Super Rugby: Round 9 Saturday Preview

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum

There are four Super Rugby fixtures taking place on Saturday the 13th of April, with the pick of the action seeing the Chiefs and Blues square off in the day's opener.

Saturday's fixture list looks a rather enticing one with two conference derbies and two South Africa v Australia affairs set to go down. The day gets underway with the Chiefs taking on the Blues while the Brumbies and Lions will square off in the other morning fixture. We then head over to South Africa for clashes between the Sharks and Jaguares and Bulls and Reds.

Chiefs v Blues
FMG Waikato Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Chiefs 11/20
Draw 25/1

Blues 29/20

Chiefs (-3.5) 9/10
Blues (+3.5) 9/10

*Forecast handicap

We kick Saturday's action off with what should be a belter of a game between two resurgent teams in the form of the Chiefs and the Blues. The hosts currently sit at the foot of the New Zealand Conference standings but head into this one off the back of away wins over both the Bulls and the Jaguares.

The Blues, who lie in third spot on the New Zealand Conference standings, are on a three-match winning streak and head into the derby off the back of a 32-29 victory over the Waratahs. Their most recent victory saw Ma'a Nonu steal the show with the All Black providing two try assists and bagging a five-pointer as well. He will have a crucial role to play again this coming weekend.

Verdict: Blues (+3.5) 9/10 *Forecast handicap
This should be a rather tight affair with both teams in solid touch at the minute. I can see the Blues keeping it within what is a rather narrow margin. 

Brumbies v Lions
GIO Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)

Brumbies 13/20
Draw 25/1
Lions 5/4


Brumbies (-2.5) 9/10
Lions (+2.5) 9/10

*Forecast odds

The Brumbies and Lions will go toe-to-toe in the day's next fixture. Both teams head into this one off the back of Round 8 defeats with the hosts going down 36-14 to the Crusaders and the Lions losing 5-42 to the Sharks.

The Brumbies can take more positives from last weekend's results as they actually gave a good account of themselves during the first 40 minutes of the game and went into the half-time break in the lead. The Lions, on the other hand, were outclassed in all facets by their local rivals and were actually lucky to get five points on the board.

Verdict: Brumbies (-2.5) 9/10 *Forecast handicap
The Lions struggled at set-piece time against the Sharks last week, which is a massive worry considering the Brumbies pride themselves on the set-piece. I can see the Brumbies scrumming and mauling their way past the handicap this weekend. 

Sharks v Jaguares
Kings Park Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)

Sharks 7/20
Draw 25/1

Jaguares 22/10

Sharks (-6.5) 9/10

Jaguares (+6.5) 9/10

*Forecast handicap

The Sharks will be looking to solidify their place at the top of the South African Conference standings when they take on a hit-and-miss Jaguares side this Saturday.

The hosts put in an absolute masterclass last weekend as they hammered the Lions 5-42 out in Johannesburg. It was one of the most polished attacking performances the Natalians have produced in the lst decade, and if they can follow this blueprint for the remainder of the season then they may well find themselves in the grand final.

Their opponents also enjoyed a fruitful Round 8 as two late tries saw the Argentine's beat a weakened Bulls side 20-22 out a Loftus. The result was vital for the Jaguares as it has seen them move two within four points of the Conference's second-placed side, the Bulls.

Verdict: Sharks (-6.5) 9/10 *Forecast handicap
Robert du Preez men will be full of confidence headed into this one and I can see them registering another impressive win here.

Bulls v Reds
Loftus Versfeld

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

*Forecast odds
Bulls (-10.5) 9/10
Reds (+10,5) 9/10

*Forecast handicaps

The Bulls will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to the Jaguares when they take on a Reds side who beat the Stormers last Friday.

The hosts will be ruing the manner in which they succumbed to the Jaguares last weekend with two late tries seeing them go down in a game they were totally in control of. The good news for the Bulls is that a number of their stars will be back this weekend, including hooker Schalk Britz who served a one-match ban in Round 8.

While the Bulls offered up dour rugby last weekend, the Reds put in a mesmerizing display as they beat the Stormers 24-12 in Queensland. They will e hard-pressed to repeat the feat here though as the Bulls will be looking to put in a big shift.

Verdict: Bulls (-10.5) 9/10 *Forecast odds
The Bulls will be looking for a massive response here and I can see them delivering one with a number of their form players set to return to the starting line up. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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