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Super Rugby Picks: 'Surely' Blues can defend Eden Park fortress against the Chiefs?

A tough Argentinian outfit in Wellington, a bottom-of-the-conference Kiwi derby and a pair of tough trials in South Africa are on the cards this week but who will come out on top? Our TVNZ sports buffs must have answers - "surely!" 

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 14

Hurricanes v Jaguares
Blues v Chiefs
Lions v Highlanders
Stormers v Crusaders

Matt Hall-Smith - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12 - "SURELY the streak for the Chiefs against the Blues has to end?"
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 13+
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+

Guy Heveldt - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12

Brodyn Knuckey - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 1-12 - "Jags did enough to test Highlanders last week after the long haul. A strong, acclimatised Puma pack and no Beauden should make this closer than it looks."
Blues v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12 - "Not gonna lie. Blaming my slide in the standings on backing the Blues so this is more spite than analysis. Weber could easily have another stunner though."
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12 - "Scrum time could be tough with no All Blacks in props setting the platform. Stormers calling in their Springboks for the contest too."

Maddy Lloyd - Breakfast Reporter

"Ok I’m the most nervous I’ve been before picks with my outrageous jump last week. Here goes nothing…"

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: DRAW! - "I'm doing it... gotta pull off a miracle somehow. Risk it for the biscuit."
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+ - "Again, naturally."

Faleatua Malili - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12

Matt Manukia - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Lions v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12

John McKenzie - 1 NEWS Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 1-12
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12 - "Chiefs have been lucky to claw back a couple of close ones in recent weeks while the Blues continue to slide towards the bottom. I, for some reason, think they’ll get up at home though."
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12 - "I'm not convinced by the Highlanders this year and think they'll struggle week on in South Africa."
Stormers v Crusaders: Stormers 1-12

Alex Powell - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12

Dewi Preece - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+ - "Jaguares may be bringing firepower back into the pack, but even when they’re losing the battle up front, Hurricanes still find ways to win. Wildcard – James Marshall to have a blinder." 
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12 - "Loving what Captain Weber is doing at the moment, and wouldn’t put another try past him (first try-scorer @$17? Yes please!) But fancy the Blues to end their horror run , albeit in a tight one." 
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12 - "Highlanders have only beaten the Lions in Jo’burg once, and that was way back in ’05. Their five other losses had an average margin of 7.9 points, so for me it’s Lions by a score." 
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+ - "The return of the best out-and-out first-five in the competition - and it should show."

Michelle Prendiville - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 1-12
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12
Lions v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+

Josh Reich - 1 NEWS NOW Editor, LEADER

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12 - "So much ball, so little clue. Despite dominating the stats at Eden Park, Blues paid the price for a lack of attacking nous against the Hurricanes last week. Don’t see much changing."
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+

Andrew Saville - 1 NEWS Sport Presenter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+ - "Hurricanes to ignite at home with too much pace for the Jags."
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12 - "Surely! At home, desperate - has to be enough... although I think I said that last week!"
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12 - "Lions should be too strong at home. Vital game for them as the SA conference is super tight."
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12 - "Bordering on 13+ but think the Stormers might front!"

Stephen Stuart - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 1-12 - "No Beauden Barrett so that has to help the Jags' cause."
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12 - "Surely not! Logic says Chiefs continue seven-year dominance but Blues to just scrape home against banged-up visitors."
Lions v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12 - "Playoffs on the line for the erratic southerners on the high [he]veldt."
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12 - "Crusaders  have an unreal record in the Republic but the Stormers are rolling out the Springbok cavalry."

Victor Waters - Breakfast Sport Producer, 2018 Champ

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 1-12
Blues v Chiefs: Blues 1-12 - "With playoffs at stake, surely... SURELY... they can knock the bugger off! Will be great to see Sam Cane back in action though."
Lions v Highlanders: Lions 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 1-12

Abby Wilson - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Hurricanes v Jaguares: Hurricanes 13+
Blues v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Lions v Highlanders: Highlanders 1-12
Stormers v Crusaders: Crusaders 13+

Scoreboard: Reich 85, Hall-Smith 83, Heveldt 77, Lloyd 77, Preece 77, Stuart 76, Saville 75, Waters 74, Wilson 72, Prendiville 69, Knuckey 67, Manukia 65, Powell 65, McKenzie 60 Malili 58

Blues lock Josh Goodhue and Chiefs lock Tyler Ardron compete in a line out during a Super Rugby match - Chiefs v Blues played at FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand on Saturday 7 April 2018.

Copyright photo: © Bruce Lim / www.photosport.nz
Blues lock Josh Goodhue and Chiefs lock Tyler Ardron compete in a line out during a Super Rugby match at FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton. Source: Photosport