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Super Rugby Round 14: Coming to America

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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Popular article! 4,240 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.

    Geoff


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

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 (102)

    • May 17th 2018 @ 4:41am
      Coaster49 said | May 17th 2018 @ 4:41am | ! Report

      I’m picking the sunwolves this weekend. They remind me of the Bulls a few years back who went from cellar dwelling easy beats to contenders in a short space of time. So to the Jaguares seem to be on a roll.

    • Roar Guru

      May 17th 2018 @ 5:29am
      Nobrain said | May 17th 2018 @ 5:29am | ! Report

      Moyano is out for Jaguares. Sanzaar has change the official ref for the local Anselmi. Imo is good news for Bulls because in case of doubt he will favor them. Anselmi will not want to favor Jaguares at any instance because is a job he wants to keep.

      • Columnist

        May 17th 2018 @ 8:12am
        Geoff Parkes said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:12am | ! Report

        Anselmi’s sister wants to date Lavanini. He will be kind to the Jags.

        • May 17th 2018 @ 8:23am
          Carlos The Argie said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

          Anselmi’s sister wants to date Lavanini? No comment. This gets into triple X territory very quickly.

          Beside Anselmi and his penchant for funky scrum refereeing, we have to figure out what the TMO is going to do. If it is another Argie (I don’t know now) their explanations are usually befuddling. Even in Spanish!

          Last week I asked if the Chiefs could play strong without Cane. They did! Maybe they can pull another one.

          Last week, all Australian teams lost except for one that beat another Australian team. All NZ teams won except for one that lost to another NZ team. But most Roarers remember Ben-O’K and not TT ruck misdemeanor in Tokyo. It is puzzling how selective memory is.

          And before I forget, the Highlanders, including Ben from Accounting, will not kick the ball to Izzy. It took the Crusaders 20 minutes to figure out it was a bad plan. They will not even try.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2018 @ 8:33am
            Nobrain said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

            I just made a comments that you may enjoy in NB article.

            • May 17th 2018 @ 9:12am
              Carlos The Argie said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:12am | ! Report

              Thanks for the list. I may have missed it. I have had many of those wines but it is not easy to get them here in the USA, especially in CA where almost all wines are West Coast produced.

              Achaval-Ferrer was sold to a Russian group (I think). He now makes wines for his Matervini and in Paso Robles for The Farm. The latter in partnership with a Stanford Bus Sch friend. We are club members of both.

              I also like Catena wines a lot. The daughter of the owner is a ER physician in Palo Alto (if I have the right hospital). She’s a wine maker herself.

              Susana Balbo’s wines are also good. And on the cheaper side, Colomé Torrontes is fantastic in summer.

              I am not too fond of Zuccardi or Trapiche. I use their generic malbec for cooking. Never had Per Se.

            • May 17th 2018 @ 9:58pm
              Cuw said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

              Anselmi will conduct a round table discussion at every opportunity the game is stopped for a foul.

              then he will ask ” do we agree to that ” or ” do you think we can do it ”

              i will love to see someone disagree 😛 what will he do then ?

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2018 @ 12:39pm
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        Come on Nobes. All season you have moaned about Jaguares never gets home-refs and now when it finally happens you wanna spin it that it is all bad?

        So what kind of crowd is expected this weekend for the Jags? Is there a buzz in BA’s rugby community?

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2018 @ 4:03pm
          Nobrain said | May 17th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

          That is false. I never asked for a ref from Argentina. Initially for this game Sanzaar had someone from NZ and I ok with that. I expect the largest crowd so far this year and loud.

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2018 @ 4:42pm
            The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2018 @ 4:42pm | ! Report

            I know mate, just having a little banter. I think most calls you have made about poor refereeing has been fair this season.
            Really looking forward to this game, despite kick off 05.40 local time in Thailand.

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2018 @ 5:27pm
              Nobrain said | May 17th 2018 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

              Get a nice massage from 4 to 5 and you will be ready for the match. It is 4:30 am over here 😃right now.

