Super Rugby Aotearoa continues this weekend with the second round of action between the five New Zealand franchises, including the introduction of 2019 champions the Crusaders.
Scott Robertson’s serial winners make their bow in the scaled-back domestic tournament on Sunday when they take on the Hurricanes at the Sky Stadium (kick off 15:35, New Zealand time or 5:35 South African time).
The ‘Canes lost out on the opening Super Rugby Aotearoa weekend when they slipped to a 30-20 defeat away to the Blues at Auckland’s Eden Park.
It was a clash enlivened by a running battle between hooker Dane Coles and his former team-mate Beauden Barrett, with the latter getting the last laugh on his new home turf.
Hurricanes fans will fill the Wellington Cake Tin for the first time since Coronavirus lockdown was lifted, with their side out to avoid back-to-back defeats to kick off the ten-round competition.
Round two begins on Saturday, though, with a tussle between the Chiefs and the Blues in Hamilton (kick off 19:05 NZ time – or 9:05 South African time).
While the Blues were opening week winners it was a case of last-gasp agony for their second round hosts.
The Chiefs thought they had pinched victory over the Highlanders when Damian McKenzie slotted a drop goal with three minutes on the clock in Dunedin.
But the Forsyth Barr Stadium crowd went from despair to joy a minute later, as supersub Bryn Gatland split the uprights from 30 metres to snatch a one-point victory ahead of their bye this weekend.
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.
Super Rugby Aotearoa predictions: Chiefs vs Blues
Super Rugby Aotearoa predictions: Hurricanes vs Crusaders
Antoinette is a recovering journalist, having written for Sports Illustrated, The Guardian, Daily Maverick and others. She has won multiple SAB Journalist of the Year awards, across a variety of categories. She thinks it’s strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she’s playing as herself in The Sims…which she’s been doing for over 20 years.