The Roar
The Roar


The Roar's Super Rugby expert tips and predictions, Round 14: Strap yourselves in for the run home

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
23rd May, 2024
2673 Reads

Two rounds to go and there is plenty to fight for on the Super Rugby ladder, and out own tipping panel.

Last week provided six winners to three of our panellists, but The Crowd, and and Tony missed a beat.

This week it seems a tougher round to sweep with the panel split on two matches of the six.

Christy Doran

Chiefs, Brumbies, Waratahs, Blues, Reds, Highlanders

Two rounds to go and a bit of ground to make up on The Crowd.

The Chiefs and Hurricanes will be a belter.

Strap yourself in because New Zealand derbies don’t get much better, and it’s high stakes too. The Hurricanes could still very much finish top and push for a home final if they continue on their winning ways.


But I’ve gone for the Chiefs.

I didn’t think they were much puff against the Rebels a week ago, but the Hurricanes without Asafo Aumua aren’t nearly as strong up front and in big games, that’s where matches are won and lost.

Plus, the Chiefs’ backline is hot. Seriously hot. Chiefs by five.

The Rebels welcome back Taniela Tupou and Andrew Kellaway and if I’m Kevin Foote I’m keeping it tight and trying to do a number on the Brumbies’ scrum. That’s the Brumbies’ weakness at present.

If they don’t get real ascendency at the scrum, they’re no chance.

While Jake Strachan is a capable, versatile player, the Rebels’ attack has relied on Carter Gordon over the past two years to pull the strings.

His absence (concussion) could prove telling.


It’s a dance of the desperates in Auckland between Moana Pasifika and the Waratahs. After Darren Coleman’s future was sorted earlier in the week, I’ll back the Waratahs to play for their coach and get up.

The Crusaders have only won a couple of matches all year and the Blues are top of the table. It should be a cut-and-dry game, right? Nope, the Crusaders haven’t been miles off the pace and have simply missed their polish.

With Codie Taylor and Fergus Burke to play their second matches of the year, the Crusaders will be better.

But I’ll tip the Blues knowing that a win puts them within an inch of finishing on top of the standings.

The Force are playing for their season. They’ve got to win both matches I think to make the top eight.

Will they?

I don’t think so. The Reds’ front-row is back together and two of their starting front-rowers didn’t go to Suva for their last-up loss to the Drua.


Reds to win.

The Highlanders have lost a couple of key players but they have grown a bit over the past month. The Drua on the other hand are shocking away from home.

Playing under the roof could help their desire to throw the ball around.

I don’t think there’ll be much between them.

Highlanders, just.

Nick Wasiliev

Hurricanes, Brumbies, Moana Pasifika, Blues, Reds, Highlanders


It’s crunch time, the final fortnight.

Given the personnel change from last week, it’s clear to me the Canes have targeted this match to get the win.

While they’ll fancy themselves against the Highlanders at home next week, a win here potentially kills off any chance for the Brumbies to leap over them into second, and lock in that home semi final run.

It’ll be a fresh, strong squad, up against a Chiefs side that had a lot of questions asked of them by the Rebels.

The Brumbies should expect an ambush here. Given the Rebels are on the road for likely the remainder of the season, they’ll target this game. Canberra has not been a happy hunting ground, but they’ll sense opportunities.

Corey Toole of the Brumbies (L) celebrates scoring a try with Ollie Sapsford of the Brumbies and Ryan Lonergan of the Brumbies (R) during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, on February 23, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Corey Toole of the Brumbies (L) celebrates scoring a try with Ollie Sapsford of the Brumbies and Ryan Lonergan of the Brumbies (R) during the round one Super Rugby Pacific match between Melbourne Rebels and ACT Brumbies at AAMI Park, on February 23, 2024, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

I’m going with the home side, but it’ll be a closer game than expected.


Am I really doing this? Honestly, yeah – and not because of last year. I think the Tahs will have a mountain to climb to finish this season on a high mentally – and then there is that front row.

Despite having not won since Round 8, I also think Moana have put some good performances out there, like against Fiji and a weaker Canes side, and they would know this match is their last roll of the dice for an unlikely finals berth.

The motivation is there, and their squad has surprised me this year.

It’s all or nothing for the Crusaders now, and who else would they come up against but the top of the ladder Blues. It’ll be a great clash, but the Blues will get home cause of their insane depth.

The Force have a woeful record on the road, but they have grabbed a few wins at Suncorp in their time, and with finals on the line and them the best placed of the chasing pack, they need to throw everything at this match.

Reds should be favourites – it’s all momentum for them now and a win here would be valuable come finals. 


Highlanders should be happy with this season – it has been a notable improvement and they’ve exorcised some Kiwi demons. They’ve got a good opportunity to put the finals equation beyond doubt, and they’ll be helped by the Drua’s terrible away record. Come on Fiji, prove me wrong.

Hamish Bidwell

Chiefs, Brumbies, Moana Pasifika, Blues, Reds, Highlanders

A slight toss of the coin. Would prefer the Hurricanes won, but Hamilton isn’t that happy a hunting ground for them.

Maybe the match of the round. I’ll take the Brumbies, narrowly.

Been a long, hard season for Moana Pasifika. Be good to see them get some reward for their efforts.

Another funny week in Christchurch, given Rob Penney’s live mic moment. Blues by plenty.


A second, potentially even, tussle between Australian teams. I’m assuming the Reds will have too much class.
Can’t see any other result than a Highlanders win.

Tony Harper

Chiefs, Brumbies, Moana Pasifika, Blues, Reds, Highlanders

Sorry and embarrassed. Sour and sad. Yes, that was Darren Coleman, but yours truly knows exactly what he’s going through having slumped into wooden spoon position on The Roar tipping panel.

Matters elsewhere have distracted me in the past few weeks – much as poor old DC has been hammered by injuries, especially in his pack.

Jake Gordon’s tried to bail early, Mosese Tuipulotu missed out on a Valentine’s Day card from the coach and the coach has been punted.

At least DC stood up and was gracious as the hard questions were fired in – which is more than you can say for C-bomb Crusader Rob Penney. Maybe the Tahs really are coach killers.


Anyway, I can’t see either of those teams winning this week. The Tahs should be able to but are in such disarray you figure they’re already at the beach, or down the snow or wherever else they’ll spend the finals.

In the opener ‘Joyride’ Barrett will steer the Canes close to Chiefs, but their stability in an unchanged team will have the edge.

The Brumbies are pushing for the top two, and this won’t stop that.

In the preview pod Christy tipped Moana Pasifika but lo and behold has changed. I’m not like that guy.

It’ll be another c-bomb of a day for poor Penney against the Blues, the Reds will just have enough for the Force at home and Sunday arvo beers will taste sweet watching a cracker that the Highlanders will edge.


Round 13ChristyNick Tony HamishThe Crowd
Last week66565