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Super Rugby: Round 4 Preview

Super Rugby  - players engage in a scrum

Round 4 of the 2019 Super Rugby season will serve up yet another cracking set of  fixtures with games taking place on the 8th to the 9th of March. 

There were upset results galore last Saturday with the biggest shock seeing the Sunwolves beat the struggling Chiefs 15-30 out in Waikato. The result underlined just how competitive this season is shaping up to be with the revival of the Australian Conference sides really adding a lot of excitement to the current campaign.

We could be in for more upsets with some intriguing derby fixtures taking place.

Hurricanes v Highlanders
Westpac Stadium
08:35

To Win (80 mins)
Hurricanes 3/10
Draw 25/1
Highlanders 26/10


Handicap
Hurricanes(-9.5) 9/10
Highlanders (+9.5) 9/10

The Hurricanes host the Highlanders first up this weekend, with the visitors eager to make amends for last weeks loss to the Rebels. The Highlanders welcome back All Black duo Aaron Smith and Ben Smith, who will undoubtedly ignite their backline as they seek to get their campaign back on track.
Verdict: Highlanders (+9.5) 91/0
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Rebels v Brumbies
AAMI Park
10:45

To Win (80 mins)
Rebels 11/20
Draw 25/1
Brumbies 29/10

Handicap
Rebels (-5.5) 9/10
Brumbies (+5.5) 9/10

It’s over to Canberra, where the Brumbies face a much improved Rebels outfit. The Melbourne-based franchise have looked dangerous with Will Genia and Quade Cooper re-united in the midfield and will be buoyed by their watershed victory over the Highlanders last week.
Verdict: Rebels (-5.5) 
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Crusaders v Chiefs
Rugby League Park
06:15

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

Chiefs 11/2

Handicap
Crusaders (-15.5) 9/10
Chiefs (+15.5) 9/10

The Chiefs will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat at the hands of the Sunwolves when they take on a Crusaders side that won their 18th consecutive Super Rugby game last Saturday.

The hosts have enjoyed a solid start to their title defence beating the Blues (22-24), the Hurricanes (38-22) and the Reds (12-22). And while their latest victory over the Reds was far from vintage, it did illustrate that the Cantabrians are not lacking for grit and determination.

The same cannot be said of the Chiefs, with the men from Waikato looking extremely disinterested during their 15-30 defeat to the Sunwolves. It seemed like Colin Cooper’s men were going through the motions last Saturday, expecting the Sunwolves to eventually run out of gas.

Verdict: Crusaders (-15.5) 9/10
I did say the Chiefs would struggle in my season review and it seems as though my words are coming to fruition. I can see the men from Waikato suffering their third defeat of the campaign here.

The Crusaders are a side that thrives on exposing their opponent’s weaknesses and the Chiefs have a multitude of areas to exploit at the moment. As such, my money is on the home side clearing the handicap. 

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Blues v Sunwolves
Eden Park
08:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Blues 1/6
Draw 30/1
Sunwolves 4/1

Handicap
Blues (-15.5) 9/10
Sunwolves (+15.5) 9/10


Our next fixture will see a travel weary Blues side return home to take on what will be an extremely confident Sunwolves outfit.

The hosts return to New Zealand from a mammoth trip that saw them rack up more Airmiles than an Eskimo who has business in Australia, with the Blues travelling from South Africa to Argentina and then back home. Their long-haul jaunts counted for little as they only managed to claim a single log point from their 26-7 defeat to the Sharks and their 23-19 defeat to the Jaguares.

The Sunwolves had a much easier travel schedule and a better time of it in Round 3 as they registered one of the biggest upsets in Super Rugby history by beating the Chiefs by 15 points in Waikato.

Verdict: Sunwolves (+15.5) 9/10
The Blues really have clocked up the Airmiles in the last few weeks and I think they may well be fatigued headed into this one. As such, I’m on the Sunwolves plus.
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Waratahs v Reds
SCG
11:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Waratahs 7/10
Draw 25/1

Reds 22/10

Handicap
Waratahs (-7.5) 9/10
Reds (+7.5) 9/10

We head across the Tasman for our next fixture which will see the Waratahs and Reds square off in an all Australian affair.

The hosts enjoyed a much-needed bye week during Round 4 while the visitors put in a solid shift during their 10-point defeat to the mighty Crusaders. While Reds coach Brad Thorn will be happy with his side’s performance, he will be disappointed that they didn’t claim a losing bonus point from the clash.

In terms of head to head results between the two sides, the Waratahs have won the last nine fixtures with their most recent victory being last year’s 41-52 win.

Verdict: Reds (+7.5) 9/10
Brad Thorn’s men have proven to be a plucky lot and I can see them giving their local rivals a real run for their money here. 
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Lions v Jaguares
Emirates Airline Park
15:05

To Win (80 Mins)
Lions 7/10
Draw 25/1
Jaguares 22/10

Handicap
Lions (-8.5) 9/10
Jaguares (+8.5) 9/10

We move to South Africa for what should be a cracking clash between the Lions and the Jaguares. The hosts have endured a tough fortnight with their last-minute Round 2 loss to the Stormers being compounded by last weekend’s 12-30 home loss to the Bulls.

The Jaguares, on the other hand, have had a great two weeks beating the Bulls 27-12 and then the Blues 23-19.

These two sides have already met once this year with the Lions winning the Round 1 encounter 16-25. The men from Johannesburg will face an uphill battle repeating this, however, as they are without their skipper Warren Whitley and the Jaguares are in great form.

Verdict: Jaguares (+8.5) 9/10
It was only a matter of time before the mass exodus of experience Lions players started to take their toll. This was evident last weekend as the Lions looked all at sea against the Bulls. 

I can see Swys de Bruin’s men struggling again this weekend, which is why I’ll be having a substantial crack on the Jaguares plus line. 
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Bulls v Sharks
Loftus Versfeld
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Bulls 9/20
Draw 25/1
Sharks 7/4

Handicap
Bulls (-6.5) 9/10
Sharks (+6.5) 9/10

We close out the round with the day’s headline clash, which will see the Bulls and Sharks square off at Loftus in an all South African affair.

Both these teams head into this one off the back of local derbies with the Bulls impressing during their somewhat surprising 18 point victory over the Lions, while the Sharks looked very poor during their 11-16 defeat to the Stormers.

Verdict: Bulls (-6.5) 9/10
The Bulls really have been the gift that keeps on giving this term with the Loftus base side putting in solid displays while in South Africa. I can see Pote Human’s men bagging yet another impressive win on South African soil. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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