Crusaders v Bulls An easy one to start with, even if the Bulls did give the Chiefs a scare in Hamilton last weekend. The final result was as expected though, and as per last week, if you lose away at the Reds, you will almost certainly lose away at the Crusaders.
The home side has work to do following two away defeats to their New Zealand rivals, and they might find the Bulls slightly deflated after all that effort last week still left them with nothing. Those are not the results of a great team. They ran the Lions close last weekend, but to what extent does complacency affect their opponents? I suspect the Chiefs will take them seriously having had a fright against the Bulls, and that could be bad news for the home team.
Stormers v Reds I picked both sides to lose last weekend, and they duly won. Jaguares v Lions For the last two seasons, the Lions have sent an understrength side to Buenos Aires, but the man squad travelling this year consists mostly of frontline players. With Montpellier again exposed out on the left, Ngatai produced a diving finish into the corner, sealing the win with Lyon's final try.
The win moves Lyon to fifth on the Top 14 standings, while Montpellier, who also feature Aaron Cruden, are languishing in 11th.
Ireland legend Brian O'Driscoll has come to the defence of All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett, following his abject performance with the boot in last weekend's loss to South Africa in Wellington. Barrett, 27, missed four of his six attempts at goal on Saturday night, ultimately proving crucial as the All Blacks slipped to a first loss at home to the Springboks since Taking to Twitter though, former Ireland skipper O'Driscoll highlighted that Barrett's place in a side is about much more than ability to kick goals, with his eye for the tryline seeing him standout above his contemporaries.
They rarely need their conversions," O'Driscoll tweeted. The Australian rugby public have unleashed on star Israel Folau, after his refusal to set up teammate Bernard Foley for a potential match-winning try against Argentina on Saturday night. During the final moments of Australia's shock loss to Los Pumas on the Gold Coast, Folau decided to run the ball at the Argentinian line, with Foley waiting unmarked to his right.
Instead, Folau was sandwiched by three Argentine defenders, surrendering possession to give the Pumas a famous victory on Australian soil. Naturally, social media was abuzz with criticism towards Folau, with the defeat seeming to have hinged on the winger's selfishness,. They'd set it up perfectly. The loss to Argentina means Australia have dropped to an all-time low seventh in World Rugby's rankings. Can the Chiefs and Crusaders keep up their unbeaten streak?
Stephen Stuart returns in the hot seat as he and Andrew Saville break down this weekend's games. I suspect the Chiefs will take them seriously having had a fright against the Bulls, and that could be bad news for the home team.
Chiefs by 28 Hurricanes v Highlanders Both teams enjoyed good wins over the Crusaders in their most recent match, and the Hurricanes have had the benefit of a rest week in between - they'll be fully recovered from their early-season tour by now, and have to be favourites for this match in Wellington.
They've won the last two at home to the Highlanders, including a thrashing last season - it's unlikely to be a point margin this weekend, but you have to pick them for the win. Hurricanes by 9 Stormers v Reds I picked both sides to lose last weekend, and they duly won. Normally the Stormers at home are a safe pick, but the Blues' performances had made me think twice before last weekend - but the Stormers are at home to an average Australian side this time, and one that has been flying around the world in the last 10 days, so should win comfortably.
Stormers by 21 Jaguares v Lions For the last two seasons, the Lions have sent an understrength side to Buenos Aires, but the man squad travelling this year consists mostly of frontline players.
The home side has won each of the five meetings between the teams, but I suspect things will be different this year. The Jaguares have been less convincing at home so far, scoring only 9 points against the Hurricanes in Round 3 and 7 points last week against the Reds with a win over the Waratahs in between.
The Lions have scored an average of over 39 points across their five matches so far, including 47 at home to the Jaguares in Round 2, and I'm backing them to win this one. Lions by 9 What do you think of these picks? The GSP is definitely up for grabs this weekend and I agree with the teams you have selected to win. I will re-think the margins closer to kick off.
My only concern is the Jaguares - Lions game. How can the Jaguares be so inconsistent and are the Lions losing their magic? A new coach, without their inspirational leader - are the cracks starting to show? In agreement with the winning pics, changing margins, except Jaguares vs Lions.
They are willing to rest key players after a sloppy performance, knowing that Argentina is not a winning ground for the Lions, from the Ackerman era. My worry is the Rebels vs Shark match. Statistically the rebels have to stop winning at one point? Lots of points up for grabs.
Lions and Rebels have given me a boost in last two rounds and Lions very consistent. It promises to be a cracking weekend. Don't agree on the Sharks game, they have the players and have to turn their season around.