Super Rugby Aotearoa: NZ predictions and fixtures – Round 1

Super Rugby is back. So are our predictions. We're still not to blame if you get it wrong.

Find the latest Super Rugby predictions for 2020 here.

Super Rugby Aotearoa kicks off on Saturday 13 June in New Zealand, bringing a welcome rugby return for fans around the world as the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown eases.

The competition is scheduled to play out over ten rounds between now and August as a tonic to those starved of oval ball action in recent, Coronavirus-stricken months. It was initially set to be played behind closed doors, but New Zealand declared the pandemic over this week, with no new cases in over two weeks. That means fans will be allowed to return to the stadiums and save broadcasters from having to create an atmosphere by talking.

The Highlanders and the Chiefs will raise the curtain at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday, with the match getting underway at 9:05 SAST.

If the mothballed Super Rugby 2020 competition is anything to go by, the Highlanders are up against it having won just once in six attempts to leave themselves adrift at the bottom of the Kiwi conference.

The Chiefs had won four from six before the tournament was put on hold, with all eyes on who hits the ground running fastest on the South Island.

Sunday 14 June sees the Blues go up against the Hurricanes in Auckland, with kick off slated for a bright and early 5:35 SAST kick off.

The hosts had notched five victories in an impressive start to the 2020 Super Rugby season, while the Canes had managed four wins of their own.

Fans looking out for serial Super Rugby champions the Crusaders will have to wait until the second round of fixtures, as they sit out the first week on a bye.

The Aotearoa event will see some tinkering of the laws for the first time in the professional game.

Teams who have a player sent off will be able to replace the red-carded offender after 20 minutes, in a bid to prevent lopsided games with 15 versus 14.

There will also be a ‘golden point’ period of extra time to find a winner if scores are level after 80 minutes.

It’s all part of New Zealand taking centre stage in the coming weeks, with the five Kiwi franchises playing each other home and away while the rest of the rugby world watches on and, with a bit of luck, begins to return to action as well.

Prediction methodology explained

The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.

The predicted points margin draws on calculations from by a New Zealand statistician.

Highlanders vs Chiefs

highlanders vs chiefs super rugby nz predictions round 1
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Blues vs Hurricanes

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.