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Super Rugby Round 14: Coming to America

The Hurricanes are unstoppable. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)
Expert
16th May, 2018
102
4272 Reads

A funny thing happened during Round 13. While the Super Rugby world was still coming to grips with the possibility of taking the North American continent under our wing, our current US-based tipster proved that rugby and the States and success was a trio that does indeed exist.

While the rest of us were lamenting the inability of the Brumbies to finish a game, and the Reds’ inability to start one, a certain Dr Geoffrey Parkes III was hamming it up in New York rooftop bars raising toast after toast to the Sunwolves and Reece Hodge’s right boot.

Super Rugby is already toasting its first taste of US domination, and I’ve received very strong mail this week that a certain Capetonian tipster desperate not to run last hot-footed it Stateside before lodging this week’s tips.

Last week
Geoff 6; much cursing; Digger, Nobes, and The Crowd 4; Brett and Harry 3.

Overall
Nobes 57; Geoff 56; The Crowd 53; Digger 51; Harry and Brett 50.

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Geoff


Tips: Hurricanes, Stormers, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Jaguares.

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Sorry but anyone expecting me to gloat after last week is going to be disappointed. After all, I’m still only second, and the Sunwolves were such an obvious tip it feels cheap to claim any special prowess.

Plus it’s a new week, the slate is wiped clean and we’re only another seven matches away from fresh humiliation, with injuries and compulsory stand-downs starting to play havoc, especially when the deadline arrives before the teams are announced!

Canes by plenty, but then it gets tougher. Not as keen on the Dogs in HK, despite the Stormers being rubbish away from home. Crusaders pick themselves.

The Sydney match is the toughest of the round. Did the Tahs leave it all in Christchurch? If not, they’re a huge chance to break the ridiculous sequence, but the safer bet is to stick with the Kiwis, even with key players resting.

Don’t see how a depleted Chiefs snag a second tour win or how the Brumbies score enough points to trouble the Lions. After their triumphant tour will the Jags draw a crowd back at home? And give the bandwagon jumpers the win they’re looking for? Yes, for me.

Sure thing
A group of NSW rugby nuts will make a quick dash across to Wellington for the Canes vs Reds match on Friday night. Not, as you might think, to take pleasure at the Reds being put to the sword, but to enjoy the experience of watching their favourite whistler, Ben O’Keeffe, in the flesh.

Michael Hooper

(AAP Image/Jeremy Ng)

Nobes

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Tips: Hurricanes, Stormers, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Jaguares.

Oh well, it could not be any other way. If a Super Rugby play-off berth is very tight, our tipping contest has to be alike. Well done Geoff!

Many of the games from now on will be life or death for the teams seeking to be in the play-offs, and Round 14 has a couple of them already.

The Hurricanes will continue their winning streak against the shameless Reds.

To tell the truth, if the Sunwolves were to play in Japan instead of Hong Kong, I would be inclined to tip them over the Stormers, but the team from South Africa is in a must-win situation to keep their hopes alive.

The Crusaders is the safe tip against the Blues that have no chance to make it to the finals.

The Waratahs will not find the Highlanders a walk in the park. The team from New Zealand has become aware of the Tahs’ potential and will adjust to win this one.

I like the Sharks over the Chiefs at Durban. Sharks have to win this one to keep up in contention in the South African conference.

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The Lions at home to end up the losing streak against the Brumbies despite that the sabbatical man will come back and take on the field.

In Buenos Aires the Jaguares will want to prove to the largest attendance of the year that what they did in the Australasian tour was not a matter of luck. It is a long way to go, but the team that wins this one will probably the one to be in the play off. So I have to go with Jaguares.

Sure thing
There is an upset this round, I am just having trouble spotting it.

Sunwolves super rugby

(Matt Roberts/Getty Images for Sunwolves)

Digger

Tips: Hurricanes, Stormers, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Jaguares.

Waratahs and Highlanders are giving me a headache – the Tahs surely will be buoyed by their recent outing while the Highlanders will be missing a couple of note and it’s in Sydney. Surely the Tahs, but then the Blues managed to win in Sydney and the Tahs have done little to suggest consistency. I’ll hang my hat on the Clan to continue said streak.

