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Chiefs to topple Crusaders, Highlanders to stun Hurricanes: 1 NEWS NOW's expert Super Rugby picks


With two Kiwi derbies this week, 1 NEWS NOW's rugby expert Campbell Burnes breaks down this weekend's Super Rugby action.

The two sides will meet in Super Rugby this Friday night. Source: 1 NEWS

Highlanders v Hurricanes: Highlanders by 9

Highlanders have targeted this game, you can be sure, as they are virtually at full strength. Kalolo Tuiloma versus Toby Smith in the scrums will be instructional, while how does Aaron Smith versus TJ Perenara excite you? There is much work for the Hurricanes to do after last week's defeat to the Crusaders, but Brad Shields' 100th may galvanise them. Alas, that will not be enough under the roof.

Blues v Rebels: Blues by 6

The Rebels may fancy their chances, as the Blues have not won at home all year and have opted to rest Rieko Ioane. Furthermore, the Rebels will be toasting the fact that eight of their squad have made the cut for the Wallabies, though Will Genia is not in the mix for Eden Park. But the Blues are overdue, so now is the time for Augie Pulu, Akira Ioane, Jerome Kaino and Ofa Tuungafasi to lead the charge.

Chiefs v Crusaders: Chiefs by 1

I have a strong feeling the Chiefs are about to cause an upset. It is nothing to do with Sam Cane making his return from the bench, but more the fact the All Black Crusaders may have one eye on the French test series. That doesn’t mean they’ll be complacent, but how will they top the concerted, accurate effort from the win over the Hurricanes? Will Chiefs kaumatua Charlie Ngatai be able to exploit the defensive deficiencies of Seta Tamanivalu, who has shifted to centre?