Super Rugby Round 2 tips and predictions: Making it sporting

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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    You would think I’d have learnt from tipping mistakes of competitions and expert panels past, but there I was by the end of the first round of Super Rugby, giving up a three-game lead already.

    Turns out the worst thing that could happen is that all of my unique tips could, indeed, be incorrect. And worse, Harry bloody Jones picked the card to start off the season in true Capetonian style.

    So, one thing’s for certain of the panel this season. I’ve made it a contest.

    Your humble correspondent aside, it was actually a really good round of tipping last weekend, and the hairy man will lead us off with another full round of nine games.

    Last week: Harry 9; Digger, Nobes, and The Crowd 8; Brett 6.

    “Howzit, my chasers.

    “The Force will be without line breaks, tackle busts, and tries; thus, will see Red. The Cyborg Chiefs will make Auckland feel Blue. The Highlanders will fall to Dagg’s dagger; the Crusade continues.

    “The Sharks will journey inland with their big pack, strong maul, and clever-kicking captain; there’ll be no Lambie on this Brumby barbie. The Kings will be upgraded to Emperors because the Sunwolves are neither sunny nor wolfish. The Hurricanes will wage successful counterinsurgency against the thin-skinned Rebels.

    “Despite pouty, silly Elton Jantjies (and never because), the Lions will taze the Tahs. The Stormers will bring Scottish star Huw Jones back, in place of crocked Damian de Allende, and hand the Jaguares a loss (with 3 cards). The scrumless Bulls will squeak by the Cheetahs, because bulls are too big for cheetahs to stop.”

    TIPS: Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Sharks, Kings, Lions, Stormers, Bulls


    “Canes by plenty.

    “Reds to overcome the Force; better bench and more strike power to me. I am backing the Chiefs at home over the Blues due to their defensive effort against the Highlanders, and the Blues looked a bit shaky under pressure for the first 20 in Melbourne.

    “Highlanders at home, especially after the news of Mo’unga being out and Bateman still not available. The clan will surely be highly motivated after a disappointing outing against the Chiefs, and will be desperate not to drop two at home.

    “Brumbies and Sharks are proving the most difficult for me to settle on, in the end I will plump for the home side based on a great effort away from home last week though the Sharks are more than capable.

    “From there, Sunwolves over Kings because it’s not in South Africa, Stormers over the Jaguares and Bulls to come back hard after their loss over the Cheetahs. Have to back the Lions at home over the Tahs after their showing against the Force last Saturday.”

    TIPS: Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Brumbies, Sunwolves, Lions, Stormers, Bulls

    “Some very difficult calls this weekend but this is how I see it.

    “The Reds will improve from last weekend and there is just not enough Force there. Chiefs at home will show the Blues what it takes to score against them. It is matter of how large the score is going to be in favour of the ‘Canes over the Rebels.

    “Highlanders are already in a must win situation at home. I think the Brumbies will have just enough to overtake the brave travelling Sharks. Too much speed for the hungry Lions to take over the jet-lagged, red-eyed, Waratahs.

    “Jaguares will feel the storm. I think they were awful against the Kings. Bulls will be awake in the first half this time against the Cheetahs. And the Wolves will eat the Kings at home and get the first win in front of that great crowd.”

    TIPS: Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Brumbies, Sunwolves, Lions, Stormers, Bulls

    Dane Coles of the Hurricanes

    Yeeesh… catch up tipping already. What can possibly go wrong from here, then?

    If the Reds played like they did for the last 35 minutes last Friday night, they should be too good. But I’d quite like to be wrong about this one, ‘cos I think the Force showed some nice touches last week. Home ground advantage gets the Chiefs the vote, but I’ll admit to be very nervous about this one.

    Hurricanes is easy. Highlanders, not so much. Ben Smith is out; can’t pick the home side. No wait, Richie Mo’unga is out, too; can’t pick the Crusaders. Brumbies by not many at home, and Sunwolves by enough at their home away from home. Ahhh-rrooooooooo, etc etc.

    Lions should be too strong, and the Stormers will definitely be too strong – I’m more convinced than I was a week ago. And I’ve succumbed to peer pressure on the Bulls. I had Cheetahs initially, but got nervous when seeing everyone else’s tip. I already regret my decision.

    TIPS: Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Brumbies, Sunwolves, Lions, Stormers, Bulls

    Get your tips in now. The Crowd’s tips will be revealed after 5pm AEDT, but before kick-off in the Force-Reds game tonight.

    The Sure Thing

    Something new in 2017, subbing in for the Big Question, where we all nominate the one thing we’re absolutely certain will happen over the course of this weekend.

