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Round 1 Super Rugby Predictions

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Super Rugby 2019: Predictions for the opening weekend

Super Rugby predictions have evolved. With data becoming more prevalent in sports performance, why shouldn’t the armchair pundits have a crack at it, too?

Lucky for you, there are people far smarter than us laymen who spend their time crunching numbers so we don’t have to. One of those people is Doctor David Scott, a man who has held positions like President of the New Zealand Statistical Association.

While he doesn’t give the exact scoreline, he does offer the points difference and a winner.

Using that data as well as the very useful Rugby Pass Index, we thought we’d help you out with a few predictions ahead of this weekend’s crunch clashes. Keep in mind, some of these forecasts came before squad announcements, including the news that the Sharks will be without Curwin Bosch.

Across the board, all data points to the Bulls v Stormers game being the tightest call of the weekend, the home ground advantage and the unrest in the Stormers’ camp probably gives the Bulls just the slightest of edges.

The easiest call – and likely to be the biggest win margin – is the Blues v Crusaders match. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

Chiefs v Highlanders – Friday 15 February

Likely winner: Chiefs
Points difference: 8

Brumbies v Rebels – Friday 15 February

Likely winner: Brumbies
Points difference: 10-12

Blues v Crusaders – Saturday 16 February

Likely winner: Crusaders
Points difference: 17 – 20

Waratahs v Hurricanes – Saturday 16 February

Likely winner: Hurricanes
Points difference: 3-5

Sunwolves v Sharks – Saturday 16 February

Likely winner: Sharks
Points difference: 12 – 15

Bulls v Stormers – Saturday 16 February

Likely winner: Bulls
Points difference: 3

Jaguares v Lions – Saturday 16 February

Likely winner: Lions
Points difference: 5

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Super Rugby 2019: Predictions for the opening weekend