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Super Rugby 2019: Round 15 Saturday Preview

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum

There are some intriguing Super Rugby clashes taking place on Saturday the 25th of May including a crucial South African Conference derby between the Sharks and Lions.

Last weekend saw a number of upsets with the Jaguares beating the Hurricanes in Wellington and the Stormers holding runaway overall conference leaders, the Crusaders, to a draw out in Cape Town. Round 14 was actually very kind to not only the Stormers but all the South African Conference sides who were in action; with the Lions beating the Highlanders and the Bulls registering an impressive victory over the Rebels.

Last weekend’s results have made things even tighter in the South African Conference with six points separating the first-placed Bulls and last-placed Stormers. And with only four regular-season rounds left, things are set to get extremely interesting this weekend.

Sunwolves v Rebels
Chichibunomiya Stadium
19:15


To Win (80 Mins)
Sunwolves 9/4
Draw 25/1
Rebels 7/20


Handicap
Sunwolves (+8.5) 9/10
Rebels (-8.5) 9/10

The Rebels will be looking to bounce back from their 17-32 defeat to the Bulls when they take on a Sunwolves outfit who have only won two games this season. The visitors, despite last weekend’s defeat, are still in the hunt for a play-off berth as they only sit a point off the Conference-leading Brumbies.

The Rebels will have fond memories of the reverse tie between the two sides which saw the men from Melbourne rack up a 42-15 bonus point victory. The ‘Wolves are likely to provide a stiffer challenge on home soil, however, and the scoreline should be much tighter this time around.

Verdict: Sunwolves (+8.5) 9/10
The hosts do come into this one off the back of a poor showing against the Brumbies but I expect that result will have only made them more resolute. I’m expecting a big showing from the ‘Wolves here which is why I’m backing them on a rather kind plus line.

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Crusaders v Blues
Rugby League Stadium
09:35


To Win (80 Mins)
Crusaders 1/7
Draw 30/1
Blues 9/2


Handicap
Crusaders (-13.5) 9/10
Blues (+13.5) 9/10

Next up is the first of the day’s two derbies with the Crusaders returning home from a somewhat disappointing tour of South Africa to take on the Blues. The visitors kept their hopes of making the play-offs alive by beating the Chiefs 23-8 at Eden Park last Saturday. The Crusaders didn’t enjoy as fruitful a Round 14 as their compatriots as a last minute penalty saw them held to a 19-19 draw at Newlands.

The last meeting between the two sides was an absolute belter with the Crusaders sneaking a 22-24 victory back in Round 1. This game could be just as tight with the hosts likely to be feeling slightly weary after their tough tour of South Africa and the long haul flight back home.

Verdict: Blues (+12.5) 9/10 *Forecast Handicap
I fancy the visitors to stay within a rather large handicap. The Crusaders will be determined to bounce back from last week’s draw. And while I can see them winning the game, I don’t think it will be by more than ten points.

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Waratahs v Jaguares
Western Sydney Stadium
11:45


To Win (80  Mins)
Waratahs 9/10
Draw 25/1
Jaguares 9/10

It’s over to Australia for the day’s next instalment which will see two sides high on confidence lock horns out in Sydney. Both teams come into this one off the back of impressive results with the Jaguares beating the Hurricanes 20-28 and the Waratahs beating a dogged Reds side 32-40.

This is a crucial game for both sides with the Jaguares level on points with the South African Conference-leading Bulls and the Waratahs three points adrift of the Brumbies on the Australian Conference standings. As such, we could see these two attacking sides take slightly more pragmatic mindsets into the clash.

In terms of team news, the Waratahs are likely to be without hooker Tolu Latu who is facing disciplinary action after he was caught drinking and driving. The Wallabies ‘faux pau’ couldn’t have come at a worse time with the Waratahs still reeling from the Israel Folau saga.

Verdict: Jaguares 13/10 *Forecast Odds
I think this is the perfect game for the Jaguares to play after their victory over the ‘Canes. The Waratahs forward pack is not the greatest and I can see the visitors dominating the collision area and the breakdown, which should lay the ideal platform for a famous victory for the Argentines.

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Stormers v Highlanders
DHL Newlands
15:05


To Win (80 Mins)
Stormers 7/10
Draw 25/1
Highlanders 12/10

Handicap
Stormers (-2.5) 9/10
Highlanders (+2.5) 9/10

The first of the two games on South African soil will see the Stormers take on New Zealand opposition at Newlands for the second week running with the Highlanders coming to town.

It’s quite strange that Stormers captain Siya Kolisi is still catching flack from certain areas for opting to salvage a draw against the Crusaders rather than roll the dice and go for a try. Yes, two points wasn’t the ideal points haul from their clash with the reigning champions but it’s certainly better than nothing. It will also give the men from the Western Cape a heap of confidence headed into this game.

The Highlanders will come to Cape Town in desperate need of a win with their 38-29 defeat to the Lions leaving the men from Otago only a point above the chasing pack in eighth place on the Overall Conference.

Verdict: Stormers 7/10
They need a win here and I fancy this ever-improving Stormers side to deliver.

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Sharks v Lions
Kings Park
17:15


To Win (80 Mins)

Sharks 6/10
Draw 25/1
Lions 27/20

Handicap
Sharks (-3.5) 9/10
Lions (+3.5) 9/10

The pick of this weekend’s action will see the Sharks and Lions collide in Durban in the week’s final game. Only a solitary point separates the two sides on the standings and a win here would go a long way to ensuring that the victor is still in the hunt for the play-offs.

*Click here for our full preview

While the Sharks enjoyed a bye week during Round 14 the Lions put in a solid showing against the Highlanders running out 38-29 victors in a great game of rugby.

Verdict: Lions (+3.5) 9/10
While the last meeting between the two sides ended 5-42 in favour of the Sharks, I can see this one going down to the wire.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets


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