Super Rugby Predictions 2018: Round 17

Super Rugby Predictions

Super Rugby returns for the run-in this weekend, after the momentum-sapping break for the internationals. Thankfully next year, the season will run uninterrupted to its conclusion ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Anyway, let’s see how we do this weekend on the resumption of this season.

Blues v Reds
Thankfully we have a NZ v AU match first up, which looks fairly straightforward…but then you notice that the Blues have not won a single match at Eden Park this season. Still, the Reds are awful. Blues by 13

Rebels v Waratahs
This match will go some way to determining the winners of the Australian conference, with the Waratahs currently top on 35 points ahead of the Rebels on 34. None of the other Aussie sides are anywhere near qualification. Both teams put together some strong results before the break, and it feels like it could go either way. The Waratahs have won 12 of the last 14 matches against the Rebels, and I’m backing their superior pedigree to bring them through. Waratahs by 4

Highlanders v Chiefs
Don’t be fooled by the team order in the fixture list – this match is in Fiji, rather than Dunedin, where the Highlanders will be less feared. The Chiefs need to win to leapfrog the Highlanders into third place in the New Zealand conference, which will be sufficient to claim a playoff spot. In Dunedin, I’d pick the Highlanders, but I’m going with the Chiefs in Suva. Chiefs by 4

Brumbies v Hurricanes
The Brumbies have a slim chance of qualification, but I think they’ll lose this one and fall out of the running. Hurricanes by 13

Sunwolves v Bulls
The Bulls’ playoff challenge has fallen away, and the Sunwolves were never in contention anyway. A couple of good wins for Japan this month, but I can’t bring myself to back the Sunwolves. Bulls by 7

Sharks v Lions
A strong end to the season for the Sharks could see them into the playoffs, but the Lions’ record against the Sharks suggests they will take this one. Will Elton Jantjies’ disappointing appearance in a Springbok jersey weigh heavily as he returns to Lions colours? Or will we still see the strange disconnect between club and international performances? There have been some good home wins in Durban (and one dreadful home defeat), and my gut is telling me to pick the Sharks. Sharks by 2

Jaguares v Stormers
Somehow the Jaguares’ performances in Super Rugby did not translate into international form, with Argentina thrashed by Wales and Scotland. The question is whether that disappointment will affect their league performance, and are up against the Stormers boasting a number of Springboks fresh from a series win over England. Plus the Stormers have never lost to the Jaguares…but a home win feels like the sensible pick here. Jaguares by 4

Follow Hutch on Twitter: @Hutch_James

9 thoughts on “Super Rugby Predictions 2018: Round 17

  1. It has been a miserable so far for the Lions.The recent announcement that a number of senior player,including their captain,are leaving the franchise,is not morale boasting news,tilting
    the odds in favour of the Sharks.
    Weather forecast-no rain -16 -25 C.

  2. In view of much, recent & widespread concerns about Eddie Jones’ coaching credentials & England’s rugby abilities following their plummet down the world rankings, the utter lack of interest here in SH Super rugby still surprises me. I’d have thought that if people are genuine rugby fans they might show some interest in what’s going on elsewhere in the planet’s rugby competitions, particularly within NZ. I proffer this view from an objective perspective as the latter’s game currently seems more progressive & effective than that of the NH & Jones’ England in particular. I’m thinking in terms of the 2+1 left & right flanks’ ball receipt pods interspersed with 3 central pods between them & comprising mixes of backs, loose & tight forwards & also with a central pod of 3 core backs, 1/2back, 1st 5 & fullback, with this latter pod being in place to generate centrally positioned attack moves, left or right. Additionally, there is the superior innovation in timed passing moves, between backs & forwards, including the manipulation of space, particularly out wide & by straightening attack running lines. There’s also the better ability to quickly generate, or hinder, breakdown ball in the loose aided by the capacity of being able to decide when to commit numbers here or whether to disperse in defence. Furthermore, the defence is well disciplined, formatted & holds it’s shape better. Whilst England & Jones may choose to ignore potential lessons to be learned from down under, do England ‘fans’ need to do likewise? Seemingly so.

    1. Don P,

      I think the change in focus of this site in the past year is obviously more AP directed, so makes sense that commentators focus more on NH rugby too.

      In defence of people who seemingly ignore SH rugby, there’s probably a combination of factors that English fans don’t watch it as much – and I imagine it’s nothing to do with the different styles. More likely, factors such as weekend plans might mean you only get dedicated time to watch the team you support (or Sunday eve highlights, a favourite of mine), rather than lots of matches.

      Plus usually the more exciting matches involving the NZ teams tend to be shown early Saturday morning, which once upon a time for this poster would’ve been the perfect hangover cure to Friday night’s festivities before heading out to play afternoon club rugby but now I find myself at the age where Saturday morning means grocery shopping – ie timing of matches can be problematic.

