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Super Rugby Round 6: The weekend six-pack

Brad Thorn has copped some criticism, but the Reds look a better side in 2018 (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)
Expert
21st March, 2018
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4375 Reads

After the opening rounds of a full seven games, we’re back to the more-conveniently sized, easy-to-consume six this weekend.

And at good times, too. Games Friday as usual, but then Saturday afternoon, Saturday evening, the standard set-the-alarm game from South Africa, and then, to finish the round off, the Sunday morning jewel in the crown that is Super Rugby: breakfast bloody rugby. How good?

There were fives for several of us last week, with the Jaguares and Rebels undoing perfect rounds for Digger and myself. Four for Harry and Geoff. And four for The Crowd, too.

Overall: Nobes 22; Digger 20; Harry, Brett, Geoff, and The Crowd 19.

Nobes
TIPS: Crusaders, Rebels, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Stormers, Jaguares.

Here we go again with many questions marks in different games from Round 6. Why do we have three byes this round? Beats me.

Is the nursery home Crusaders capable of defeating this improved Bulls? It is going to be a close game, but I will stick to the home team.

Crusaders

(Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

Are the Rebels capable to return to the winning path or the game lost to the Waratahs last weekend opened to many questions for their players and coaching staff? The Sharks did not look very good last weekend either, so home rule is the safe bet.

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Last weekend Sunwolves are for real? Can they pose a threat to the Chiefs in Tokyo? I do not think so, the Chiefs in this one. The Hurricanes have finally rested and will have to much powder for a bruise Highlander team after last weekend game. I think that the Reds have added too many flying miles on their way to Cape Town and a high spirit Stormers will take advantage of that.

Which teams will show at Buenos Aires? Jaguares on one side have so many internal problems and differences among their players, and Mario Ledesma will have problems solving that in just one week. In the other hand the Lions have plenty of injuries and also have to rest some of the usual starters.

For different reasons both teams need the points but who wants them more? I may get burned again but I will tip the Jaguares at home.

Sure thing: We will have a drop goal.

Harry
TIPS: Crusaders, Sharks, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Stormers, Jaguares.

Tipping 2018 Super Rugby is like choosing your favourite stripper with a blindfold on. You just have to feel it.

I feel the intensely physical, but undisciplined Crusaders will overcome the fleet challenge of the fast-start-slow-finish Bulls. Purely relying on my gut, I feel the Sharks will find their groove in the Sports Capital of the World. The Rebels pack will struggle against the behemoths of the Sharks.

The Chiefs have a tackle-misser at centre to rival Raymond Rhule, but they’ll sort Johnny Fa’auli’s technique, and nip the globetrotting Sunwolves, who are now stocked up with about eight big Saffas and Pacific Islanders.

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The Hurricane-Highlander derby is a 50-50 ‘who scores last’ puzzler. I’ll go with the North Island lads; I can’t believe Ben Smith can talk a referee out of awarding a try again.

TJ Perenara

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The young and hardy Stormers will defeat the young and hardy Reds; because it’s at Newlands.

In Argentina, the victor will be the referee. I have no idea if the awesome Round 4 Jaguares or the abysmal Round 5 Jaguares will show up. But they face the shaky Lions, who have overplayed Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Elton Jantjies, Franco Mostert, and Kwagga Smith so much, they have no legs at all.

Malcolm Marx still looks scared at lineout time. The Joburgers miss the Ackerman tag team, Wonderful Warren Whiteley, and Jaco Kriel most of all. Also, Coetzee was the worst player at Ellis Park last weekend. I’ll tip the Jaguares by one point.

Sure thing: Brad Thorn will break something in Cape Town.

Digger
TIPS: Crusaders, Rebels, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Stormers, Lions.

I would back the Crusaders to get their season back on track at home against the Bulls as I simply don’t believe they have the mentality to win away just yet. And I will back the Rebels at home for much the same reason.

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The Chiefs should have too much firepower for the Sunwolves, while the Stormers at Newlands will be a bridge too far for the travelling Reds despite their resilient defence. I am going to tip the Lions in Buenos Aires. Dunno why, but I just feel it is due in the battle between two sides who are struggling to convince at this time.

Oh, and Canes by plenty thanks.

Sure thing: Jordie will kick something from far away, the accountant will do something brilliant and the biggest derby will be who has the loudest voice between Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.

Brett
TIPS: Crusaders, Rebels, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Stormers, Lions.

Can I just start the weekend off by saying that I’m still angry about the Jaguares? Did they not recognise the enormity of playing for my perfect round? Honestly Jaguares, tenías un trabajo

Crusaders get Whitelock and Crotty back this week, and that should be enough to keep the Bulls on toast. And I just didn’t see anything attack-wise from the Sharks last week that should trouble the Rebels, who have had a very timely dose of reality.

I’d love for this week to be when the Moondogs to break their drought, but I suspect going from the warmth of the high veldt to the winter of Tokyo to meet a Chefs side cooking with gas, within one week; I don’t think this will be the week.

I think the Stormers would’ve been too good for the Reds anyway, but adding another two lengthy plane legs to the journey only compounds this. And I’m still too angry at the Jaguares to pick them this week.

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Damian Willemse

(Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

They’re on their final yellow card warning, for the record, and I’m very serious about this; just like referees handing out their definitive final warnings. No more buggering me around, Jags.

I’ve left the Hurricanes-Highlanders until last, and it’s been the one game troubling we all week. I do really like the Highlanders chances; they’re playing great rugby, they’ve already clicked as a team/coach unit, and they could definitely win this. But the injuries worry me, and the game being in Wellington worries me. I think it’s enough to stick with the ‘Canes, but by a lot less than plenty.

Sure thing: Again I find myself saying, “the Jaguares, obviously”.

Geoff
TIPS: Crusaders, Rebels, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Stormers, Lions

Well, another rough round is starting to mess with confidence levels. The Crusaders should be a moral at home, but the Bulls definitely have some fizz about them under John Mitchell. I’ll go the safe route, as I will in Melbourne, although I won’t be surprised if the Sharks finally shake off their lethargy and play to their potential.

The Sunwolves are going to beat somebody soon but not this week; the Chiefs will continue to tip-toe around their injury woes. Injuries will test the Highlanders too – I like the Canes at home is this weekend’s ‘must-watch’ derby.

NEW PLYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 06: Sam Cane of the Chiefs breaks the Reds defence during the round 11 Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and the Reds at Yarrow Stadium on May 6, 2017 in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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Assuming that the Reds finally arrive in Cape Town, the Stormers will punish them for their vaccination snafu. As to which Jaguares will turn up against the Lions? This isn’t tipping, it’s a lucky dip! The Lions depth will be tested but they are more of a team and that has to count for something.

Sure thing: In Wellington, referee Mike Fraser is stood aside at the last minute, replaced by Romanian official Vlad Iordachescu. After the Highlanders win, aided by a 30-2 penalty count, a container load of Speights and a blue and gold beanie and scarf are delivered to Iordachescu’s Bucharest home.

Get your votes in now – The Crowd’s tips will be revealed Friday afternoon AEDT.

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