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Super Rugby Pacific tipping week 15: From second to fifth and seventh to eleventh anything is possible

31st May, 2023
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31st May, 2023
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What a heck of a final round we’ve got. Five of the six games coming up this weekend can have a bearing on the playoffs, with the Waratahs-Moana Pasifika game the only outlier, with NSW not able to finish anywhere other than 6th.

And with the Chiefs and Moana locked into the extreme positions on the table, the other nine positions remain in dispute heading into the final round of the regular season.

On the tipping front, Digger looks to have assumed the role of the Chiefs. He could still be caught in theory, but the chances are slim.

At the other end, Harry is not so much Moana Pasifika, but rather the Drua and Rebels one point back from Geoff, taking on the Force character. The podcast co-host thought he was done for last week, but his perfect Round 14 and Geoff’s 50 percent return mean the Tipping Panel is in very similar dispute heading into the final round.

But what does this surprise chance to redeem do for Harry’s selection rationale? Will he shelve all lay-up plans and instead reach for driver? What’s his acceptable margin for error?

A fascinating final round now looms. And I’m sure the games on the field will be equally enthralling…

LAST WEEK: Harry 6, Digger 5, Brett 4, Christy 4, Geoff 3; The Crowd 6.

OVERALL: Digger 66, Brett 62, Christy 61, Geoff 58, Harry 57; The Crowd 63.

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Harry

TIPS: BLUES, BRUMBIES, REDS, CRUSADERS, WARATAHS, CHIEFS

If the season went on seven more rounds, I’d win going away.

The Blues will bury the valiant Highlanders. The angry Brumbies will maul the happy-go-lucky Rebels.

The Drua and the Reds will post an NBA finals score. Last team with the ball in the red zone will win. I’ll go with Reds in the red.

We have the Crusaders CEO on the pod this week, so I better go with them. Plus, it’s wintertime.

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The Waratahs should handle things but Moana Pasifika will make them earn it. The Force will feel the full fury of Luke Jacobson’s mocked ire. Balls will be handled with aplomb.

SURE THING: Geoff’s home team love will bring him down to my level.

Digger

TIPS: BLUES, BRUMBIES, DRUA, HURRICANES, WARATAHS, CHIEFS

My daughter believed that tipping must be really easy because of my results so I suggested she enter my tips for me this week.

She kindly obliged and these are her predictions:

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‘’Blues – even though Beauden left the Hurricanes, I still like him and the Brumbies are the horsey ones, they are usually good so they will win there. The Drua are the most fun to watch so Drua all the way.

“Don’t think Moana Pasifika are very good so I guess the Waratahs, and the Chiefs are number one, don’t think that will change.

“And Hurricanes of course.’”

Well-reasoned, sort of.

SURE THING: A fair bit of kicking practice should pay off for the Hurricanes this weekend, or at least stop taking advice from big brother will help.

Brett

TIPS: BLUES, BRUMBIES, DRUA, CRUSADERS, WARATAHS, CHIEFS

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So this week looks worryingly straightforward again, and that’s instantly concerning.

The Blues and Brumbies will both win and will both lock down top four spots, but the question of which spots will be determined by how big a win the Blues can manage. Wouldn’t mind getting that tip wrong for purely parochial reasons, and it’s very likely given it involves the Blues.

Though Murphy’s Law would also dictate that the one time I’m happy to be wrong, the Blues will win by 50 and I’ll be very, very right.

If the Drua don’t take the foot off, they might run up a score on the injury-depleted Reds.

And the Crusaders will put the Hurricanes away like a surgeon. They won’t even feel the scalpel, they’ll be fully coherent and conversing with the staff, and then suddenly they’ll realise major organs are missing and resting on ice while the surgeon races for the carpark to make his tee time.

The Waratahs surely won’t bugger up the Michael Hooper farewell, and while I’d love the Force to get up for those very same parochial reasons, I’m not sure the Chiefs will take the foot off now.

SURE THING: Final placings drama of some kind. Has to be. Either via shock upset, or venue double-booking, or some kind of Saracens-style salary cap breach. Something will happen, it’s in the tea leaves.

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Christy

TIPS: BLUES, BRUMBIES, DRUA, HURRICANES, WARATAHS, CHIEFS

Going against the odds has increasingly failed to pay off. The odd upset tip hasn’t transpired. That’s footy.

I’ll stick to the percentages in the final week, although the Rebels, Reds and Force matches shape as beauties. Don’t write any of them off.

Aaron Smith’s journey with the Highlanders will come to an end at Eden Park, with the Blues shaping as far too strong as they build towards the finals. They were my pre-season pick and they’re hitting some form at the right end of the season.

Brumbies, just. But they won’t want to lose any more men. Keep a close eye on Tom Hooper.

Saturday is when things really heat up though. The Drua’s home clash with the Reds shapes as one of the matches of the season. The loss of Liam Wright will hurt defensively.

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SUVA, FIJI – APRIL 01: Fijian Drua fans cheer during the round six Super Rugby Pacific match between Fijian Drua and Melbourne Rebels at HFC Bank Stadium, on April 1, 2023, in Suva, Fiji. (Photo by Pita Simpson/Getty Images)

It’ll be interesting to see what side the Crusaders roll out because they’ve been smacked by injuries. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, will want to take on the Crusaders up front. Then again, they’ll have three big trips on the road if they want to take out their second title. Could they rest a couple?

The Waratahs should be too strong for Moana Pasifika.

As for the Chiefs, they’ll rest a couple you’d think but their struggles against the Waratahs with ball-in-hand back in March could see them decide to roll out some key chargers. Continuity matters. Nonetheless, with the Force hurting up front in the front-row it’ll be a leap too far for Simon Cron’s men.

SURE THING: Check, check. There’ll be more scrutiny on the officials after a week of heat.

Geoff

TIPS: BLUES, REBELS, DRUA, CRUSADERS, WARATAHS, CHIEFS

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Any care I had for this competition evaporated last week when Christian Lealiifano took it upon himself to kick the ball anywhere except between the Lautoka uprights. He’s now sharing the doghouse with Paul Williams.

The obvious option is for me to mirror Harry’s tips and consign him to the wooden spoon no matter what. But because I’m a generous soul, because I must be due a change of luck, because I’ve had a couple over lunch and because the doghouse is already full and doesn’t warrant a dog act on my part, I’m not going to do that.

Which means it’s the Rebels to upset the Brumbies – as long as they don’t need to score off the final play from in front of the posts. And it’s also the Drua to make history and make their first finals series, at the expense of the Reds.

The rest of the round will follow the form sheet; Blues over the Highlanders, Crusaders over the Canes, Tahs over Moana Pasifika and Chiefs over the Force.

SURE THING: In another Stan post-match chat, Luke Jacobson will clarify just what was going on in last week’s interview. Apparently, it was so cold in Canberra he just needed to check that it was still there and hadn’t dropped off due to frostbite.

Round 15GeoffDiggerHarryBrettChristyThe Crowd
Overall586657626163
Last week356446
BLU v HIGBluesBluesBluesBluesBluesBlues
BRU v REBRebelsBrumbiesBrumbiesBrumbiesBrumbiesBrumbies
DRU v REDDruaDruaRedsDruaDruaDrua
HUR v CRUCrusadersHurricanesCrusadersCrusadersHurricanesCrusaders
WAR v MOAWaratahsWaratahsWaratahsWaratahsWaratahsWaratahs
FOR v CHIChiefsChiefsChiefsChiefsChiefsForce
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Get your tips in now – The Crowd’s tips will be revealed Friday afternoon AEST.

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