After going 5/7 in round 17, JUANDRE JOUBERT explains his Superbru picks for round 18 of Vodacom Super Rugby.
Round 18 started off with yet another GSP killer as the Vodacom Bulls and Highlanders played to a draw in Dunedin. In the second match, I was smiling after the Blues took a commanding lead, but they went down thanks to a late match-winning try by Scott Higginbottom.
I had a perfect Saturday and went 5/5 after predicting victory for the Crusaders, Brumbies, Hurricanes, Stormers and Jaguares.
Round 18 is the final round-robin match before we get to the playoffs. Some teams have it all to play for, while others won’t be affected by the loss, which will make it quite tricky to predict.
Here are this weekend’s fixtures:
Super Rugby prediction time! 🔮
— Superbru (@Superbru) June 13, 2019
Let’s get to my picks:
Highlanders v Waratahs
The Highlanders can still make the playoffs, but they will have to claim a bonus-point win against the Waratahs, and then hope that a lot of other things in the other matches go in their favour. The Tahs are all but out of it and have rested a host of players. Can only see one winner in this one.
Highlanders by 19
Rebels v Chiefs
Can the Rebels bounce back from the humiliation they suffered at the hands of the Crusaders? They will have to if they want to stay in the competition. The Chiefs also have it all to play for, and that could make for an entertaining match. The Chiefs welcome back Brodie Retallick, who returns after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The Rebels have also brought back a couple of their regulars. I am picking an away win.
Chiefs by 6
Jaguares v Sunwolves
The Jaguares can lock down a top-two finish with victory against the Sunwolves. They will definitely do that with a big win against the team from Japan.
Jaguares by 26
Hurricanes v Blues
A very tricky match this, as neither team has anything to play for. Win or lose, the Hurricanes will finish fourth. The Blues’ season ended with last week’s loss against the Reds. The Blues have not won a single game away from home this season, don’t think that will change. EDIT: After seeing the team lineups, I ended up changing my pick to Blues by 8
Brumbies v Reds
The Brumbies will take this one as the Reds have nothing to play for.
Brumbies by 9
Stormers v Sharks
It will be all to play for when these two teams face each other at Newlands on Saturday. Winner goes through, loser might be out. The Stormers have only lost once at home this season, while the Sharks’ have lost twice in a row. Going to be a tight one, but I am backing the Cape side.
Stormers by 5
Bulls v Lions
The regular season concludes at Loftus with the Jukskei derby. The Bulls are back from a surprisingly good tour, where they lost only once. The side from Pretoria welcome back Duane Vermeulen, he will give them a huge boost. The Lions are without Kwagga Smith, and that will be a telling factor in the clash. I am picking the Bulls to do the double over their rivals.
Bulls by 12
Agree or disagree with my picks? Let me know on Twitter: @JuandreJoubert
*Joubert is Highbury Media’s digital media manager, who has won the company’s Super Rugby Superbru pool for two years running.
Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix