Super Rugby Round 14: A Grand Final Rematch and a Jonah Lomu Throwback

The Lineout's incredible run of predicting winners in the Super Rugby continued last weekend. Will our eerie accuracy extend through this round? Let's find out together.
May 27, 2016, 1:58pm
Via Twitter user @FOXSportsNews

The Lineout's incredible run of predicting winners in the Super Rugby continued last weekend, with five of the seven results foretold with eerie accuracy.

There are whispers that serious rugby insiders are starting to take real notice of The Lineouts mysterious ability to predict which way Super Rugby matches will go. Some have even compared Lineout analytics to Billy Beane's famed Moneyball approach in baseball, but we prefer to #stayhumble at these suggestions.

But will the streak end this week? Let's find out together.

Hurricanes vs Highlanders in Wellington, tonight

A repeat of last year's Super Rugby final, the Canes and the Landers clash in Wellington tonight should be the game of the round.

This year, the two sides are two of the best in the competition. However, due to Super Rugby's stupid playoff qualifying rules, the Highlanders and Canes are sixth and seventh on the table—even though they have more points than two of the teams ahead of them.

Forget that for now. Both sides had a bye last week and will be fresh and revved up for a big performance in the New Zealand capital. There are cracking match-ups all over the park from Waiseke Naholo vs Julian Savea on the wing, to Aaron Smith vs TJ Perenara at halfback.

Expect the Canes to exact some revenge for last year, but only just.

PREDICTION: Hurricanes by 2

Waratahs vs Chiefs in Sydney, tonight

The 'Tahs had been looking resurgent recently, until the Crusaders eased past them in Christchurch last weekend.

They couldn't have a worse team to play this week to try and get their momentum back, with the Chiefs barely trailing the 'Saders as title favourites this year.

History is on New South Wales' side, having beaten the Chiefs in five of their last six clashes. But their last encounter was all the way back in 2014, and this year's iteration of the Chiefs look improbable to stop.

Add the fact the 'Tahs haven't beaten a Kiwi team this year, and, well, this should be easy money for the Waikato boys.

PREDICTION: Chiefs by 11

Kings vs Jaguares in Port Elizabeth, Saturday

This week's edition of the Lineout is a special one, featuring three matches that Australasian rugby fans will have little interest in.

Sitting at 15th (Jaguares) and last (Kings) on the table, there is almost literally no reason to watch this game unless you've got a relative or mate playing in it.

PREDICTION: Jaguares by 6

Blues vs Crusaders in Auckland, Saturday

For years, the Blues hosting the Crusaders was the blue ribbon event that marked the Super Rugby calendar.

These days, it's almost sad to watch. Since the early 2000s, the Crusaders have been one of the comp's strongest teams while the Blues have slumped into an unpredictable, poorly supported mess.

Blues coach Tana Umaga is slowly turning things around though. The Blues have won five or their last seven, and are unbeaten at Eden Park this year.

The old rivalry might well be back, but unless the Blues are able to neutralize the Crusaders' impressive forward pack, don't expect that to happen this weekend.

PREDICTION: Crusaders by 6

Brumbies vs Sunwolves in Canberra, Saturday

Though they've showed improvement as the season has dragged on, the Sunwolves are still one of the easy-beat five-point wins for most Super Rugby sides this year.

That should be the case for the Brumbies again tomorrow night. A big win for them, and a likely defeat by the Tahs to the Chiefs in Sydney, will put the ACT team back at the top of the Aussie conference – and back into playoff contention.

Easy money for big points, here.

PREDICTION: Brumbies by 20

Stormers vs Cheetahs in Cape Town, Sunday

Don't set your alarm clock. Don't watch the highlights the next day. Don't worry about this one. Just trust our prediction is on the money.

PREDICTION: Stormers by 10

Bulls vs Lions in Pretoria, Sunday

In a dominant display, the Lions dished out a 15-point drubbing to the Jaguares last week.

It'll be a tougher task on the Highveld this weekend, with the Lions last wing in Pretoria coming in 2002. That said; the Lions are ascendant and looking like the only non-Kiwi team capable of actually reaching the vine.

Look for their Pretoria drought to end, by the thinnest of margins.

PREDICTION: Lions by 2

Rebels vs Force in Melbourne, Sunday

The season is effectively already over for the Rebels and Force, who are both well out of touch from the sole playoff spot available to the Aussie franchises.

This won't be much of a game to watch, but if you've got some extra cash to play with, drop it on the Rebs who have at least flashed quality this season.

PREDICTION: Rebels by 8

BONUS: CLASSIC SUPER RUGBY THROWBACK MOMENT

It is impossible to go wrong with footage of the Great Jonah Lomu in action.

Here's a classic steamrolling effort by the Big Man for the Blues against the hated Crusaders back in 1998. These were the glory days for the now-broken Blues franchise, with Joeli 'Give Me Hope' Vidiri on the other wing for the Aucklanders.

RIP Jonah. We still miss you, Big Man.