After going 4/7 in round 16, JUANDRE JOUBERT explains his Superbru picks for round 17 of Vodacom Super Rugby.
Round 16 of Super Rugby had yet another draw as the Bulls claimed an unexpected two points in Auckland. I also failed to pick the Chiefs’ upset win against the mighty Crusaders, as well as the Waratahs’ win against the Rebels.
Here are the fixtures for round 17:
Super Rugby Round 17
Here are the fixtures to predict in this weekend’s SR round 🏉
— Superbru (@Superbru) June 5, 2019
Highlanders v Vodacom Bulls
The Bulls have done better on tour than I expected, but a couple of injuries forced them to fly Handre Pollard back to New Zealand for this clash. Pollard will make a big difference, but I cannot see him guiding the Bulls to victory.
Highlanders by 9
Reds v Blues
The Blues are bottom of the New Zealand conference, but they can still make the playoffs if they win their final two games, and other matches go their way. A tough one to call, but I think the Blues will be too strong and claim a rare away win.
Blues by 6
Crusaders v Rebels
The Crusaders suffered a shock loss against the Chiefs in Fiji, while the Rebels lost to the Waratahs. I expect the men from Christchurch to bounce back and make a big statement against the men from Melbourne.
Crusaders by 20
Waratahs v Brumbies
The Waratahs kept their season alive with a win against the Rebels last weekend. They will have to do the same against the conference-leading Brumbies. This Australian derby could go either way, but the Brumbies know that a win might see them crowned conference champions. So I am backing them.
Brumbies by 6
Lions v Hurricanes
The Lions had a great performance last weekend and claimed a 41-22 win against the Stormers, while the Hurricanes were very clinical in their 30-17 clash against the Sharks. The Lions have been consistently inconsistent this season, and I think that will continue this weekend against a Hurricanes team that will be ready to pounce on any mistakes.
Hurricanes by 10
Stormers v Sunwolves
An injury-hit Stormers side host the Sunwolves at Newlands late on Saturday afternoon. The hosts have made multiple changes, but I reckon they will be way too strong for the Japanese team.
Stormers by 14
Jaguares v Sharks
The Jaguares have had their best season yet and a win at home against the Sharks will see them win the South African conference for the first time. Earlier this season they thrashed the Sharks in Durban, and the margin might not be as big this time, but the result will be the same.
Jaguares by 13
*Joubert is Highbury Media’s digital media manager, who has won the company’s Super Rugby Superbru pool for two years running.
Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix