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Opinion

Super Rugby Week 6: Choose your own disappointment

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Expert
15th July, 2020
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The resumption of Super Rugby AU introduced too many variables into our tipping for my liking, and with the Crusaders having this week off, it feels like Week 6 is sitting there in front of us just waiting to decide how many ways it can go south.

Think about it, all four games have upset written all over them. Even if you carry enough confidence to comfortably take the Brumbies, does that confidence carry through to the other games?

Nope, of course it doesn’t. The question then becomes, which games are you comfortable getting wrong?

Because that’s what this week is going to deliver. Wrong tips. And disappointment.

On another topic, I see what’s going on here: there’s genuine concern at Roar HQ that after however many years it’s been, Brett might actually take out a tipping panel. So how can we possibly pull back his lead?

Answer: Put him back in charge.

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LAST WEEK: threes all round, with no-one gettin’ nuffin’ from the Rebels-Reds draw. Including the Rebels and Reds.

OVERALL: Brett and Harry 12, Nobes and The Crowd 11, Geoff and Dan ten, Digger nine.

Harry
Tips: Reds, Hurricanes, Brumbies, Chiefs

Brett was saved by JOC’s skew boot. But his lead was not lost. That’s the facts.

This round has a potential Waratah shock. And a tricky North Island derby.

The Force need to adopt the SAS motto and be more daring. Also, more cunning. And be bigger. Faster. More thoughtful. Reds by a thorn.

Brad Thorn

(Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Jordie over Beauden. Three cards given; mostly to BBBBB, because Carl Jung was correct: latent, blatant sibling rivalry is the strongest psychological force in the universe.

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Brumbies prevail over the Waratahs in extra super golden goal time. There is controversy. About the 50-22-50-2-3-1 thing.

The devil-may-care Chiefs cruise past fatigued Highlanders, just for pride.

SURE THING: The Crusaders take control of another tournament. Bloody hell.

Digger
Tips: Reds, Hurricanes, Brumbies, Highlanders

Expecting the Reds to be better at home than last week, and will have their eyes wide open to a competitive Force outfit. Also expect their last 20 to be stronger than their Force counterparts.

Chiefs and Highlanders are head-scratchers; surely the Chiefs will win a game, but they have proved rather consistently inconsistent while the Highlanders have been more the opposite. Perhaps they will be a bit fresher after the bye, certainly determined. I will back the Chiefs without any real confidence.

Nope scratch that, I will pick the Highlanders because I need to make up tipping points, still with zero confidence.

Aaron Smith of the Highlanders charges forward

(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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And Canes and Brumbies by plenty against those Blue-wearing pretender types from cities that consider themselves grand but really are just a bit stink.

SURE THING: Following on from the wonderfully revealing interview of Sergio Parisse recently, the Force’s latest signing, Richard Kahui will be next in line and will reveal whether he would have preferred to have played his internationals for the Wallabies in a hard-hitting, tell-all interview. Fantastic stuff.

Brett
Tips: Reds, Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs

Nerves-a-plenty about this round gang, and I don’t for a minute buy any of the confidence being put forward by my colleagues this week.

The Reds will have been pretty happy to get away with two points last week, but equally will know that the Force haven’t jumped back into Super Rugby for hits and giggles. Both teams will take something out of last week, but only one team is enjoying the comforts of home.

And the Brumbies should be too good for the Waratahs, but there’s just always something in this clash – the away team has only won eight times in 35 games across 25 seasons.

Tevita Kuridrani of the Brumbies

(Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes showed enough last week, and the Blues not quite. And I pencilled the Blues in early this week and have sat nervous all week watching tips for the Canes coming in. But then I remembered the Blues led 15-6 in Christchurch, while the Hurricanes only conceded points in the last half an hour at home. So pass me the pen.

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SURE THING: Nothing I can add in this line will be as scythingly accurate as Geoff’s opening words about the Hurricanes-Highlanders. Get ready, Roarers…

Nobes
Tips: Reds, Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs

The Reds should show the Force that the team they played last weekend is not representative of the Super Rugby teams’ average quality and beat them by a good margin.

In the game that I consider the most attractive this weekend, the Hurricanes will have to demonstrate that their recovery is for real, while apparently the Blues are a growing team despite having lost their game in Christchurch. It is necessary to see how defeat affects them mentally and if they can bear it without major difficulties. I think both teams are playing for a lot this weekend, much more than the points at stake. Difficult call. Blues by small margin.

Beauden Barrett celebrates with Blues teammates

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Back in Australia, the Waratahs should not present a major stumbling block for the Brumbies. A convincing victory against the Force might have begun to change the direction of those from Sydney, but far from that was what was shown on the field of play.

The Chiefs have been the Achilles heel in my tipping this season, I hope they have rested enough and reinforce the confidence I have been having despite the valuable points they have cost me.

SURE THING: Crusaders, the sure tip, by not playing is making this round interesting for all tipping participants.

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Geoff
Tips: Reds, Blues, Brumbies, Highlanders

The two Australian matches this week both look to be straightforward. As good as the Force were in the first half of their return match, the Reds look to have an edge right across the park. And as good as the Tahs were in dominating their second half, that won’t be enough to match it with the Brumbies, who have plenty of improvement in them.

Things get more uncertain in New Zealand. While there’s a lot more starch in the way the Hurricanes’ pack is going about business this year, the side is still prone to long flat periods and silly errors. That consistency is exactly what the Blues have addressed, and they’re going well enough to win.

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The match in Hamilton can go one of two ways. The Highlanders have had a couple of hard weeks and might be run over by a refreshed Chiefs, or the Chiefs are taking too long to acquaint themselves with ‘the Gatland way’ and the Highlanders are due some reward. Highlanders in a toss-up.

SURE THING: After the roaring success of super time in last week’s Rebels versus Reds encounter, unprecedented demand from fans for more has resulted in super time being extended to ten minutes each way. Players will still be prohibited from running, passing, or attempting to score tries.

Dan
Tips: Reds, Blues, Brumbies, Chiefs

The Force were good in their debut on Saturday, but they struggled when the Tahs got some more go-forward up front in the second half. That’s something Queensland’s stronger pack will provide from the get-go on Friday. Reds, and comfortably so.

James O'Connor

(Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP via Getty Images)

Hurricanes versus the Blues should be a belter. It was a Blues victory when last they met, but the Auckland side had home advantage then and didn’t have to worry about Ardie Savea in the opposition XV or Jordie Barrett in the 23. Tempting as it is to tip the Canes, I’ll take the visitors based on how well they took it to the Crusaders last week.

Michael Hooper and Lachie Swinton aside, there’s not enough quality or power in the Waratahs pack for them to properly challenge the Brumbies. The Canberrans should cruise home in this one.

Having tipped the Chiefs in every match of the year bar their loss to the Crusaders, you’d think their winless start to Super Rugby Aotearoa would have scared me off picking them again. You’d be wrong. At home after a week off to right some wrongs, they’ll come good against the Highlanders. Maybe.

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SURE THING: Brother Beauden will rediscover his best against Brother Jordie in the Battle of the Barretts. Also that “Battle of the Barretts” gets overused by everyone, me included.

Week 6 Harry Digger Brett Nobes Geoff Dan The Crowd
RED vs FOR RED RED RED RED RED RED RED
HUR vs BLU HUR HUR BLU BLU BLU BLU HUR
WAR vs BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU BRU
CHI vs HIG CHI HIG CHI CHI HIG CHI CHI
Last week 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
Overall 12 9 12 11 10 10 11

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