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Super Rugby picks: Can the under-fire Crusaders make a statement against the Blues?

After a rather disastrous week for everyone involved last week, the TVNZ sports buffs return looking to get back on track but a Kiwi derby and tough contest in South Africa could throw a spanner in the mix!

Blues centre Ma’a Nonu in action against the Crusaders. Source: Photosport

How it works: TVNZ sports buffs will chip in their picks for matches involving New Zealand sides each round with some adding a little insight into their thinking. A correct result will give them two points and a correct margin a bonus point.

Round 15

Chiefs v Reds
Crusaders v Blues
Stormers v Highlanders

Matt Hall-Smith - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 13+
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+ - "If you're going to beat this side and just kick penalties - you'll need at least four tries. Can't see the Blues doing that in Christchurch."
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

Guy Heveldt - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Reds 1-12
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+ - "The week from hell, where everyone has seemingly jumped to conclusions before anything has been proven, they will have a point to prove themselves and the Blues might feel the brunt of a cricket score."
Stormers v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12

Brodyn Knuckey - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Chiefs v Reds: Reds 1-12 - "Cane's back, sure, but he's still finding fitness so I don't see him taking over. Without Lienert-Brown there too, think under-powered Chiefs may struggle."
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12 - "Always a tight contest. Can see the Blues getting an early lead before the Crusaders settle in and take the win to put a tough week behind them."
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 13+ - "I'm not 100 per cent sure why, but I just have a bad feeling about this week - expert analysis, I know."

Maddy Lloyd - Breakfast Reporter

"Learnt my lesson and am steering clear of draws this week even though there seems to be one every second week - just not when Dewi picks it." 

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 13+
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

Faleatua Malili - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12
Crusaders v Blues: Blues 1-12
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

Matt Manukia - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 13+
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

John McKenzie - 1 NEWS Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 13+
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+ - "Blues are no chance - none!"
Stormers v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12 - "Upset alert! Landers are desperate to play finals footy to give Ben Smith the sendoff he deserves. Expect Aaron Smith to take over in a tight one."

Alex Powell - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

Dewi Preece - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 13+ - "The Sam Cane effect should count for something and the Reds for me haven't shown enough this year to pick up a win in NZ."
Crusaders v Blues: Blues 1-12 - "A combo of me needing to roll the dice, the fact it comes off the back of a disruptive week for the Crusaders and also a tough tour of SA."
Stormers v Highlanders: DRAW! - "Two teams on near-identical records this season. And again, I can't stress how I want to pick a draw. Last minute try for the Stormers to tie it with a sprinkling of dodgy calls throughout."

Michelle Prendiville - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

Josh Reich - 1 NEWS NOW Editor, LEADER

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+
Stormers v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12

Andrew Saville - 1 NEWS Sport Presenter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12 - "Chiefs will need to dig deep yet again. No Lienert-Brown, no Ta'avao, apart from other withdrawals. Cane will make a difference though."
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+ - "Blues have a sniff but just think all this off-field stuff will steel the Crusaders at home for a statement-type, wagon-circling win."
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12 - "Stormers are very hard to beat in Cape Town [just ask the Crusaders] although at least the Highlanders don't have another South African ref!"

Stephen Stuart - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12 - "Five loose forwards in their pack so the Chiefs have to play a fast and expansive game."
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 13+ - "Should have lost to the Blues in the season-opener but it won't be close this time."
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12 - "Highlanders' first time to Cape Town in five years and given their largely depressing times on the road, can't see them winning."

Victor Waters - Breakfast Sport Producer, 2018 Champ

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12
Stormers v Highlanders: Stormers 1-12

Abby Wilson - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Chiefs v Reds: Chiefs 1-12 - "I don't like the Reds' chances without their inspirational leader Samu Kerevi - even against the Chiefs."
Crusaders v Blues: Crusaders 1-12 - "Lots of off-field distractions this week. They'll have something to prove after the draw but will that be enough for a big win? Not sure it will..."
Stormers v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12 - "Stormers got lucky against the Crusaders. Long flight home gives the Highlanders the edge - just."

Scoreboard: Reich 88, Hall-Smith 87, Heveldt 82, Preece 82, Lloyd 80, Saville 80, Waters 79, Stuart 78, Wilson 72, Prendiville 72, Knuckey 70, Powell 68, Manukia 65, McKenzie 65, Malili 63