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Super Rugby: Round 3 Friday Preview

Rieko Ioane of the Blues scores a try against the touring British and Irish Lions

Darry Worthington previews all the Round 3 Super Rugby action that is taking place on Friday the 15th of February. 

It’s derby day this Friday with two clashes between local rivals. The first of the day’s fixtures will see the Blues play host to a Crusaders side that will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to fellow New Zealand outfit, the Waikato Chiefs. The next fixtures sees the two struggling Australian Conference sides, the Rebels and Waratahs, lock horns out in Melbourne.

Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports.
Blues v Crusaders
Friday 15 February
Eden Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Blues 22/10
Draw 25/1
Crusaders 7/20

Blues (+7.5) 9/10
Crusaders (-7.5) 9/10

Sevu Reece offloads against the Jaguares
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports.

The Blues managed a decent response in Round 2 as they bounced back from their opening round 29-37 to the Chiefs by claiming a 12-32 bonus-point victory over the Waratahs in New South Wales.

While the Blues will take a lot of heart from their solid showing, there are still a few chinks that need to be ironed out if they are to get one over the mighty Crusaders. The biggest of which is the goalkicking of their flyhalves, especially Steven Perofeta who has been abysmal so far.

Round 2 was a lot tougher on the Crusaders as the reigning champions went down 25-15 to an Aaron Cruden inspired Chiefs side. They rested a lot of All Blacks for last weekend’s clash including Richie Mo’unga, who was a massive miss. The pivot is more than likely to return to the starting XV this weekend, however, which is a massive coup for the Crusaders.

Verdict: Blues (+7.5) 9/10
The visitors are on a massive winning streak against their opponents winning the last nine meetings between the sides.

While the ‘Saders do hold dominance over the hosts, I think this game will be as tight as last year’s one which saw the Blues go down by just two points, With that in mind, I’m all over the plus line.

Rebels v Waratahs
Friday 15 February
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Rebels 13/20
Draw 20/1
Waratahs 5/4

Rebels (-2.5) 9/10
Waratahs (+2.5) 9/10

Reece Hodge of the Rebels
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports.

There’s a lot hinging on Friday’s Australian derby with both the Rebels and Waratahs desperate to bag their first wins of the campaign and hopefully kick start their seasons.

Both teams have been absolutely dire thus far with the hosts going down 36-27 to the Sunwolves in Round 1 and then 39-26 to the Brumbies in Round 2.

The Waratahs have fared equally poorly losing 43-25 to the Crusaders in the opening round and the 12-32 to the Blues last weekend.

Verdict: Rebels 13/20
This is a really tough one to call as both teams have been pathetic. I’m personally not going to have a strike on this one but if I was forced to I’d be in the home side’s corner.

Check out our Saturday and Sunday preview here.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets. 

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