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

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, 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!

    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

    “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.

    “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…

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

    “I will still be leading.”

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

    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 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 (86)

    • April 20th 2017 @ 7:55am
      Rugby Tragic said | April 20th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Hmmm reading Brett’s comments about this week … “Round 9 looms as one of the easier rounds to pick this year..” then against all others on the panel he picks the Brumbies to get over the Bulls, away! Yeah… No, … Maybe!… Is the man really is a tipping genius? … or is he something else? *S*

      Other than Brett’s rush of blood, there is almost consensus among other tips. I say almost as Harry, that lyrical guy from Cape Town leading the charge, selecting the Force to get over the well traveled Chiefs… really Harry? Trying to surrender your sole lead? … or do you think threat of extinction will have the Force grow another leg?

      Somehow I see Nobes and Digger tipping a clear round this week and I’m following them, but maybe some of the games will be a little closer than the framed odds from the TAB and Sportsbet are shelling out..

      The certain thing is that the BLUES will not lose this weekend.. rest well guys, bigger challenges await.. *S*

      • Columnist

        April 20th 2017 @ 8:38am
        Brett McKay said | April 20th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        The Brumbies over the Bulls would certainly be a rush of blood, RT!

        • April 20th 2017 @ 9:42am
          Rugby Tragic said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

          Oops sorry! my mistake …. the tears were welling in my eyes after I read your selections, “velly, solly” Yes of course I meant, the Cheetahs … the Cheetahs … the CHEETAHS over the Bulls … *more tears welling*

          • Roar Guru

            April 20th 2017 @ 9:48am
            Machooka said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

            Geez… I’m glad I’m not the only one this morning making a f**l of myself Tragic.

            Happy to be in your company 🙂

            My comment is still in moderation for a dig at Brett… I think!?!

      • Columnist

        April 20th 2017 @ 8:53am
        Brett McKay said | April 20th 2017 @ 8:53am | ! Report

        That all said RT, I still found the Cheetahs to be an easy pick that didn’t need a lot of thought. I’m completely underwhelmed about the Bulls at the moment – and we ALL picked the Jags to beat them at Loftus last week, remember..

        • April 20th 2017 @ 9:46am
          Rugby Tragic said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:46am | ! Report

          I agree that the Bulls have been playing crap rugby… I mean to say, how would the Sunwolves beat them …*S* … but yes we all did pick the Jags to beat them …. What happened there???

          And don’t be overly concerned with your lowly position, there are plenty in the crowd who are inferior .. *giggling*

          • Roar Guru

            April 20th 2017 @ 9:53am
            Carlos the Argie said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            You all picked the Jags because you have become a little Argentinean….”know it alls”.

            Maybe Brett is after the outrageous bet, something like the “Black Swan” in finance.

            • April 20th 2017 @ 10:07am
              Rugby Tragic said | April 20th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

              Carlos, dunno about becoming a ‘little Argentinean … “know it alls”‘ but it’s on my bucket list to visit soon.

              Was looking at it last year, to take in both the All Black matches but only made it to Durban due to cost and extra travel required. No direct flight from Buenos Aires to J’berg/Durban killed the thought of taking in both so settled on the Kings Park match only.

              • Roar Guru

                April 21st 2017 @ 1:50am
                Carlos the Argie said | April 21st 2017 @ 1:50am | ! Report

                It is easier to fly to BUE from Auckland directly.

        • Roar Guru

          April 21st 2017 @ 3:28am
          Nobrain said | April 21st 2017 @ 3:28am | ! Report

          Pollard is out. More leverage for Brett.

      • April 20th 2017 @ 2:07pm
        cuw said | April 20th 2017 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

        Waratahs: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Rob Horne, 12 David Horwitz, 11 Cam Clark, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Will Skelton, 4 David McDuling, 3 Tom Robertson, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Paddy Ryan
        Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Angus Taavao, 18 David Lolohea, 19 Dean Mumm, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Harry Jones

        Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Justin Forwood
        Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Ruaan Lerm/Martin Bezuidenhout, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Nicolaas Hanekom, 23 Pieter-Steyn de Wet.

    • Roar Guru

      April 20th 2017 @ 8:47am
      Machooka said | April 20th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Thanks gentlemen… methinks though that Brett is a cheater and trying (like trying real HARD) to make-up ground 🙂

      And yep, home grounds to rule this w’end but an upset here, or there, is definitely on the cards . Will it be another case of the smarts after the facts?

      Well done hasty Harry in picking (!?!) da Force… and for Force supporters around the globe let’s hope his throwaway line of ‘I’m stuck with them.’ is an omen for the future of SR in Aussie!

      C’arn da Tahs… it’s time to get all biblical like and do those Lions in our den. Re-write history!

      Sure thing; those Tragic Blues are Taylormade for a w’end of sustained stability 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        April 20th 2017 @ 9:15am
        Machooka said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Durrr… give me an uppercut!

        It’s the Kings not the effin Lions. I shouldn’t comment while on da throne.

    • April 20th 2017 @ 9:03am
      Tutema said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:03am | ! Report

      I know that it is wishfull thinking, but I hope the Jaguares may steal a win (in superbru I selected them as winner by 1 point). I don’t get my hopes to high on this, but…. every game needs to be played and maybe, just maybe, Lions underestimate Jaguares enough to be deffeted (still I know it might be delusional).

      • Roar Guru

        April 20th 2017 @ 9:28am
        Diggercane said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

        Cant see it personally, not after losing away in Argentina but ya never know.

