Super Rugby: Round 12 Saturday Preview

Super Rugby 2018: Crusaders v Bulls Preview

Rugby fans are in four an absolute treat this coming Saturday with four intriguing Super Rugby games.

The Super Rugby action continues this weekend with four pulsating fixtures set to take place on Saturday the 5th of May. The headline clash will see Chris Boyd's Hurricanes take on Swys de Bruin's smarting Lions, who head to New Zealand off the back of a five-point defeat to the Reds.

Hurricanes v Lions
Westpac Stadium

09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Hurricanes 1/7
Draw 28/1

Lions 9/2

Handicap
Hurricanes (-13.5) 9/10

Lions (+13.5) 9/10

Swys de Bruin will be looking for a big response from his charges when the Lions travel across the Tasman to take on the Hurricanes. The visitors head into this one off the back of an extremely disappointing 27-22 defeat to the Reds while the hosts come into the clash off the back of a hard-fought, yet convincing, 43-15 victory over the Sunwolves.

The Lions are yet to beat the 'Canes in New Zealand and have lost seven of the last eight games played between the two sides. There is a slight glimmer of hope for the men from Johannesburg, however, as they did register a 44-29 victory over their opponents in last year's semi-finals.

Verdict: Lions (+13.5) 9/10
This should be a very open game with both sides hellbent on playing attacking rugby. I can see a fired-up Lions side staying within what is a rather generous handicap. 

Waratahs v Blues
Brookvale Oval
07:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Waratahs 9/20
Draw 25/1
Blues 
7/4

Handicap
Waratahs (-4.5) 9/10

Blues (+4.5) 9/10

Our next fixture of the day will see underfire Blues coach, Tana Umaga, take his misfiring Blues side across the Tasman to take on the Australian Conference toppers, the Waratahs. The visitors head into this one off the back of an extremely embarrassing 13-20 home defeat to the Jaguares while the hosts come into this one fresh off the back of a bye week.

The Waratahs have been in solid form of late winning three of their last four with their only defeat in that series being a 0-29 loss to the Lions in Round 10. The Blues, on the other hand, have lost five of their last six, with their last victory coming against - in an epic twist of irony - the Lions back in March.

Verdict: Blues (+4.5) 9/10
I think we'll see a much-improved performance from the Blues this weekend. They won't have the pressure of having to deliver in front of their home crowd and this could release their shackles somewhat.

Stormers v Bulls
DHL Newlands

15:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Stormers 92/100
Draw 22/1

Bulls 92/100

Saturday's all South African affair sees the Bulls travel to Cape Town for what should be an epic 'South v North' Derby. John Mitchell's men come into this one off a last-minute defeat to the Highlanders at Loftus, with a late Lima Sopapaga penalty seeing the 2016 champions steal a dramatic win, while the Stormers head into this one fresh off the back of an impressive 34-18 victory over the Rebels.

These two sides met earlier in the competition with the Bulls running out 33-23 victors at Loftus. The Stormers have won all five of their last home encounters with Bulls, winning last year's meeting 37-24.

Verdict: Bulls 92/100
I'm backing the Pretoria-based side on the board again this weekend. They were desperately unlucky to go down to the Highlanders last week as they played some solid rugby. If they can replicate that performance then they should be able to bag a win at Newlands.

Sharks v Highlanders
Jonsson Kings Park

17:15

To Win (80  Mins)
Sharks 17/10
Draw 22/1
Highlanders 5/10


Handicap
Sharks (+5.5) 9/10
Highlanders (-5.5) 9/10


The Highlanders will be looking to make it two from two on tour when they take on a Sharks side that has impressed against Kiwi opposition this year. The Natalians enjoyed a bye week during Round 11 while the visitors managed to snatch a win at Loftus Versfeld.

As touched upon earlier, the Sharks have produced some solid rugby against New Zealand opposition this term beating the Blues in Auckland and running the 'Canes close in Wellington. They head into this one having beaten the Stormers by seven points in their last outing. The Highlanders have also been getting results lately and come into this one off the back of three successive victories.

Verdict: Sharks 17/10
I think the Sharks may just have the Highlanders number here. The hosts have been solid against Kiwi opposition and the Highlanders must surely be feeling the effects of their bruising encounter with the Bulls. 

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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