Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Super Rugby Aotearoa: Round 9 Preview

Super Rugby Aotearoa: Round 9 Preview

Super Rugby Aotearoa reaches the penultimate weekend with round nine of the post-lockdown New Zealand competition. 

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Hurricanes v Chiefs

Saturday 8 August
09h05
Sky Stadium

To Win (80 mins)

Hurricanes 4/10
Draw 2/1
Chiefs 21/10

Handicap

Hurricanes
Chiefs

The Hurricanes’ title hopes may be up in the air, but they can continue to push for second place when they host the Chiefs at Sky Stadium on Saturday.

While there remains a mathematical possibility of the Canes taking top honours, that would require them to win both of their remaining matches with bonus-points, the Crusaders to lose their final two games and then hope the Blues don’t beat the Saders in the final round with a bonus-point.

So, yeah, their best bet remains second place.

A bonus-point victory over the winless Chiefs this weekend would see them trail the second-placed Blues by just one-point heading into the final week. The Canes will be fresh after their bye and keen to extend their winning run to five matches in the competition.

While many people seem to have given up on the Chiefs, I wouldn’t totally bet against them in Wellington.

They’ve been on the wrong end of the referee’s whistle so often in the tournament it’s become something of a running joke in New Zealand rugby circles. And yet, with this weekend’s encounter set to close the curtain on their season, it may spur them on to finally claim a first win.

Verdict: Chiefs 21/10

With those odds, I’d take a punt on the Chiefs. They arguably have more to play for than the Canes with so much pride on the line and may finally come good with one to play.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Crusaders v Highlanders

Sunday 9 August
05h35
Orangetheory Stadium

To Win (80 mins)

Crusaders 1/16
Draw 35/1
Highlanders 7/1

Handicap

Crusaders 
Highlanders

The Crusaders can win the Aotearoa title with victory over the Highlanders at the Orangetheory Stadium on Sunday.

Just one more win from their remaining two games will see them finish first. Aside from a two-point loss against the Hurricanes a fortnight ago, Scott Robertson’s men have been flawless. With a tricky encounter versus the Blues at Eden Park set to complete their season, they will look to seal the championship at home here.

The Highlanders have been much improved in Aotearoa following their average start to Super Rugby earlier in the year. They may only have claimed two wins from six, but considering their lack of star power, their performances haven’t been all that bad.

That said, they haven’t beaten the Saders since 2018 and have won just one of the last eight head-to-heads. They were thwarted 20-40 at home in July and will be up against it on Sunday.

Verdict: Crusaders

The Crusaders should be too much for the Landers and will continue their dominance over New Zealand rugby’s franchises with a win.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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