Super Rugby 2012: 4 Teams Guaranteed to Lose in Round 6
The big story of Round 5 was the Reds' encounter with the Bulls.
There is no other way to put it—they were pulverised by any definition.
In other news, the Rebels got their first win after coming close for a while, the Hurricanes finished strongly in Auckland, as they came out 26-25 winners against the Blues, and the Crusaders broke in their new stadium with a fairly rusty win over the travelling Cheetahs.
I went three-for-four with my picks, bringing my total record to 14-20. What can we expect in Round 6?
Last week, the Highlanders demonstrated why nothing can be taken for granted when they lost to the Brumbies in Canberra.
Personally, I think that result owes itself to two main factors: the Brumbies having a competitive pack and the Highlanders not getting up as they did against the Crusaders a few weeks ago.
In Melbourne, this Rebels team won't offer as much up front, and I think the Southerners have learned their lesson—for the time being.
This pick is my upset for the round.
The Cheetahs have one of the world's best players around the breakdown in Heinrich Brussow and a solid kicker in Johan Goosen.
They've travelled extremely well to date, and while they will be tiring, I think they have at least one more decent performance left in them.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have left out four starters, and Victor Vito has withdrawn because of injury.
Unless their backs can come up with a few explosive plays, expect the game to remain close. A few strong plays from the visitors or a Hurricanes team not leaving it all on the field can easily result in an upset.
What can I say?
These guys were bad last week.
To rebound in Perth this weekend, they will have to grapple with injuries, suspensions and travel fatigue.
The Force will be returning home after a decent trip to the East Coast of Australia, and in this situation, my children's inheritance will be put on the home side.
Last week's 61-8 scoreline could easily have been mistaken for the Lions' battle with the Stormers.
While the Lions have indeed been unimpressive, the Crusaders haven't exactly looked like tournament favourites themselves.
In saying that, they have begun to show signs of gradual improvement, and a match against the Lions should see that upwards trend continue.