It was 3 out of 6 for me in Round 7, slightly better than the community average of 2.81, and thanks to a Margin Point in the Bulls’ narrow win over the Sharks in Durban, I managed some green arrows on the Superbru rankings.
Last week was a reminder that Super Rugby is a bit of a lottery. Take the Waratahs – they beat the defending champions Crusaders one week, and lose to the lowly Sunwolves the next. Or even the Crusaders – beaten in Sydney, and then they thrash the Hurricanes in Wellington.
So with that in mind, let’s look at this week’s coin flips.
Highlanders v Hurricanes
After a strong start, the Highlanders are now without a win since February, but given that the Hurricanes have not won in Dunedin since 2015, this is a tricky pick. Indeed the home team has won this match on the last 6 occasions, and I’m going to pick a home win. Highlanders by 2
Reds v Stormers
This is another difficult one to call. The Reds are usually fairly rubbish, and despite the Stormers losing a couple of key players to injury, they’ve had a reasonable tour so far without a win, and they are the better team on paper. Stormers by 6
Lions v Sharks
The Sharks are another team that has faded since a bright start, with a home defeat to the Bulls last week. Meanwhile, the Lions have won 3 in a row and haven’t lost to the Sharks at home since 2014. Lions by 9
Crusaders v Brumbies
A powerful win over the Hurricanes last week suggested that their defeat at the Waratahs was an anomalous blip, and I can’t see the Brumbies putting up much of a fight in the first match in Christchurch since the tragedy a few weeks ago. Crusaders by 23
Blues v Waratahs
I can’t entertain the thought of a team winning in the New Zealand capital having just lost at home to the Sunwolves. Blues by 13
Rebels v Sunwolves
The Rebels have won all three of their matches against the Sunwolves by an average of over 24 points, and whilst the axed Japanese franchise has already caused a couple of notable upsets this season, they still aren’t stringing big games together. Rebels by 16
Bulls v Jaguares
A win in Durban will have restored confidence after the Bulls were thrashed by the Chiefs at Loftus. Superbru Insights tells me the Jaguares have travelled 15,020km in the last 3 weeks, and that includes a bye week, whereas the Bulls have only been to Durban and back in that time. It’s a tough assignment for the well-travelled Jaguares at altitude. Bulls by 13
Which ones do you disagree with this week?