It was a clean sweep of home wins in Super Rugby last weekend, along with 7 correct predictions to yield my first Grand Slam Points of the season. This was a feat managed by no fewer than 63,782 people, about one third of people playing Superbru for Super Rugby, but still there are green arrows everywhere and I’m back into the top 20%.
Let’s see if we can put a streak together, and in theory, the GSP should be easier to achieve with just 6 fixtures this weekend. Here are my Super Rugby predictions for Round 5.
Chiefs v Hurricanes
The Chiefs have been awful so far this season, losing heavily to the Brumbies, Sunwolves and Crusaders in the last three weeks and it’s not like they’ve been resting all their best players every week. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have managed three wins out of four, with only one defeat away at the Crusaders, and they are slowly reintegrating their All Blacks to the starting side. They have not won in Waikato since 2015, but on current form, they should beat the Chiefs this time. Hurricanes by 8
Brumbies v Waratahs
This is a tricky Aussie derby to predict. The Brumbies thrashed the Chiefs in Round 2, which made everyone take notice, but they’ve lost their three other matches, and I’m not quite sure what to make of them. But then it’s not like the Waratahs have been terribly convincing either, and they make the short trip to Canberra having lost 4 of the last 5 matches against the Brumbies. I was initially leaning towards the home side, but have seen that David Pocock is not fit to start, and I think that tips the balance in favour of the Tahs. Waratahs by 2
Stormers v Jaguares
After a horror start, the Stormers have put together two impressive wins and come into this match after a rest week and will be confident in front of their own fans. Meanwhile, the Jaguares lost comfortably to the Lions, despite a late surge making the scoreline seem closer than it was, and with over 9,000km of travel clocked up on the last fortnight, the home side has to be favourites here. Stormers by 13
Sunwolves v Reds
The Sunwolves have earned a bit of credit on their tour of New Zealand, with a win over the Chiefs and a strong performance against the Blues. The Reds remain without a win this season, and at first glance, another home win looks like the best bet. Yet my instinct is to back the Queenslanders, who I think have been unlucky in their three fixtures so far, and in what should be a very open game, I think they might take the win. Reds by 7
Highlanders v Crusaders
The defending champions appear to be in ominous form yet again, with four wins from four and their All Blacks returning from rest. They have won 5 of the last 6 against the Highlanders, and it’s hard to bet against them at the moment. Crusaders by 4
Lions v Rebels
The Rebels have never beaten the Lions, and this is a daunting trip to Johannesburg that will test their unbeaten record. The Lions are looking a little out of sorts, but it’s too early to write them off, particularly with their significant home advantage. Lions by 13
Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James