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Paul the Super Rugby Oracle's Round 6 Tips: Can Paul Finally Pick a Blues Result?

By Paul Neazor

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Rugby Pass stats guru Paul Neazor weighs up this weekend’s round of Super Rugby matches and reveals his tips.


Even the best rugby tipsters have the occasional bad week. The true sign of a tipping genius is how they bounce back. Super Rugby oracle Paul Neazor held his nerve with his Round 5 tips and correctly predicted 7 of the weekend’s 8 games. That brings his tally for the year to 31/41 (31/37 if you ignore the Blues), a 76% success rate. What does Round 6 hold in store?

Highlanders vs Force
The Highlanders somehow managed to lose this fixture six times in a row between 2008 and 2014, but that won’t happen this week. The Force have problems on and off the field, and the Highlanders aren’t the sort of side to give them a chance to regroup. The defending champs looked polished at Melbourne and they took every element of risk out of their game. Given that the Force have hit the wall at 60 minutes recently, this one could blow out down the home stretch.
Pick: Highlanders (13 and over)

Lions vs Crusaders
This is shaping as a cracker of a game. The Crusaders might have a slight edge at scrum time and on defence, but the Lions make few errors and have a good kicking from hand game. Elsewhere, the numbers are fairly even. The Lions are a lot more dangerous than the Sharks, and I don’t see their starting as slight favourites to be a silly call. I might stick my neck out here and go for the home side, especially if the Crusaders haven’t fixed their goal-kicking. But there isn’t really a result that would come as a major shock here; be prepared for anything.
Pick: Lions (12 and under)

Blues vs Jaguares
This match is a difficult assignment for both teams. The Jaguares have had to travel from Argentina, losing a day in the process, and the Blues have to believe they can take a team of this calibre. The Jaguares might help them out, as their ball security has been poor all season and the Blues can make teams pay for handling errors. Bookmakers have Blues as quite strong favourites, and while I don’t necessarily agree with the prices I do with the sentiment. Now go back the Jaguares, since I get the Blues calls wrong as a matter of course.
Pick: Blues (12 and under)

Brumbies vs Chiefs
Two of the leading contenders meet in a battle of contrasting styles. Both teams score lots of tries – the Brumbies through the forwards as often as not, and the Chiefs through the backs at a 3:1 ratio. The Brumbies like to have the ball, while the Chiefs like to play in opposition territory; the Chiefs win the lineouts and the Brumbies go better in scrums; the Brumbies defend more accurately but the Chiefs make their opponents fall off more tackles. I think the Brumbies come into this game having played the tougher string recently and therefore will have a slight edge, and I might have to take the home side by one score, much as it pains me.
Pick: Brumbies (12 and under)

Kings vs Sunwolves
Somebody has to win this game, unless it’s a draw. The Kings probably attack better, but the Sunwolves definitely defend better, and both kick for goal pretty well. Still, this is basically a playoff for 17th and 18th. I think I’m going to go against the visiting team trend and pick a Kings win here, although I certainly won’t be off to the TAB on this one.
Pick: Kings (12 and under)


Bulls vs Cheetahs
Victor Matfield wrote in his book that the Cheetahs are a team the Bulls “should always beat”. He had a point when he was playing. Neither team has really impressed this season and both have similar weaknesses. If there’s one area where the Bulls may hold an edge it’s not the traditional tight five but in the midfield, where the sharper attackers and stronger defenders will be wearing blue jerseys. I’ll have the Bulls but not by much, and it might be a hard watch.
Pick: Bulls (12 and under)

Waratahs vs Rebels
Before the season began punters would have been expecting the Rebels to be little more than road-kill as the Waratahs steamed ever-onwards in search of the conference title, but things have panned out very differently. The Waratahs’ tight five is weaker than it has been for many years, and it’s telling. The Rebels, conversely, are good up front but they have little on offer behind the scrum. If the Waratahs have a decisive edge anywhere, it’s from 9 to 15. Bernard Foley should also give the Waratahs stability off the tee, which was missing when Kurtley Beale was doing the job, and Jack Debreczeni for the Rebels is also hit-and-miss. With both teams having so much to prove I’m not expecting pretty, or even watchable, but I do think the Waratahs might edge it by a couple of points.
Pick: Waratahs (12 and under)


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