Super Rugby 2019 draw: Your team's best and worst stretch

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

While every Super Rugby team will say each game is as tough as the next, the reality is there are lean and mean stretches for all sides.

With the unexpected early reveal of the 2019 Super Rugby draw now public, it's time to take a look at the draw for each Australian franchise and decipher when they must strike and when they must buckle up for a tough block.

REDS

Lean stretch

Brad Thorn's Reds face a seriously tough start to the season. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyStarts to a season don't come much tougher than the Reds' first three matches next year.

After starting the season with a bye they will face the Highlanders (A), Crusaders (H) and Waratahs (A) - that's three title contenders in as many weeks.

If they aren't playing their best rugby from the outset it could be another long year for Queensland fans.

Best block

If the Reds do pick up a win or two in the three match block to start the season they will find themselves in an enviable position, with a four match block against the Sunwolves (A), Brumbies (H), Rebels (H) and Stormers (H) to follow immediately after.

They will be a big chance in each of those games, the ideal platform for the two week tour of South Africa that follows.

WARATAHS

Lean stretch

Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper and the Waratahs. Photo: Getty ImagesThe two week South African tour where the Tahs will face the Bulls and Lions in round 11 and 12, respectively, is followed by a trip to Suncorp to face the Reds and a home game against the Jaguares.

A win or two on tour will be vital as both the Reds and Jaguares will be primed and ready to strike upon the Tahs' return.

Best block

The four week stretch prior to the Waratahs' South African tour, in May, shapes as a prime opportunity to pick up points.

NSW will host the Sunwolves before facing the Blues (A), Rebels (H) and Sharks (H) - a string of starts the Waratahs' will likely start favourites in.

BRUMBIES

Lean stretch

David Pocock and the Brumbies face a . Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyA one month block between round eight and round 11 where the Brumbies will face the Crusaders (A) and Lions (H) before travelling to South Africa and Argentina to play the Stormers and Jaguares is arguably the toughest stretch any of the Australian Super Rugby sides will endure.

Emerge with a 2-2 split from that block and ACT will have done very well.

Best block

The Brumbies' toughest stretch will be followed by a chance to pick up points, with matches against the Blues (H), Sunwolves (H), Bulls (H) and Sunwolves (A) a perfect opportunity to build momentum into the final fortnight of the season.

REBELS

Lean stretch

Will Genia's Rebels have a seriously tough run home. Photo: Getty ImagesMelbourne will need to be in prime position for a finals berth heading into the final three weeks of the season, with clashes against the Waratahs (H), Crusaders (A), and Chiefs (H) easily the toughest run home of all the Australian Super Rugby sides.

Best block

The three week stretch upon return from South Africa where the Rebels will face the Reds (A), Sunwolves (H) and Stormers (H) between round seven and nine will hand Melbourne the chance to pick off three straight wins.