SUPER RUGBY QUARTER FINALS
Brumbies v Highlanders
First game of the playoffs on Friday night, these two teams fight it out for a semi final spot.
The Brumbies have won 5 of 8 against the Highlanders and are coming of a satisfactory win against the Force, while the Highlanders were very impressive in dispatching the Chiefs last week by 10 points.
I think last years champions will be too strong for the Brumbies, the Highlanders have named the strongest side they can field.
Hurricanes v Sharks
The Hurricanes some how managed to jump from 7th to 1st on the ladder last week and have earned themselves the possibility of a home final if they go all the way.
The Hurricanes were incredible against the Crusaders last week while the Sharks managed a solid win against the Sunwolves at home.
When these two teams play the trend is that the home side generally wins. The Sharks beat the Canes early on in the season comfortably 32-15.
I'm confident a resurgent Hurricanes will win this one and win this easy, they're hunting their maiden Super Rugby title and are on the right path to make a good go at it.
Interestingly Julian Savea has been dropped to the bench, he will be pumped to get back his starting spot so expect a strong showing from him in the second stanza.
Stormers v Chiefs
It's clear already that I favour the NZ teams in this competition and I think that is warranted by the results in this years' competition.
This should be a great game. The Stormers have won their last four but all have been against four of the weaker sides in the competition. Their biggest scalp this year has been the Brumbies and that's not much to write home about.
Alternatively the Chiefs have had a harder schedule and some quality results to go with it. I think the Chiefs will win this one but not by much.
Lions v Crusaders
Surprisingly, the Lions left 15 of their best players at home last week and in doing so sacrificed finishing top spot. They still have a home semi final however and are playing finals specialists the Crusaders.
The Lions have never beat the Crusaders. The closest they have come is a six-point loss earlier in the year. The Lions will be fresh but will they be game ready for finals football? Time will tell, but I think the Crusaders will be more experienced and more ready for this clash.
I'm picking all four NZ teams to progress to the semi finals.
RESULTS STAKES ROI Final