Easy round sets up quarterfinal picks

The weekend was probably one of our easiest rounds so far with quite a few people tipping all six games, although everybody struggled on the margins.

But we have finally found our top eight.

By winning their match against the Rebels, the Drua destroyed the hopes of the "also-rans", including the once mighty Crusaders. What a shame.

The Crusaders were too big and strong for Moana Pasifika in Christchurch on Friday, but their 43-10 win wasn’t enough to get them anywhere near the playoffs.

The Waratahs’ season of despair finally ended on Friday with a one-point loss — 26-27 —to the Reds. That pretty much is the story of their season. Could have, should have, but didn’t.

On Saturday, it was 19-all in Lautoka at halftime and a few were starting to sweat, but it only got hotter in the second spell. The Rebels melted and the Drua put on 21 unanswered points in the second spell to canter away with the 40-19 result.

The Landers started with a hiss and a roar but the Canes were just leading them on. Their 14-41 loss sends us to Canberra on Saturday night.

The Blues got back on track with their 31-17 win over the Chiefs in Auckland on Saturday but crucially missed the bonus point to gift the Hurricanes top spot going into the playoffs.

In a yawn fest the Brumbies did enough in Perth to take a 24-19 win over the Force and they’ll be waiting with sharpened knives for the Landers this week.

It was an average round from the Dunedin tipsters. Warren, Geoff and Joshua had 15 points each. It means Joshua, from UPVC, has joined the Stonelakes at the top with only the play offs to go. Warren, from Marriner Painters, is gasping for air at the bottom of the table.

So, on to the quarterfinals. It doesn’t look that hard to pick the results but an upset is always lurking.

 • The Chiefs host the Reds on Friday night. They should win but they have flattered to deceive this year. However they are at home and have the better backline so the Chiefs (12-) will get it done.

 • The Canes (13+) have the easiest quarterfinal, as they should, and will have no trouble putting the Rebels to bed for good in what will be their last game as a franchise.

 • The Blues host the Drua, who just can’t win away from their beloved homeland, so it will be one-way traffic for the Blues (13+).

 • In the "Big Game", the Landers make the trip to Canberra to take on Australia’s best in the Brumbies (12-) and will put in a gallant performance. Sadly, I don’t think it will be enough.