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The Roar's Super Rugby expert tips, Round 4: After a week where we all felt like Tane, here's to six out of six

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14th March, 2024
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A brutal week of tipping, where 50 percent was a decent return, resulted in two panellists falling back to the pack. It didn’t seem that hard at the time but we should be thanking our lucky stars that tough tipping means great rugby contests.

While Christy’s two correct tips left him precariously perched in equal first spot with Nick (three correct), Hamish’s rules on who he must and can’t tip each week seriously threaten his ambitions. Tony also picked up three last week to sit one off his arch nemesis Christy. After this week they’ll either be tied or Christy will hold a two point lead over the bossman.

Christy Doran

Hurricanes, Rebels, Force, Brumbies, Chiefs, Blues


Jeopardy might be great for the competition, but it proved difficult for tipsters last week.

Tane Edmed’s missed shot at the sticks and the Crusaders dropping the ball every second phase didn’t help with tipping either.

Anyway, it’s round four we’re talking about and no longer the past. So, on that note.

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Even though I like the look of the Crusaders’ backline and the influential figures of Owen Franks and Ryan Crotty on the bench, Scott Barrett’s absence has tipped the scales for me in the favour of the Hurricanes.

All the pressure is on the Reds to back up their brilliant win over the Chiefs. The Reds’ coaching staff have done their best to try and talk down their achievements, but consistency hasn’t always been Australian rugby’s best friend. T

The Rebels will attack the Reds’ tight-five and go after Harry McLaughlin-Phillips, who faces a stern test at fly-half because starting matches is a different kettle of fish than coming off the bench.

The Western Force simply have to win, and I think they will given they’re playing at home and it’s a long trip over west for Moana Pasifika.

Harry McLaughlin-Phillips of the Reds looks to pass during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium, on February 24, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

The Brumbies have underwhelmed thus far, but there’s more physicality in their pack this week and the loss of Rhys Patchell and Hugh Renton could prove costly for the Highlanders.

Chiefs, by lots.

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As for the Tahs, they’ll have to play out of their skins to stop the Blues who will be hurting after their loss to the Hurricanes last week. The absence of a recognised hooker could prove difficult.

Tane Edmed of the Waratahs reacts after missing a penalty goal to win the match during the round three Super Rugby Pacific match between NSW Waratahs and Highlanders at Allianz Stadium, on March 08, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Nick Wasiliev

Hurricanes, Reds, Force, Highlanders, Chiefs, Blues

After getting told off by Harps last week, I’ll aim to use fewer exclamation marks…. or maybe I won’t! We’re meant to be young, exciting whipper-snappers for a reason! Get keen folks!

Super Rugby right now is a tough beast to wrangle, tipping-wise. It’s the best kind of problem to have.

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However, this weekend should be the real test of where the chasing pack is. A lot more games in New Zealand, and matches against tougher opposition. 

The Crusaders have an ugly casualty ward mounting up, and the loss of Scott Barrett is a major omission. Canes by comparison are looking strong with their best season opening in nine years, and it’s been a long time since they’ve won in CC. Believe, Wellington.

Watch every match of Super Rugby Pacific ad-free, live & on demand on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport

While on paper the Rebels’ forward pack looks very dangerous, I’m backing Queensland. Kiss has got that side humming beautifully, and given how well many of the players stood up against the Chiefs, I back them to trust the systems in place and deliver a good result.

No hyperbole – the Force need to beat Moana Pasifika. When they have looked good, the Force have been great – but the losses are stacking up, and losing this game at home effectively kills any momentum. Michael Wells is a big loss but adding more experience to the bench in swapping Issak Fines-Leleiwasa for Nic White is a great move. Moana have named their most experienced heads in Julian Savea, Christian Lealifano and Sekope Kepu, they are sniffing a win here.

The Brumbies might have got back to winning ways, but the fan in me is not happy. Questions abound – the squad looks off the pace and lacks punch. Larkham’s decision to deploy experience off the bench is a bold one, however, if they churn out another middling performance, the Highlanders win this game, even with Rhys Patchell getting rested.

Chiefs will be glad to be back in Hamilton after a long fortnight in Australia and will be hungry to prove a point after their loss to the Reds. Josh Lord is a welcome return for the home side, and while they’ll be up against a high-flying Drua, the Fijians’ inability to perform on the road is hard to ignore.

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Lastly, aside from the Friday derbies, we may have a match of the round in Sydney. The Waratahs’ depth at hooker is concerning now Mahe Vailanu is out, and Max Jorgensen is also a major loss. Coleman’s decision to move experienced heads to the bench is bold, but it may be a bridge too far given the depth at the Blues. The men from Auckland should get home by less than ten. 

Hamish Bidwell

Crusaders, Rebels, Force, Highlanders, Chiefs, Waratahs


I suspect the Hurricanes will win, as I’m sure many folk do. But I can’t bring myself to tip against the Crusaders.

Again, history might show I backed the wrong horse when the Rebels play the Reds. This tip’s born out for my admiration for the way the Rebels are performing in adverse circumstances.

I’m thinking the Western Force by 10 to 12 points against Moana.

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The next one’s a hard one, with home-field advantage being the sole reason for taking the Highlanders.
Chiefs vs Fiji could be a bit of a procession. Chiefs by 20.

And finally, a bit like the Crusaders vs Hurricanes, I don’t care if I’m wrong: I just don’t like tipping the Blues.

Tony Harper

Hurricanes, Reds, Force, Brumbies, Chiefs, Blues

If I don’t nail six out of six this week I’ll genuinely be stunned. Then again, I thought that the past three weeks as well and am currently tied last with a guy who’s seriously handicapped because “I don’t care if I’m wrong”.

So why am I as self confident (and deluded) as Sir Clive Woodward?

The Crusaders are cooked. They’re 0-3, and the injuries are piling up. Scott Barrett’s absence is massive in the context of the experience already shorn from that team. The line is set at 2.5 points with the Canes favourites. That looks like money for jam – even though it’s the first time since 2015 that the Canes have gone into an away match against the Crusaders as favourites. The Crusaders won that one, mind.

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Carter Gordon of the Rebels is tackled during the round nine Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and Crusaders at AAMI Park, on April 21, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Carter Gordon of the Rebels is tackled during the round nine Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and Crusaders at AAMI Park, on April 21, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

A year ago Carter Gordon was the fresh young thing coming up against some slightly fresh young things and ending the season as a Wallabies starter. It’s a test for HMP against such an old hand but that aside, the Reds are on a roll and last week’s defiance will give them a boost in spirit. The Reds are clear bookies favourites.

I’ll tip the Force but without great enthusiasm. Moana Pasifika are boosted by old brains. And Moana Pasifika are risky with old legs.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has done some shuffling to get some more energy in his pack from the start. This one is a coin flip – the line is set at 0.5 points with the Brumbies the narrowest of favourites.

Tipped the Chiefs like everyone else. Want the Dru to win like everyone else.

The Blues should have enough for the Tahs – and I’m expecting another big game from the majestic Hoskins Sotutu .

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Round 4ChristyNick Hamish Tony The Crowd
Overall1111101011
Last week23133
CRU v HURHurricanesHurricanesCrusadersHurricanes?
REB v REDRebelsReds RebelsReds?
FOR v MOAForceForce ForceForce?
HIG v BRUBrumbiesHighlanders Highlanders Brumbies?
CHI v DRUChiefs ChiefsChiefsChiefs?
WAR v BLUBluesBluesWaratahsBlues?
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