We come to the last week of Super Rugby action before the break for International rugby, and this weekend being the last chance to cash in on Super Rugby for a while, poses a few tricky games. The games this weekend are mostly evenly matched, with home ground advantage being put against teams on form.
The Crusaders and Highlanders get us started tomorrow, with the home team coming off a bye and the Highlanders coming off a pretty decent win over the Blues last weekend. Both teams have play-off aspirations, with a loss for the Highlanders putting them almost out of reach of that goal. I’d back the Crusaders, but cautiously as this is a derby after all.
Crusaders – 3/10
Highlanders – 33/10
The Rebels and Brumbies complete our Friday rugby viewing, with the Rebels coming off a hiding at the hands of the Hurricanes last weekend, and the Reds coming off a narrow loss to the Reds. The Brumbies are still top of the Australian conference, and a win here will keep the Reds at bay and give Jake White’s team the upper hand going into the break. The Rebels played their final against the Crusaders a few weeks ago, so the Brumbies will have too much for them.
Rebels – 3/1
Brumbies – 3/10
The first of four games on Saturday, we go to Auckland where the Blues host the Chiefs. The Blues have been nowhere this season, but they do play at home, and they are playing for some pride. The Chiefs come off a win over the Bulls at home and will hope to pick up a win before the break and keep that number one spot on the log. It might seem like an easy bet this, but I will not put it past the Blues to surprise a few still this season. Back the Chiefs with caution.
Blues – 7/2
Chiefs – 1/4
The Waratahs host the Hurricanes in Sydney, coming back from their two weeks in South Africa, while the Hurricanes will be on a high after their annihilation of the Rebels last week. This is one of the tougher matches to call this weekend, but form tells me that the Hurricanes will have too much for the Waratahs, who will be tired after their tour and have nothing really to play for, while the Hurricanes still have that little bit of hope. Note that the Waratahs are favourites for this clash, so this is a decent bet to have.
Waratahs – 7/10
Hurricanes – 13/10
The first of two South African derbies is the Lions hosting the Sharks. The easiest game of the weekend to call in terms of betting, with the Lions back after four long weeks on tour, and still having only won that one game. The Sharks are in great form at the moment and the side from Durban will be hoping to win before going into the break.
Lions – 5/1
Sharks – 3/20
The final game of the weekend, and probably the biggest in terms of the South African conference, is the Bulls hosting the Stormers at Loftus. The Bulls are back from a four week tour, but come off consecutive losses against New Zealand opposition. They will want to get back on track with a win at home, and with them playing for Cancer this weekend, I expect a good showing from the boys in pink. The Stormers have lost a few players to injuries, and seem rattled after a loss to the Sharks last weekend. Bulls to take it.
Bulls – 7/10
Stormers – 14/10
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