Weekend predictions

Sunday morning rugby – Yes please! It makes the eight game weekend a whole lot more manageable. And even better – no pesky Friday or Saturday night games either!

Tank Lanning

The Bulls take a breather, but tough outings on the road for the Sharks and Cheetahs. The Stormers will be chuffed to be back at Newlands, before the snoreathon in PE.

The line-up:

Friday the 22nd

09h35 – Highlanders v Sharks (Forsyth Barr)

11h45 – Rebels v Cheetahs (AAMI)         

Saturday the 23rd

07h15 – Sunwolves v Jaguares (Prince Chichibu Memorial)

09h35 – Hurricanes v Chiefs (Westpac)

11h45 – Force v Waratahs (nib)

15h00 – Stormers v Reds (Newlands)

17h10 – Kings v Lions (Nelson Mandela Bay)

Sunday the 24th

08h05 – Brumbies v Crusaders (GIO)

No Friday night game, so after that nasty “Root canal” in the morning in order to catch the Sharks and Cheetahs, you could go and smash a proper session at the pub knowing that you do not have to stay awake for a game. Or of course, you could take your better half to Mike’s Kitchen and score a few pink tickets for Saturday arvie? That said, with no 19h00 game on Saturday either – there is a Rugby God – you could take your chances by lighting the fire early and settling in for some afternoon rugby in the sun, and then trying to keep the peace with the better half? Tough ask though!

For fantastic previews of every game, head to Vodacom rugby’s Breakingnews. And to see the weekend’s teams, head to their Team Sheets article that will be updated as each side is announced.

Righto, to the picks, match odds, and SuperBru Community picks:

My picks:

HIGHLANDERS to beat Sharks by 6

CHEETAHS to beat Rebels by 5

JAGUARES to beat Sunwolves by 14

CHIEFS to beat Hurricanes by 4

WARATAHS to beat Force by 3

STORMERS to beat Reds by 17

LIONS to beat Kings by 12

CRUSADERS to beat Brumbies by 7

What the Bookies say:

HIGHLANDERS (1/4) to beat Sharks (4/1)

REBELS (1/2) to beat Cheetahs (2/1)

JAGUARES (8/1) to beat Sunwolves (1/8)

HURRICANES (13/15) to beat Chiefs (15/13)

WARATAHS (8/13) to beat Force (5/3)

STORMERS (1/6) to beat Reds (11/2)

LIONS (1/19) to beat Kings by (16/1)

BRUMBIES (10/11) to beat Crusaders (13/10)

The SuperBru Community picks:

HIGHLANDERS to beat Sharks by 10

REBELS to beat Cheetahs by 4

JAGUARES to beat Sunwolves by 10

CHIEFS to beat Hurricanes by 1

WARATAHS to beat Force by 5

STORMERS to beat Reds by 13

LIONS to beat Kings by 20

CRUSADERS to beat Brumbies by 5

Yep, taking a flyer on those Bloem boys!

Those Bookies disagree of course, and they do not look at all confident in either predicted wins for the Canes and Brumbies. So I am going to disregard their advice in all three games! Could be some blood on the dance floor come Carte Blanche!

Garth April gets a run for the Sharks, but for a man more inclined to attack with ball in hand, rather than kick, the two centres outside him seem a strange call. Nothing particularly sparky there. And with Coenie Oosthuizen back at tighthead, this could be another messy outing for the black and white.

The Cheetahs will be on an enormous high after last weekend’s 14 try extravaganza, even though those Sunwolves had both feet on the plane home. And now having travelled themselves, the organised Rebels will provide much stiffer opposition. Banking on those 14 tries (and another start for their best front row) carrying them through this one, though

Unless the Reds have another Houdini in their backpacks (that win over the Highlanders was a showstopper!), after a tough outing against the Bulls, they now have to face a wounded Stormers team seeking revenge on their home turf. More pain for the Karmichael Hunt brigade I say.

In PE, perhaps the only thing saving the Kings from a hammering is the fact that the travelling Lions will still be a little battered and bruised from last weekend’s physical battle against the Stormers. CJ Velleman and Chris Cloete can only do so much. Lions to take some time getting into it, but then finishing strong.

Bit nervous of that Tahs pick, I must say. They have been seriously average this year … Worth taking a punt on the Force I reckon!

Stock the coolerbox, clean the grid, and enjoy.