The 2017 Super Rugby season continues this weekend and we take a look at every match in our Super Rugby Round 9 Preview and Betting Tips.
Hurricanes vs Brumbies (Friday 5.35pm AEST)
Just when the Australian Conference looked like it had a certain winner, the Brumbies suffer a shock loss to the Rebels. It was a disappointing loss for the Canberra side, and one that could prove costly. They still hold on to top spot but the gap has narrowed and they face three straight contenders over the next four rounds which includes a bye for them.
The Hurricanes were involved in a thriller themselves, however they came out on the right end on the scoreboard. They held on against New Zealand rivals the Blues 28-24. Beuden Barrett continues to star for the Hurricanes and found the tryline himself in their recent victory. We can see him causing all sorts of problems for the Brumbies defence as the Hurricanes put on a clinic.
Waratahs vs Kings (Friday 7.45pm AEST)
The Kings have kept pace with their last two Australian opponents the Force and the Reds. They face the Waratahs this Friday night and they have been far from convincing this season. They have two wins to their name and five losses and their defence has been cracked far too easily. The Kings have beaten the bookmakers line and we are predicting them to do it again in this one.
While the Kings have been able to score points consistently, it has been their defence that has let them down. They have been competitive in the majority of their games this season and if they can defend strongly they could be in for an upset, however, we believe the home side will hold on for victory but at a smaller margin than expected.
Lions vs Jaguares (Saturday 3am AEST)
The Lions will be looking for revenge in this one after suffering a defeat to the Jaguares against the Argentinian side a month ago. The Lions put on their best performance of the season last week in a victory over the Stormers. It has seen them leap to the top of the South African Conference and second overall, the position they finished in last season. They are building nicely and their forward pack is beginning to reinstate their dominance from last year. Their backline continues to look dangerous and they will be hard to handle again this weekend.
Meanwhile the Jaguares suffered a loss last week against the Bulls. It was a disappointing loss as their season was building nicely while the Bulls have been disastrous this year. We are predicting the side to enter a downward spiral and the Lions will punish them this weekend for their sloppy defence and ill-discipline.
Highlanders vs Sunwolves (Saturday 3.15pm AEST)
The Highlanders will enter this match on the back of a bye and they will be hoping this match will kickstart them for the rest of the season. They have had a roller coaster season and are narrowly holding onto the last wildcard spot in eighth position on the ladder. Their defence has been sloppy while their attack hasn’t hit its potential yet.
The Sunwolves entered their meeting with the Crusaders on the back of their first victory of the season, however, as expected it was short lived celebrations as they were beated 50-3. We believe the Sunwolves will put up a bigger fight this weekend and we are backing them to beat the bookmakers line.
Crusaders vs Stormers (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
The Crusaders are now the only undefeated team in the competition after they cruised to victory against the Sunwolves last week while the Stormers slumped to their first loss. It will be a big match up in this one with the Stormers looking to avoid back-to-back losses and the home side the Crusaders out to remain perfect.
The Crusaders welcomed back a host of stars last week with Kieran Read, Richie Mo’unga and Seta Tamanivalu making successful comebacks from injury. It would have been a joy for them to get the minutes under their legs in an easy match. The side will go from strength to strength with these players back in the line up, especially their experienced captain Read.
The Stormers scored just the one try against the Lions as their attack was haulted. They weren’t able to apply much pressure and were held to just six points for the final 60 minutes of the match. We are predicting them to struggle on the road in this one with the home side earning a small margin victory.
Force vs Chiefs (Saturday 7.45pm AEST)
The Force will enter this match on a bye but they wouldn’t have got too much rest mentally with the uncertainty of the club hovering over them. It will be interesting to see how they respond, after the Rebels were able to come out and secure a victory over the Brumbies. We are predicting the side to put up a similar fight, especially in front of their home fans.
The Chiefs will be playing their last match of their road trip and they will be eager to return home. We are predicting the side to do enough to earn the victory, but struggle to put the match away. Aaron Cruden has dipped in form and even though the Chiefs scored 41 points last week, their defence is a concern after leaking 27 points against a woeful Cheetahs side.
Bulls vs Cheetahs (Sunday 1.15am AEST)
The Cheetahs were able to compete with the Chiefs last week but ultimately they weren’t able to do enough. They took a shock 24-0 lead over the New Zealanders but the Chiefs were able to rally and scored five unanswered tries.
The Bulls eased a bit of pressure after a dismal start to the season with a victory against the Jaguares. The home side was leading for the majority of the match with Handre Pollard putting in his best performance since returning from an ACL injury and scored 16 points by himself. We are predicting the Bulls to build upon this performance and earn a narrow victory.
Sharks vs Rebels (Sunday 3.30am AEST)
The Sharks will look to improve their spot in the top half of the table with a win over the Rebels. The Australian side was able to earn their first victory last week, against the Rebels with a after the siren penalty goal. It will have lifted the spirits but we are predicting it to have taken a lot out of the side and for them to struggle on the road against their South African opponent.
The Sharks earned a narrow victory in their last start against the Jaguares a fortnight ago but enjoyed a bye on the weekend. The team will be fresh and looking to fire in attack on Sunday morning and we think they will cruise to a big victory.
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