Super Rugby: Round 4 Preview

Rugby Player dives for the try line

There are some epic Super Rugby fixtures coming your way on Saturday the 10th of March including a clash between the Hurricanes and Crusaders.

Saturday's five-game fixture list is an absolute cracker with the Hurricanes and Crusaders set to open up proceedings. That game is followed by a clash between the Reds and Bulls, while the Sharks entertain the Sunwolves after that.

The penultimate game of the day sees the in-form Lions take on the struggling Blues, while the Jaguares and Waratahs will bring the curtain down on Round 4.

Hurricanes v Crusaders
Westpac Stadium 

08:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Hurricanes 9/10
Draw 25/1
Crusaders 9/10

What a way to kick-off a Saturday! In one corner you have the reigning champions and in the other, you have the 2016 tournament winners.

These two old foes experienced contrasting opening matches with the Crusaders putting in a clinical display as they beat the Chiefs 45-23, while the Hurricanes put in a less than vintage showing first up as they went down 21-19 to the Bulls. Both teams come into this one off the back of impressive wins, however, with the Crusaders beating the Stormers 45-28 and the Hurricanes beating the Jaguares 9-34.

The Crusaders were dealt a massive blow this week talismanic pivot, Richie Mounga, ruled out for an extended period of time with a broken jaw.

Verdict: Hurricanes 9/10
The loss of Mounga is a real blow to the 'Saders cause especially considering that he was set to lock horns with Beaudin Barrett. I don't think the Crusaders are near as good a side with Mitchell Hunt at ten as they are with Mounga in that position. I'll be having a moderate strike on the home win here. 

Reds v Bulls 
Suncorp Stadium
10:45

To Win (80 Min)
Reds 7/10
Draw 25/1
Bulls 11/10

Handicap
Reds (-2.5) 9/10
Bulls (+2.5) 9/10

Next up we have a clash between the Reds and the Bulls. The hosts head into this one off the back of a hard-fought 16-10 victory over the Brumbies while the Bulls will be looking to put last week's 35-49 defeat to the Lions behind them when they take to the Suncorp Stadium this Saturday.

Both of these sides have won one and lost one this season with the Reds defeat coming at the hands of the Rebels in Round 2 and the Bulls victory coming over the Hurricanes on the same weekend.

Verdict: Bulls 11/10
The Reds may have ground out a famous win last week but they looked really tame with ball-in-hand. I think the Bulls new found vigour on attack may well surprise the hosts here. 

Sharks v Sunwolves
Growthpoint Kingspark
15:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Sharks 1/25
Draw 28/1
Sunwolves 8/1


Handicap
Sharks (-23.5) 9/10
Sunwolves (+23.5) 9/10


We move from Queensland to Durban for our next encounter with the Sharks set to play host to the plucky Sunwolves. The home side head into this one off an extremely disappointing 24-24 draw with the Waratahs, that illustrated they can still be rather naive at times.

The Sunwolves also head off on tour off the back of a rather discouraging result as they went down 17-37 to the Rebels. It was their second successive defeat to Australian opposition with their first being a 25-32 second round defeat to the Brumbies.

Verdict: Sharks (-23.5) 9/10
I think we may see the Sharks finally click on attack this weekend. There have been some promising signs for them over the past few weeks and a drop in quality of opposition could well lead to a big win for the Natalians. 

Lions v Blues
Emirates Airline Park
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 2/7
Draw 25/1
Bulls 5/2


Handicap
Lions (-11.5) 9/10 
Blues (+11.5) 9/10 

We should be in for a high-scoring affair out in Johannesburg this week as the free-running Lions entertain the attack-minded Blues. The two sides head into this one off conflicting starts to the campaign with the Lions winning all three of their opening games and the Blues losing their first two.

The Lions put in a marvellous display last week against the Bulls running out 35-49 victors at Loftus. Malcolm Marx and Elton Janjties were back to their best, while Rohan Janse van Rensburg did his 'Bok chances no harm with a barnstorming display.

The Blues didn't fare as well last time out as they were beaten 21-27 by the Chiefs. To make matters worse for the Aucklanders, skipper Augustine Pulu suffered a leg injury that will seem him sidelined for the next six weeks.

Verdict: Lions (-11.5) 9/10
This should be a highly entertaining game with both sides committed to running the ball. I foresee a late Lions blitz seeing them past the handicap.  

Jaguares v Waratahs
Estadio Jose Amalifitani
23:40


To Win (80 Mins)
Jaguares 13/10
Draw 25/1
Waratahs 6/10


Handicap
Jaguares (+3.5) 9/10
Waratahs (-3.5) 9/10

We close out the Round 4 action with a clash between the winless Jaguares and the much-improved Waratahs. The Argentines head into this one off the back of their first home defeat of the campaign as they went down 9-34 to the Hurricanes last Saturday evening. Augustin Creevy's men had suffered two defeats in South Africa prior to heading home, going down 28-20 to the Stormers on the opening weekend and 47-27 to the Lions the week after that

The Waratahs have enjoyed a much more productive start t the campaign beating the Stormers by seven points in New South Wales and managing a credible draw with the Sharks in Durban.

Verdict: Jaguares 13/10
I'm going a bit left-field for this one and backing the hosts to deliver at over even money. The Waratahs had to put in a lot of air miles this week and I think they will be rather fatigued, especially after last week's bruising encounter with the Sharks.

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Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.netBet now on the latest rugby event

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