      • Roar Guru

        April 20th 2017 @ 1:00pm
        Nobrain said | April 20th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

        My heart say yes but what I have left of my brain say no way Jose.

      • Roar Guru

        April 20th 2017 @ 1:10pm
        Nobrain said | April 20th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

        I can beleive that after all the work we have done analysing this game you tip the Jags. Hahahaha.
        Tutema you are all heart. You shoulb be called Nobrain!!!!

    • Roar Rookie

      April 20th 2017 @ 9:28am
      Paul D said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

      I’d love to see the rebels win in SA, but they are down a few essential troops through suspension and injury. So I’m going to hand responsibility of delivering this weeks upset to the Force at home.

      • Columnist

        April 20th 2017 @ 9:39am
        Brett McKay said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:39am | ! Report

        I like it Paul!

        “Here, Force, here’s this week’s upset idol. Don’t bugger it up…”

    • April 20th 2017 @ 9:42am
      Perthstayer said | April 20th 2017 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      Brett – Force to win.

      They’re backs to the wall like a first shower in the Goulburn Correctional facility.

      Will be huge crowd. I fear a yellow card will be our worst enemy. Control their emotions and Harry will be a hero

      • April 20th 2017 @ 10:11am
        Rugby Tragic said | April 20th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Whew, love the backers of the underdogs after all that which has gone on recently, but regretfully cannot see it as the Chiefs need points also to stay in the fight for top dog in the NZ conference.

        But irrespective hope its a good game and good luck to you guys regardless.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 20th 2017 @ 11:35am
          piru said | April 20th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          I’m going to let the tyres down on their team bus and book a 3am wake up call for their front row at their hotel

          • April 20th 2017 @ 1:51pm
            Old Bugger said | April 20th 2017 @ 1:51pm | ! Report


            I’m in Perth visiting the bro-in-law and his family so you better keep an eye out cos, I’ll have me pea-shooter with me and if I see any person who ain’t got a Chiefs jersey on, anywhere near me team’s digs, then they will get a mouthful…..of peas.

            Actually, the real reason I’m in Perth is to give the boys a reminder….just in case…..that those Westies, are on a bloody mission to save the Club and, they’ll be breathing fire & brimstone in the change-room let alone, on the paddock.

            So, meet fire with fire, defend like hell and don’t let them, get a lead like you did, last week. If you do then, it could be “All over red rover….” and I’m on a direct flight to Auckland, first thing.

      • Columnist

        April 20th 2017 @ 11:52am
        Brett McKay said | April 20th 2017 @ 11:52am | ! Report

        I’m looking forward to that game Stayer, should be a ripper..

        • April 20th 2017 @ 5:45pm
          ScottD said | April 20th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

          I wish that was correct but we have the third string locks in and the second string halves. I’d love to say otherwise but we are going to get our arses kicked…………..

      • April 20th 2017 @ 7:35pm
        Cuw said | April 20th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

        Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Sam McNicol, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (cc), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam , 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Dominic Bird, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi
        Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Aidan Ross, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Taleni Seu, 20 Lachlan Boshier, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Toni Pulu

        Western Force: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Curtis Rona, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Luke Morahan, 10 Luke Burton, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Isi Naisarani, 5 Ross Haylett-Petty, 4 Lewis Carmichael, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Ben Daley
        Replacements: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Francois Van Wyk, 18 Pek Cowan, 19 Onehunga Havilli, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Jono Lance, 23 Alex Newsome

        • Roar Guru

          April 20th 2017 @ 10:12pm
          Timbo (L) said | April 20th 2017 @ 10:12pm | ! Report

          RHP, Naisarani, Hodgo and Hardwick with Stunder off the bench – That is a lot of very mobile hardmen. Oooh, the Chiefs are so going to get their pokemon cards taken off them at the breakdown. Kerr-Barlow and Cruden are going to need to keep the ball moving around the back line if they want to win.

          • April 20th 2017 @ 11:34pm
            cuw said | April 20th 2017 @ 11:34pm | ! Report

            and how many test caps do they have among the 5 of them?

            vis-a-vis Messam Cane Leitch Brodie Bird ?

            chiefs by plenty 🙂

            • Roar Rookie

              April 21st 2017 @ 11:03am
              piru said | April 21st 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

              They’re not playing a test

              They’re playing a super rugby game

              In Perth

            • April 21st 2017 @ 6:36pm
              Timbo (L) said | April 21st 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

              More Boring, irreverent stats.

              None of those guys have the speed to get there in time, sure, once they are there, they can protect and clean out, but by then, it is too late, the nest has been robbed.
              If you had said Matt Todd, Dixon, Ardie Savia, Shields, Prior or Squire then you would have my attention. These guys are genuinely quick around the paddock and can go all day.

              The Ritchie days are over, modern southern hemisphere refs are far less tolerant of players pushing the margins of the rules. But then again, if Angus Gardener is officiating, he will let Kerr-Barlow ref for him like he did TJ.

              And don’t get me wrong, it will be a miracle if the chiefs don’t win after so convincingly beating the Cheetahs last week. They were in front from the start,… weren’t they?

    • April 20th 2017 @ 10:22am
      Perthstayer said | April 20th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

      RT – Going to be a great night. Biggest crowd for years I hope. Kiwis will turn out to barrack their local team and support their home one!

      Force players are on the radar for prospective new teams – added incentive maybe??