Former Reds and Wallabies forward Mark Connors previews Round 7 of Super Rugby.
TattsBet Super Rugby Round 7 Preview
Crusaders v Hurricanes
Friday 28/3/14 @ 16:35
The Crusaders had a rest last week and the Canes might as well have had one as they were at times laughable with their fumbling display. Late tries made the loss look more respectable for the Canes, so they will need to lift their performance dramatically this week. Being well known for fluctuations in performance, we could possibly see the perfect display this week from this Jeckle and Hyde team!! I do though expect the Crusaders to lift and bring a more complete performance.
My pick: Crusaders to win (but it will be tight)
Rebels v Brumbies
Friday 28/3/14 @ 18:40
This will also be a tight contest as I expect a more complete 80 minute effort from the Rebels, who faded badly last week. I cannot go past the Brumbies though, who have a better line up and greater depth with players like Smiler and Coleman shining for them.
My pick: Brumbies to continue their winning form
Blues v Highlanders
Saturday 29/3/14 @ 16:35
This should prove another high scoring display with the Blues gaining some much needed confidence and the Highlanders having shown a lot of fight in recent weeks. Form probably leans the Highlanders way, but I suspect the Blues will have the greater improvement, and with Nonu and Kaino another week into their comebacks, we should see more from them.
My pick: Blues to win two in a row
Reds v Stormers
Saturday 29/3/14 @ 18:40
A must win game for both teams who are battling to stay in touch with the top sides in their conference. The Reds have succumbed to injuries with Gill, F-Sautia, Daley and Tua all unavailable. I'm also hoping they won't be tentative after being blown off the park by some bewildering refereeing decisions in their last two starts. The Stormers will be formidable opponents with a physical pack, great defence & their sharp backline starting to fire. This will be an uphill battle, but I feel the Reds can sneak a win at home.
My pick: Reds to win but this is a very tough call
Bulls v Chiefs
Saturday 29/3/14 @ 23:00
The Bulls have gone under the radar so far this season, however their last start win against the Sharks has put opposition teams on notice that the former Champs cannot be taken lightly. The early season imperious form of the Chiefs came badly unstuck against a dogged Force in Round 6 and they will be rightly fired up to make amends. It is always tough against the heavyweight Bulls at home, but I expect the Chiefs' coaching staff to put the boot into the reigning Champs and spark them back into action.
My pick: Chiefs in a high-scoring affair
Sharks v Waratahs
Sunday 30/3/14 @ 01:05
What will the Tahs do without Israel Folau? Well, we will find out this weekend when they take on the Sharks who pride themselves on being unbeatable at their fortress Kings Park. The Sharks will be vulnerable though having a number of key injuries with their regular 9 & 10 both out. Waratahs' coach Michael Cheika has shuffled his run-on side again, but I like seeing Palu back at no. 8. This is hard to pick, but I believe the confidence lift for the Tahs and key injuries for the Sharks has me leaning towards a Waratahs upset (I hate to say!).
My pick: Waratahs to win
Mark Connors, former Reds and Wallabies forward
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