Super Rugby Round 13 tips and predictions: Unlucky for everyone?

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert


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    Unlucky 13? Well, that’s what I’m sweating on now, after Round 12 served up a plateful of pain to my column of the tipping panel.

    Round 13 looms as a tough week, too, and once again, I reckon six of the eight games can easily swing either way.

    Is this the week the Crusaders come undone? Is this the week the Stormers remember how to win? Have the Highlanders used up all their luck?

    And what of the Australian sides? The on-field woes only seem to take over the headlines from the off-field woes of a Monday, so is some good news too much to ask, just once this season? There can only be three Australian wins, but I’d love to write about four really good performances next week.

    Last week: Harry and The Crowd 5; Digger and Nobes 4; Brett 3, but you know, whatevs…

    Harry Jones
    “The gravel-chucking Chiefs will hand the set-piece gurus from the South Island their first loss. The Blues (my Kiwi team) will be well-beaten (and mauled and scrummed) by a resurgent Stormer squad in the friendly confines of Newlands.

    “The angry ‘Canes will score plenty of tries against the generous matadors from Bloemfontein. The weary Highlanders will pip the weary Force. The embarrassed Sharks (teams losing to the Kings should stop feeling humiliated; they’re the most improved team in Super Rugby) will grind out a win in steamy Singapore and eat that good street food on those litter-free roads.

    “The Kings vs Brumbies? I don’t know! I don’t! The Kings are faster. The Brumbies aren’t scoring tries. The Kings aren’t deep. The Brumbies are. The Kings have momentum; and are eating home cooking. Hmmmmm…. Kings?

    “The Lions will eat the Bulls for lunch. The Waratahs will play their best game.”

    TIPS: Chiefs, Stormers, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Sharks, Kings, Lions, Waratahs


    “’Canes by plenty.

    “Chiefs and Crusaders are giving me a headache, I just don’t know. Chiefs seem the ‘safe’ option, coming off a bye and less travel so I will plump for them, but not with any great certainty while the Stormers at Newlands shape as a bridge too far for the Blues.

    I have to back the Highlanders, even in Perth, while I imagine the Sharks will pull finger in Singapore. The Kings? Why not, at home in PE may be too much for a Brumbies side under pressure while the Lions certainly pick themselves and I will say the Waratahs at home should be too much for the Rebels.”

    Tips: Chiefs, Stormers, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Sharks, Kings, Lions, Waratahs

    “Well, well, well. My sure thing of last week was just not a feeling and while everybody is asking the Jaguares coach to take a leave of absence, he only claims that he is going to work harder. When a team loses their soul, there is only one thing to do…

    “Round 13 presents a big puzzle and Harry has teed off ahead, so I must take some chances.

    “I think it’s time for the Crusaders to give one up; they have travelled so much and it is hard to keep the intensity for such a long time. The Blues will keep winning and Stormers may feel strong at home but it will not be enough.

    “The Hurricanes have the chance to jump right back on track and will not lose the chance to the exciting Cheetahs. Highlanders will keep making magic against the Force. The embarrassed Sharks will have to find a way to fix their fly half situation; Patrick Lambie is not at his best and Bosch is missed, but they still have what it takes to beat the Sunwolves.

    “What about the Kings? I like to see how they have been improving game by game and the flyhalf Lionel Cronje is guiding a team in excellent form. The Lions are too strong for the Bulls. And the Waratahs are in a must-win situation, but they have the same bug the Jaguares caught somewhere, so they make me nervous.”

    Tips: Chiefs, Blues, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Sharks, Kings, Lions, Waratahs

    Well, I’ve got to say, I’m surprised that there’s been so little variation in the tips to date, because I think this week is going to be harder to get right than last week. And last week was bloody rough, if you were mad enough to follow my tips.

    So, I agree with the guys that this is quite possibly the week the Crusaders’ run comes undone. The Chiefs have been flying under the radar a bit, and I think last week might take a toll on the Crusaders. And to prove this point completely, I’m going to take the Crusaders again.

    The Stormers should be well refreshed back in Cape Town, and now have a chance to play into form the playoffs. I can’t see the Cheetahs giving the Hurricanes any trouble, but I see the Force giving the Highlanders huge trouble.

    Both teams will meet in Perth from opposite corners of the southern hemisphere, and while the Highlanders will bring tiredness and about seven minutes of sheer luck with them, the Force bring a huge amount of belief and the knowledge that the cavalry are ready to return. I can’t wait to see the Sea of Blue welcome their team onto the pitch on Saturday night.

    The Sharks? Pfft, please. No Bosch, and huge questions over Lambie, and if the Kings are the most improved side in the comp like Harry says, then the Mighty Moondogs mightn’t be too far behind them.

    There’s a thousand reasons why the Kings should win in Port Elizabeth, but only one for the Brumbies: desperation. They just have to win, though it’s fascinating to see the difference in Lionel Cronje’s game since his first Super Rugby forays in a Brumbies jersey.

    And the Lions because they will, and the Waratahs because they have to.

    Tips: Crusaders, Stormers, Hurricanes, Force, Sunwolves, Brumbies, Lions, Waratahs

    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…

    “Vince Aso will score a hat trick.”

    “There are probably angry conversations in Buenos Aires; and blame, division, and accusations.”

