Super Rugby: Round 14 Saturday Preview

Super Rugby 2018: Crusaders v Bulls Preview

There are some fascinating Super Rugby fixtures set to go down on Saturday the 19th of May. 

Winter may have struck in certain parts of South Africa but the 'Saturday Braai Brigade' will be out in force this weekend with all four South African sides in action. In fact, the day's play gets underway with a clash between the Stormers and Sunwolves, while it's capped off by what should be a mesmerizing affair between the Jaguares and Bulls.

There's also a potential cracker in the form of the Waratahs and Chiefs fixture.

Needless to say, it should be a good weekend for rugby fans.
Sunwolves v Stormers
Hong Kong Stadium
07:15


To Win (80 Mins)
Sunwolves 11/4
Draw 28/1

Stormers 1/4

Handicap 
Sunwolves (+10.5) 9/10
Stormers (-10.5) 9/10


First up we have a clash between the hit-and-miss Stormers and what will be a rather buoyant Sunwolves side that managed to break their duck last weekend. The hosts were hugely impressive during their comprehensive 68-33 victory over the Chiefs with Tongan winger, Hoseas Samuaki, bagging a hattrick - his final try was an absolute gem for the Wolves, who also secured a bonus point courtesy of it.

The Stormers experienced contrasting fortunes last weekend as they went down 9-15 to the Chiefs in one of the dourest spectacles of rugby a Newlands crowd has had to endure. The men from Cape Town failed to score a try last weekend, which isn't too encouraging considering how dogged this weekend's hosts can be on defence.

Verdict: Sunwolves (+10.5) 9/10 
These sides have met four times with the Stormers winning three and the other game ending in a draw. The men from the Cape have also won all three of those games by 13 points or more.

Sometimes stats matter for nought and this is one of those occasions. The hosts will be on a massive high after last Saturday's victory over the Reds, which will make them extremely dangerous. My money is on them staying within the 'cap


Blues v Crusaders
Eden Park
09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Blues 3/1

Draw 28/1
Crusaders 2/9

Handicap
Blues (+11.5) 9/10

Crusaders (-11.5) 9/10

The Blues will be looking to build on their victory over the Waratahs two weeks ago when they take on a Crusaders side that survived a massive scare from the Australians last week. The reigning champions were down by 29 points late in the first stanza but managed to swing the momentum their way with barely any minutes to run in the first-half. And while they were far from vintage in the second half, they did manage to grind out a 31-29 win.

There could be an interesting battle in midfield as Ryan Crotty takes on his predecessor, Sonny-Bill Williams. While the duo is likely to share the centres for the All Blacks this year, you can bet your bottom dollar that both will be looking to impress.

Verdict: Blues (+11.5) 9/10 
All the stats point to a big 'Saders win with the Blues having failed to be local opposition in 15 games and the visitors winning all six of the last six encounters between the sides by five points or more. That said, I'll be having a crack on the Blues as I think the 'Saders have hit a bit of a rough patch.

Waratahs v Highlanders
Allianz Stadium
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Waratahs 17/10
Draw 25/1

Highlanders 9/20

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


The Waratahs will be looking to make it third time lucky when they take on a Kiwi side for the third week running. The hosts come into this one off the back of a heartbreaking 31-29 loss to the Crusaders that saw them surrender a 29-0 lead. The Chiefs, on the other hand, make the trip to Australia off the back of an impressive 39-27 victory over the Lions.

Verdict: Waratahs (+5.5) 9/10
The  'Tahs have lost their last three games running but their most recent two were by three points or less. I think they'll run a Kiwi side close again, which makes the plus handicap my play here. 

Sharks v Chiefs
Jonsson Kings Park
15:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Sharks 7/20
Draw 25/1

Chiefs 22/10 

Handicap
Sharks (-7.5) 9/10

Chiefs (+7.5) 9/10

The Sharks will be looking to bounce back from their 39-33 defeat to the Bulls when they play host to a Chiefs side without their All Blacks.

The visitors put in a solid performance against the Stormers last week as they ran out 15-9 victors at Newlands. But with All Blacks Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane, Damian McKenzie, Nepo Laulala, Kane Hames, Nathan Harris, Anton Lienert-Brown and Atu Moli away for a national camp, the Chiefs may well struggle against a Sharks side that will virtually be a full strength.

Verdict: Sharks (-7.5) 9/10
The Natalians have fared well against Kiwi opposition this year beating the Blues and Highlanders while narrowly going down to the Hurricanes. I'm backing them to clear the handicap against what will be a second-strength Chiefs outfit. 

Lions v Brumbies 
Emirates Airline Park 
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 1/8
Draw 30/1

Brumbies 5/1

Handicap
Lions (-15.5) 9/10
Brumbies (+15.5) 9/10


Saturday's penultimate fixture will see the struggling Lions return home to face a hapless Brumbies outfit. The hosts come into this one off the back of a gruelling tour of Australasia which saw them lose three of their four games. The Brumbies are also in wretched form losing their last four games.

The Lions have only tasted defeat twice on home soil this season with the Blues upsetting Joburg's pride back in Round 4 and the Crusaders claiming the spoils back in Round 7. The Brumbies have only registered one away victory this term with the win coming against the Sunwolves in Round

Verdict: Lions (-15.5) 9/10
They'll be slightly wary as they head into this one off the back of a long-haul fight but I think a return to the Joburg will galvanize the Lions. My money is on Swy de Bruin's men clearing the handicap with a late blitz.

Jaguares v Bulls
Estadio Jose Amalifitani
23:40

To Win (80 Mins)
Jaguares 11/20
Draw 22/1
Bulls 
29/20

Handicap
Jaguares (-4.5) 9/10
Bulls  (+4.5) 9/10


The round 14 action comes to a closeout in Argentina with the Jaguares and Bulls squaring off. Both sides are currently locked on 24 conference points apiece, which means that this game could be vital in terms of who claims the Africa Conference runners-up spot.

Both sides come into this one off the back of some handy form with the hosts winning all four of their games on tour while the Bulls have won four of their last six with their most recent victory being a 39-33 win over the Sharks.

Verdict: Bulls 29/20
I'm backing the Bulls on the board here. They have come on in leaps and bounds and the Jaguares are due a loss.  

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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