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Greg Growden
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After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for ESPNscrum. Never afraid to step on toes, you can expect plenty of compelling insight from one of Australia's most renowned rugby writers.
Super Rugby Round 15 - ESPN FootyTips
Greg Growden's Super Rugby round 15 tips
Greg Growden
May 23, 2013

Friday, May 24

Chiefs v Crusaders, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

19:35 local, 07:35 GMT, 17:35 EST, 17:05 CST, 15:35 WST

Don't the Crusaders look a completely different outfit with Daniel Carter again running the show? They are once more kings of the surge, and of the counter-attack. They also travel reasonably well, and they will irritate the New Zealand trendsetters in the best match of the round. How Carter plays will determine this one. He's a big game player, so you know the rest …

Tip: Crusaders.

Melbourne Rebels v New South Wales Waratahs, AAMI Park, Melbourne

19:40 local, 09:40 GMT, 19:40 EST, 19:10 CST, 17:40 WST

The Rebels are getting all cocky after their win last weekend, but let's get real. A certain dubious TMO decision - one of a multitude of strange calls by various Mr Magoo video refs in round 14 - went their way, and it was instrumental in their win. If tries are clear cut then the Rebels could struggle, because the Waratahs, now in tune, are bound to score a few. The Rebels' defence is getting better, but that's maybe because they get plenty of match-day practice.

Tip: Waratahs.

Saturday, May 25

Blues v Brumbies, Eden Park Auckland

19:35 local, 07:35 GMT, 17:35 EST, 17:05 CST, 15:35 WST

Duncan McRae and Matt Dunning discuss their tips
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George Smith is gone, and that could easily see the Brumbies stumble for the second match in a row. Smith is at the centre of the Brumbies revival, and they will lose potency without him. And the referee will also be on edge after Sir Graham Henry, part of the world's largest coaching staff, whinged about the officiating during last weekend's Blues loss to the Crusaders.

Tip: Brumbies.

Force v Highlanders, nib Stadium, Perth

17:40 local, 09:40 GMT, 19:40 EST, 19:10 CST, 17:40 WST

Current Wallabies squad members in the Force team are about as rare as Gina Rinehart's family get-togethers, but the struggling team are still not complete mugs. Nick Cummins is their only present Wallabies player, but Kyle Godwin may be the next from the Force to wear the green and gold if he keeps performing in midfield. A rare Perth win could even be in the offing because the disheveled Highlanders are carrying on as if they have spent the whole tournament pestering quokkas on Rottnest Island.

Tip: Force.

Kings v Cheetahs, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

15:00 local, 13:00 GMT, 23:00 EST, 22:30 CST, 21:00 WST

This is of interest only to the anoraks, or to see whether the Kings are worthy of another year in the tournament. So far so good for the new team, but the Cheetahs will want to give the seasiders a bit of high veldt mongrel. This won't be pretty. Stay in bed.

Tip: Cheetahs.

Stormers v Reds, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

17:05 local, 15:05 GMT, 01:05 EST +1d, 00:35 CST +1d, 23:05 WST

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie will probably head to the TMO box before this game to make certain the video referee is not wearing a Stormers beanie, after so many "let's check the TV replay" moments went against his team in Bloemfontein last weekend. The Reds will also be a bit wonky after Quade Cooper missed Wallabies squad selection. South Africa can be a shocking place to tour, especially when you're not wanted.

Tip: Reds.

Sharks v Bulls, Kings Park Stadium, Durban

19:10 local, 17:10 GMT, 03:10 EST +1d, 02:40 CST +1d, 01:10 WST +1d

Toss of a coin. Check which players are more distracted by what is going on in the crazy corporate boxes at this free-and-easy Durban arena. After all, the spa baths on the sideline, and the nightclubs nearby, have been a trap for many innocent player in the past. Just ask certain former Waratahs performers. It will be tight. In such circumstances, always go the home team.

Tip: Sharks.

Bye: Hurricanes


Make your ESPN FootyTips selections for Super Rugby round 15

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