Canes vs Landers
The Landers are banged up and the undefeated Canes really are on a roll. Chris Boyd has again resisted the temptation to rest his Rock Stars in a Conference game and rolls out an All Black-laden backline and hard working pack. The Dunedin based side have a Vidiri/Lomu-like wing combination in Waisaki Naholo and Patrick Osborne but the question will be if their pack can supply enough nut to allow them to make a difference?
Our tip: Canes in a close one.
Rebels vs Lions
This has the potential to be a wee bit ugly with neither side showing any real indication to date that they are going to get out of their respective conferences. At home the Rebels should be too good although the Lions stayed with the Crusaders last week for 60 minutes and shouldn’t be discounted here.
Our tip: Rebels short
Saders vs Cheetahs
Another banker for the Saders at home who welcome Israel Dagg back at 15 and should be too good for the Cheetahs who aren’t the prettiest team to watch but will annoy the heck out of the Crusaders for most of this one.
Our tip: Saders by 10.
Bulls vs Force
The Bulls are an ageing side now and bear little resemblance to the teams of the late 2000’s who regularly featured in the playoffs and finals. There’s a lot to like about what’s going on out West and we like the Force to start their trip to the republic with a dub.
Our tip: Force by a couple of points.
Sharks vs Chiefs
The Chiefs went well last week (as predicted) but again are banged up with SBW suffering ‘concussion like symptoms’ (whatever that is) and will not play. The Chiefs have a really good culture, depth and love touring and this should be potentially the game of the round. The Sharks had a good win last week so maybe will have just a wee bit too much at home.
Our tip: Hard to pick but the Sharks in a high scoring one.
Tahs vs Brumbies
Battle of the 2 best Aussie conference teams should also provide a cracking game in the Sunday evening slot (clearly an attempt to counter the NRL’s move into this Sydney time slot). The Tah’s were disappointing last week and Brumbies very good. These 2 teams have a real chequered history so look for some Fireworks and the Tahs to win a close one.
Our tip: Tahs < 7.