      The other practical factor is the different network providers – if you support an AP you’ve likely splashed out on BT so how likely are you to also pay for Sky Sports? Or if your a cheapo student and use a dodgy streaming site, are you really going to put up with ads and the video freezing every 5 mins.

      TBH the argument that one set of fans don’t watch something else could be made the other way, or for any other sport. Whilst it’s a shame that people might be missing out on watching other rugby cultures (not just SH but 7s + Top14 is shown on Sky too so probably not viewed by wider UK public), it’s understandable why.

      Also the rest of your post is just tacking facets of rugby and saying SH is better at this. I may or may not agree with you, but unless you can prove it a la Hosie, it’s just speculation pal 😉

      1. Marco
        I think you’ve missed my point a bit. I was referring to this site & this article. Apart from Frans, who & I’m speculating here, is S. African as he mentions the Lions & now yrself, who I assume is English, although your name may legislate against this, are the only 2 to even view this post.
        I understand that it’s natural for fans to follow their own country more closely than others, but 2 viewers here? If that’s not a lack of interest in SH rugby, I don’t know what is.
        With a WC looming & considering England’s recent slide I’d have thought that EJ & also English fans would have wondered why this has happened to their country which possesses the most assets in world rugby.
        They may find an answer in the SH. And it’s not a question of talking up NZ in particular. Their record already does this, but more @ looking @ what they do differently & presumably better than most other countries, most of the time.
        I’ve outlined a system, evidenced for example, by hooker Coles’ runs down the left wing, or B.Barrett’s & now DMac’s, incursions & running lines in slicing defences which seem to be effective for NZ. Yet you state that I’m speculating & don’t offer proof ‘a la Hosie’ (which I don’t understand. You may wish to elaborate?). However, as you allude to that you sometimes watch, presumably, Sky, you’ll surely see from the evidence of your own eyes what I’m stating in this regard.
        My view is that England could & probably should be doing better, but they need to improve their game for the WC. @ a selfish level, I hope that they don’t, but as a rugby purist, it would entice my interest more.
        Your comments about lack of media means & money to ‘view’ SH rugby don’t entirely add up to me either. There are many web sites & newspapers, for instance, which don’t cost an arm or a leg.
        Sorry if my blog gave off a vibe that offended you (I thought that the ‘pal tag might have been the giveaway here), but I do find it frustrating sometimes when the NH appear to be largely oblivious to others whom also play the game & whom they might learn something from.

        1. Not entirely true, I read it, just didn’t have anything meaningful to contribute, barring my attempts on Superbru (although actually got 6 from 7 and a yellow cap this round 😉 ). But as Marco said, a lot of UK based supporters I know have BT for AP and can’t justify time and/or finances to fork out for Sky and the SH games as well, and I’m pretty sure Marco was suggesting that he used to and no longer did watch SR so it becomes hard to make a meaningful comment on a subject that you haven’t seen.

          Yes, there are others (which I’m sure you are well aware of), who are quite happy to have an opinion regardless, but other of us are more reserved and only want to comment on things where we feel we can at least vaguely justify our opinion from some sort of background perspective.

          Finally, there has got to be more than you, Marco, Frans and me reading this (and presumably Hutch’s usage stats would show this) otherwise Hutch wouldn’t waste his time.

          P.S. Hutch, thanks for the Chiefs tip (see above).

          1. MarkB
            Sure Marco can comment for himself. I’m stating that there’s a lack of interest in SH rugby full stop. Whether people have Sky (have you asked them all?) or not is not really the point. As already stated, there are other, cheap online means to inform or even sports pubs/clubs? Might even show some ‘catch up’? The point is if there’s no will in looking outward, then it’s no loss to the SH, but more likely so for the NH, certainly gauging by England’s recent record, but I’ve already mentioned this. Seems as if you’re making excuses for an insular attitude, but it’s no skin off my nose I guess, disappointing though I find this. Mind you there’s not rugger to watch here just now, so Hutch’ll likely need something to fill his column inches with.

    2. I’ve been watching super rugby for years thanks very much and there are many many rugby blogs other than this one which I check on a regular basis for super rugby news. Possibly best not to tar all England fans with the same brush!

      1. Obviously I should not Ilsa. Thanks for the info. Including yr good self, Marco & MarkB, there are now @ least 3 England fans here who do express an interest in S Rugby. Pity the other 2 don’t take a lead from you. You may wish to pass on some of yr other SR sources for them. I too am interested. Regds.

  3. What NO takers?! Not even AlexD, although my piece may be a bit complicated for him. Pity. PS I’m hogging the airwaves to save everyone from seeing the aforementioned Alex(The Hyena)D’s name.. again! No need to thank me, really.

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