Our in-house rugby scribe takes a look at Friday's three Super Rugby fixtures, including the Hurricanes v Brumbies game.
We kick the Round 9 Super Rugby action off this Friday with two cross-conference games and an all-Africa Conference 2 affair between the Lions and Jaguares. We should be in for a cracking day of rugby!
Hurricanes v Brumbies | Friday 21 April | Mclean Park | 09:35
To Win (80 Mins)
Hurricanes 1/20 | Draw 30/1 | Brumbies 11/2
Hurricanes (-18.5) 9/10 | Brumbies (+18.5) 9/10
The Hurricanes and Brumbies are first up to bat this week with the two sides going head-to-head at Mclean Park in Nappier. While it’s a different home venue for the ‘Canes this week, I can’t see that unsettling Chris Boyd’s men, who have won six of their seven fixtures thus far.
For a more in-depth look at the game, check out Shaun Goosen’s preview -- > Hurricanes v Brumbies
Verdict: Hurricanes (-18.5) 9/10
The cap is slightly on the high end but I’m rather confident the ‘Canes will clear it. A R100 stake is the way I’ll be going here.
Waratahs v Kings | Friday 21 April | Allianz Stadium | 11:45
To Win (80 Mins)
Waratahs 1/50 | Draw 35/1 | Kings 15/2
Waratahs (-22.5) 9/10 | Kings (+22.5) 9/10
The Kings close out their tour of Australia at Allianz Stadium where they will face a wounded foe in the shape of the Waratahs. The visitors have held their own ‘down under’ staying within the plus handicap twice while also securing a losing bonus point. The men from the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality put in a gutsy display last weekend, going down by only 13 points to the Reds. They face a much stiffer test this Friday, however, as the Waratahs – while yet to find their best form – have some quality players among their ranks.
While the kings will be looking to keep the losing margin to a minimum, the Waratahs will be going all out in a bid to secure a bonus point win. Daryl Gibson’s men currently sit fourth on the Australian Conference standings and have played a game more than both the Force and Rebels. Failure to pick up a winning bonus point would be viewed harshly by Waratahs fans.
For a more in-depth look at the game, check out Shaun Goosen’s preview -- > Waratahs v Kings
Verdict: Waratahs (-22.5) 9/10
There were encouraging signs for the ‘Tahs during their Round 7 defeat to the Hurricanes and I think we could see them at their best this Friday. While I wouldn’t wager more than R100 on it, I do thinks the ‘Tahs will clear the cap here.
Lions v Jaguares | Friday 21 April | Emirates Airlines Park | 19:15
To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 1/10 | Draw 28/1 | Jaguares 9/2
Lions (-15.5) 9/10 | Jaguares (+15.5) 9/10
Johan Ackerman’s mighty men will welcome Los Jaguares to the ‘Lions Den’ this Friday evening and the home faithful could be in for an absolute spectacle as both of these teams love nothing more than to keep ball in hand.
The Lions were absolutely sensational last week against the Stormers with the fixture proving that they haven’t lost any of the grit or flair that encapsulated their 2016 campaign. Last week’s defeat did come at a price, however, with talismanic inside centre Rohan Janse van Rensbury sustaining a nasty knee injury that is likely to keep him out of action until mid-May at best. His place in the lions run on XV will be taken by Harold Vorster, who has been solid when called upon.
The Jaguares didn’t fair near as well last week, as they went down by 13 points to a Bulls side that was rife for the taking. The result may have had an impact on Jaguares coach Raul Perez' mindset, as the former Argentine international has opted to make sweeping changes for this one. The most eye-catching of which sees Nicolas Sanchez make a return to the starting fly-half berth.
Verdict: Lions (-15.5)
The Lions minus is an absolute gift and should be gobbled up like a turkey at Christmas. Make sure you get on as quickly as possible as the line is likely to move faster than a Kings player who’s just been offered a contract by a European club.