After going 5/7 in round 18, JUANDRE JOUBERT explains his Superbru picks for the quarter-finals of Vodacom Super Rugby.
My GSP pursuit failed in round 18 as the Blues (yes, I committed the cardinal sin of changing my pick) yet again lost an away game and the Sharks stole victory at the death against the Stormers. I am still in with a shout in a couple of my pools, but it is make-or-break time now.
Here’s a look at the quarter-final matches:
It’s Super Rugby quarter-final time!
Here are the fixtures that are each worth 1.5 win points at Superbru..
— Superbru (@Superbru) June 19, 2019
The bookies have all the home sides as favourites, but I think there will be at least one upset.
Here are my picks:
Crusaders vs Highlanders
First up, we have the Crusaders hosting the Highlanders in Christchurch. The Highlanders sneaked into the playoffs thanks to a big win over the Waratahs and other results going their way. The Crusaders have selected their strongest lineup for the first time this season and I cannot see anyone getting a playoff in Christchurch. This one could get ugly.
Crusaders by 19
Jaguares vs Chiefs
In the second match of the weekend the Jaguares host the Chiefs. Earlier this season the Chiefs claimed a narrow 30-27 win in Buenos Aires, but they had Damian McKenzie playing that day. Can they do it again without him? The Jaguares won the South African conference after very impressive performances this season. It will be the first time they host a playoff match. I think their nerves might get the better of them, so I am predicting the Chiefs to take this one.
Chiefs by 6
Hurricanes vs Vodacom Bulls
The Bulls are back in New Zealand after making a quick stop at home to dismantle the Lions at Loftus. The team from Pretoria lost both their games against New Zealand opposition at home, but surprisingly didn’t taste defeat in New Zealand after drawing both matches with the Blues and Highlanders. The Hurricanes lost only three games this season, one against the Jaguares and the other two against the table-topping Crusaders. As much as I would want the Bulls to win, I cannot see a travel-fatigued Bulls team beating a classy Hurricanes team at home.
Hurricanes by 12
Brumbies vs Sharks
If the Jaguares lose to the Chiefs, the Sharks know that a victory over the Brumbies will give them a home semi-final against the men from Hamilton. History has shown us that the Sharks can cause upsets away from home, but the Brumbies have found form at the right time in the competition, and I think they will have too much for the men from Durban.
Brumbies by 9
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: Anton Geyser/BackpagePix