Super Rugby 2012: 4 Teams Guaranteed to Lose in Round 8
The Reds may finally have turned their season around.
Their 20-13 win over the Brumbies now gives them a small amount of momentum heading into the bye week.
In saying that, the game of the week was the Highlanders playing host to the Stormers. The Stormers got up and proved that they haven't been riding the coattails of an easy draw as their defence continually drove the Highlanders back.
After going down to the Cheetahs the week before, the Hurricanes responded by thrashing the Sharks 42-18. Seriously, Mark Hammett was supposed to remove this kind of thing.
I went a disappointing two from four last week, for a total of 20 from 28. How will the crystal ball perform this time around?
No matter what happens this week against the Sharks, the Blues will undergo a serious character test.
Any self-respecting team with that many internationals should not lose to the Rebels, and they won't be impressed with themselves.
But the question becomes which side will rebound better.
At the end of the day, the Blues still have injury problems and aren't really showing much in the way of improvement.
This time I got the title right!
Coming off a bye, I expect the Waratahs to fire up for this one after what happened in the last encounter between these two sides.
While the Waratahs haven't really been anything special this year, the Force haven't exactly set up a fortress in Perth themselves.
They also need this game if they're going to contend for a playoff berth.
I expect I won't be putting these guys up much.
But I do have my reasons for making this pick.
The Stormers are the most serious title contenders to date, and the fact that they've done it without getting a bonus point shows how clinically they've been going about the season.
On the other hand, the Crusaders will be travel-weary, and are still finding their best form. Dan Carter will continue to improve, but it won't quite be enough.
And between you and me, the Stormers have a score to settle.
This is the easiest pick to make of my four.
The Lions have been terrible this season (I know there's nothing new to report here, just sayin'), and between a shocking choice of playing style and a lack of reputable stars, they simply won't have the firepower to stop this Bulls team that has been flying under the radar a little bit (maybe if another team hadn't been doing so well...).
The Bulls will dominate this one up front and shouldn't be seriously threatened.