Hurricanes vs Highlanders
Highlanders by 4
Both sides are coming off a bye, so this is likely to be an edgy encounter early on. Both sides have lost some uneccessary encounters in the past month, but the Highlanders’ composure out wide should be enough to see them come out tops.
Waratahs vs Chiefs
Chiefs by 11
The Crusaders ended the Tahs’ 4 match winning run last week, and highlighted the stark difference in quality between the two nations. The Chiefs were comfortable against the Rebels last week and should win to stay top of the log.
Kings vs Jaguares
Jaguares by 15
While the Jaguares were thumped by the in-form Lions last week, the Kings are thumped every week. It won’t be the best game of rugby but the Argentinians should come out top.
Blues vs Crusaders
Crusaders by 9
The Blues have not beaten a fellow New Zealand side since week 1, and are unlikely to do so against the Crusaders who are in a race for the top spot against the Chiefs.
Brumbies vs Sunwolves
Brumbies by 17
The Brumbies cannot afford complacency if they want to make the playoffs, and although the Sunwolves have improved the most of the new sides as the season has progressed, the Brumbies should win comfortably.
Stormers vs Cheetahs
Stormers by 6
Having won only 1 in their last 5, the Stormers are a team in serious need of a boost. Their chances of making the playoffs have received a serious blow, while the Cheetahs would want to put some more distance between them and the wooden spoon candidates. It is likely to be a nervy affair, with insipid attack coming up against amateur defense. The Stormers should edge it narrowly.
Bulls vs Lions
Lions by 7
The Lions have recovered immensely after their disappointing loss to the Hurricanes in week 10. The Bulls are still able to edge out impressive wins but should come up short against the one of the most potent attacking sides in the competition.
Rebels vs Force
Rebels by 5
The Rebels have experienced a difficult few weeks after at one stage leading the Australian conference. They are all but out of the playoffs, but they will be desperate for a win and should get it against the struggling Force.