Super Rugby 2018: Round 5 Preview

Rugby Player dives for the try line

Rugby fans are in for yet another 'Super Rugby Saturday' with five games taking place on Saturday the 17th of March.

There were a few upsets last Saturday with the reigning champions going down to the Hurricanes, the Lions suffering defeat at the hands of the Blues in front of a bewildered Emirates Airline Park, and the Jaguares beating the Waratahs.

We could see a few more upsets this weekend as there is a fascinating fixture list with the standout games seeing the Highlanders lock horns with the Crusaders and the Stormers taking on the Blues.

Highlanders v Crusaders
Forsyth Barr Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Highlanders 92/100
Draw 25/1
Crusaders 92/100

We start the day with a fascinating all-Kiwi affair which will see the Highlanders play host to an injury-ravaged Crusaders. The visitors come into this one off the back of their first defeat of the season as they went down 29-19 to the Hurricanes.

The Highlanders had a much better time of it last week as they ran out 33-15 victors against the Stormers. The victory was their second of the season, with their other win being a seven-point Round 2 result against the Blues.

Verdict: Highlanders 92/100
The Crusaders have lost Ryan Crotty for this one, which will severely weaken a midfield that is already missing the talismanic Richie Mounga. I can see the Highlanders exposing that 10/12 channel, which should see them reap great dividends. 

Brumbies v Sharks
Gio Stadium


To Win (80  Mins)
Brumbies 12/10
Draw 22/1
Sharks 7/10

Brumbies (+3.5) 9/10

Sharks (-3.5) 9/10

The Sharks get their tour of Australasia underway with a fixture against the Brumbies. The visitors come into this one off the back of a morale-boosting 50-23 victory over the Sunwolves. The Brumbies had a rougher time of it during Round 4 as they went down 33-10 to the Rebels.

Click here for our full preview --> Brumbies v Sharks Full Preview

Verdict: Brumbies (+3.5) 9/10
I fully expect the Brumbies to win this one but I also like the safety the plus line offers. Hence, I will be having a go on the Brumbies plus rather than the straight win.  

Stormers v Blues
DHL Newlands


To Win (80 Mins)
Stormers 21/20
Draw 20/1
Blues 8/10

Stormers (+1.5) 9/10
Blues (-1.5) 9/10

We head from Australia to Cape Town for our next encounter with the Stormers returning home to face the Blues. The visitors will head into this one in a rather buoyant mood as they managed to pull off a stunning come from behind victory over the Lions last Saturday. The hosts won't be as confident, however, as they rounded off a winless tour of Australia and New Zealand with an 18 point defeat to the Highlanders.

The Stormers have won five out of their last six encounters with the Aucklanders, with their most recent victory being last year's 30-22 victory over the Aucklanders. The game was full of controversy with Eben Etzebeth and Sonny Bill-Williams exchanging blows on a good few occasions. We could well be in for the same sort of niggle here.

Verdict: Stormers 11/10
I just can't see the Blues winning two tour games on the bounce. They're a magnificent side on paper but they lack consistency. As such I will be having a small strike on the home win at over even money. 

Lions v Sunwolves
Emirates Airline Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions N/A
Draw 40/1

Sunwolves 20/1

Lions (-35.5) 9/10

Sunwolves (+35.5) 9/10

Swys de Bruin's pride will be looking to bounce back from their shocking second-half display against the Blues when they host the winless Sunwolves this weekend. Last year's defeated finalists blew a 23-3 lead to go onto lose 35-38 to Tana Umaga's boys.

The Sunwolves also come into this one off the back of a disappointing loss as they went down by 27 points to the Sharks in Durban. It was their third defeat of the season with their best result seeing them go down by seven points to the Brumbies in their opening fixture.

Verdict: Lions (-35.5) 9/10
The Lions absolutely destroyed the Sunwolves last term and I can see the wounded 'Pride of Joburg' doing the same here. Get on before the minus 'cap climbs into the high 30's.

Jaguares v Reds
Estadio Jose Amlfitani

To Win (80 Mins)
Jaguares 7/20
Draw 25/1
Reds 22/10

Jaguares (-8.5) 9/10
Reds (+8.5) 9/10

We close out the day's action with a clash between the Jaguares and the Reds. The Argentines head into this one off the back of their first victory of the campaign as they beat the Waratahs 38-28 out in Buenos Aires last weekend.

The Reds also come into Round 5 off the back of a win as they ground their way to a 20-14 victory over the Bulls. The win was the second of the season with their first being an 18-10 result over their domestic rivals, the Brumbies.

Verdict: Reds (+8.5) 9/10
The Reds are nowhere near as expansive as most of the other teams in the tournament and their more dogged approach to the game could well see them frustrate the temperamental Jaguares. 

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Written by Darry Worthington for

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