              • Roar Guru

                May 17th 2018 @ 6:02pm
                The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2018 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

                Hehehe, at that time I think only “happy ending” massage places are open to give service to the lost and drunken souls who don’t wanna go home alone 😉

              • Roar Guru

                May 17th 2018 @ 6:42pm
                Nobrain said | May 17th 2018 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

                🤠

    • May 17th 2018 @ 6:56am
      Ex force fan said | May 17th 2018 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      Everyone agrees that no Australian franchise will win this weekend….sure thing as the Force is also not playing.

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2018 @ 9:00am
        Train Without A Station said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        Well we can’t all play amateur teams can we…

        • May 17th 2018 @ 9:17am
          RahRah said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          or draw a crowd

          • Roar Guru

            May 17th 2018 @ 1:06pm
            Train Without A Station said | May 17th 2018 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            Genius to give out green shirts to the crowd.

            • May 17th 2018 @ 8:23pm
              Ex force fan said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

              Green shirts? What are you about? Were ypu even there?

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2018 @ 2:53pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 17th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

          The Highlanders will be.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2018 @ 2:55pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 17th 2018 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

          If they are getting Paid then they are professionals, by definition.

          Consider yourself Stawmanned!

        • May 17th 2018 @ 8:14pm
          Ex force fan said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

          TWAS, as you and your mates at the ARU get paid (why) so I am not surprised that you call yourself professional despite your obvious incompetence. The Force will play the amateurs in the Rebels and Crusaders in June, the same teams you now call professional but will call amateurs when they play the Force.

          Every week more and more rugby fans realise how dumb your decision was to axe the Force, and the closer you are from getting sacked. Send my best wishes to Pulver, Eales, Clark, Davis and the other ex-professionals. You will join their ranks soon.

    • May 17th 2018 @ 7:58am
      TUTEMA said | May 17th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      I believe that the Chiefs will be the upset of the weekend. (It would also benefit the Jaguares :-D)

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2018 @ 8:27am
        Nobrain said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        It is true that Sharks are bit bipolar and you never know which team will show up, however the Chiefs will be missing to many regular starting players IMO.

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2018 @ 12:40pm
          The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 17th 2018 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

          The only consistent the Sharks has provided this season is that they perform well against Kiwi teams.

      • Roar Guru

        May 17th 2018 @ 8:59am
        Diggercane said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        Got to believe that there will be an upset of sorts, don’t think there has been one weekend where all the favourites have come through yet!

        • Roar Guru

          May 17th 2018 @ 12:05pm
          Machooka said | May 17th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

          I… agree!! 😉

          • May 17th 2018 @ 1:25pm
            Moaman said | May 17th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

            I reckon the Tahs will get up.

            • Roar Guru

              May 17th 2018 @ 5:02pm
              Machooka said | May 17th 2018 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

              I don’t agree… but still plugging away and hoping! 😉

        • May 17th 2018 @ 10:36pm
          ThugbyFan said | May 17th 2018 @ 10:36pm | ! Report

          G’day Digger, for upset of the week then look no further than the caketin. Brad’s Canetoad Battlers are primed and ready to pull off a big one. 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      May 17th 2018 @ 8:29am
      Harry Jones said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:29am | ! Report

      STO = worst travelers since Napoleon

      • May 17th 2018 @ 9:00am
        Carlos The Argie said | May 17th 2018 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        He seemed to have enjoyed St Helen’s.

    • May 17th 2018 @ 8:55am
      Ironpaw said | May 17th 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report

      Just an idea but why not put the draw at the top of the article to set context. Cheers.

      • May 17th 2018 @ 1:13pm
        Akari said | May 17th 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        Too sensible but then it would also distract from the wise counsel of our experts, Ip.

      • Columnist

        May 17th 2018 @ 2:28pm
        Brett McKay said | May 17th 2018 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

        Ok, but…

        1. There’s a ‘Super Rugby fixture’ link immediately above the headline;
        2. We tip the games in order;
        3. The games are listed in order in the panel, along with the tips, and
        4. The games are also listed in order, along with where they’re being played on the voting form.

        Does the context really need to be set again?

        I take your point Ironpaw, but it kind of seems like overkill to me…

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