CRUSADERS to beat Brumbies by 8
HURRICANES to beat Waratahs by 5
SHARKS to beat Force by 15
BLUES to beat Chiefs by 13
REDS to beat Highlanders by 9
CHEETAHS to beat Lions by 20
STORMERS to beat Bulls by 31
There are two virtual quarter finals this weekend, with the winners of the Crusaders v Brumbies and Hurricanes v Waratahs games progressing to the semi finals. The Stormers will have to win to guarantee their place, but that is looking even more likely with media speculating the Bulls are to rest up to 13 of their starting lineup. The Bulls are 8 points clear on the leader board so will finish in first position and host a semi final regardless.
A Reds bonus point win and a draw in one of the ‘quarter finals’, or perhaps a record thrashing of the Stormers could see them sneak a place. In other words, their season is over, as are the seasons of the Sharks, Force, Blues, Chiefs, Highlanders, Cheetahs and Lions.
If my above picks play out the final four, in order, will be the Bulls, Stormers, Crusaders, Hurricanes. Alternatively one or both of the New Zealand teams could be replaced with their Australian opponents. Either way, both semi finals will likely be in South Africa.