Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Super Rugby Unlocked: Round 5 Preview

Super Rugby Unlocked: Round 5 Preview

Sanele Nohamba

The Bulls lead the way from the Cheetahs and Sharks as we head into week 5 of Super Rugby Unlocked. Darry Worthington previews all of the action.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Super Rugby Unlocked action continues this weekend with Round 5 throwing up a couple of massive fixtures. Things will get underway down in Durban where the Sharks will be looking to keep their title hopes alive when they take on a Cheetahs side who are well within a sniff of claiming the title. 

After that, it's Saturday's doubleheader which will see the Griquas take on the Stormers before the Lions and Bulls go head-to-head in what should be a cracker of a Jukskei derby. 

Sharks v Cheetahs
Friday 6 November
Kings Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Sharks 92/100
Draw 20/1
Cheetahs 92/100

We kick things off down in Durban where the Cheetahs will take on the Sharks in what will be their first match in three weeks. 

This is a vitally important game for both teams as a win for the visitors would see them move within two log points of the Bulls - whom they have a game in hand over - before the Bulls take on the Lions in a Jukskei derby. The Cheetahs were on fire before they had their game against the Lions postponed due to COVID fears and had registered a bonus-point win over the Pumas and a victory over the Bulls. 

The sharks haven't fared as well as their visitors with the Natalians going down heavily to the Bulls a fortnight ago. That defeat was sandwiched between a rather unconvincing Round 1 victory over the Lions and last weekend's 19-42 win over the Pumas. 

Verdict: Cheetahs 92/100
While they will be Cheetahs will be rusty having not played in three weeks, I still fancy them to pip the Sharks by an extremely narrow margin down in Durban this weekend. 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Griquas v Stormers
Saturday 7 November
Tafel Larger Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Griquas 33/10
Draw 28/10
Stormers 2/9

Griquas (+10.5) 9/10
Stormers (-11.5) 9/10

The Stormers will be looking to bounce back from a rather embarrassing 39-6 defeat to a red-hot Bulls side when they take on the Griquas this Saturday. 

The men from Western Province, like the Sharks, have yet to hit top gear this term registering narrow victories over the Pumas and Lions before the big loss to the Bulls. They really need to get their act in order this weekend as they simply cannot afford not to pick up a bonus-point win over their hosts. 

The Griquas are enduring a tough old season with the men from Kimberly suffering three straight defeats. The most recent of these loses came last weekend where they were hammered 31-61 by the Lions. They are actually a decent attacking side - they've managed to score 74 points across their three games this term at an average of just over 24 points per game - but their defence has been atrocious as they have conceded 117 points at an average of 39 points per game. 

Verdict: Stormers (-10.5) 9/10 
I had high hopes for this Griquas team at the start of the campaign but after a few games, I feel they are proper canon-fodder. My money is on the Stormers tearing them apart this weekend. 

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Lions v Bulls
Saturday 7 November
Emirates Airline Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 18/10
Draw 28/1
Bulls 9/20

Lions (+6.5) 9/10
Bulls (-6.5) 9/10

The round will come to a close out in Johannesburg where the Lions and Bulls will lock horns in a Jukskei derby.

Jake White's Bulls come into this one in sensational touch having racked up big wins over the Sharks (41-14) and Stormers (39-6) over the past fortnight. The results seem to have been inspired by the return of Springbok eight Duane Vermeulen who has played a leading role in his side going six points clear at the top of the Super Rugby Unlocked log. 

Like the Bulls, the Lions also had a good time of it in Round 4 as they beat the Griquas by 30 points. This was their first victory of the season and followed narrow away defeats to the Sharks (19-16) and the Stormers (23-17). 

Verdict: Lions (+6.5) 9/10
I have this weird feeling that the Lions will cause an upset this weekend and beat the Bulls. They've played some decent rugby this term and could be much higher on the log pecking order. I'm going to play it safe, however, and back the hosts on the plus handicap. 

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