After earning a GSP in round 13, JUANDRE JOUBERT explains his Superbru picks for round 14 of Vodacom Super Rugby.
I had a very good weekend on Superbru last weekend that saw me jump up the leaderboard in all of my pools. It could have gone horribly wrong though as the Highlanders, Chiefs and Lions claimed narrow home wins.
Round 14 is one of the toughest yet, as most of the matches could go either way, except maybe the one at Newlands
Super Rugby Round 1⃣4⃣
It looks like we’re in for a great weekend of SR action with nearly all of this week’s games looking very even on paper!
— Superbru (@Superbru) May 15, 2019
Here are my predictions:
Hurricanes vs Jaguares
The first match of the round kicks off in Wellington as the Hurricanes welcome the Jaguares. The Canes are on a five-match winning run and will be without the services of Beauden Barrett. The Jaguares lost a close one to the Highlanders last time out and I cannot see them causing the hosts too much trouble in this one.
Hurricanes by 13
Rebels vs Vodacom Bulls
The Rebels returned to winning ways after claiming a 30-24 win against victory against the Reds while the Bulls got hammered at Loftus by the Crusaders. The Rebels are without a couple of their big guns in their pack and that might give the Bulls a sniff. The Bulls’ game-plan against the Crusaders backfired horribly and they will have to play much smarter to stand a chance in Melbourne. The men from Pretoria don’t travel well, so I am picking a narrow home win.
Rebels by 3
Blues vs Chiefs
The Blues welcome the Chiefs looking to end a four-match losing streak. The Chiefs scored two late tries to defeat the Sharks in Hamilton and will be full of confidence. History points to a Chiefs victory as they have won nine from their last 10 against the Blues. I am going against history and picking the Blues to return to winning ways.
Blues by 6
Reds vs Waratahs
Aussie derbies are always tough to call, and this one between the Reds and Waratahs will be no different. The Reds lost the Rebels in round 13, while the Waratahs earned two losing bonus-points while on tour in South Africa. On paper, the Waratahs should edge this one, and that is why I am also backing them.
Waratahs by 8
Lions v Highlanders
The Lions took advantage of yet another questionable refereeing performance from Egon Seconds to sneak a one-point win against the Waratahs while the Highlanders travel to the Republic after a home win against the Jaguares. The Lions are without Warren Whiteley yet again and that will be a huge blow for the home side. The Lions are giving away too many soft tries and that is why I am picking an upset in this one.
Highlanders by 4
Stormers v Crusaders
The Crusaders are just unstoppable and showed their class when they completely dismantled the Bulls at Loftus. The Stormers lost to the Jaguares in Round 12 and had a bye last weekend. Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende are back for the hosts, but I am afraid that will only lessen their losing margin.
Crusaders by 15
*Joubert is Highbury Media’s digital media manager, who has won the company’s Super Rugby Superbru pool for two years running.