The Jaguares and Bulls also shapes as another cracker and hard to separate, but after spending all season tipping against them and getting burned, let’s back the Jaguares at home on the back on their steely defence.

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As for the rest, I can’t go past the Crusaders, the Stormers should end the Sunwolves streak at one, the Sharks should be too much for a depleted Chiefs in Durban and I cannot see any hope for the Brumbies in Johannesburg.

Oh, and the Canes by plenty.

Sure thing
The Crusaders and Hurricanes will be thinking about next week’s match, and that will probably be reflected in their play this weekend, while Alan Jones is likely to have a go at RA again over the weekend even if the Waratahs win.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08: Tyler Paul of the Southern King tackles Warrick Gelant of the Bulls during the Super Rugby match between Vodacom Bulls and Southern Kings at Loftus Versfeld on July 08, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.

(Lee Warren/Gallo Images).

Brett


Tips: Hurricanes, Sunwolves, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Jaguares.

Hurricanes by plenty, probably; Crusaders by something similar; and the Lions by enough. That’s the opening gambit.

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The Stormers’ historical win record away from Cape Town is 42 per cent. Since the start of 2017 they’ve won eight from 21 starts away from Newlands.

Out of South Africa in that same time, it’s one win from seven, including six straight losses when they’ve needed their passport. That one win was an unconvincing 44-31 win in Singapore over the Sunwolves, in which they scored twice in the last few minutes. Their previous meeting in Singapore? A 17-all draw in 2016. With a Japan camp looming and the desperation building among the Wolfpack to impress Jamie Joseph, this is prime Moondog opportunity in Honkers.

The Highlanders seem to have the most success with the lowest amount of ball – their choice, mostly – and this would seem to pit them well against the Waratahs, who seem to have the least success with the most ball – their decision-making, mostly. But while I’ve stuck with the Highlanders, it’s with absolutely no confidence at all. I reckon this is losing BP match for sure, and a Waratahs win would not surprise me one bit.

The Chiefs are missing literally 400 players, so the Sharks should be comfortable. And now that they’ve proven they can win away games they definitely would’ve previously lost, the Jaguares become that much harder to beat at home. Too hard for the Bulls, certainly. Unbeata-bull, even.

Sure thing
Either the Stormers to win by a record margin or one of the Reds and Brumbies to win at ‘friendless’ odds. Nothing surer. All three, probably.

TJ Perenara

(Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Harry

Tips: Hurricanes, Stormers, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Bulls.

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If I don’t miss even one tip the rest of the season, I might finish fifth.

The Hurricanes don’t miss tackles. Twenty a game; in Super Rugby, that’s zero. ‘Canes by heaps.

The Stormers cannot travel. Is it a food issue? Mattresses? Teddy bears? Dunno. But they will squeak by the cellar dwellers by a point.

The breakdown is an absolute mess for the Blues. They have wasted over 200 line/tackle breaks. The Crusaders are surgeons. Bad news for Auckland.

The Waratahs (except for Taqele Naiyaravoro and Michael Hooper) are not busting through tacklers. Also, their radar is off from the tee. The Clan by a Smith or two.

The Sharks are the ‘kickiest’ and the ‘offloadingest’ team, which is an odd combination, like Alan Jones and Geoff Parkes fishing together, but this weird game plan will work against the Chiefs.

The Lions will roar past the limited Brumbies. Too many points.

In the main event, the Argentine backline (minus Facundo Bosch) will face off against the Bok backline (minus Faf de Klerk and Bosch). Bulls. Just because.

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Sure thing
Referees will make a few errors. Props will fall to the floor. Wings will pretend to tackle. Locks will look at the refs as they swim in the maul. Halfbacks will bombard us with words. Geoff will disagree with Alan Jones. Sheek will reminisce. David Lord will see things differently than me.

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

Who have you got, Roarers? Who gets your tip? Got a sure thing yourself? Let us know in the comments below, and enjoy your rugby this weekend.