ROSS KARL: Early predictions - the scourge of the Kiwi sports fan

Okay, so the Blues went from zero to 100 very quickly last night, but let's tap on the brakes for a second. In fact, let's pull up the handbrake.

Kiwi rugby fans love to make bold predictions. We love to anoint teams as champions early in the season, or in the Blues case, make definitive statements on turning corner and playoffs destinies. It's similar to our fast food culture. We need immediate gratification and opinions are no exception. Our thoughts often reflect what's happening right now, forgetting the context of a full season.

Super Rugby almost never ends the way it starts, front runners fall off, teams make late surges, champions fall away and wooden spooners turn into contenders.

Fans need to learn the lessons from last season. Long term predictions are frought.

Last year, when the Brumbies destroyed the Hurricanes in week one, heaps of pundits (including me) were willing to hand them the trophy. They had too many Wallabies for other sides to handle. They were too slick. They had just slaughtered a Hurricanes side that had put 70 points on the Crusaders in the pre-season. No one could stop them.

By round six the Chiefs had posted 48 points on them in Canberra and they were relinquished to being the best in Australia. As we now know, that didn't mean much last year. The Chiefs went on a seven match winning streak, with two more 50 point blow outs. They were scoring tries at will. The Chiefs were going to run away with it. Despite a very good season, they came third in the tight kiwi conference and couldn't match it with the Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes looked like also rans when they got hammered by the Sharks in South Africa. Star players had been out late before the game and were suspended. They were in dire straights. It wasn't until they beat the high flying Crusaders in Christchurch in the final round that people I spoke to said "hey, these guys are actually the team to beat." Nek minute, champions.

We do the same thing with our opinions on players. We love to talk about dumping long serving stalwarts because of couple of dropped passes or because they're old.

Remember when everyone on talk radio wanted to leave Dan Carter out of the 2015 Rugby World Cup because Lima Sopoaga had played one great test against South Africa? It was a very popular opinion. Thank goodness the selectors had their heads screwed on. Imagine dropping the greatest first ever because a rookie had played one good Test. The rest of the world would think we're made.

So, think about the wider context. Think about the length of the season. Think about how the present relates to the past and future. Don't jump to conclusions, based on one off matches.

Most predictions end up wrong (I know mine usually do) - that's why the TAB make so much money.