The 2017 Super Rugby season continues this weekend and it kicks off with an important match up for the Stormers as they finish their New Zealand road trip against the Hurricanes. We preview all the weekend's action in our Super Rugby Round 11 Preview and Betting Tips below.
Hurricanes vs Stormers (Friday 5.35pm AEST)
The Stormers started promising in their match up with the Highladners last week with Nlzaam Carr finishing off a stunning long range try. However, that was as good as it got for the visiting side as they were embarrassed in a 57-14 loss. It was the sides third straight loss and the second time in two weeks the side conceded 57 points. There are a lot of question marks surrounding their ability to defend and unfortunately for them they are up against the best attacking side in the competition this weekend and we are expecting them to be torn a part.
The Hurricanes had a bye last week and will enter this match fresh. The side has lost just one game all season and are one of the favourites to take out the title this season and defend their championship. Beuden Barrett continues to impress at flyhalf and is making it known that he is the best in the world at that position. Meanwhile TJ Perenara is begging to get back to his best which has allowed Barrett to take his game to the next level. We are predicting these two to combine to create a lot of opportunities for their outside men but the line for this match is over three tries and we believe the Stormers will put up a more valiant effort in their final away match before a bye.
Cheetahs vs Highlanders (Saturday 3am AEST)
The Highlanders head on the road after a demolishing victory against the Stormers last week. The side was able to capitalise on almost all of their opportunities they created. They may have put themselves back in the running as contenders after starting the season as premiership favourites. They piled on the pressure in the first half and took a 31-7 lead into the break. They were able to cruise to victory in the second half and will be primed for this weekends match.
The Cheetahs will enter this match after suffering their seventh loss of the season last week. They were beaten on home soil 48-14 and we aren’t expecting them to cause an upset on Saturday morning. The South African side was competitive for the opening 30 minutes of the match and held a one point lead with seven minutes remaining in the first half. However, errors and missed opportunities were their downfall, as it often is for the Cheetahs. We are expecting costly mistakes and an inability to convert on their opportunities to lead to the narrow victory from the away side.
Rebels vs Lions (Saturday 3pm AEST)
The Rebels will host the Lions to kick off the proceedings on Saturday afternoon and we don’t believe the Melbourne Side will be able to come away with the victory on home soil. The Rebels have just one win against their names this season and they will enter this match on the back of a humiliating defeat. The side was on the wrong end of a 44-3 score line and it was against South African minnows the Kings. Their defence was ripped to shreds as the Kings continuously carved them up and found holes. Their ill-discipline cost them as they allowed for their opponents to maintain the pressure.
Meanwhile the Lions have an even stronger forward pack then their South African conference rivals and their backline is far more dangerous. It doesn’t shape up for a positive meeting for the Rebels and we can see this turning into a one way contest very quickly.
Chiefs vs Reds (Saturday 5.30pm AEST)
The Reds somehow lost to the Waratahs last week at home despite holding the lead for the majority of the match. They weren’t able to absorb the pressure and continually gave away penalties which saw the Waratahs kick their way to victory. In a positive for the side Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt had strong performances, however they face a stronger defence this Saturday.
The Chiefs entered the match against the Sunwolves last weekend lacklustre and it ultimately nearly cost them the match. The side was expected the run away with the contest and they only came away with a 27-20 victory over their Japanese opponents. Unfortunately for the Reds the Chiefs won’t be making the same mistake in two weeks as Aaron Cruden will look to steer the ship in the right direction from flyhalf and create a lot of opportunities for his outside men.
Waratahs vs Blues (Saturday 7.45pm AEST)
The Waratahs were able to snatch victory last weekend to avoid another embarrassing loss which would have compounded the pressure on the team and coach after a dreadful start to the season. Bernard Foley was the side’s saviour as he was able to convert multiple penalties, which kept the side in the game and eventually saw them earn the three point victory. However, the victory doesn’t change the fact the Waratahs are struggling to defend this season and they aren’t much better at finding the try line.
Meanwhile the Blues were able to hold off a spirited Brumbies outfit on the road last weekend. Their defence was able to prevent the Brumbies from scoring and as they crossed the line on three occasions, they were able to pick up a crucial bonus point victory. The side will be looking to capitalise on their momentum and the fact they are facing the weaker Australian sides – opposed with their New Zealand conference rivals. The Australian sides haven’t defeated an New Zealand opponent in 15 meetings this season, and we don’t believe it will begin in this match.
Sharks vs Force (Saturday 11.15pm AEST)
The Sharks bounced back in a big way last week to put themselves back in contention for a wild card and a spot at the top of their South African conference. The side was held to a 9-9 draw the week before against the Rebels but their 33-25 victory over the Jaguares was critical for the team to have success this season. The Sharks ability to apply the pressure and capitalise with the boot proved the difference as each side scored three tries and they couldn’t be separated at 20 each at the break. The Sharks are best when they chance their arm and find the right balance with converting from the penalty spot, but they shouldn’t have to worry about that this weekend when they take on the weak Western Force. The Sharks will be weary after their poor match against the Rebels a fortnight ago and they won’t want the same mistakes to cost them again.
The Force continue to put up spirited fights in their matches but ultimately they can’t find a way to secure victory. They suffered a 9 point loss at home last week against strong opponents the Lions. They will face a tough challenge on the road this week and we can’t see them causing an upset. The Force will continue to not give up but we can’t see them staying within the line on Sunday morning.
Bulls vs Crusaders (Sunday 1.15am AEST)
The Bulls suffered an humiliating defeat to the Sunwolves in Round 7, however since then they have won their two matches. They will enter this game on the back of a bye last week and the side will be looking to knock off the undefeated Crusaders. Their forward pack will be tested while they can’t afford to make any errors as the New Zealand side has proved they will capitalise from anywhere on the field.
As mentioned, the Crusaders are undefeated this season and they hold a tight grip on the top spot on the ladder. They had a slow start to their match last week against the Cheetahs but once they kicked into gear they were near impossible to stop. The side began the season with a lot of injuries to the side which makes their run even more impressive. They are now near full strength and they will be very tough to beat, we can see them earning another big win on the road in this one.
Jaguares vs Sunwolves (Sunday 7.40am AEST)
The Sunwolves are a similar side to the Force, in that they have been spirited this season and have put up fights in a lot of their matches but unfortunately come out on the wrong end. They have been blown out on a couple of occasions but last week they put together a strong performance, which lead to a 27-20 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs. The side continues to grow but ultimately they will be on the losing side on Sunday.
The Jaguares chances of making a maiden finals appearance took a huge blow last week with a narrow defeat at the hands of the Sharks. The two sides play in the same South African conference and if they are to stand a chance of reaching the knockout stages they will need to bounce back strongly this weekend. We are predicting the Argentinean side to put together an impressive performance in this one as they build momentum for the stretch home.
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