For 12 rounds the summary of the tipping panel performance is best described as ‘unlucky’.
I mean, come on, football tipping isn’t supposed to be this stressful. Far too many things have gone wrong for us to be considered coincidental, so therefore it can only be luck. Or, more specifically, a complete lack thereof.
Which means surely, with the way this season has gone, if ever there were a round when things will go right for us, it would have to be Round 13.
Lucky for some. Call it an early sure thing.
Digger 5; Geoff, Nobes, Brett and The Crowd 4; and Harry 3.
Nobes and Digger 47; The Crowd 44; Harry 43; Geoff 42; and Brett 39.
Ha! The Crusaders-Sharks draw brought literally everyone undone and the Highlanders-Chiefs draw just rubbed salt into the wound. Digger’s five was as good as it got of the remaining games, and a number of you out there in The Crowd managed five too. So good on you all for getting 71 per cent of the round correct.
Hurricanes, Rebels, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Brumbies
Canes by plenty and I suspect the Rebels too.
I will back the Crusaders despite being away as I would imagine they will be disappointed after last week’s match and usually respond very well. The Highlanders at home should be too good, but I suspect they will not find it very easy up front against the Jaguares.
Chiefs and Sharks? The Sharks are my bogey team – I just cannot seem to get a match with them right – and the Chiefs are also very hard to predict. I will plump for the Sharks here on the account of their superb away record, and further Chiefs injuries in the pack means I struggle to see them competing up front against the Durbanites.
To cap off, the Lions at home seem the right choice, though it’s difficult to know what a side will offer coming off a bye, while the Brumbies at home should prove too strong for the Sunwolves.
Quade Cooper will nail all his goal kicks this weekend while assuming selection. Laumape vs Nonu should be a very explosive match up.
Hurricanes, Rebels, Crusaders, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Brumbies
The Blues will be better than their disappointing effort in Canberra but not enough to take the Hurricanes out. The Rebels will also be better than last week, which should be plenty to cover the Reds at home.
I can’t imagine the Crusaders having consecutive off days, so it’s a win for them on the road, while the Highlanders should have recovered from a serious arse-kicking and should be too good for the Jaguares.
To Hamilton, and I’m still scratching my head as to how the Chiefs scrambled a draw last week. The Sharks will be tighter than the Highlanders were and will sit back and feast on errors they know are coming.
I’m not convinced about the Lions or the Waratahs this year so the draw looks tempting. And while the Sunwolves have another upset or two left in them, I don’t think it will come in Canberra.
Inspired by Alan Jones’s stirring defence of Israel Folau this week, one of Folau’s Waratahs and Wallabies ex-teammates will also utter four of the most immortal words in civilisation: “I am Ned Hanigan!”
Hurricanes, Rebels, Crusaders, Highlanders, Chiefs, Lions, Brumbies
Round 12 for me, a rugby lover, was very special for how the games turned out. Narrow results and exciting matches where several were defined in the last ball of the game. Just look at the table of positions, which I cannot call a ladder by any means – the points that separate the second to the penultimate give a good idea of how entertaining the 2019 edition of Super Rugby is.
Very much so, despite the fact that it exposes me every week in the tipping panel to a horrible selection of winners and losers in each round.
Round 13 has a lot of similarities and could turn out to be more exciting, starting with the Hurricanes visiting the Blues, where they should win if their All Blacks play. The Blues are against the ropes and must win, but I do not think they can achieve it.
The Rebels in their home have to prove again that they are the candidates to win the conference and the Reds seem to be betrayed by their discipline. Bulls receive the unbeatable, or not so much, Crusaders, who want to redeem what was done last weekend.
The Jaguares will not be able to put all their weapons against Highlanders since several of their stars need a break, so I see the Highlanders as winners. Chiefs could beat the Sharks? Mmm… can the Chiefs turn this season around? This is their chance, but I do not know if they have what it takes.
Lions have been the worst team in the South African conference and the Waratahs need to win at the altitude and not let the Brumbies, who play at home against the Sunwolves, escape, and I assume they will win that game. What a difficult round for everyone.
This is the most difficult round to tip so far in my short tipping career.
Hurricanes, Rebels, Bulls, Highlanders, Sharks, Lions, Brumbies
For all this talk about it being a rough week to pick, it all looks pretty self-explanatory to me. Which is worrying, obviously.
So let’s get the upset out of the way first: yes, I’m picking the Bulls to beat the Crusaders at home. They’re bound to drop one game this year, the Crusaders, and even after last week’s scare, the first week in the Republic is difficult even for non-mortal teams. But I bet the Crusaders take a point out of it still.
Then it’s all easy enough after that. The Hurricanes could do some serious damage to the Blues on Friday night and the Rebels need to do some serious damage to the Reds. And the Bulls, as mentioned.
Come Saturday the Highlanders will be too good for the Jaguares, the Chiefs will be entertaining but ultimately disappointing against the Sharks and the Lions after a break should be just slightly better than the equally up-and-down Waratahs.
And then the Brumbies beat the Sunwolves on Sunday. Easy.
What Nobes said. And six upsets.
Hurricanes, Rebels, Bulls, Highlanders, Chiefs, Lions, Brumbies
Ah, lucky Round 13, which on paper shapes to be the trickiest tipping proposition yet. The little Stormers have a much-needed bye, so I’m at least going to do one better. Injuries, mileage and change room coups have all combined into an unholy stew of unpredictability. But here goes nothing.
The Hurried Canes will bleach the Blues with speed and quickness and alacrity. The disobedient Rebels will dispatch the rebellious Reds in a battle for the hearts and minds of Michael Cheika and his selector mate.
The happy and rollicking Blue Ball Bulls host the staid and somewhat angry Christchurch mob. I’ll go the obvious route: Pollard 21, Crusaders 17. That’s where I’ll catch the Crowd. So much Sader Awe.
The Jaguares are in fine fettle (and form). I do respect streaks (and streakers). But streaks are made to be broken. And look at what happened to Barcelona at Anfield. Highlanders by a tickle.
The mighty Huk Chiefs take on Dan du Preez, he who has played every minute of 2019 Super Rugby (dad = coach), scored six tries, offloaded 13 times, carried 125, tackled at 97 per cent and made a claim for Bok honours. Chiefs by a whisker. Sharks a bit tired.
The Lions are not looking great. The Waratahs are not looking greater. Tempted to predict a 10-10 draw, but I’ll go with Lions by plenty. But don’t hold me to that.
Brumbies maul the poor Wolf Cubs, but Go Hard van den Heaver will score a couple.
The number of Harrys playing in Super Rugby Round 13 will be about three.
Get your votes in now – The Crowd’s tips will be revealed Friday afternoon AEST.