LIVE

    SuperBru Round 18 preview

    2012-07-11 14:33
    Cape Town - Last weekend's picks were very tough to call, with the Sharks and Crusaders recording wins that most SuperBru players didn't see coming.

    It doesn't seem to get much easier this weekend in Round 18 as we reach for the calculators for the final round of regular season matches. 

    With some teams out of contention, will they play for pride, or will they just roll over easily? And will teams fighting for a playoff spot crack under the pressure?

    Here's some advice that may or may not help with your SuperBru picks for Round 18:

    First up is the Hurricanes versus the Chiefs, where a pick for the away side appears the most sensible option at first. But in fact, they have already qualified at the top of the New Zealand Conference and may consider taking their foot off the gas. I'm sure they'd still like to finish top of the overall log, but the Hurricanes have more motivation in this one - a victory would see them move into the top 6, and then they'll face an anxious wait for other results to see if they qualify. Moreover, this fixture has been won by the home side in 10 of the last 12 meetings, with one draw and a 'Canes win in Waikato the only anomalies, and the Chiefs haven't won in Wellington since 2001.
    Prediction: Hurricanes by 5

    Then on Saturday, we cross to Canberra to see the Brumbies hosting the hapless Blues. The Aucklanders enjoyed only their third win of the season last weekend at home to the Force, but they have been such a let down for so many SuperBru players this season. They are way out of contention, and will be ready for their dire season to end. Meanwhile, the Brumbies will be keen to maintain momentum and a home victory should be on the cards. 
    Prediction: Brumbies by 8

    After their impressive win over the Chiefs last weekend, the Crusaders need one more victory to guarantee their place in the playoffs yet again. They'll be happy to come up against relatively benign opposition in the shape of the Force, who were easily turned over in Auckland last week and are still without key player David Pocock. Teams like the Crusaders tend to build momentum at the right time, and look set for a convincing victory in Christchurch. 
    Prediction: Crusaders by 23

    Later on Saturday, we see the only Aussie derby of the round, in which the Reds host the Waratahs. The 'Tahs have disappointed in their performances this season and have nothing to play for, whilst a win for the defending champions could see them finish in the top 6. The 'Tahs have a better record in this fixture over the years, but it's difficult to look past a Reds win this weekend. 
    Prediction: Reds by 11

    The Stormers then welcome the Rebels to Newlands and will fancy their chances of topping the log and securing a 'home' final. The Melbourne outfit have sprung a few surprises in their first two seasons, and nearly completed an incredible comeback against the Lions last weekend. But the record books say that they lost to the Lions, and that means they don't stand a chance against the table-toppers.  Prediction: Stormers by 18

    The Sharks are next up in Durban against the Cheetahs in the first of two South African derbies. The home side can guarantee a playoff spot with a bonus-point victory, so you'd expect a high-scoring affair as they look to put width on the ball. The Cheetahs are another team that can cause an upset, but they conceded 34 points at home to the Sharks in Round 14, and a home win is the sensible pick for this match. 
    Prediction: Sharks by 15

    Finally, the Bulls host the Lions and are level on points with the Sharks, meaning that a bonus-point win would guarantee them a playoff spot and ensure three South African teams finish in the top 6. The Currie Cup champions have been disappointing this year, and apart from a surprise win over the Sharks, haven't looked like troubling those at the top of the table. The Bulls, meanwhile, have racked up the odd cricket score and could do the same again this weekend as they strive for a four-try win. 
    Prediction: Bulls by 28

    For all the latest Super Rugby news - and more - visit The Rugby Blog
     
    Read More On:  superbru super 15 rugby

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    12 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.