Super Rugby Round 18 picks: Will the new-look Hurricanes finally end their losing streak against the Blues?

After a wild week of results, things don't get much easier for the TVNZ pickers this week with two local derbies and a hungry Brumbies outfit looking for their second-straight win against a Kiwi side.

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 18

Crusaders v Highlanders
Chiefs v Brumbies
Hurricanes v Blues

Matt Hall-Smith - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+

Guy Heveldt - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+

Brodyn Knuckey - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+ - "It's a derby but it's also a one-off at Wyatt Crockett Stadium! Back the home team to get up for No.200!"
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 1-12 - "Not the walk in the park it looked like earlier in the season. Brumbies pack can hold their own."
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12 - "My faith in the Heveldt anti-Blues law was tested last week but I won't be swayed!"

Faleatua Malili - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+

John McKenzie - 1 NEWS Reporter

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+

Josh Reich - 1 NEWS NOW Homepage Editor

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12

Andrew Saville - 1 NEWS Sport Presenter

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 1-12 - "A win in Christchurch almost a given these days, but the Highlanders should be hurting from last week. Expect a tight result."
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 13+ - "Didn't see last week coming! Neither did the 'Landers! The Brumbies won't either."
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+ - "Look out for the real Blues to return this week!"

Stephen Stuart - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 13+ - "How can the Highlanders turn it around in a week?"
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 13+ - "I'm back on board!"
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 1-12 - "We didn't go to the Blues media hit this week and that worked the oracle for them last week!"

Victor Waters - Breakfast Sport Producer - LEADER

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 1-12
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12

Abby Wilson - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Crusaders v Highlanders: Crusaders 1-12
Chiefs v Brumbies: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+

Scoreboard: Waters 111, Saville 104, Heveldt 102, Malili 99, Rimene-Sproat 96, Stuart 93, Knuckey 91, Wilson 88, Reich 86, Hall-Smith 82, Prendiville 81, McKenzie 78

The 1 NEWS Sport team break down this week's Super Rugby round 18 action. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Former All Blacks Malakai Fekitoa, Julian Savea combine for brilliant long range try for Toulon

Former All Blacks Malakai Fekitoa and Julian Savea have combined for a stellar try in Toulon's big 33-3 win over Agen, at Stade Mayor in Toulon yesterday during a French Top 14 competition fixture.

Toulon led 19-0 at halftime over Agen with Fekitoa scoring a long range stunner late in the second spell.

In the 75th minute of the match, Fekitoa delivered a wide skip ball for Savea just outside Toulon's own 22 metre line, off a scrum set piece move.

Savea opted to kick, with the star left winger regathering the ball inside Agen's 22, before offloading the ball to Fekitoa who went in under the goal posts to score.

Toulon play Clermont Auvergne in their next Top 14 match this Sunday, at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin stadium in Clermont-Ferrand.

The pair came up with a bit of magic in their side's 33-3 win over Agen in the Top 14 competition. Source: Top 14 Officiel


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'We need to be better' - TJ Perenara calls for All Blacks to lift intensity against the Pumas

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara says his side need to step it up a gear against Argentina, as they look to lock away the Rugby Championship trophy for a third consecutive year.

A bonus point victory in Buenos Aires on Sunday will secure the All Blacks the trophy, with one more game next week in the competition against the Springboks.

The All Blacks star even managed to join in in the Argentinian capital. Source: ESPN

But Argentina will have some confidence going into their home Test against the All Blacks, after they defeated Australia 23-19 in the Gold Coast a fortnight ago and edged the Springboks 32-19 last month in Mendoza.

"We played them in Nelson and we won, but it was a tough game," said Perenara.

Shannon Frizell of the All Blacks on the burst during the Investec Rugby Championship match, All Blacks V Argentina , Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand, 8th September, 2018. Copyright photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz
Shannon Frizell of the All Blacks on the burst Source: Photosport

"I guess the opportunities they took into their game exploited some of our flaws. For a team to be able to do that, well, we take great pride in what we do out on the field and they dismantled us a few times out there.”

Argentina were competitive for the first 65 minutes of the Test in Nelson earlier this month, but were outclassed 46-24 by the All Blacks.

"We know the threats that they have and we just know, as a unit, we need to be better going forward," he said.

"If we play to the level that we played in Nelson, we don't know if that is good enough this time, especially over here in their back yard.

"We know we need to step it up and play better than we have played against them this year already."

The All Blacks suffered their first loss of the Rugby Championship to South Africa in Wellington two weeks ago, going down 36-34 at Westpac Stadium.

The All Blacks have a chance to wrap up the Rugby Championship trophy with a bonus-point victory in Buenos Aires on Sunday. Source: All Blacks TV


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Watch: All Blacks take part in Buenos Aires street golf in Argentinian capital

All Blacks stars Ben Smith and Richie Mo'unga made the most of their downtime ahead of Sunday's clash with Los Pumas in Buenos Aires, taking part in some street golf.

In the Argentinian capital for a week in preparation for Sunday's clash, Steve Hansen's side have been out and about taking in the sights and sounds of Buenos Aires.

Smith and Mo'unga were accompanied by some of their teammates, having a quick hit about.

Mo'unga in particular felt the rub of the green, with his teammates moving the hole to see him come away with a lower score than Smith.

The All Blacks face Argentina in Buenos Aires on Sunday morning NZT.

Ben Smith and Richie Mo'unga made the most of their downtime in South America. Source: All Blacks TV


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John Mitchell says he's made mistakes in the past, was appointed All Blacks coach prematurely

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell who is now the defensive coach for England believes he’s ready to return to the international level after learning from mistakes of his past.

The 54-year-old told the Daily Mail UK that he has grown over the years as a coach.

"People make mistakes and I have," Mitchell told the Daily Mail.

"But there has been success as well. At least I had a good look in the mirror and said that I wanted to get better.

"I will not shy away from having a strong methodology. The lessons I have experienced will hold me in good stead."

He was in charge of the All Blacks at the age of 37 with Mitchell admitting he was promoted prematurely.

The well-travelled coach is back in Hamilton looking to bring the Bulls back to their former Super Rugby glory. Source: 1 NEWS

The former New Zealand coach coached the All Blacks from 2001-2003.

Mitchell is touted to take over the reins from head England coach Eddie Jones when his contract ends after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

"I am back coaching at international level and you cannot put a currency on the development I am gaining."

Bulls coach John Mitchell during the 2018 Super Rugby game between the Bulls and the Highlanders at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria on 28 April 2018 
Photo by : ©Christiaan Kotze/Backpagepix
England defensive coach John Mitchell. Source: Photosport


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