Super Rugby Round 9: More difficult rounds to pick, please

Brett McKay Columnist

By , Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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    I’ve learnt one big lesson in this tipping panel game, Roarers, and that is that you’re really only allowed one opportunity to launch a full-bloated high-quality gloat.

    Do it well, and you’ll be lauded for both your initial triumph and the manner in which you’ve told the world just how good you are.

    And so while I’d be lion if I said I didn’t want to make more of a certain king-of-the-jungle tip in Cape Town last week, a tip that ahem, blew away – if you don’t mind – the home team and all other tipsters, the rules are in place to stop such a thing.

    And, if I’m honest, I’m still on a Sunwolves high from Round 7, so I haven’t really got another week of gloating in me anyway.

    So I won’t say any more about it, and I know that you all know that I am a tipping freaking genius, but we don’t have to talk about it. Deal?

    And that’s a good thing, because Round 9 looms as one of the easier rounds to pick this year, which is a bit of a shame.

    There’s a couple of games that could, in theory, produce a cracking contest, but we’ll probably see eight fairly obvious picks.

    The record margin for a Crowd tip this season is 98.2 per cent of you picking the Sharks over the Kings in Round 4, and it’s genuinely in danger. Could we see a 100 per cent pick? Wouldn’t that be something!

    Last week: Brett 5. Everyone else 4. Rrrooooaarrr!

    Brett
    Hurricanes by plenty.

    It’s not that I don’t want the Brumbies to win, of course I do. But it rained in Napier a month ago, McLean Park is notoriously slow drying, and if three yellow cards for the same offence can’t slow Beauden Barrett, then what chance does meteorology have?

    Also, the Brumbies are trying this funky home gameplan/away gameplan thing that failed at the first attempt last week, so I’m not sure how they’re going to cope with either the Hurricanes or the remote possibility of a wet track.

    In a sign of how big a threat the Waratahs see the Kings this week, they’ve announced that after 21 seasons, there’s no further place for the box kick. Probably a good choice too, given the Kings’ love of running up scores and making Australian coaches nervous. Looking forward to another entertaining 44-41 scoreline.

    Lions will be too good for the Hags, ditto the Highlanders for the Moondogs, and double-ditto the Crusaders for the everyone-got-them-wrong-last-week-but-I’m-not-brining-it-up Stormers.

    The Chiefs will return to New Zealand a better team than they left, and that doesn’t bode well for the Force, and the while I’d love the Rebels to go on with last week’s display, the Sharks are due another half-decent showing.

    And that leaves me at Loftus. The Bulls are playing so unimaginatively with the talent available, and the Cheetahs can make them pay for that. It’s only because the Chiefs have plenty of points in them that the Cheetahs were run down last week, and the Bulls just don’t have that. Nor do they have anything remotely as threatening as a Clayton Blommetjies’ hairdresser.

    Tips: Hurricanes, Waratahs, Lions, Highlanders, Crusaders, Chiefs, Cheetahs, Sharks.

    Harry Jones
    “I am not certain of anything.

    “All that I thought I knew was wrong.

    “Every game in this round will be won by the home team. That’s it.”

    (Two days later…)

    “Oh, but this means I’ve tipped the Force! The Force? Haha!

    “But I am a man. I tipped them. I am stuck with them.”

    Tips: Hurricanes, Waratahs, Lions, Highlanders, Crusaders, Force, Bulls, Sharks.

    Matt Hodgson Western Force Super Rugby Union 2017 tall

    Nobes
    “What a confusing week of rugby.

    “The Blues just confirmed that they do not have what it takes this year. What about those Rebels taking down the Brumbies? What about the Cheetahs going after the Chiefs? I can imagine all bookies making quick adjustments on their bets during the first 20 minutes of that game, and then readjusting again.

    “The Lions are contenders and cleared every doubt I could possibly have had about them. And the Jaguares are playing worse instead of improving.

    “This week, I have the Hurricanes over the Brumbies. I said at the beginning of the year that nobody will beat the Lions at home in the regular games and will stick to it.

    “No problem for the Highlanders at home against the Sunwolves. Crusaders at home over the Stormers. Waratahs will beat the Kings. To make ground on Harry, I will pick the Chiefs over the Force.

    “The last two games give me the chills. Bulls over Cheetahs? Mmmmm. Sharks at home over the new Rebels.”

    Tips: Hurricanes, Waratahs, Lions, Highlanders, Crusaders, Chiefs, Bulls, Sharks.

    Digger
    “Canes by plenty.

    “I expect the Waratahs to do plenty against the Kings after their bye and rope exercises, and while the Lions at home is a no-brainer, it will be tougher than many would think against the inconsistent ‘Nobrain’ Jaguares.

    “The Highlanders will go through the Sunwolves in Invergiggle like a bad bluff oyster, if such a thing exists. I saw enough from the Force defence against the Kings to see the Chiefs running away with it like a bad curry at 4am in the morning after a night on the jars.

    “Sharks in Durban against the Rebels, yes please, I will have the fish of the day thanks, Guppy!

    “I will say the Bulls at home, though I wouldn’t put it past them and the Cheetahs to find a way to both lose the match at the same time in front of 5000 people.

    “And in what looks to be the best match of the round, I will opt for the safety of the Crusaders at home against the reinvigorated Mr Jones’ side.”

    Tips: Hurricanes, Waratahs, Lions, Highlanders, Crusaders, Chiefs, Bulls, Sharks.

    Get your tips in now – The Crowd’s tips will be revealed before kick-off in the Crusaders-Sunwolves game on Friday.

    The sure thing

    The one thing we’re all absolutely certain will happen over the course of this weekend. Well, pretty certain…

    Digger
    “Beauden will not receive a yellow card this week, while the Brumbies will surprise in Napier. They will still lose though, those cheeky ponies.”

    Harry
    “I will still be leading.”

    Nobes
    “Jaguares will get another yellow card, and for sure the Bulls-Cheetahs game gives the chills.”

    Brett
    Maybe this week is too easy? There’s one upset in here somewhere, one that none of us have seen coming. Brumbies in Napier? Stormers in Christchurch? Force at home?

    Stranger things have happened.

    Got a sure thing yourself? Let us know in the comments below, and enjoy your rugby this weekend.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett also writes for ESPNscrum.com, is a commentator for ABC Grandstand radio and on Fox Sports’ NRC live stream commentary, and has written magazine columns and articles in Australia and New Zealand. He tweets from @BMcSport.