Here's the current standings of the four NZ team competing in Super Rugby. There is another NZ side present in the competition but they are not competing.
Three rounds left, here are the remaining matches. The matches in bold are against other NZ teams that are in contention.
|Round 17||Round 18||Round 19|
|Crusaders||BYE||Highlanders (Home)||Blues (Home)|
|Hurricanes||Brumbies (Away)||Blues (Home)||Chiefs (Away)|
|Highlanders||Chiefs (Suva)||Crusaders (Away)||Rebels (Home)|
|Chiefs||Highlanders (Suva)||Brumbies (Home)||Hurricanes (Home)|
Alright I'm going to make some predictions. Criticise away in the comments/forum.
I think I'm fairly nuetral because the team I support is a non entity. It is being destroyed by Redman, Umaga etc while the NZRU and the media show indifference.
Matches: BYE, Highlanders (Home), Blues (Home)
Max Points: 64
The Crusaders were on a good roll just before the Test match break. The bye is coming at a good time for them, the forwards involved in the Test series will have a chance to freshen up.
The bigggest risk in these games might be a ref noticing a red card offence from a prop.
Highlanders I expect to put up a good fight but fall short
It would be an enormous shock if the Blues stopped being a non entity
Predicted points: 63
Matches: Brumbies (Canberra), Blues (Wellington), Chiefs (Hamilton)
Max Points: 60
Brumbies aren't very good and the Blues are worse. I'll guess only one bonus point from these two games
So it's all about the Chiefs match
The recent results have been shared around:
25-13 Canes (Wellington, April 2018)
14-17 Chiefs (Wellington, June 2017)
18-26 Chiefs (Hamilton, March 2017)
25-9 Canes (Wellington, July 2016)
27-28 Chiefs (Wellington, April 2016)
21-13 Canes (New Plymough, June 2015)
22-18 Canes (Wellington, May 2015)
Not many recent Hamilton games..
I'm picking the Hurricanes to win a narrow one here. The Hurricanes have timed their run well in recent seasons and I don't think this Chiefs team is as good as it was.
Predicted points: 58
Matches: Chiefs (Suva), Crusaders (Christchurch), Rebels (Dunedin)
Max Points: 55
I've already picked Crusaders win. The Rebels are a better side than they get credit for but I don't think they'll be a challenge in Dunedin.
So once again it's the Chiefs match thats the most interesting.
The Highlanders had a lot of players involved in the Test series. That experience should add to the team.
However the Highlanders really do flog their loosies. They kick a shitload of ball away ad rely on their excellent defence to force mistakes. The Highlanders loosises are all near the top of tackles made list for th season.
If its warm in Suva I'm picking the Chiefs to outlast the Highlanders in a high scoring but close game
Predicted points: 47
Matches: Highlanders (Suva), Brumbies (Hamilton), Hurricanes (Hamilton)
Max Points: 52
I've alread picked them to beat the Highlanders and lose to the Canes.
I don't see a crappy Brumbies side putting up a fight in Hamilton
Predicted points: 47
Predicted Final Table
It's going to be hard to prevent this happening again with the Crusaders likely to finish the regular season in first spot
Opening myself up to mockery when I get this completely wrong. Here's my guess at the final table