    “Besides a Barrett definitely scoring this weekend (stop it), Dean Mumm will be at the centre of some push and shove and Scott Higginbotham will win the man of the match against the Force.”

    “Referees will brandish naughty cards at Newlands this week; probably three.”

    “Sure thing is nothing, but most home teams will win. Harry is on the run and I have to catch him. I have to stay close until the Stormers travel and then it will be my time to catch him.”

    The Cheetahs. There is now nothing surer in the world this weekend.

    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 (80)

    • March 2nd 2017 @ 5:27am
      moaman said | March 2nd 2017 @ 5:27am | ! Report

      I’m backing the Cheetahs too Brett! 😉

    • Roar Guru

      March 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am
      Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 6:59am | ! Report

      I had Cheetahs initially, but got nervous when seeing everyone else’s tip

      • Roar Guru

        March 2nd 2017 @ 7:00am
        Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:00am | ! Report

        That’s funny cos I just got nervous seeing Brett’s tips match all of mine!!! ?

        • Roar Guru

          March 2nd 2017 @ 7:11am
          Harry Jones said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:11am | ! Report

          You’ve put your faith in the Sunwolves, the Brumbies, and the Highlanders.

          This could be a big swing….

          • Roar Guru

            March 2nd 2017 @ 7:25am
            Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

            Could very well be Mr Jones…

        • Columnist

          March 2nd 2017 @ 7:14am
          Geoff Parkes said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:14am | ! Report

          Just like Ali and JOC. The blind leading the blind….

          • Roar Guru

            March 2nd 2017 @ 7:27am
            Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

            Follow your nose…..

            • March 2nd 2017 @ 7:38am
              Riccardo said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

              That’s just poor taste… sniff…

          • Roar Rookie

            March 2nd 2017 @ 1:29pm
            Dave_S said | March 2nd 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

            White line fever?

        • Columnist

          March 2nd 2017 @ 7:25am
          Brett McKay said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

          If I’m going down, I’m taking people with me! ?

        • Roar Guru

          March 2nd 2017 @ 9:19am
          Nobrain said | March 2nd 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

          I sent mine first last week ha!

    • March 2nd 2017 @ 7:24am
      Daveski said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      Searching for some Aussie wins, not sure we’ll see one except obviously in Perth. Still far from convinced on the rugby smarts of the Reds 15-12, Kerevi apart but they simply appear to have too much strength overall and impact off the bench for the Force to repel for 80min. Cooper v Lance will be interesting. Talk about a contrast in styles.

      I’ve got a quiet confidence the Tahs might get it done but I’m not sure what that’s borne out of.

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 8:18am
        jameswm said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        I backed the Lions – a Tah win would be a welcome surprise, but not that much of a surprise. And a silver lining if we lose.

        • Roar Guru

          March 2nd 2017 @ 9:37am
          Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          Good time for the Tahs to have a crack too, early on the season I think. When is Foley back?

          • March 2nd 2017 @ 10:18am
            Jameswm said | March 2nd 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            Digger could be this game. A few were added to the 23 for the SA tour and he was one of them. Hegarty was so so (but better than Bachop). We need Foley this game if we’re to have any chance. Two hard running agile centres who can offload, some pace and size on the wings, and a deceptively good fullback.

            Our backrow looks a bit off with Wells. I’d be tempted to play Dempsey at 8 and Mumm at 6 and start Hanigan (not McDuling). Hanigan for Wells gives you more size but you don’t lose on agility or ball play. We’ll be better with Holloway back but that’s a few weeks off yet.

            I think Fitzpatrick was added too. Our backup scrum looks soft with Roach there. Oh to have Taf coming off the bench like the Force! Backup scrum also looks softer when Robertson moves across to TH. We need to back Lolohea. Ryan can handle LH and is having a bit of a mid-career renaissance.

            We are definitely a chance. Is the game at altitude? Yeah it is. That makes life tougher.

            • Roar Guru

              March 2nd 2017 @ 12:13pm
              Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

              That’s a good point re Ryan James, it wasn’t that long ago he was not rated but seems to have improved immensely.

              It will be an interesting game, it was hard for me to tip the Tahs after last weeks effort and being away but the Lions were hardly clinical either. I will be watching your centre combo closely over the season, it is quite an exciting prospect.

              • March 2nd 2017 @ 3:38pm
                Jameswm said | March 2nd 2017 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

                Digger queries on their distribution and defence. The Lions will certainly run at them.

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 6:45pm
        In Brief said | March 2nd 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

        I wasn’t convinced by the Reds, albeit the bench is awesome and for mine a few splinters should be pushing for run on spots.

