Super Rugby Aotearoa draws to a close with two exciting fixtures this weekend.
The Hurricanes will be eager to end their season on a positive note when they face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday, before a top of the table clash between the Blues and Crusaders ends the season on Sunday.
Check out my Super Rugby Aotearoa tips for Round 10 below.
The Hurricanes are offered an excellent opportunity to finish the season in second when Round 10 of Super Rugby Aotearoa gets underway in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon.
To say that they were slow from the blocks is a big understatement, but the Hurricanes have continued to improve with every game that they have played and have definitely ‘come good’ at the right end of the season.
They produced another skilful performance to down the Chiefs in Round 9 and with that result, have now beaten every other team in the competition.
The Highlanders’ season has been over for a few weeks now, and little more than pride is on the line for them at Forsyth-Barr Stadium.
They weren’t able to overcome South Island rivals the Crusaders, but they produced a typically tough effort to finish ten points off the pace and ultimately, cover the line.
While I do think that the home side will be in this the whole way again, the line is set at just 4.5 points and I think that the Hurricanes will end their campaign with a good win.
The standout contest of Round 10 looks likely to materialising between the Blues and the Crusaders at Eden Park on Sunday.
Heading into Round 10, these two sides occupy positions one and two on the Super Rugby Aotearoa ladder – a win for the Blues would likely see them sew up second spot, while a win for the already-crowned Crusaders would be the cherry on top of what has been another impressive season.
The Blues enter the game off the back of a refreshing bye week and prior to that, a decent win over the Highlanders.
They are the only side that have consistently played a similarly strong brand of rugby as the Crusaders all year, and they are a live chance of winning.
The Crusaders simply do not know how to play poorly.
Even in seasons when they haven’t been the best in New Zealand, they have remained world class, and it is fitting that they have won this unique edition of the Super Rugby tournament.
This is probably their toughest task of the season so far, but given their price, I’m happy to just back them outright.