WARATAHS to beat Highlanders by 15
CRUSADERS to beat Stormers by 6
HURRICANES to beat Chiefs by 17
REDS to beat Brumbies by 5
BLUES to beat Cheetahs by 13
FORCE to beat Lions by 8
BULLS to beat Sharks by 10
This week we find out if the Reds and Stormers are contenders or pretenders this week. Both are up against Super 14 royalty in the Crusaders and Brumbies, both of which will be desperate for a win for their own 2010 hopes. The Crusaders will be looking to bring the A game, so at home would hope to be better than the Stormers. The Reds v Brumbies will be a big game, and I’ve picked the Brumbies losing streak to stretch another week.
The round kicks off with the Highlanders hosting the Waratahs down in Invercargill. Southland Rugby is on a high at the moment, and the fans will be out supporting the large Southland contingent in the Highlanders team. However, I’m picking the Waratahs to still be way too strong.
An injury decimated an out of form Chiefs side should help keep the Hurricanes’ slim semi final hopes alive with a 5 pointer. However, perhaps it could be business as usual for the Chiefs who traditionally spend the business end of the Super 14 wrecking fellow NZ teams’ chances. Even against a struggling Hurricanes side that would take a major about turn by the Chiefs though.
I’ve picked touring teams the Blues and Force to beat the Cheetahs and Lions respectively. However, it’s always a bit difficult to pick against any South African team at home.
Now back at Loftus, the Bulls should start the charge to the Super 14 finals by taking care of the Sharks this weekend.