    • March 2nd 2017 @ 8:02am
      Rugby Tragic said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

      It was considered to be a minor upset last week when the Chiefs reversed recent results against the Highlanders by downing them under the roof in Dunedin. This week no such upset tonight as the Reds will take down the Force as a prelude for Friday’s battle of the Bombay Hills, I’d suggest, the match of the round.

      Blues haven’t beaten the Chiefs since, I cannot remember the last time.. has it be 9 or 10 matches? (to be honest, I don’t want to remember) but they went close last year, leading the Waikato based side for much of the game. But its now 2017 and the Tana’s Blue Marauder’s have a competitive pack and a very mobile back row (not a bad looking bench either!).

      Tana’s backline doesn’t have the General that is Cruden … (like wow, we have West and Francis!) but he has strike power in every other backline position. Among others, the match-up between Reiko Ioane and Anton Lienert-Brown I expect will be an absolute beaut.. I note that all experts have tipped the Chiefs to prevail over the Blues .. Pfffft!

      This, and the next two weeks results will confirm if the Blues are up to being contenders for the play-offs …..or not.

      I have two ‘sure things’ this week.

      One, opposing teams are no longer going to look on the Blues as a gimme… and
      Two is I am going to back the Blues twice in multi’s at juicy odds of $2.85 and $1.90 with 6.5 points start. The result will dictate whether I eat at the Salvo’s soup kitchen or fine dining somewhere.. *S*

      Canes, Landers, Brumbies, Kings, Lions, Stormers, and Bulls round up my tips!

      Good luck to the panel and ….


      • March 2nd 2017 @ 9:54am
        Blue Horned Mike said | March 2nd 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

        It has been 10 matches. The last win for the Blues was on 16 March 2011 in Hamilton, 16-13.

        I am guessing that you’ll still want to know. Despite not wanting to remember.

        But good luck to your Blues! I am a blues fan myself except my blues has horns! 😛

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 10:57am
        Riccardo said | March 2nd 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        Bless you RT.

        I’m on the verge of emotion…

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 11:56am
        Old Bugger said | March 2nd 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report


        Whilst one wishes that their exuberance is followed with deserved success, unfortunately in your case, I am afraid that your wishes will sadly, be cast aside……nevertheless, I wish I could get exuberant about that outcome but for some reason, even my own quiet confidence, is being tested by the interest shown in this upcoming occasion.

        Especially the interest emanating from that township just north of the Bombay hills……never heard such a cacophony of gibberish ever spoken, over the past ummmm, what is it……10 or so years…..???

        As always, its good luck to the lads from up north but let it be known, your team is heading south and the undertakers, will be waiting for them……haha!!

        • March 2nd 2017 @ 12:34pm
          Muzzo said | March 2nd 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

          Hey OB, good luck mate, you’ll need it!!! hahaha. Cheers.

          • March 2nd 2017 @ 3:09pm
            Old Bugger said | March 2nd 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            Hey Muzz

            That’s what everyone said last week.

            Btw, are u sure that Mrs Muzz, doesn’t have access to Roar?? I’d make sure about that before tipping, against her favourite side……haha!!

            Also, good luck to ur HLs this week…..I think both sides will be gunning for the win but once again, NZ derbies becoming the tie-breakers, in this comp.

            • March 3rd 2017 @ 10:13am
              Muzzo said | March 3rd 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

              shush please mate, as I really don’t want to get her started. lol. Honestly, you should know what those from the BOP, are like? Hahaha!!. If anything, OB, mate, I am pretty confident, of the Landers lifting their game this weekend.. They have had a primary hiccup, now time for them too, what we might say, to get on with the job. Cheers.

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 12:32pm
        Muzzo said | March 2nd 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        Hey RT, I’m with you on what Tana, is setting up, as this Blues team, does look so good this year. I think they can win, & win well, but please don’t tell the missus, she’s an avid Chiefs fan, from way back. Well after all, she comes from the Bay!!!
        Good luck with your selections, & go the Landers!!!!

        • March 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm
          Rugby Tragic said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm | ! Report

          Well Muz … you know how it is… am I really confident … Nope! … Do I feel the Blues can win .. Yep! … you know the way it is … “you pays your money, you takes your chances”.. *S*

          BTW … good luck with the Landers … that too should be good game!

