Another draw! Whats going on!? And who would have thought we would be saying this … the Crusaders need some momentum after only winning the last 2 out of 5 games. Nervous times ahead for the Champions?
There were also 4 away teams winning this round. The Lions had a convincing bonus-point win and jump into second spot. The Hurricanes booked a finals spot after their 13 point win in Durban, and a late intercept try denied the Reds a chance for an important win.
The Bulls played the Blues last weekend, and it went right down to the wire … ending up in a draw. The Highlanders however, were on a bye and will be refreshed and ready to go out and perform in front of the Dunedin faithful. However they have lost two games on the bounce (but in fairness both were away).
How do these two teams fair against each other? As usual we’ve had a look:
3 on the bounce for the Highlanders. The Algorithm has them to make it 4 and win by 11
The Reds lost again in a close affair against the in-form Jaguares last weekend. They will be hoping the home advantage pays dividends against a Blues team who come on leaps and bounds this season, but generally doesn’t travel well.
We have had a look at away record for the Blues against the Reds below:
Pretty even. The Algorithm has the Blues to win by 1
The Crusaders played a cracking game in Suva, Fiji against the Chiefs but ended up going down 40-27. It’s by no means panic stations for the men from Christchurch, but they will be hoping this is not a repeat of 2015 Super Rugby where, before the World Cup, they missed out on the playoffs! Unthinkable. The Rebels also lost last weekend in a close game 15-20.
Which way will this game go do you think? Maybe the previous results might help:
The Algorithm has The Crusaders to win by 20. A confidence restoring win.
Both teams got the points in Round 16 with the ‘Tahs winning against the Rebels away from home, and the Brumbies away to the Sunwolves -putting them to the sword 42-19. The Brumbies are top of the Australian conference currently, with the Waratahs 3rd.
Here are the previous results between these two teams.
The Algorithm has the Waratahs to win by 5
‘The Battle for 2nd’ (for their respected conferences of course!) Both teams are currently 2nd in their conferences and will be desperate to pick up the points to hold that spot coming into the playoffs. The Lions have won their last 3 out of 5 games, while the Hurricanes have won 4 out of 5. Both teams on form it would seem
We have had a look at the Lions home record in 2019.
We have also looked at the previous results between these two teams
The Hurricanes pretty dominant. However, the Algorithm thinks the Lions have improved and has them to win by 1
‘The Bottom Dwellers’ (a stretch too far with the names?) Either way, both teams are bottom of their respected conferences. However, the Stormers are only 3 points adrift from 4th spot so they have a lot still to play for. The Sunwolves however are not so fortunate. They had a heavy loss at home to the Brumbies last round, and with the Stormers coming off a bye they could be in for a tough day.
Here are the last 10 results between these two teams.
The Algorithm has the Stormers to win by 20.
How good are the Jaguares this season? Top of the South African conference and 3rd overall! Not bad for a team who only came into the competition in 2016. They have been copping a bit of stick lately about them being effectively an international side packed with Puma players but I say bring it on…
The Sharks lost last weekend against the Hurricanes, and this put a real dent in their playoff hopes. How is this one going to go?
The Algorithm has the Jaguares to win by 8 at home.
It’s crunch time with only two rounds to go and playoff places up for grabs teams need to finish strong. There are also a few injury concerns with Springbok fans sweating after two Stormers internationals out with a race against time to get back fit ready for the international window. Another potential issue in the South African camp is tries … of the top 14 try scorers this season only two are in South African teams and both are in the lower half of the table. A cause for concern coming into the World Cup? Only time will tell.