|Tim Nanai-Williams scores against the Highlanders|
Super Rugby Round 3 asked more questions than it answered with nail-biting wins for the Chiefs and Stormers, while the Rebels and Waratahs had larger wins than expected. The Lions bubble burst against the Bulls while the once mighty Crusaders are struggling. The Chiefs and Waratahs are the early pace setters in the New Zealand and Australian conferences respectively. It shows you how difficult Super Rugby is as a competition when after three rounds and most teams have only played two games there are only four unbeaten teams, the Chiefs, Waratahs, Sharks and Rebels. Yet given how tight it is, it is surprising how few bonus points are being earned for finishing within seven points. Most tipsters struggled from the start of the round with the first two Super Rugby Round 3 matches resulting in upsets.
In the Super Rugby Tips SuperBru conference Olec had a phenomenal round grabbing a Grand Slam Bonus Point, while Rocky leads the conference. The Rebels win over the Cheetahs not only wasn’t picked by many people, but the margin of 21 points was far greater than even the most optimistic Rebels supporters would have tipped. Twenty percent of tipsters picked the Blues to beat the Crusaders, while even less picked the Rebels to beat the Cheetahs, let alone by 21 points! The rest of the results were more predictable with most people picking the Chiefs to beat the Highlanders. The Bulls win over the Lions was picked by 42 percent of SuperBru tipsters and while in previous seasons it wouldn’t be considered an upset, it was more surprising this season given the form of both teams. The size of the Waratahs win over the Reds also caught plenty of people out.
What can we make of Super Rugby 2014?
It looks like the Waratahs, Chiefs and Sharks are the teams to beat. The Bulls, Stormers and Crusaders aren’t what they used to be. The Rebels play better without their big named stars and are a serious threat in the Australian conference. It is hard to know what to make of the other teams like the Cheetahs, Lions, Reds, Brumbies, Highlanders and Blues. The Hurricanes will be glad to be returning home, while it could be a long season for the Force.
Do you agree?
What do you make of Super Rugby 2014?
Did you miss some Super Rugby Round 3 action? Watch video highlights here
Super Rugby Round 3 results
Blues 35 Crusaders 24
Rebels 35 Cheetahs 14
Stormers 19 Hurricanes 18
Chiefs 21 Highlanders 19
Waratahs 32 Reds 5
Force 14 Brumbies 27
Bulls 25 Lions 17
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