Super Rugby: Round 9 Predictions
Round 9 of Super Rugby is upon us, we are starting to get into the business end of the tournament with only 7 Rounds to go until the qualifiers.
The Crusaders, Rebels and Sharks have definitely been the most impressive teams thus far and I can not see this weekend being any different. I predict wins for all 3 of the conference leaders in Round 9.
Crusaders vs Highlanders
The experienced players in the Crusaders forward pack will be a telling factor in this game. The Crusaders forwards will provide momentum to the young exciting back line, thus the defense of the men from Otago will be crucial to stop the attaching prowess of the home side.
Prediction: Crusaders by 7
Melbourne Rebels vs The Stormers
This result depends on the clash of Genia/Cooper vs Jantjies/Du Plessis. The Wallabies pairing will provide a massive test for the younsters from Cape Town.
The Australian side have been in great form of late with victories over the Reds and Sunwolves in Round 7 and 8. Form, confidence and home ground advantage will play a massive role in this fixture.
Prediction: Rebels by 13
Chiefs vs Blues
This will be a mouthwatering affair with skillful and fearless youngsters on both sides. This game will be decided by the battle of the back 3, McKenzie/ Wainui/Alaimalo vs Nanai/Ioane/Clarke.
I expect McKenzie and Nanai attacking from depth and trying to put their wings into space. The Midfield clash between Ma'a Nonu and Anton Lienert-Brown will also be one to watch. This match can go either way, but I feel the home crowd might just be what The Chiefs need to get the win.
Prediction: Chiefs by 3
Brumbies vs Lions
The Brumbies and Lions have not had the start to the Super Rugby season that everyone expected, both the teams lost a couple of games that should have been comfortable wins. The Brumbies welcome the return of the Wallabies flank, David Pocock, while the Lions made a couple of positional changes to their back line.
The Lions have been hurt by a couple of crucial injuries to key players such as, Warren Whiteley and Kwagga Smith, however we expect both the players to return sooner rather than later.
This could be the game the Lions need to get into gear for the remainder of the competition. The Lions pack might be too strong for the Australian side.
Prediction: Lions by 6
Sharks vs Jaguares
The Sharks played exceptional rugby last week against The Lions and will definitely go into the game as overwhelming favorites.
The Jaguares have been a disappointment in the last couple of Super Rugby seasons with the Argentinian side not getting themselves off the bottom part of the table. The structure and organisation in defense and attack from the Sharks will be a step to far for the side from Buenos Aires.
The discipline of The Jaguares is always a talking point with the team giving away to many penalties, this could play right into the hands of The Sharks.
Prediction: Sharks by 20
Bulls vs Reds
I can not think of a better game to finish off the weekend than this clash between the men from Queensland and the home side, The Bulls.
The men from Pretoria will be bolstered by the return of the Springbok Fly half, Handre Pollard and outside centre, Jesse Kriel, both men have been it very good form of late for the men in blue. Having said that you may never write off a classy Reds team coached by the technical genius, Brad Thorn.
The Reds also welcome back a crucial player for this clash, Chris Feauai-Sautia. Feauai-Sautia has gained 284 running meters in 5 games as well as scoring 3 tries. This game could go down to the wire.
Prediction: Bulls by 5