Weekend teams and predictions

And then there were six. Industrially tough to win away from home at the pointy end of the tournament, but Andrew Mehrtens, leader of the Legends Bru pool, reckons both away teams will win!

Tank Lanning

It’s a complete snorefest when it comes to needing pink tickets for this weekend! No need to skip work on Friday morning, no need to get up early on Saturday, and you can even squeeze in dinner with the aunty after the evening game at Newlands! Strange stuff after that last 18 weeks of bedlam!

Saturday, June 20

09:35 – Highlanders vs Chiefs (Forsyth Barr, Dunedin)

17:05 – Stormers vs Brumbies (Newlands, Cape Town)

Kiwi derby post gym session with a Bucks Fizz in your hand. A few bottles of cheeky white while pretending to be interested in your family lunch. And then foot on cooler box while the fire burns down as you take in the driving maul fest at Newlands? You might need it to stop yourself from wanting to punch Nic White through the TV! My oath, but that fellow has a nasty “Hit me” face!

Expect these games to be massively different on almost every front. The early game to be all about counter attack featuring some of the best attacking backline players in the world, the later game to be all about the scrum, scrum penalties, and who can defend the driving maul better. Last time out the Highlanders hammered the Chiefs 36-9 in what can only be described as one of the more complete performances of the season. But on Saturday Tim Nanai-Williams and Sonny Bill Williams will pair up in the midfield for the first time in weeks, and that should see the Chiefs being a whole lot more competitive than they were on that day. But tough to see any side stopping the Landers in the form they have been recently.

In Cape Town earlier this year it was only a missed conversion from Christian Lealiifano that prevented the Brumbies from sneaking past the home side by a point. Expect a brutal battle up front where the Stormers will rely on what has been a massive scrum all season. Allister Coetzee took a different team to Durban last week, allowing him to field different sides against each other in training. No surprise to learn that most of that time was spent on the driving maul. Their potency in that department has waned a little as their scrumming has improved, though! Even the Lions were able to match them in the driving maul as they came back to scramble the draw. This against a side with a flanker, David Pocock, who has scored 8 tries this season, mostly via the driving maul! Expect an ill-tempered scrum and maul fest dictated by the boots of Catrakilis and Lealiifano.

No surprise as the Bookies and Brus agree on both. It is bloody difficult to win away from home in this tournament, especially come the pointy end. There is probably more chance of an upset in Cape Town, but it is going to take a brave Bru to actually put that down on paper!

One such brave Bru is SuperBru Legends poolmate, and current log leader, Andrew Mehrtens, who has backed both away sides to win this weekend! Worryingly, last weekend’s wooden spoonist in our pool, legendary referee Jonathan Kaplan, is following my more traditional route.


My predictions:

HIGHLANDERS to beat Chiefs by 11

STORMERS to beat Brumbies by 3


Jonathan Kaplan’s predictions:

HIGHLANDERS to beat Chiefs by 9

STORMERS to beat Brumbies by 2


Andrew Mehrtens’ predictions:

CHIEFS to beat Highlanders by 4

BRUMBIES to beat Stormers by 5


The SuperBru Community picks:

HIGHLANDERS (82%) to beat Chiefs by 5

STORMERS (79%) to beat Brumbies by 4


The Collated odds:

HIGHLANDERS (4/6) to beat Chiefs (13/8)

STORMERS (4/7) to beat Brumbies (19/10)


Weekend teams:

09:35 – Highlanders vs Chiefs (Forsyth Barr, Dunedin)

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Richard Buckman, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Dan Pryor, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Mark Reddish, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Brendon Edwards

Bench: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Shaun Treeby

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 James Lowe, 10 Andrew Horrell, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Liam Messam (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Pauliasi Manu

Bench: 16 Quentin MacDonald, 17 Siate Tokolahi, 18 Jamie Mackintosh, 19 Mitchell Crosswell, 20 Michael Leitch, 21 Kayne Hammington, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Seta Tamanivalu

17:05 – Stormers vs Brumbies (Newlands, Cape Town)

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Bench: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jaco Taute

Brumbies: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 Scott Sio.

Bench: 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 James Dargaville.