2019 Super Rugby Round 9 gets underway this Friday night with the Crusaders taking on the Highlanders. Catch our preview and tips for all six games over the weekend below!
Round 9 Super Rugby action begins on Friday night as the Crusaders host the Highlanders at AMI Stadium. Incredibly, the home side is aiming for a 24th straight win at this venue! While they started slowly against the Brumbies last week, their class came through in a 36 point second half demolition job. Unfortunately, the Highlanders are not looking up to this matchup at the moment after 4 straight losses, albeit all close games. The last meeting at this venue went to the Crusaders 45-22 and they've won 10 of 11 in New Zealand by over 13 points. Meanwhile, the Highlanders are just 1-5 ATS at this venue since 2010.
AAMI Park hosts the 5-2 Rebels and the 3-4 Stormers this Friday night. Melbourne will be looking to bridge the gap in the Australian conference and their form is hard to back against. They've smashed the Sunwolves 42-15 and the Reds 32-13 in back to back weeks. Overall, they're the 2nd best scoring team in the competition with Genia and Cooper leading the charge. Meanwhile, the Stormers are looking to end a 3 game losing skid. The Australian leg of their tour didn't start well as the Reds won 24-12 at Suncorp. While they do have a 5-1 record against the Rebels, their scoring potential is the problem. They're easily the worst scoring team in Super Rugby with 17.4 ppg and the next best is at 23.1. So the Rebels should win this comfortably. Melbourne is 6-1 ATS as a home favourite in night games.
Saturday's Super Rugby action begins with an intriguing rivalry matchup between the Chiefs and Blues in Hamilton. The Blues are one of the hottest sides in Super Rugby all of the sudden after 4 wins on the trot. But they will have to overcome an 0-4 record at this venue against the Chiefs. The home side is back from after a very successful road trip that saw them beat the Jaguares in Argentina and smash the Bulls 56-20. Considering both sides are coming into this contest with winning streaks, this should see a close affair and that has been the trend when they meet lately. Last season at this venue, the Chiefs sneaked out a 21-19 victory and 7 of the last 8 meetings have been decided by under 8.5 points. The odds say this will be close as well and that should see either team win this by under 8.5.
Both the Brumbies and Lions will be looking for a return to form as they meet in Canberra on Saturday night. ACT is back at home after two straight 36-14 losses against the Crusaders and Reds. The Lions are travelling to Australia for the first time in 2019 and they're coming off a stunning 42-5 home loss against the Sharks. The Lions have beaten the Brumbies in the last 2 meetings but it's hard to know which side will turn up on Saturday. The same can be said for the home side. They kept the Crusaders scoreless in the first half last week but leaked 36 points in the second half. So this is a tough game to predict and a safe no bet.
In Durban, the 4-3 Sharks will take on the 3-4 Jaguares in an important clash. The Sharks stunned the competition with a 42-5 win over the Lions last week and should be confident of victory on their home turf. Meanwhile, the Jaguares also played impressive Rugby last week as they upset the Bulls on the road 22-20. At home, the Sharks have won all 3 meetings against the Jaguares. But the average winning margin is only around 6 points. Defensively, the Sharks are the best in the competition for points allowed so that should keep this matchup fairly close until the end.
Queensland starts their South African tour with a tough first up matchup against the Bulls in Pretoria. At 4-3 on the season, this is a crucial game for the home side, especially after 2 straight home losses. Last week, the Jags up staged them 22-20 and previously the Chiefs thrashed them 56-20. In the last 3 meetings between these two sides in Pretoria, it's been all the home side. They've averaged a mammoth total of 48 points per game and it's hard to see the Reds attack matching this kind of scoring potential. Their line record travelling to South Africa is just 2-9 and the Bulls respond after a loss with an 11-3 ATS record.
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