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