Former Reds and Wallabies forward Mark Connors previews Round 19 of Super Rugby.
TattsBet Super Rugby Round 19 Preview
Blues v Chiefs
Friday 11/7/14 @ 17:35
Both sides are in reasonable form, however with the Chiefs still a finals chance, I am leaning their way in what will be a very physical encounter. The Blues have lifted of late, and won't be easy to topple at home.
Pick: Chiefs in a hard fought contest.
Brumbies v Force
Friday 11/7/14 @ 19:40
While they have had some long term injuries affecting their squad, the Brumbies welcome back 4-5 Wallabies this week to bolster their team. The Force have had some injury worries of their own, and also lose the abrasive McMeniman through suspension. While the Force will push the Brumbies in this contest, the home side are better drilled and should win this must win match with a home final on offer.
Bulls v Rebels
Saturday 12/7/14 @ 3:10
Both teams are in poor form of late, but the home side will be desperate to finish the season on a high after a comprehensive loss last week, and a late season fade ending their finals aspirations. With no Higginbotham (suspended), I can't see the Rebels even being in contention for this match.
Crusaders v Highlanders
Saturday 12/7/14 @ 17:35
The home ground advantage will be telling here, as will the extra game time enjoyed last week by both Crusaders stars Keiren Read and Dan Carter, who will both be better for that effort. With top place in the NZ conference on offe,r this will be one of the matches of the round. I am tipping the men from Canterbury to sneak home.
Reds v Waratahs
Saturday 12/7/14 @ 19:40
On consistency and form throughout the season, there can really only be one winner of this clash - the Tahs. And while the Reds will lift enormously against their traditional rivals, injuries and errors have marred their season and will play a role again here. The Waratahs have too much power, skill and speed for the home side, and should win comfortably.
Lions v Cheetahs
Sunday 13/7/14 @ 1:05
The Lions have improved of late and I expect they will be up for this dead rubber, with the home ground advantage to be telling. Both sides should throw the ball around, in what should be an entertaining game.
Stormers v Sharks
Sunday 13/7/14 @ 3:10
This will be a fierce contest with the Stormers on the rise, and the finals bound Sharks desperately needing to rediscover their fire and form. With poor recent form, and a few injury concerns for the Sharks, I am leaning towards the home side to cause an upset.
Mark Connors, former Reds and Wallabies forward