Super Rugby Round 15 Part 1: Have you seen the other half of this round?

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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93 Have your say

    So I still don’t really get this whole split round period we find ourselves in now.

    The British and Irish Lions have landed in Aotearoa for what will be a mammoth tour, yet their teams are playing this weekend, and our friends in South Africa, Japan, and Argentina are sitting at home with their feet up.

    Okay then…

    Regardless, the tipping panel will plough on, in the hope that the bottom half of this round will show up some time soon. Somewhere.

    Last week: Digger 6; Harry, Brett, Nobes 5; The Crowd 4

    Digger
    “Canes by plenty.

    “In what I think will be a thrilling, open match in Apia I’m picking the Blues to prevail due to better defensive structures, while the Chiefs at home will be too much for the Waratahs to overcome, even though it will perhaps be a close contest.

    “The Brumbies should be far too strong for the Rebels in Canberra. Everything tells me the Crusaders should win at home – form, momentum, all of that… – so naturally I will pick the Highlanders.

    “I am backing them because I feel they will be more desperate given their respective standings and because, well, it suits the Hurricanes more to see the Highlanders win. Tipping with the head hasn’t been working, so I will try pure selfishness instead.”

    Tips: Blues, Highlanders, Chiefs, Brumbies, Hurricanes.

    Harry Jones
    “When an Aussie team plays a Kiwi team, in this round or any round, the small island guys will beat the big island boys.

    “The Blues will carry the ball up against the Reds, who will miss a few tackles too many, creating line breaks and three or four Auckland tries, while the men from Brisbane will struggle to beat any defenders and won’t score more than one try.

    “The surly Chiefs will smash the Waratahs. And the Hurricanes will blow Perth down.

    “This leaves the two derbies. The Rebels have no chance in Canberra. None. Zip. Zero. Naught. The Brumbies are playing decent rugby in an indecent Aussie year. I have no idea about the Crusaders and the Highlanders in their South Island derby. I think it’ll be a ripper. But let’s go with the Test-team calibre Crusaders, at home.”

    Tips: Blues, Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies, Hurricanes.

    lukhanyo-am-super-rugby-sharks-2017

    Brett
    Argh… it all started so well last week! I had visions of round dominance and overtaking both Digger and The Crowd, despite the mere detail of picking too similarly to either of them for that to be possible. But visions don’t have to make sense… this was going to happen!

    And then the Sunwolves kicked off to the Cheetahs, and that was that.

    So I’m a bit dejected this week. And there’s no real chance of gaining any ground anywhere, with four games that pick themselves and a fifth that stops you for a minute before you end up picking the Crusaders anyway.

    I’m even tipping four Crowd tips in the 90 per cent range, and the Crusaders in the seventies.

    But I’m actually looking forward to all five games, which all have a little bit of something to draw you into the contest, even if the result seems obvious.

    Maybe the young Reds will thrive with the opportunity to start in Samoa? Maybe the Crusaders ae running out of momentum? Maybe the Waratahs will play for 60 minutes, instead of 50 last week? Maybe the Rebels’ uncanny knack of scaring the Brumbies will continue? And maybe I won’t jinx the Force by saying anything…

    Enjoy your weekend of rugby.

    Tips: Blues, Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies, Hurricanes.

    Nobes
    “Okie dokie! Very rare round this one I must say. The guys from the big island will not be able to beat the southerners, but the exciting part of this round comes from the derbies.

    “The Blues will handle the Reds for more than three tries. The Chiefs will have no trouble winning, the Tahs seem to have no spirit when they play against the New Zealand teams.

    “Canes by plenty in Perth, as Digg would say. Two different styles will clash at Christchurch when the Crusaders roll over the kicking Highlanders team. Finally, the Brumbies are in high spirits and will show the Rebels why they deserve a spot in the play-offs.”

    Tips: Blues, Crusaders, Chiefs, Brumbies, Hurricanes.

    Get your tips in now – The Crowd’s tips will be revealed before kick-off in the first game of the weekend.

    The Sure Thing

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

    Digger
    “Apia will be packed and the atmosphere will be fantastic for the Reds and Blues. Young Tom Banks from the Brumbies may just sneak in a hat trick, while if Nehe Milner-Skudder proves his fitness, he will put in a massive effort against the Force.”

