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by Rugby4Cast / 12th June 2019
Analysis Super Rugby 2019

Super Rugby Round 18 Predictions

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Round 17 Debrief

Another weekend. Another draw! Since this was the first game of the round we were scared that this trend might continue, but thankfully not. Sanity prevailed.
Round 17 saw the Hurricanes lock in a home quarter final, the Crusaders celebrated Ryan Crotty’s 150th match with a stunning 66-0 win, the Jaguares secured the top spot in the South African Conference, and the Brumbies took the Australian conference in style. Quite a weekend.

Round 18 Predictions

Below are the predictions for the final round of the ‘group’ stages of Super Rugby. Still a lot to play for with the Rebels, Chiefs, Highlanders, Stormers, Lions and Sharks all still in with a shout of making the quarter finals.

Highlanders v Waratahs

The Highlanders drew with the Bulls in a competitive match at home in New Zealand. The Highlanders came out of the blocks fast, but the Bulls were hot on their tail and responded well, taking a last gasp try to draw the match. This is the sixth draw in Super Rugby 2019. How many more will we see?
The Waratahs, on the other hand, lost last round against the Brumbies 24-35. They will need to watch they don’t start slowly again, as they were down 3-28 at halftime against the Brumbies. This time they are playing away from home against a team that tends to get off the mark quickly, and if they leave themselves too much to do the result may quickly get away from them.
Here is the last 10 games between these two sides.

The Algorithm has the Higlanders to win by 11. At home, this should not be too unexpected.

Rebels v Chiefs

The Rebels had a nightmare against the Crusaders. We all know the Crusaders are a strong outfit but with them slipping up somewhat in the previous rounds and the Rebels playing a decent brand of rugby we were expecting a closer encounter.
In the end it was far from this, with the Crusaders winning 66-0. The Rebels opponents this week – the Chiefs – are coming off a bye last round. However, fresh in the memory will be the high after winning in round 16 against the Crusaders. They will still need to be wary though, as both still have got a qualification spot to play for and the Rebels will be keen to respond to their dismal performance last round.
We have had a look at the matches against these two sides.

The Algorithm has the Chiefs to win by 4. Tight stuff.

Jaguares v Sunwolves

The Jaguares were run away victors against the Sharks in a fantastic home win, finishing 34-7 which, in doing so, clinched top spot in the South African conference for the first time! Congratulations to them.
The Sunwolves put in a spirited performance against the Stormers scoring a couple of second half tries away from home, but fell short in the end losing 31-18. How do we think this game is going to go down?
Here is the Jaguares record at home in 2019.

We also looked at the overall record between these two sides.

Fairly good reading for Argentinian fans, and the Algorithm agrees. It has the Jaguares to win by 23.

Hurricanes v Blues

The Hurricanes secured a home quarter final after their decisive 37-17 win against the Lions which was their fifth consecutive away victory. They are now back in Wellington to play a travelling Auckland Blues team. The Blues were unlucky to miss out on getting another win in the away column last time out, eventually losing against the Reds 29-28 after Scott Higginbotham dotted down in the 77th minute in his final appearance at Suncorp Stadium. Heartbreak for the Blues fans.
We have had a look at the previous games between these two outfits.

Good reading for Hurricanes fans. The Algorithm has the Hurricanes to win by 16.

Brumbies v Reds

The Brumbies won top spot in the Australian Conference with a solid 35-24 victory over the Waratahs last week. The win never looked in doubt after the Brumbies started strong, taking a big 28-3 lead at the break.
The Reds however won by just a single point against the Blues in the dying minutes but will be wanting to bring something special to knock over the conference leaders, away from home.
Since this game is away for the Reds we have had a look at their Away record against the Brumbies.

Not bad, 3 wins for the Reds, but the last was back in 2014. We also had a look at their previous matches played anywhere.

Again, not bad for the Reds, including a comfortable win last time out earlier this year. This time however, the Algorithm has the Brumbies to win by 12 at home.

Stormers v Sharks

The Stormers won last round 31-18 against the Sunwolves and are now back defending home turf against the Sharks who got hammered 34-7 in Buenos Aires. The Sharks will be doing a little soul searching after going down 12-0 at halftime and then only managed to pile on 7 points in the second half.
How’s this game going to go? We had a look at the previous results between these two teams.

The Algorithm has the Stormers to win by 5. A lot to play for here, with both sides still in with a qualification chance.

Bulls v Lions

The final round robin game for Super Rugby 2019. Hows this going to go? It is a battle for 2nd position with the Bulls currently holding 2nd on 36 points and the Lions 3rd on 35 points. The Bulls drew against the Blues last round and the Lions got outplayed against a strong Hurricanes outfit so both teams will be looking to improve this round.
We have had a look at previous matches against these two sides.

The Algorithm has the Bulls to win by 2. A nice tight finish!

Conclusion

As stated, this is the final round in 2019 for Super Rugby and what a cracking season it’s been!
Firstly, we have the Jaguares who only came into the competition in 2016, and this year have claimed top spot in their conference. Then we’ve had the Rebels who were sitting top of the Australian conference for a decent period of time, which is impressive considering they were going to get the axe a few seasons previously.
We’ve also had 6 draws (so far)! Most of which were involving New Zealand based teams so it’s been an absolute nightmare for the Algorithm to predict these games. However, we wouldn’t change a thing as this years competition has had it all. Lets hope the last round is a cracker, and the knock out stages really bring the best out of the teams.

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