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Super Rugby tipping panel Week 9: With the rise comes the fall

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13th April, 2022
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Well then, what a week of tipping Round 8 was!

The Hairy Man was most thankful that Brendan Pickerill wouldn’t entertain Ardie Savea’s protests on full-time in Wellington on Saturday, otherwise he’d have been none from four heading into the last game of the weekend and making more noise than even the most feral of Brumbies fans.

And the shame of it! The horrendous timing of it! Harry had just picked a perfect round to regain a share of the lead! Instead he’s dropped off again and now he’s got Geoff up his trumpet.

Geoff of course was the main beneficiary of the Force kicking for poles with six minutes to play and then spending the last few minutes of the match resetting scrums in front of their own try line. The question is: can the Rebels extend their significantly better form for another week and catch the Reds after a bye? And bonus question: will Geoff be bold enough to pick it?

Elsewhere, is Digger playing the ultimate long game? And how long can I hold a lead for? It’s uncharted waters for both of us.

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Last week

Geoff: 5, Digger: 4, Brett: 4, the Crowd: 4 and Harry: 3.

Overall

Brett: 34, the Crowd: 34, Harry: 33, Geoff: 32 and Digger: 30.

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Geoff

Crusaders, Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Waratahs

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This round feels like a carefully laid trap. One genuine 50-50 match and four easy ones. Or maybe not?

The Blues were magnificent in Hamilton. But if the old ’Test match intensity” description applies anywhere, it applies here. It’s very difficult for any team to back up again after a match as brutal as this one was. No matter how many BBBBs you have in your arsenal.

The Rebels are a sneaky chance at home against the Reds, but this isn’t the tipping hill to die on. The same caveat that applies to the Blues applies to the Chiefs, but Moana Pasifika aren’t the Crusaders. Chiefs by a few.

Ardie should be over his ref sook by Saturday and will lead the Canes to a win over the Zoolanders. And while the Force are by no means hopeless, they’re not going well enough to tip with any confidence. Tahs for mine.

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Sure thing

Determined to get everyone on the same page when it comes to red cards and dangerous play, World Rugby will release a new video featuring Tolu Latu, entitled Whatever this Guy Does, Do the Opposite.

Leicester Fainga'anuku of the Crusaders celebrates his try.

(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Brett

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Crusaders, Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Waratahs

I’m still quite pleasantly surprised that by full-time in Christchurch on Friday night, there will be no more postponed games outstanding in this season of Super Rugby Pacific. Considering that only a month ago five games were still needing to be shoehorned into the fixture, it’s some achievement.

Of course I’m sure that won’t be on the Blues’ mind by full-time, having been beaten in Christchurch for the 46th straight time. Roar regular Rugby Tragic got a bit excited by my pondering in the latest episode of The Roar Rugby Podcast that “it’s getting easier to tip the Blues now,” but that still includes tipping against them.

And yeah, they do feel a bit straightforward from here. The Rebels are chasing three in a row, but two it will be. And the Chiefs won’t have too much trouble with Moana Pasifika, who will be looking for a sleep-in after seven games in 29 days.

The Highlanders look too flaky to trouble the Hurricanes, even under the roof at home, and though I do give the Force a decent shot at home, the Waratahs pack looked a bit stronger even before the Michael Hooper’s confirmation on the team sheet.

Sure things

It’s not getting easier to tip the Blues. And it won’t be straightforward from here.

Filipo Daugunu celebrates a try with Reds teammates

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Digger

Crusaders, Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Waratahs

My tipping has finally reached the stage where I actively avoid my wife’s enquiries as to how I am going. Hopefully she will forget to ask.

Crusaders and Blues to start this round certainly shapes as the match of the round and a contest we have all been looking forward to too. The Blues are certainly putting up a compelling case, but I simply cannot shake the feeling that the Crusaders have a knack for getting up for the big challenges and at home will probably scrape on through again.

But the Reds should be able to quell what appears to be the resurgent Rebels.

Chiefs should be able to get past Moana Pasifika in Hamilton, while I will back the Hurricanes away to the Highlanders as the clan are missing some big fellas up front and the Hurricanes should find enough points to get the job done.

Tipping the Force has flat-out not worked for me so far this season, so at the risk of bringing old Murphy and his laws into play, I will back the Waratahs without any real confidence.

Sure thing

Jordie will hit the post again.

Harry

Blues, Reds, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Waratahs

Well, that didn’t pan out. Brett is becoming annoyingly good at holding a lead.

But this week is his nemesis: the Blues will upset the Crusaders in Christchurch! You’ll see! What a match that’ll be. I am tipping the BBBBBlues, because of BBBBB. And Tom.

And because they just look smooth on both sides of the ball.

The rest of the round is easy. The heavily carded Reds will jockstrap and batter the Rebels in their seagull bastion.

The angry Chiefs will rebound against the tired Moana. The cocky Hurricanes will wax and defenestrate the slender Highlanders.

The wily Waratahs will gamble and ring the bell successfully against the horizontal Force.

Sure thing

Dalton Papalii and Ethan Blackadder will face off in a straight-up All Blacks No. 6 duel. The Kiwis have been wedging two No. 7s into the loose trio. They need a hard man blindside. Last week Jordie Barrett outplayed David Havili at No. 12. It’s AB trials.

Round 9HarryGeoffDiggerBrettThe Crowd
Overall3332303434
Last week35444
CRU v BLU (Rd. 5)BluesCrusadersCrusadersCrusadersCrusaders
REB v REDRedsRedsRedsRedsReds
CHI v MOAChiefsChiefsChiefsChiefsChiefs
HIG v HURHurricanesHurricanesHurricanesHurricanesHurricanes
FOR v WARWaratahsWaratahsWaratahsWaratahsWaratahs

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

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