Super Rugby picks: Can the Highlanders and Chiefs cement their playoff spots?

 tvnz.co.nz  06/14/2019 03:42:53 

Final week and there's still all the biscuits to play for! Who are the TVNZ sports buffs picking to overcome the pressure? Find out below!

How it works: TVNZ sports experts will chip in their picks for matches involving New Zealand sides each round with some adding a little insight into their thinking. 

Bonus points will be given at the end of the season for correct preseason predictions given on who will be the NZ conference's wooden spoon, how far the Blues will go this season and who will win the competition.

Highlanders v Waratahs Rebels v Chiefs Hurricanes v Blues

Matt Hall-Smith - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 13+

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Guy Heveldt - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+
Rebels v Chiefs: Rebels 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 1-12

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Semi-finals

Brodyn Knuckey - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+ - "With a full Zoo cheering them on, back the Highlanders to give themselves a shot at the playoffs."
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12 - "Cane and Retallick leading from the front, Weber and Lienert-Brown leading from the back."
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 1-12 - "Seriously, if the Blues can't beat that Hurricanes line-up then why are they even chasing Barrett?"

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Maddy Lloyd - Breakfast Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+
Rebels v Chiefs: Rebels 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Faleatua Malili - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Highlanders v Waratahs: Rebels v Chiefs:

Hurricanes v Blues:

Preseason Picks: Champs: Blues, NZ wooden spoon: Highlanders, Blues make: Champions

Matt Manukia - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Rebels v Chiefs:

Hurricanes v Blues:

Preseason Picks: Champs: Blues, NZ wooden spoon: Crusaders, Blues make: Champions

John McKenzie - 1 NEWS Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+ - "The highlanders playoff chances stay alive... even if it is for just one night. Blowout against a very weak Waratahs outfit."
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12 - "I think it could be tight, but the Chiefs should be too good. Can they get the bonus point to leapfrog the Highlanders though?"
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 13+ - "Meaningless win against a third-string 'Canes side...woopee."

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Blues, Blues make: miss playoffs

Alex Powell - 1 NEWS NOW Sport Producer

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12

Preaseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Semi-finals

Dewi Preece - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

"With all hope effectively gone, there's only one thing left to play for..."

Highlanders v Waratahs: DRAW!
Rebels v Chiefs: DRAW!
Hurricanes v Blues: DRAW!

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Highlanders, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Michelle Prendiville - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 1-12
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 13+

Preseason Picks: Champs: Highlanders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Josh Reich - 1 NEWS NOW Editor Leader

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 1-12
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Blues, Blues make: miss playoffs

Andrew Saville - 1 NEWS Sport Presenter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+ - "Go Invercargill. They'll be dancing in Dee St when the Highlanders click and give themselves some sort of playoffs hope... although..."
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+ - "...that hope will be extinguished should the Chiefs win with a bonus point in Melbourne."
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 1-12 - "Too little, too late, but the Blues have pride to play for. Love seeing Coles back starting but think the Blues could well go out with a flourish."

Preseason Picks: Champs: Crusaders, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Stephen Stuart - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 1-12 - "Should win big against stripped down Waratahs but how often have they done that this season?"
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 13+ - "Former flatmates Cane and Retallick finally starting together should quell the Rebels."
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 13+ - "If the bungle Blues can't beat this ridiculously depleted 'Canes outfit, the should be punted from Super Rugby."

Preseason Picks: Champs: Lions, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Semi-finals

Victor Waters - Breakfast Sport Producer, 2018 Champ

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 1-12
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Blues 1-12

Preseason Picks: Champs: Hurricanes, NZ wooden spoon: Highlanders, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Abby Wilson - 1 NEWS Sport Reporter

Highlanders v Waratahs: Highlanders 13+
Rebels v Chiefs: Chiefs 1-12
Hurricanes v Blues: Hurricanes 1-12

Preseason Picks: Champs: Hurricanes, NZ wooden spoon: Chiefs, Blues make: Quarter-finals

Scoreboard: Reich 109, Saville 106, Hall-Smith 106, Lloyd 100, Waters 98, Stuart 98, Heveldt 93, Preece 92, Prendiville 90, Powell 90, Knuckey 87, Wilson 86, Malili 81, McKenzie 77, Manukia 72

Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs Source: Associated Press
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