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The Roar's Super Rugby expert tips and predictions, Round 10: No love for Tahs, Crusaders and Rebels split the panel

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25th April, 2024
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The short weeks are done and dusted, with six more games in the regular season before we head into finals.

The Crowd extended their lead on the tipping panel last week ahead of Christy, while Nick stays on his heels. All four panellists came up with two from two last week and there are plenty of differences of opinion to keep things interesting this time around.

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Christy Doran

Crusaders, Chiefs, Drua, Force, Brumbies, Blues

Jeez, it’s business time with tipping and similarly crunch time in the competition. 

With five trans-Tasman fixtures, we’ll find out who’s who in the zoo. In particular, it promises to be now or never for the Western Force. 

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After tipping the Crusaders for the past two weeks, will it be third time lucky? I think so. Scott Barrett is back and the Crusaders are home are an entirely different prospect.

The Waratahs have a reasonable team on paper but the Chiefs’ backline is hot. Where the Chiefs have it over the Waratahs is their depth. The Waratahs’ replacement front-row doesn’t fill me with much confidence.

The Drua are back to Saturday arvo footy in Lautoka. That’s good enough for me.

I tipped the Brumbies to do a number on the Blues last week. It looked a good tip after 10 minutes. The loss of Asafo Aumua has seen me lean towards the Brumbies, who are a force at home.

Speaking of the Force, I’m tipping them to win one on the road. The Force have been hurt by the loss of Ryan Coxon and Tom Franklin, but they’ve got Jeremy Williams back. I think their backline will edge the Highlanders.

And in the last match? Blues. By a lot. The absence of Fraser McReight and Seru Uru will catch up on the Reds.

 

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Fraser McReight of the Reds scores a try during the round three Super Rugby Pacific match between Queensland Reds and Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium, on March 09, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Nick Wasiliev

Rebels, Chiefs, Drua, Brumbies, Highlanders, Blues

Alright, the final sprint. All Aussie fans collectively hold our breath… got a feeling it’s going to be a wild ride.

As much as I think the Crusaders are much more dangerous at home and their movements in the starting side are the right ones to make, I think the Rebels sneak home here. LSL is a huge loss but I’m trusting that the team is building week on week. If the Force can beat this side, the Rebels can too.

Sorry Tahs fans, the pain continues this week. The Chiefs are bringing back a lot of names: couple that with a horror run of injuries at set piece and it’ll likely be too much, even at home. ‘Drua at Lautoka’ is one of those new phrases you start to think of when you think of a fortress. They’re ringing in the changes and welcoming back some key talent, and that should be more than enough to overcome Moana Pasifika, even though the visitors are bringing the same side that knocked off the Reds. 

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On the preview podcast, I tipped the Hurricanes to end their six-match losing streak in Canberra, but I’ve honestly been flipping back and forth. Asafo Aumua is a big loss, while Allan Alaalatoa and Len Ikitau are big gains for the Brumbies.

Right here, now, I’m backing the hosts to make up for their poor showing against the Blues. Now watch me flip back again come game time. For the folks down the bottom of the ladder, it’s now about taking every opportunity you get.

Force have a lot of cavalry coming back across the park, several Wallabies included, but the Highlanders have the major returns to the starting side of Rhys Patchell and Folau Fakatava.

Honestly, that halves combination transforms the Highlanders, plus being at home, it should be enough. Lastly, Christy pointing out how many big names are out for Reds during our preview podcast has tipped the scales. It should still be a thriller at Suncorp, but I think the Blues will be too strong – especially if they win the physical contest. 

Hamish Bidwell

Rebels, Chiefs, Drua, Brumbies, Highlanders, Blues

I feel like I’m taking a punt on every game this week. Honestly, I haven’t got a clue. Reluctantly, I’ll take Rebels here.
I’m going to assume the Waratahs won’t be good enough to compete with the Chiefs.

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I was a bit disappointed in the Drua last week. Better luck this time.

The Hurricanes are better than the Brumbies, but the bubble surely has to burst some time.

Toss of the coin, really. I’ve landed on the Highlanders purely because they’re playing in Dunedin.

The Blues actually aren’t too bad. I’ll be impressed if they can secure victory at Suncorp.

Tony Harper

Crusaders, Chiefs, Drua, Hurricanes, Highlanders, Blues

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Much like Hamish, I can make a case for any result – except Moana Pasifika or Waratahs wins. (You’re welcome, Tana and DC.)

Scott Barrett is a decent player, and more than that a proud man who must have been going through the ringer over the past month as the Crusaders fell to pieces. Not sure why Rob Penney thinks benching All Blacks veterans Joe Moody and Owen Franks makes sense, but surely at some time muscle memory and[personal pride has to kick in.

The Tahs are kicking stones to the end of the season and I see them missing the finals altogether from here.

Fijian Drua will bring the epic against their local rivals.

Three other panellists have opted for the Brumbies over the Hurricanes – this is too close to call for mine so I’ve gone to the bookies for help. They have the Canes paying $1.45 to the Brumbies $2.80.

I’m keen to see if Kurtley Beale can continue to have an impact this week, but think the hosts will edge that one. Bookies agree – $1.36 to $3.20.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 11: Kurtley Beale poses during a Western Force Super Rugby media opportunity at Force HQ on April 11, 2024 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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Reds or Blues? One is my favourite colour. Let’s go with that.

Round 10ChristyNick Tony HamishThe Crowd
Overall3231282734
Last week22223
CRU v REBCrusadersRebelsCrusadersRebels?
WAR v CHIChiefsChiefsChiefsChiefs
FIJ v MOADruaDruaDruaDrua
BRU v HURBrumbiesBrumbiesHurricanesBrumbies
HIG v FORForceHighlandersHighlandersHighlanders?
RED v BLU BluesBluesBluesBlues?
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