Super Rugga Watch 2018 – Round 2

We are back with our second Super Rugga Watch of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament and now that the first week has come and gone with two games to tease all us diehard rugby lovers, we finally have a full round of fixtures to properly announce this year’s campaign.

We have to firstly apologise for not delivering our first, The Weekend That Was, as we had a very busy week thanks to our regular job, the one that earns us money. Touch wood, we hope it goes better going forward but please don’t quote us on that as we really are actually just a one-man show if it makes any sense.

Anyhow, thanks to Sean Blom for commenting on our first week’s preview and also to those that had a read and a look at our video chat we had with Paul from Driving Maul over in New Zealand.

We had 1 out 2 correct results with our first round of predictions thanks to the DHL Stormers that held on to win against the Jaguares in Cape Town and sadly we missed out with the Cell C Sharks, who lost to a gutsy Emirates Lions outfit at Emirates Airline Park in Jo’burg. We still believe the Sharks could have won that match if only they had opted to take the 3 penalties in the last 6 minutes of the match but that is all water under the bridge now and along we go…

Friday 23 February 2018 – Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium – 08h35*

As this will be our first real glimpse into the Kiwi sides, we are going to stick to last year’s form and back the Landers in this all New Zealand affair but not by much as we do believe the Blues will put up a better challenge than in 2017. Can the Blues break their 11 game drought against local opposition? We not 100% sure if they will…but we are going for an upset in this one!

PREDICTION: Blues by 3

Friday 23 February 2018 – Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds, AAMI Park – 10h45*

The Rebels are no longer the “punching bags” of the Australian Conference in the tournament, especially after the merging with the Western Force that got cut at the end of last season by the ARU and boasts and exciting Coach in Dave Wessels. The Reds have let things slip badly over the last two or so seasons, with upsets here and there but not often enough and with a very youthful team under the guidance of new Coach Brad Thorn. We don’t see the men from Queensland threatening too early this year.

PREDICTION: Melbourne Rebels by 4

Saturday 24 February 2018 – Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium – 16h15*

Against popular demand the Sunwolves are still in the competition as part of SANZAAR’s policy of growing the game. However, this match will once again show that most teams will be eyeing this fixture as a chance to get bonus points, home or away. The Brumbies will want to make sure they do just that and show that they will once again be a force to reckon with after last year’s dismal campaign, even though they topped the Aussie Conference in 2017. This should be one-way traffic for the men from Canberra who are playing away from home.

PREDICTION: Brumbies by 32

Saturday 24 February 2018 – Crusaders v Chiefs, AMI Stadium – 08h35*

We see this as the first of two games of the weekend; however this is the big one in most people’s mind. The eight-time Vodacom Super Rugby Champions Crusaders are up against the two-time Champions Chiefs and has everything a diehard rugby supporter can ask for, and this one will be nothing short of amazing, yet again. This fixture always delivers at the highest level and based on the previous 4 matches we are going to back the defending champs, irrespective of home ground advantage.

PREDICTION: Crusaders by 6

Saturday 24 February 2018 – Waratahs v DHL Stormers, Allianz Stadium – 10h45*

The men from Cape Town are top of the table and into their second week of the tournament already facing their first tour match of the season. Lucky for Robbie Fleck and his team they will get things started against the Waratahs who has not been able to replicate their Champion heroics of 2014 ever since, and finished third last on the overall standings in 2017. This should be a “W” for the DHL Stormers before they jet-off to the Land of the Long White Cloud on Sunday.

PREDICTION: DHL Stormers by 6

Saturday 24 February 2018 – Emirates Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airline Park – 15h05*

Second on the table only by virtue of a 2-point difference with the DHL Stormers, the Emirates Lions welcome their “bogey” side to Emirates Airline Park this Saturday. Having played the Jaguares on 4 occasions to date, none of the two sides have been able to win away from home yet. Unless the men from Argentina can sort out the discipline and up their game from a week ago in Cape Town, the story will continue on the same trend as the last two seasons.

PREDICTION: Emirates Lions by 13

Saturday 24 February 2018 – Vodacom Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld – 17h15*

From a South African point of view this is the most anticipated match of the weekend with John Mitchell making his Vodacom Bulls Super Rugby debut for the franchise from Pretoria. For the first time since 2014 the Bulls won’t face the DHL Stormers in their opening round fixture. However they could not have asked for a tougher opponent in the Hurricanes to get the season underway. The interesting fact of this match is that the Canes are yet to beat the Bulls 4 or more times consecutively. Something that Mitch and his men will be trying to avoid this weekend with the Kiwis having beaten them on the last 3 occasions, home and away. If history is anything to go by, then we are going to back the home side for a major upset this weekend and this is by no means the only reason we believe the Vodacom Bulls can do this…

PREDICTION: Vodacom Bulls by 6

* – denotes kick-off South Africa Time

That’s it for this week’s rugga predictions. Feel free to leave your thoughts and picks below in our comments section and also enter our competitions we are running.

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