    Harry
    “Nobes can catch me, but he will have to go Aussie.”

    Nobes
    “I will not catch Harry in this round.”

    Brett
    No disgruntled and slightly unhinged ranting about refereeing. Until well into Saturday evening, at least…

    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 is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (93)

    • June 1st 2017 @ 4:54am
      Carlos the Argie said | June 1st 2017 @ 4:54am | ! Report

      The pundits are demonstrating the statistical term regression to the mean…..

      • Roar Guru

        June 1st 2017 @ 5:17am
        Harry Jones said | June 1st 2017 @ 5:17am | ! Report

        Carlos, what are the odds that I can lead from post to post, wire to wire?

        • June 1st 2017 @ 5:52am
          Carlos the Argie said | June 1st 2017 @ 5:52am | ! Report

          Tiny…

          • June 1st 2017 @ 6:10am
            Carlos the Argie said | June 1st 2017 @ 6:10am | ! Report

            Harry, the odds are inversely proportional to your ego. Are you sure you are not Argentine?

            ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Roar Guru

              June 1st 2017 @ 7:31am
              Harry Jones said | June 1st 2017 @ 7:31am | ! Report

              5% Persian
              12% Viking
              27% grizzly
              56% mf

              • June 1st 2017 @ 7:44am
                Carlos the Argie said | June 1st 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

                MF sounds the best!
                I am concerned about your viking blood. Will that give you free rein to provide opinions of all things that interest you?

              • Roar Guru

                June 1st 2017 @ 7:52am
                Harry Jones said | June 1st 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

                I axe people

              • June 1st 2017 @ 11:23am
                Carlos the Argie said | June 1st 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

                I like that! You axe them and I send them to hell. Though Clyde, in a different post, may argue that hell doesn’t exist.

    • Roar Guru

      June 1st 2017 @ 5:18am
      Machpants said | June 1st 2017 @ 5:18am | ! Report

      So digger is going against the flow on one game otherwise a pretty dull (half?) round for picks. As much as I like an upset go the saders cos they’re the only kiwi team who can top the lions on the table

    • June 1st 2017 @ 5:47am
      moaman said | June 1st 2017 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      Tahs v Chiefs and Crus v Highlanders should both be close tussles and therefore compulsory viewing….then there is the small matter of a Lions’ Tour opener this weekend too……where’s my remote?

      • June 1st 2017 @ 11:40am
        dcnz said | June 1st 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

        hey bru, don’t forget the Rugby World Cup U20’s in Georgia!

        • June 1st 2017 @ 2:31pm
          cuw said | June 1st 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

          next round is on Sunday , i think

          6 matches in one day is a bit hard to keep track of …..

      • June 1st 2017 @ 2:32pm
        cuw said | June 1st 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        British and Lions:

        15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ben Teโ€™o, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler

        Replacements:

        16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Tadgh Furlong, 19 George Kruis, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Jared Payne

        Date: Saturday, June 3
        Venue: Toll Stadium, Whangarei
        Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT)

        Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
        Assistant Referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
        TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

    • June 1st 2017 @ 5:59am
      Baylion said | June 1st 2017 @ 5:59am | ! Report

      As a Lions fan I want the Clan to win and pull the Saders back a bit, I want the Force to take the Canes out of the top spot equation. But it’s not going to happen.

      Blues, Saders, Chiefs, Brumbies, Canes

      • June 1st 2017 @ 8:07am
        Pinetree said | June 1st 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        As a Crusader fan, is has been the motivation of the Lions right up our backside that I reckon has spurred us on to keep winning. May the form continue! Highlanders on 9 consecutive wins though. As you say, the Hurricanes are a potential threat to the Lions, and they are also a potential threat to the Crusaders as well.

        If the Lions can win both their last games, they will take the Hurricanes out of the equation. The Crusaders need to win 1 game to tame the Canes threat for the top. The Lions will get their mandatory 5 points from the Sunwolves, but could the Sharks in Durban spoil the Lions party? Probably not, but it is still a match up to make you at least a little bit nervous?

