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Super Rugby Trans-Tasman round-robin to come to a close

We’re in for an interesting round-robin phase climax to Super Rugby Trans-Tasman.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman - Chiefs

We've got an interesting final week of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman fixtures in store this coming weekend with the Crusaders, Blues and Highlanders in the pound seats to claim the two finals spots.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The Hurricanes also have an outside chance of claiming spots in the final but would need a massive swing in results in order for this to happen.

Hurricanes v Reds
Friday 11 June
Westpac Stadium
09:05

To Win (80 Mins)

Hurricanes 2/11
Draw 28/1
Reds 7/2

Handicap

Hurricanes (-11.5) 9/10
Reds (+11.5) 9/10

We kick things off over at the Westpac Stadium where the Hurricanes will be gunning for the full five-point haul when they take on Super Rugby AU champions, the Queensland Reds.

The hosts currently sit two points adrift of the second-placed Crusaders and third-placed highlanders and would need both these teams to come away from their games without a win in order for the ‘Canes to have a shot at a final berth.

Things could have been oh so different for the men from Wellington has Jordie Barrett not missed a late penalty against the Brumbies last weekend. Instead of picking up a vital away win, the Hurricanes talisman and his teammates ended up going down 12-10.

They’ll be looking to atone for that performance this Friday and they’ll be well up for it too as it’ll be midfield lynchpin, Ngani Laumape’s final game before he heads for France.

The Reds also come into this one off the back of a defeat as they went down 24-31 to the Blues in Auckland. The Queenslanders actually gave a decent account of themselves considering they were without key man James O’Connor.

Verdict: Hurricanes (-11.5) 9/10

This is likely to be a very open-ended game with the ‘Canes hunting points and the Reds having little to play for. I reckon the hosts will click here and get a big win over the travelling Reds.

Brumbies v Highlanders
Friday11 June
GIO Stadium
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)

Brumbies 22/10
Draw 25/1
Highlanders 1/3

Handicap

Brumbies (+6.5) 9/10
Highlanders (-6.5) 9/10

The Brumbies and Highlanders will do battle in Friday’s final encounter. The hosts are out of the running for a finals berth but will be keen to claim their second Kiwi scalp of the campaign after beating the ‘Canes last week. The Highlanders, on the other hand. will be looking for the full five-point haul here as it will put pressure on the Crusaders who take to the field on Saturday.

Both teams enjoyed really positive results last weekend with the Brumbies two-point win over the ‘Canes being their first victory of the tournament, while the Highlanders absolutely annihilated the Waratahs running out 59-23 victors.

In terms of team news for this one, Aaron Smith returns to the Highlanders starting lineup while the Brumbies are unleashing their Wallabies with Nic White, Irae Simone and Tom Wright all being named in their run-on XV.

Verdict: Brumbies (+6.5) 9/10

I expect this game to be very tight which is why I’m all over the Brumbies on the plus handicap.

Rebels v Crusaders
Saturday 12 June
Leichhardt Oval
06:35

To Win (80 Mins)

Rebels 12/1
Draw 30/1
Crusaders 1/50

Handicap

Rebels (+26.5) 9/10
Crusaders (-26.5) 9/10

The Rebels could be in for a long old afternoon this Saturday as they play host to a Crusaders side that will be on the hunt for points.

Melbourne’s finest are looking to avoid the tournament’s wooden spoon but only sit a place off the cellar-dwelling Waratahs courtesy of a superior points differential. The Crusaders, on the other hand, are gunning for a finals berth and know that a big bonus-point win would likely give them this as their nearest foes for second place on the standings are the Highlanders who have a tricky assignment against the Brumbies to contend with.

While the Crusaders managed to bag a 29-21 win over the Force last Friday, coach Scott Robertson will have not been happy with the performance as they were far from their best. It must be noted, however, that the ‘Saders did field a weakened side and that they’ll have their big guns like Richie Mo’unga back in the starting line-up this Saturday.

The Rebels, despite suffering a 36-26 defeat to the Chiefs, will actually be rather pleased with their Round 4 showing as they managed to bag some tries and give the Chiefs a run for their money.

Verdict: Crusaders (-26.5) 9/10

I reckon the Crusaders will run rampant here. They have their big guns back and will be motivated to take as many points as they can.

Blues v Force
Saturday 12 June
Eden Park
09:05

To Win (80 Mins)

Blues 1/100
Draw 33/1
Force 14/1

Handicap

Blues (-22.5) 9/10
Force (+22.5) 9/10

The Blues will be looking to secure top spot on the Trans-Tasman standings and book a home final by getting a bonus-point win over a plucky Western Force side.

The hosts currently sit at the top of the pops with a one-point advantage over the Highlanders and Crusaders. They have been in spectacular touch this term claiming three bonus-point wins and a normal win from their four outings. They were given a decent run for the money by the Reds last week but managed to come away from Queensland with a seven-point win.

The Force also enjoyed a positive time of it last weekend going down by just eight points to the Crusaders. They will need to up their game here, however, as they played a second-strength ‘Saders team last weekend and they will now be taking on a full-strength Blues outfit.

Verdict: Force (+22.5)

In years gone past this would have been a game the Blues would likely have lost. This current Blues crop is far more mature, however, and I expect them to do a job on the Force, although I doubt they will clear what is shaping up to be a gigantic handicap.

Waratahs v Chiefs
Saturday 12 June
Brookvale Oval
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)

Waratahs 7/1
Draw 40/1
Chiefs 1/20

Handicap

Waratahs (+22.5) 9/10
Chiefs (-22.5) 9/10

The Trans-Tasman regular season will come to a close at the Brookvale Oval where the Waratahs will play hosts to the Chiefs. There’s not much riding on this game as the Chiefs have virtually no hope of making the final. As such, this game could be an end to end affair with nothing on the line and both teams keen on throwing the ball around.

The Chiefs managed to record a 36-26 win over the Rebels last weekend but they were far from their best, especially on defence where they conceded some rather soft tries. The Waratahs were also rather porous on defence conceding 59 points to the Highlanders while only registering 23 of their own.

Verdict: Waratahs (+22.5) 9/10

I reckon we’re in for an absolute try-fest here as both teams will be keen on giving their fans some entertainment before the season ends. As such, my main strikes will be on the over points markets which you can find via our Live In-Play platform once the match gets underway. I’ll also be having a small crack on the ‘Tahs plus handicap.

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