Well it is that time again… a bit late but still that time when we give our opinions. So without too much flash and pizzazz here are my predictions:
Highlanders vs. Cheetahs:
As much as I like the Cheetahs this is a no brainer. The Highlanders have been playing good rugby and the Cheetahs have already lost 11 front-line players. So Highlanders to win by 10 or more.
Crusaders vs. Bulls:
I see that on Supersport the guys are really trying to give the Bulls a chance but the fact of the matter remains. The Bulls are not playing good rugby and the Crusaders are on a roll and look unstoppable. Yes they lost Carter and Whitelock but in Berquist and Jack they have very, very good replacements. And SBW will cause problems for an under-performing Bulls midfield. I know the Bulls will try and win the exchanges in the forwards but I don’t see them beating a great Crusaders pack. Crusaders to win by 10 or more.
Brumbies vs. Hurricanes:
Both teams have not been firing but at least with the Brumbies they have been able to show some brilliance. I think Nonu realizes that with SBW there he isn’t the man in 12 for the All Blacks anymore and it is negatively influencing his game. Brumbies to win by 6 or more.
Western Force vs. Waratahs:
No this should be a good old derby match. Yes the Force did lose to the Rebels last week and the Waratahs don’t look as sharp as they did when the competition started but they are still the Aussie teams to beat in my opinion. Will go down to the wire and I think it will be low scoring. Waratahs to win by 3 or more.
Stormers vs. Reds:
This game should be a humdinger. A stingy defence against a creative attack. Oh which way, which way? I almost don’t want to call this but I feel the Stormers should win this. They have shown versatility in games. They can adapt to the conditions but their stout defence will be up against the magic of Cooper and Genia. Stormers by 5 or more and it might very well be high scoring.
Sharks vs. Lions:
The Lions showed so much promise but yet again fail to deliver. The Sharks started off well but the loss of their talisman, Lambie, seems to be causing the backline some problems. On can probably blame age and Potgieter. The Lions will show enterprise again for most of the match but I feel that as is the story all tournament they will crash and burn near the end. I could be wrong. Sharks to win by 4 or more.
And that as they say, is that!