        Task is simple for the Lions. Win both their last games and pray to the Rugby Gods that the Crusaders lose 1 of the last 2 games…

        • Roar Guru

          June 1st 2017 @ 12:38pm
          Charging Rhino said | June 1st 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          Sharks will beat the Lions in Durban ๐Ÿ™‚

          It’s catch 22 for me though… as a South African I’d love it if the Lions topped the table and host all the way through to the final.
          But as A Sharks supporter I want to beat those Lions and also want my team finishing as high up as possible to rather play the Stormers or Brumbies in the QF!

          • June 1st 2017 @ 1:05pm
            Pinetree said | June 1st 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

            You never know Rhino! The Sharks have played the odd disappointing game, but overall they have been good and underestimated. When I put my tip for the Sharks/Stormers game (where i tipped the Sharks), I was amazed at how many went for the Stormers!

            • Roar Guru

              June 1st 2017 @ 1:19pm
              Charging Rhino said | June 1st 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

              Too true Pinetree. I’ve been amazed all season at how few have picked the Sharks in general, including the weekly author Mr McKay (I’ve had a few digs at him already).

              Sharks get slack against teams they should beat, but front up against the tougher teams. Or maybe the lower ranked teams front up and fancy their chances against the Sharks who aren’t expecting it? I dunno…. They’re not the Lions or Saders, but worthy of their spot in the playoffs.

              They always struggle in Christchurch though which is why I don’t want to play your Saders in the type of form they’re in this year! The other NZ teams…. I’d fancy our chances ๐Ÿ™‚ They gave the Canes a hiding last year in Durban, but took a hiding from them in the QF and every other NZ game was incredibly close, down to the 79th minute.

      • June 1st 2017 @ 8:24am
        AndyS said | June 1st 2017 @ 8:24am | ! Report

        No point even dreaming about the Hurricanes being taken out. They wouldn’t need it anyway, but they will get a totally free hand from Hoffman…one of the worst for refereeing reputation over reality.

    • Roar Guru

      June 1st 2017 @ 6:01am
      Kia Kaha said | June 1st 2017 @ 6:01am | ! Report

      Thanks guys.
      Love the banter.

      But there’s only one island that counts. It’s not called the Mainland for nothing. And this week it hosts a very important rugby match. All the other matches dissolve into a meaningless Super smoothie of irrelevance. At least for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • June 1st 2017 @ 6:09am
        Carlos the Argie said | June 1st 2017 @ 6:09am | ! Report

        Kia,

        Please, do tell me why El Cholo is not coaching the “albiceleste”. What has Sampaoli done with Sevilla that they chose him instead? Any “local” insights?

        I’ll be near you soon, missing the June meeting in Madrid (some piggies will be happy that they are saved from been eaten), but I’ll be in Barcelona later this year. A country away from Madrid!

        Hope you are well.

        • Roar Guru

          June 1st 2017 @ 6:38am
          Kia Kaha said | June 1st 2017 @ 6:38am | ! Report

          Because el Cholo has unfinished business with Atletico de Madrid. He will not budge until that Champions Trophy is lifted. ๐Ÿ™‚

          I wouldn’t be too happy about his appointment as Argentine coach. Nothing good can come from p** a Sevilla! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Enjoy Barcelona. Todo bien aquรญ so hope you’re the same.

          Aupa!

    • Roar Guru

      June 1st 2017 @ 7:02am
      Diggercane said | June 1st 2017 @ 7:02am | ! Report

      I don’t know how to find the rest of this Round Brett but I can find one match from Round 16 next Friday, go figure!

      • Columnist

        June 1st 2017 @ 7:46am
        Brett McKay said | June 1st 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

        Correct mate, Rd16 starts three weeks before Rd15 concludes!!

        • Roar Guru

          June 1st 2017 @ 12:03pm
          John R said | June 1st 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

          WTF? Seriously?

          • Roar Guru

            June 1st 2017 @ 12:06pm
            Fionn said | June 1st 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

            And people wonder why this competition is bleeding viewers and supporters.

            • Roar Guru

              June 1st 2017 @ 1:44pm
              John R said | June 1st 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

              Exactly mate. Exactly.

              If someone that spends a decent potion of their day reading and commenting on rugby can’t understand it, what hope is there for the casual viewer!

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