Tough week for me last week getting 2 matches wrong, Time to bounce back with a vengeance this weekend though.
Blues vs Stormers
Stormers were very lucky beating the Canes, as it was only thanks to Habana’s charge down that they got the 4 points. This week they are up against a Blues team that hammered the Canes team a couple of weeks ago, the same Canes team that took the Stormers down to the wire. For this reason I am going Blues.
Prediction: Blues by 4
Rebels vs Chiefs
There is no denying how well Rebels have been playing as of late, so this is maybe a tougher pick than people realise, they are up against a Chiefs team who have really been under performing for a lengthily amount of time now, so long that it makes you wonder, are they having a bad run or are they just not up to it anymore? Yes they beat the Sharks, but that was thanks largely to an amazing start, now the Rebels are brilliant starters, so that will nullify that area of the Chiefs strength, the Chiefs also let a few tries in against a Sharks team that simply cannot score tries, so you would imagine Rebels would enjoy plenty of space to exploit. I actually fancy Rebels here.
Prediction: Rebels by 6
Highlanders vs Sharks
This is Highlanders best opportunity for a win, up against a Sharks side with zero confidence, and don’t be fooled by their performance vs the Chiefs last week, Chiefs start was a sign of how bad the Sharks team is, the Chiefs then let the Sharks back into this match through complacency, something a desperate Landers team wont let happen. Also to top it all off, the Highlanders are off a bye and will be the freshest they can be in the knowledge that this is their last chance for a win before going on tour, all signs point towards a first victory for the Highlanders here.
Prediction: Highlanders by 2
Western Force vs Reds
Okay let’s go back a couple of weeks, you have a Force team that has put in a massive effort and came out on top over a strong Saders outfit, no doubt they would be on top of the world heading to Canberra to play the Brumbies, but when they got there they were brought down to earth so hard, it was like a skydiver landing without his parachute… so you can imagine this week is going to be a tough one where characters are tested, and they will definitely be more determined to go out and win the match this weekend. Now two things can happen, 1. They could go out in front of their home faithful and prove that their win over the Saders was not a fluke, and that they are genuinely a quality side, or 2. roll over and die by taking another beating. I am going for the 1st option thank you.
Prediction: Force by 5
Southern Kings vs Waratahs
It’s no secret I am a huge Kings supporter, and generally you should be wary to follow my calls on their matches, but this weekend I have a real confidence in them, that they will be able to come out with the victory here, think about the success they have had over Aussie opposition, now add home ground advantage to that and you have a recipe that gives them a chance… but another key thing they will have when playing the Waratahs is CONFIDENCE, not just passion, guts and determination, but confidence in the fact that they can and have beaten Aussie opposition in the past! In fact they haven’t lost to an Aussie team yet. This is why, and not because I support them, that I am going Kings.
Prediction: Kings by 1
Bulls vs Hurricanes
Probably the easiest pick of the weekend, Canes first match in SA, playing at Loftus against a confident Bulls side. Only one winner here
Prediction: Bulls by 10
Brumbies vs Crusaders
I have come to the conclusion that NZ teams really struggle when going up against non NZ opposition, however, if there is one team that this doesn’t apply to it is the Crusaders, they have won the really big ones this whole season, and with them in need of this win to really get their season going, I am confident that they will win here, even in Canberra… disagree? That’s okay most people did when they played against the Stormers as well, and we all know what happened there.
Prediction: Crusaders by 7
Cheetahs enjoy a well deserved and much needed rest this week with a bye.
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