Martin Devlin: The definitive analysis of the Super Rugby quarter finals

Radio Sport,
Publish Date
Friday, 21 June 2019, 2:36PM

Take it as gospel, this is the good oil, here comes the definitive analysis and expert picks for all four Super Rugby quarter finals:

Crusaders vs Highlanders:

Really? You serious? We all know what the result of this one is.

And although I admire Aaron Mauger's bullish prediction of a shock upset, reality suggests they have about as much chance in Christchurch as the Blues do of winning it all in 2020.

Expect the Highlanders to huff and puff for all the first half and maybe even into the second before that Crusader machine cruises through the gears, quietly accumulating points as they go, clearing the bench with 20 to play and booking themselves that first home semi.

So no fond farewell for 'Landers icon Ben Smith, his last  match mirroring the team's year, another near miss reflecting a whole season of what might have been. 

Crusaders 13+

Jaguares vs Chiefs:

Believe it or not the Argentinian national team are the form side of this comp.

They've won 9 of their last 10 games compared to the Crusaders who've won 7 drawn 2 and also lost just one. The last time they lost was way back in Round 7 in this exact same fixture, home Chiefs. For that reason and that alone I'm convinced the Chiefs can repeat.

Colin Cooper has his troops playing their best code right at the right time. Just 3 weeks ago they produced the performance of the comp to roll the Crusaders in Suva, twice racking up periods of 21 unanswered points. That turnaround in fortunes, from an 0 and 4 start makes them the most dangerous team left.

I say that because everything from here is a bonus. The Chiefs are playing with house money. They have nothing to lose nor anything to prove, the pressure is all on the home team.

Chiefs 12+

Hurricanes vs Bulls:

By the time them big boys from up the high velte wake up from their jet lag this match will be well and truly over. The travel schedule alone is enough to end their season. 2 weeks ago they were in Dunedin, last weekend back home in Pretoria, tomorrow morning waking up in Wellington.

It's an tough enough ask playing the 2nd best team in the comp away from home without all the travel involved, you add that to it and it pretty much means  mission impossible. Plus this 'Canes side, as well we know, can play. Problem they've had all year is putting it together for the full 80. The Hurricanes run hot and cold, so what's new?

And, yes, questions have been asked of their forward pack all year, so what's new?

This match will be over at half time.

Hurricanes 13+

Brumbies vs Sharks:

C'mon. Don't be silly. Is anyone here seriously watching this? Some average Ozzie side against the 3rd best Seth Effrikan's that lost more games than they won? This fixture defines everything that is wrong about Super Rugby. Whoever wins will get beaten next week, whoever loses will be just as quickly forgotten. Brumbies to win because they're at home.

So Crusaders vs Hurricanes next week and Chiefs vs Brumbies. Crusaders vs Chiefs final.

I think we all know how this one ends.