          • March 3rd 2017 @ 10:21am
            Muzzo said | March 3rd 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

            Com’on RT, nothing like fully supporting the cause, mate. You folk’s up there are so blessed with an abundance, of raw talent, so much, that the star, Junior AB, Tevita Li, has come down to us. I do think we might possibly see the best of his talents, being exposed, with the help of Tony, as it is a very good environment, down there.
            As it is, I do expect, to see, a vast improvement, from the Blue’s this year, as they do have an awesome squad. Cheers

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 12:47pm
        ThugbyFan said | March 2nd 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

        G’day RT, hope last week was good for you, to be sure I bet you felt REBELlious all weekend.

        I am with you on this one, I think TBM are on a roll and will scalp the Chiefs. The Ioane brothers’ matchups against Sam Cane and ALB will be worth the entry money alone.

        Sad to see that you won’t tip the card, fancy going for some toothless old Lion against the Mighty NSW Tahs. 🙂

        • March 2nd 2017 @ 8:45pm
          Rugby Tragic said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:45pm | ! Report

          ThugbyFan … funnily enough, while pleased with the result last week (more to the point, the win on the road), I don’t believe the Blues played that well! … The second half when they put on all the points, the Rebels had fallen away..

          The litmus test though is tomorrow and the next two weeks… Blues have to take two of those to be a serious contender … can you do it?… I dunno, but I’m full of hope!

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 3:44pm
        Akari said | March 2nd 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

        I am also with you RT (Blues) and Muzzo (Landers). One more sleep and game on.

        Good luck OB but hey, like the Chiefs last week, a Blues upset is most likely (gut feeling if you need an explanation on how I arrived at that). Here’s hoping anyway. I have noted of course that Stuff writers, like the panel, have all gone for the Chiefs.

        I also like the Tahs but am hesitating when some staunch Tah supporters are not so confident themselves.

        • March 2nd 2017 @ 4:50pm
          Old Bugger said | March 2nd 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report


          I’m just the opposite this week from last week – my gut is full of butterflies, this time – hence me quiet confidence is feeling the tension…..

        • March 2nd 2017 @ 8:46pm
          Rugby Tragic said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

          Ahh Akari… you just want to back winner!… *S* … welcome aboard!

      • Roar Guru

        March 2nd 2017 @ 6:45pm
        taylorman said | March 2nd 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

        Yes go the Blues, let’s wipe that selection slate of an all Chiefs win clean off the table!

        Two from two…come on BLUE!!

        Look at the match ups…

        Akira vs M Leitch
        Pulu vs Kerr Barlow
        Reiko vs Anton L Brown
        West vs Cruden


    • Roar Guru

      March 2nd 2017 @ 8:11am
      PeterK said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      anyone notice the tips close AFTER the reds force game is over

      • March 2nd 2017 @ 9:50am
        Chas said | March 2nd 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

        I’ll still struggle to get it right

      • Columnist

        March 2nd 2017 @ 10:59am
        Brett McKay said | March 2nd 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        How do you figure, Peter?

        “The Crowd’s tips will be revealed after 5pm AEDT, but before kick-off in the Force-Reds game tonight.”

        The Force-Reds starts at 9.30pm AEDT….. ?

        • Roar Rookie

          March 2nd 2017 @ 7:03pm
          piru said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:03pm | ! Report

          that’s 6.30 in proper time

          • Roar Guru

            March 2nd 2017 @ 7:48pm
            Diggercane said | March 2nd 2017 @ 7:48pm | ! Report

            No, that would be 23.30 in real time.

            • Roar Guru

              March 3rd 2017 @ 9:04am
              Machooka said | March 3rd 2017 @ 9:04am | ! Report

              Rubbish… Sydney is the true centric of time.

              Just ask any Qlder 🙂

              • March 3rd 2017 @ 10:22am
                Muzzo said | March 3rd 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

                Ummmm, Chook……….. I’ll decline Buddy!!!!!!! Cheers

    • March 2nd 2017 @ 8:44am
      The Battered Slav said | March 2nd 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      I’ll have to tip Reds. Chiefs, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Brumbies, Kings, Lions, Stormers, and Bulls. Not particulary controversial.

      Not often i get to tip the Kings, so I’m enjoying the novelty of that.

      Brumbies should have the Sharks covered based on last week’s performances, though that was last week…

      Just shocked the eminently sensible Harry has tipped the Sharks. What’s going on there? Been on the witblits this morning mate?

      But yeah should be some entertaining games to watch, and I’m loving the Thursday night fixtures, gives me an excuse to have beers on a school night. Go Aus sides, and go Brumbies.

      • Roar Guru

        March 2nd 2017 @ 10:06pm
        Harry Jones said | March 2nd 2017 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

        Sharks play better Jakeball

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