Who’d be a tipster, hey? One week you’re missing a perfect round by a whisker, the next your round is shot by Saturday afternoon.
And it doesn’t get any easier this weekend.
Of the seven games before us, I reckon the Crusaders over the Chiefs are the only clear favourites. Of the other six games, a flip of a coin for each game is going to be as accurate as what any of us are about to provide you.
In this season, the most open start to Super Rugby in who knows how long, a flip-of-the-coin round just one month into the season is hardly my idea of fun. So I’m flagging it early; this weekend could get ugly.
So good luck, everyone. My goodness, we’re going to need it.
ROUND 3: Nobes, Digger, Harry, and The Crowd 4; Geoff and Brett 3
OVERALL: Nobes 13; Geoff, Harry, The Crowd 12; Brett 11, and Digger 10
TIPS: HURRICANES, REBELS, CRUSADERS, BLUES, REDS, LIONS, BULLS
There are no more rules for tippers, everything is possible and impossible when choosing winners in this edition of Super Rugby 2019. Another round where only a single franchise could win at home and thus throw away any chance of a reasonable round.
With my coin of luck in my left hand, and without much reasonableness and losing little shame I will advance in a new attempt in this fourth round.
Without knowing which players will jump to the court in Wellington I will bet on the premises for the Canes to win the duel.
The Brumbies impressed us all on their triumph over the Chiefs, but I’m not convinced of their game that depends to much on their maul to score, besides I really like the Rebels.
In Christchurch only one team can win, Crusaders. The Blues will have their first victory against the Sunwolves that already gave the bump of the year last weekend and probably have been celebrating to much.
Reds will win the derby against the Waratahs because they will play with character and the Waratahs have not shown much yet to deserve my trust.
Lions against Jaguares is difficult but I want to imagine that the Lions are very angry about the defeat at home last weekend, and the Jaguares have a couple of key players injured.
With Augustin Creevy out and Julián Montoya on ice, they may have to call for a third choice to play hooker against M. Marx. If the Bulls of last week appear again on Saturday, they will take the victory against the Sharks.
SURE THING: Nothing is for sure.
TIPS: HURRICANES, REBELS, CRUSADERS, BLUES, WARATAHS, LIONS, BULLS.
After twenty-one matches this Super Rugby season, it was actually better to have been the visitor than the home team. This changes in Round 4.
The Canes will run rampant over the Highlanders. The Rebels will stave off the Brumby challenge.
The Crusaders will continue their pillage. The Blues will do just enough to pip the Sunwolves. The Tahs will see Red off. And the home teams will win in the South African conference.
Already, the New Zealand conference looks a two-horse race between the heavyweights in Wellington and Christchurch. Meanwhile, the South African conference still have five equal hopefuls, with nothing clear.
Australia’s pool is also wide open, with plenty of intrigue yet to unfold.
SURE THING: The best forward in the world will not be playing, as the Stormers have a bye.
TIPS: HURRICANES, REBELS, BLUES, CRUSADERS, WARATAHS, LIONS, BULLS
Friday night should be a cracker and looking forward to a few of the match ups. In particular Frizell and Fifita, and TJ and bathroom Smith is always hotly contested. I’m hoping to have a first look at our new South African lock too; ‘Canes by plenty.
Have a nagging feeling about the Brumbies but the Rebels at home should be good value, while the Crusaders are a no brainer considering the Chiefs’ recent struggles.
I will back the Blues despite their recent travel and results, but I really can’t say I am confident. Hopefully the Sunwolves may be still hungover after their historic moment last week.
For the balance of the matches I will pick the home sides; Waratahs have too much experience, Lions after last week’s loss and beating the same team away seem likely.
The Bulls at home should get up, but the Sharks are a side that are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.
SURE THING: There will not be any further 8-minute yellow cards this week while fourth officials will spend more time watching the games and incidents rather than ticking boxes.
TIPS: HURRICANES, REBELS, CRUSADERS, SUNWOLVES, REDS, LIONS, SHARKS
The Hurricanes are lengths better with their All Blacks back in. The Highlanders will also be better with theirs, just not by enough. Expect the Brumbies to bounce back after their spanking in Palmy, but the Rebels also have plenty of improvement in them and will enjoy cooler conditions.
The Chiefs’ soft underbelly has been exposed, things could get ugly in Christchurch. Home ground advantage for the Blues (travelling from Buenos Aries) has been conceded to the Sunwolves (travelling from Hamilton).
Surely the Sunwolves, after taking four years to win away from home, couldn’t do it two weeks running? It’s the Blues, remember.
After their scare in Tokyo, a week off in the room of mirrors should have the Tahs ready to show something this week. But the Reds pack will be better for mixing it with the champs last week, and there’s an upset in the wind.
I’m 0/3 tipping the Jags this season, and have no idea again this week. The Lions at home. Maybe. To finish, the Bulls are schizo and the SA conference is full of upsets. Sharks it is.
SURE THING: At the completion of round four SANZAAR will issue a press release as follows; “In response to issues raised this week around the World League and increased player workloads, and because everybody knows who will win anyway, the 2019 Super Rugby competition has been shut down, and the title awarded to the Crusaders.”
TIPS: HURRICANES, REBELS, BLUES, CRUSADERS, WARATAHS, LIONS, BULLS
Well, here goes nothing.
The ‘Canes were pretty good last week, without really having to play a lot of rugby, and so a first outing in the Cake Tin in 2019 will be good reason to prove that they will be there or thereabouts this season. I don’t think it will be “by plenty”, but it’ll be by enough.
The Rebels look ominous, but are yet to play a full 80 minutes. Brumbies fans will be fearing this on Friday night. Crusaders will knock the Chefs back to the kitchen; Waratahs in a slogfest at the Sydney Cricket Ground, a game for which ‘tradition’ will be used a lot, but really means ‘terrible viewing angles’.
There is only a whisker between the Lions and Jaguares, and it’s only because a Lion’s whisker is slightly bigger that they get the nod at Ellis Park. And the Bulls, because the Sharks.
And yes, I’ve left one ‘til last.
The only way I can guarantee the Blues will lose is to pick them. The only way I can guarantee the Sunwolves lose is to pick them. So I’m doomed either way, and how could I possibly put the kiss of death of the Mighty Moondogs?
SURE THING: Never mind one sure thing this week, I’ll give you seven: Highlanders, Brumbies, Chiefs, Sunwolves, Reds, Jaguares, and the Sharks. Take them to the bank.
Get your votes in now – The Crowd’s tips will be revealed Friday afternoon AEDT.
Who have you got, Roarers? Who gets your tip this weekend?