JUANDRE JOUBERT explains his Superbru picks for round three of Vodacom Super Rugby.
I had an average round two on Superbru as the Brumbies shocked the Chiefs, the Stormers stole victory in the last ‘seconds’ and the Vodacom Bulls produced a woeful performance in Buenos Aires.
Round three does not get any easier, as there are a couple of tough picks to make. Here are my predictions:
Hurricanes vs Brumbies
The Canes were given a hiding by the Crusaders in Christchurch last weekend, but managed to deny the defending champions a bonus point, thanks to two late tries. Beauden Barrett will make his first appearance of the season, while Ardie Savea is also back for the Canes. The Brumbies thrashed the Chiefs at home, but they won’t win in Wellington on Friday.
Hurricanes by 14
Rebels vs Highlanders
The Highlanders had to rely on a late try to defeat the Reds and travel to Melbourne with two wins from two. The Rebels are also unbeaten after defeating the Brumbies in week one and a bye in week two. This game could ruin your weekend early on. I will give it to the Rebels, based on home-field advantage.
Rebels by 6
Chiefs vs Sunwolves
The Chiefs were handsomely beaten by the Brumbies, while the Sunwolves almost caused a major upset against the Waratahs in Tokyo. The Chiefs will claim their first victory of the season.
Chiefs by 17
Reds vs Crusaders
The Reds impressed in their season opener against the Highlanders, while the Crusaders outclassed the Hurricanes with some great physical rugby. I cannot see any other result than a bonus-point win for the defending champs.
Crusaders by 18
Lions vs Vodacom Bulls
Both teams are heading into the Jukskei derby after a defeat. The loss of Warren Whiteley is a big blow for the Lions, while the Bulls are also without their skipper, Lood de Jager. Whiteley’s absence will hamper the Lions more, so I am backing the Bulls to claim an upset victory.
Bulls by 4
Sharks vs Stormers
The Sharks have named an unchanged starting XV for the second week in a row as they look to make it three wins from three, while the Stormers came away with a much-needed victory against the Lions at Newlands after a big loss to the Bulls. The Sharks will maintain their momentum against an unsettled Stormers outfit and are to remain unbeaten heading to Loftus next week.
Sharks by 10
Jaguares vs Blues
Having lost at home to the Lions in round one, the Jaguares claimed a bonus-point victory against the Bulls last week. The Blues are still searching for their first win. This is another tough one to call, so I am going with the home side.
Jaguares by 5
– Joubert is Highbury Media’s digital media manager, who has won the company’s Super Rugby Superbru pool for two years running.
Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix