ABC Grandstand: Super Rugby Round 17 preview

James Horwill and Will Genia will play their last games in Brisbane for the Reds tomorrow night. I give them a massive chance of beating the Chiefs, too. Image: QRU Media Unit

James Horwill and Will Genia will play their last games in Brisbane for the Reds tomorrow night. I give them a massive chance of beating the Chiefs, too. Image: QRU Media Unit

ABC Grandstand Digital: Another great rugby chat on Grandstand Breakfast this morning with Andrew Mayes, in which we cover off all the massive games coming over the weekend.

Starting with the Hurricanes-Highlanders tonight in Napier, to the Force-Brumbies in Perth, to Reds-Chiefs in Brisbane tomorrow night, and the Cheetahs-Waratahs in Bloemfontein in the early hours of Sunday morning, there are big games everywhere. It’s a cracking round of action to come..

Victor Matfield in final running of the Bulls

"Matfield admitted that his last Super Rugby game could be in the rugby stronghold of... Melbourne!"

“Matfield admitted that his last Super Rugby game could be in the rugby stronghold of… Melbourne!”

ESPNscrum.com: The remarkable playing career of Victor Matfield – the second stage of his playing career, that is – is on the downhill run. With the Bulls needing to win both of their remaining games, it occurred to ESPNscrum that we could well be about to see Matfield’s last appearances in a Bulls jersey.

And the great lock and lineout general confirmed our suspicions this week.

“Yes, this will be my last Bulls tour as a player,” Matfield told us from Melbourne, where the Bulls are preparing for their last game of their 2015 trans-Tasman tour..

The run home: a thrilling two weeks to come

"The Highlanders are very, very real, people. Right now, at their best, I think they’re the only team in the comp who could beat the Hurricanes in a Final in Wellington." Image: ABC Grandstand

“The Highlanders are very, very real, people. Right now, at their best, I think they’re the only team in the comp who could beat the Hurricanes in a Final in Wellington.” Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: Man, oh man, there are some really big, important games to come in the final weeks of this Super Rugby season. Even the Hurricanes, who look safe at the top of the table, are sorta-kinda vulnerable to a last-season toppling.

You couldn’t really ask for much more. If the top six had been nailed down a month ago, we’d be left to lament teams going through the motions and resting key players. With it all on the line, there’s still a lot to play for, for several teams…

Brumbies in the hunt after running through the Bulls

Henry Speaight is all smiles after his double last night at Canberra Stadium. Image: ABC Grandstand

Henry Speight is all smiles after his double last night at Canberra Stadium. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Brumbies have done their playoff chances no harm at all, after notching up a 22-16 win over the Bulls in Canberra last night.

Two tries to flying winger Henry Speight, and one to lock Jordan Smiler were the highlights, though the win came at a big cost for the Brumbies, with fears of a serious knee injury to Wallabies lock Sam Carter midway through the first half.

In what was a game played with several gears, you can check out all the ABC Grandstand match highlights and my post-match player interviews and here..