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We analyse the upcoming Super Rugby round.

Super Rugby Predictions

27 March 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld


Round Seven of Super Rugby is set to be the most unpredictable of the 2019 tournament thus far.

The action kicks off in Wellington where New Zealand’s top two teams will go head-to-head as the Hurricanes host the Crusaders on Friday morning (SA time), followed by a second Friday fixture between the Waratahs and Sunwolves in Sydney.

With conference leaders the Lions on a bye, the other three South African sides and the Jaguares will look to make inroads on Saturday. The Stormers continue their tour with a stop in Auckland, while the Sharks and Bulls battle it out in Durban. Saturday’s other fixtures see the Reds take on the Melbourne Rebels in Brisbane and the Jaguares welcome the Chiefs to Buenos Aires.

What a way to kick-off the round! With both teams on 19 points, the winner of this blockbuster will take control of the New Zealand Conference. The Crusaders, topping the conference due to a superior points’ difference, find themselves in unfamiliar territory after their record 20-match unbeaten streak was snapped by the Waratahs last weekend.

It was an uncharacteristic, error-strewn performance by the defending champions, who were still reeling after the terror attacks in Christchurch, and they don’t come much tougher than taking on the ‘Canes at the Cake Tin.

The Wellington outfit did enough to see off a spirited Stormers side last week, and they’ll be well aware that they’ll need to up their game significantly if they are to turn back the ‘Saders. The Crusaders have a clear advantage up front, where the Hurricanes were handled by the Stormers, and that’ll be where this much-anticipated New Zealand derby will be won and lost.

Prediction: Crusaders by 3. (Suggested BET – Crusaders Win)

The Waratahs are riding high after their upset of the previously unbeaten Crusaders, while the Sunwolves are reeling after being mauled by the Lions at home.

Only one point separated the sides in their Round Two tussle in Singapore, where the ‘Tahs escaped with a 31-30 win after Sunwolves pivot Hayden Parker’s last-gasp drop-goal drifted wide. Last week’s 20-12 win over the defending-champion Crusaders was a campaign changer for the Waratahs, taking them to the top of the Australian Conference, and they’ll build on that momentum here.

Prediction: Waratahs by 16. (Suggested BET – Waratahs by 13 or more points)

The Cape side will see this as a golden opportunity to secure their first win on New Zealand soil since 2013. They came agonisingly close to breaking their drought in Wellington last week, and it remains to be seen what toll the physical contest took on the touring team.

The Stormers’ affliction this year has been their ineffective attack. The backline has done little to trouble defences, with predictable hit-ups in midfield starving outside backs of opportunities to make the most of the yeoman’s work done by the star-studded pack.

The Blues have bounced back from a dreadful start to the season that saw them lose three in a row with back-to-back wins over the Sunwolves and Highlanders, both in their backyard, where they also pushed the Crusaders to the limit in the opening round.

The men from Auckland are clearly a different team when playing at home, however, the Stormers possess the pack to grind out a win and I see them doing just that against the odds.

Prediction: Stormers by 3. (Suggested BET – Stormers Win)

With the Reds on the up, with consecutive wins over the Sunwolves and Brumbies, and the Rebels on the slide, following back-to-back losses to the Lions and Sharks, this Australian derby should make for compelling viewing. The young Reds looked outstanding in their surprise 36-14 victory over the Brumbies last week, while the Rebels’ in-discipline caught up to them during their South African safari.

Home ground advantage, coupled with the travel factor continuing to weigh on the Rebels, will sway many to side with the Reds. However, the men from Melbourne are a better side on paper and should get back in the win column if they bring their penalty count down.

Prediction: Rebels by 6. (Suggested BET – Rebels 1-12)

Talk about a tricky match to call after what transpired this past weekend, with the Sharks coming good against the Rebels and the Bulls being humiliated by the Chiefs. How much one reads into those contrasting results will split supporters down the middle and make for an intriguing high-stakes showdown.

Last week’s Loftus massacre was an anomaly in my view. The Pretoria side showed up until then that they’re a quality side, and with three commanding wins over South African opposition – including a 37-14 rout of the Sharks in Round Four – they should still be considered Mzanzi’s top team, even if they slipped down from first to fourth in the South African Conference at the weekend.

The Sharks would’ve taken valuable lessons from their Loftus lashing earlier this month and have been instilled as favourites in the Kings Park clash. The hosts will be up for this one and will fancy their chances against the wounded Bulls, but the visitors will be plotting a backlash.

The rematch will be a lot more closely-contested than the first fixture and I see the senior players of the Bulls stepping up and leading their team to a hard-fought win.

Prediction: Bulls by 5. (Suggested BET – Bulls Win)

The Chiefs shocked the landscape of this year’s competition when they crushed the highly-touted Bulls at Loftus last week. It was the men from Waikato’s first win of the season and showed how good they can be when they get it right.

The Jaguares are fresh following their bye and will be hoping their homecoming will bring around a change in fortunes after a brutal tour of South Africa. The Argentinians are a tough nut to crack at home, but the feared Bajada is nowhere to be seen this year, allowing the opposition to gain front foot ball, where the Chiefs are at their most lethal.

Prediction: Chiefs by 3. (Suggested BET – Chiefs by 1-12)

BET: Super Rugby 2019

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Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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