin regs, after having been found guilty (along with Bath) in 2015 for same, it’s not just a case of begrudging ‘players’ maxing their earnings’. It’s also whether a case of whether they do so legally. There’s a lack of regulation re same & fines for aforementioned breaches were a wrist slap. Pah!

    1. Breaching financial rules is an entirely different argument. Players aren’t responsible for ensuring that their clubs act within the salary cap.
      I cannot see any moral argument for not letting players maximise their earnings. If anything, banning them from achieving their earning potential would be the immoral course of action.

      1. Well Pablito, Frans’ original piece, to which I responded, was about whether SH player drain was good for English rugby. Ultimately, it’s not as it suppresses local players’ ops. E.g., Saracens boast 57% home grown players. What about the other 43%? Is that moral? Anyway, as stated, this is getting away from the original post.

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