    “Either Harry or myself will be leading after this round unless Digg and Brett go all in and win.”

    Yet more order-shuffling in the Australian conference, but maybe a bit in the New Zealand conference too. And I’m quite sure that a tip I’m currently feeling pretty confident about is one that will bring me horribly undone.

    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 (71)

    • May 18th 2017 @ 3:36am
      Carlos the Argie said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:36am | ! Report

      “There are probably angry conversations in Buenos Aires; and blame, division, and accusations.”

      This is what happens every day in any circumstance in Argentina. Not a new concept.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2017 @ 5:07am
        Harry Jones said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:07am | ! Report

        Nicely played…

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2017 @ 6:36am
          Nobrain said | May 18th 2017 @ 6:36am | ! Report

          Only Araujo, Hourcade, adn Perez think that they can turn things around. I gave you a tip last week of what is going on . Planet Rugby is asking the same question about the coaching staff for the last two weeks.

    • May 18th 2017 @ 3:58am
      DavSA said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:58am | ! Report

      If the Crusaders win…….they will win the competition. ….. I have constantly backed the Cheetahs ..this time they cannot let me down or ???? Can they

    • May 18th 2017 @ 5:12am
      Baylion said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:12am | ! Report

      In the ordinary scheme of things this would have been an easy round to pick. But it’s not the ordinary scheme of things with the Force and the Kings having a lot of positive energy after their upset wins and the Clan scraping through two rounds against some of the worst SA can offer

      Chiefs v Saders – Chiefs, because I want them to win
      Stormers v Blues – Stormers, because the squad gelled in Kiwiland
      Canes v Cheetahs – Canes, but the Cheetahs will lose spectacularly
      Force v the Clan – The Force, because it’s with them at the moment
      Sunwolves vSharks – Sharks, because they will kill the game with a defence based game
      Lions v Bulls – Lions, back to attack
      Kings v Brumbies – Kings, their mojo is running
      Tahs v Rebs – Tahs, Rebs, who cares?

      • May 18th 2017 @ 5:51am
        Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:51am | ! Report

        Tahs bs Rebels. No one cares?
        A few will be deathriding the Tahs due to their protected species status in the ARU, and the Rebels’ Damocles sword.

        May the Force win and top the conference before being relegated to subbies. Ha! Now that would be a laugh.
        A sad laugh, but a laugh nevertheless.
        OZ rugby is broke. This weekend might show up the flaky criteria that the ARU are employing to choose the team on the block.

      • May 20th 2017 @ 7:31pm
        ThugbyFan said | May 20th 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

        dammit Bablion, my tips are exactly as you have written here. And Hurricanes for the Powerpoint. Seems we both crashed in the first pick with the “Saders beating the Chiefs. I just hope you haven’t put the mocka on me!

        And btw, I, for one, care for the mighty Tahs, so Tahs to win. 🙂

    • May 18th 2017 @ 5:22am
      P2R2 said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:22am | ! Report

      Chiefs wont have Charlie Ngatai….a bye is not necessarily a good thing with when you are facing a team like the Saders…Saders to win….4 points will be enough…
      Blues – to win well
      Bulls – to beat the Lions
      Rebs – to beat the Tahs
      Kings – to run rings around the Brumbies
      Landers – to show them ‘where the Force is’
      Canes to blow the Cheetahs away spectacularly

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2017 @ 5:40am
      The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:40am | ! Report

      I like Bretts predictions here

      I also back the Crusaders. Seems like they have taken travel, opposition, byes… everything out if it They just win and win. Chiefs can match up front, but can they match Saders in form firing backline? I doubt.

      Highlanders have been silly lucky in SA and some time that luck will run out. WF with a purpose on a mission (and in form) will be one step to far. Yep, the monkey from the back goes away this weekend for OZ teams. WF will break the Kiwi spell.

      Sunwolves had a great April and improved a lot. They even looked competitive against NZ sides for a while. Now they had two weeks to train more (never forget that they had no pre season) so I think it is fair to expect more improvements. Game being played in Singapore does not help them, but I think they will just edge it. Sharks will be surprised when they discover that Sunwolves attack is moire potent than the Jaguares.

      Only two things we don’t agree on is Stormers-Blues (both teams form curves goes in different directions, and Blues have a sniff at a playoff spot. It is not over yet) and Kings-Brumbies (Kings rise will continue and this time – for the first time in a long time – in fornt of a huge crowd. Kings will feed on this positive energy and Brumbies are Brumbies).

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2017 @ 7:32am
        Fionn said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:32am | ! Report

        The Brumbies will win. We’re undefeatable.

    • Roar Guru

      May 18th 2017 @ 7:30am
      Fionn said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:30am | ! Report

      Traitors! All of you, except for Brett, abandoning ship on the Brumbies!

      I’ve never felt so betrayed on this site.

      • Columnist

        May 18th 2017 @ 8:15am
        Brett McKay said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        What are you talking about Fionn, last week no-one picked the Brumbies!!

        • May 18th 2017 @ 3:43pm
          Akari said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

          I did, Brett. Just imagine if you did pick the Brumbies; you’d be in a hole deeper than hell itself. Traitor or smart. Whatever, I was quite pissed off with that inept performance from the Bumbees.