Round 6 was a big improvement on the previous week for me, although I still managed to get two wrong as the Blues won in Wellington and the Bulls were victorious for the first time this season.
Let’s see if we can continue that trajectory with a full house of 7 correct picks for Round 7.
Chiefs v Hurricanes
A tricky one to start with, as the Chiefs host the Hurricanes in Hamilton. The hosts lost to the Brumbies at home in Round 5, but then thumped the Waratahs away in Round 6; meanwhile the Hurricanes thrashed the Sunwolves and then lost to the Blues last week. The form isn’t hugely clear, and if in doubt, go with the home side. Chiefs by 4
Blues v Lions
The Blues have strung together three away wins in a row, beating the Bulls, Stormers and Hurricanes in a tricky run of fixtures, and now return to Auckland to face the struggling Lions. The Lions have conceded over 30 points per game on average this season, and the Blues attack is likely to be more threatening than anything they have faced so far, so it could get ugly. Blues by 21
Sunwolves v Crusaders
Since their opening round win, the Sunwolves have had a tough time of it, and now face the defending champions in Brisbane, even though it’s technically a home game for them. I’d expect the Crusaders to rest several players, but they have plenty of quality in their squad and should still win easily. Crusaders by 43
Reds v Bulls
The Bulls picked up a much-needed win last weekend, just before they departed for their 4-match tour of Australia and New Zealand. The matches will get progressively harder, and so they’ll be desperate to beat the Reds, who have just one win themselves. The home team has won this fixture since 2004, and I’m leaning towards the Reds here. Reds by 6
Sharks v Stormers
The top-performing South African sides go head-to-head in Durban, and with a successful tour under their belts, the Sharks will start as favourites here. The Stormers have enjoyed 4 home games out of 5, and whilst they have only lost one match this season, they haven’t been tested in quite the same way as the Sharks. They’ll benefit from a rest last weekend, but the nature of their home defeat to the Blues will have raised some concerns. Sharks by 7
Jaguares v Highlanders
The team from Dunedin are having a wretched season so far, with heavy defeats to the Sharks, Crusaders and Bulls already chalked up, and the loss of their captain to injury for the season. The home team have to be favourites for this one in Buenos Aires. Jaguares by 16
Brumbies v Waratahs
At least this one looks pretty straightforward to finish the round on Sunday. The Waratahs have only mustered a win over the Lions this season, whilst the Brumbies are 4 wins from 5 and riding high on confidence. They’ve also beaten the Waratahs in 6 of the last 7 meetings, and should win this too.
Brumbies by 13
What do you think?