SUPER RUGBY SEMI FINALS
Hurricanes v Chiefs
It's a guarantee that at least one NZ team will be part of the Final for this years Super Rugby title. The Hurricanes face the Chiefs in Wellington and this has all the ingredients for a mouth-watering match.
The Hurricanes are in sublime form having won their last six games, all relatively comfortable I might add too. While the Chiefs have had mixed form losing three of their last seven matches, two of those to the Highlanders.
These teams played in Wellington this year with the Chiefs winning a nail biter 28-27. Since 2009 The Chiefs have won 7 games, the Hurricanes 2 games and one draw. The majority of games being relatively low scoring, particularly for two NZ sides facing each other.
The Hurricanes have named inspirational skipper Dane Coles for this weekend, but the medical team will need to be working around the clock in order for him to play. He came off with a nasty rib injury last weekend and will be touch and go whether he starts or not. The Chiefs have the task of coming back from South Africa to face the Hurricanes, a tough task to get over Jetlag in the few days they have back in New Zealand to prepare.
I expect this to be an extremely close contest and I for one am hoping for a Hurricanes victory as I've already booked flights back to Wellington to support the yellow and blacks to hopefully win their first Super Rugby title.
Lions v Highlanders
Wow, what a performance from the Lions last week dismantling the Crusaders and playing an attacking game running the Crusaders off their feet and never really allowing the Crusaders into the contest.
The Highlanders come off a tough win against the Brumbies and will be satisfied with their performance, particularly their defence which is they pride themselves on.
The Highlanders have had a hectic travelling schedule over the last month, travelling to Wellington - Port Elizabeth - Buenos Aires - Dunedin - Canberra, now back to South Africa. The miles must surely be taking their toll. They are in fantastic form, having only dropped one game to the Hurricanes in their last 8 performances. While the Lions too are in great form having only lost one of their last 7 games, that being the heavily depleted loss to the Jaguares two weeks ago.
This is an interesting game for me, the Lions will be looking to attack the whole game while the Highlanders will be tough to penetrate, particularly around the rucks. The Highlanders beat the Lions 34-15 back in March this year, that however was in Dunedin. Since 2009 the both teams have won three games against each other.
I'm picking the Lions in another close one, I think they are by far the best non New Zealand team in the competition, playing a similar brand of rugby that NZ Super rugby teams do.
RESULTS STAKES ROI Final