There are some incredibly tough matches to pick in the twelfth round of the 2012 Super Rugby competition. Last week’s 100% tipping success is sure to be turned on its head. The difficulty starts with the cripple fight of the round, the Blues versus the Lions. It says how dismal the Blues are this year that fantasy rugby players aren’t loading their team with Blues in anticipation of the match. Instead, they are wondering whether the Blues will even win. Betting agencies are still firmly favouring the Blues, but RugbyFix has its not-picking-Blues policy to consider.
Considering the Waratahs’ embarrassing form against the Brumbies, their match up against the Bulls should be fairly predictable. Likewise, the Crusaders should be far too strong for the Rebels, even if the Crusaders are resting a number or players. This week the Crusaders welcome back captain Richie McCaw (see team namings). Back in South Africa the Sharks and the Stormers should make easy work of the Force and Cheetahs respectively.
Back in New Zealand, the battle for the playoffs sits on a knife edge as the Hurricanes and Highlanders battle it out. A win will see the Highlanders two wins clear of the Hurricanes, while a loss will see them sit together on the table. The Highlanders have begun to falter lately, with the horror run of injuries to openside flankers now matching the run at number ten. They also have the travel factor, only arriving home on Tuesday. Toss a coin for this match up; we have indecisively picked the home team.
The game of the round is surely the Reds v the Chiefs on Sunday. The Chiefs sit top of the table while the defending champions fought bravely to a narrow loss to the Crusaders last week and look to have come into some form. The Chiefs should have no trouble getting motivated for the match, unlike their scrappy win against the Lions. RugbyFix picks the Chiefs, if only in restitution for rarely picking them early in the season.
Blues v Lions
Friday 11 May at 19:35 at Eden Park, Auckland
RugbyFix Pick: BLUES to beat Lions by 1
Waratahs v Bulls
Friday 11 May at 19:40 at Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
RugbyFix Pick: BULLS to beat Waratahs by 8
Highlanders v Hurricanes
Saturday 12 May at 19:35 at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
RugbyFix Pick: HURRICANES to beat Highlanders by 2
Rebels v Crusaders
Saturday 12 May at 19:40 at AAMI Park, Melbourne
RugbyFix Pick: CRUSADERS to beat Rebels by 13
Sharks v W Force
Saturday 12 May at 17:05 at Kings Park, Durban
RugbyFix Pick: SHARKS to beat Force by 14
Stormers v Cheetahs
Saturday 12 May at 19:10 at Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
RugbyFix Pick: STORMERS to beat Cheetahs by 12
Reds v Chiefs
Sunday 13 May at 16:10 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
RugbyFix Pick: CHIEFS to beat Reds by 3