Thu, Apr 26, 10:10am by Staff Writer
Round 11 of the 2018 Super Rugby season kicks off with the competitions favourites the Hurricanes hosting the winless Sunwolves in Wellington in what is expected to be a one-sided affair.
Elsewhere the three Australian teams in action this weekend all face international opposition, with two matches home matches against Kiwi opposition, while the Rebels are in South Africa to play the Stormers. The Waratahs have the bye this week.
Stormers versus Rebels
Friday, 27 April 2018 at 11.05pm AEST
The Stormers host a rare Friday afternoon fixture in South Africa due to the Freedom Day public holiday when they welcome the Rebels to Cape Town.
After a strong start to the season, the Rebels have lost their past three matches against the Hurricanes, Jaguares and Bulls with two of those losses by 13+ points.
The Stormers are short-priced favourites in this match at $1.16 with the Rebels huge outsiders at $5.30.
The opening line of +13.5-points for the Rebels at $1.90 looks generous given the team is now settled in South Africa after arriving last week.
The Stormers have endured a difficult season as they sit at the bottom of the South African conference with just three wins and six losses.
Their season started poorly with a winless trip to Australia and New Zealand and has failed to gain traction since as they have lost back-to-back away games to South African rivals.
The Stormers have never lost to the Rebels in Cape Town, with the visitors never winning a match in South Africa in their history. They got close last season in a 9-all draw with the Sharks.
With the Rebels aren’t playing their best rugby at the moment, they will fancy their chances against a Stormers team that is low on confidence.
It is impossible to justify a wager on the Stormers at their incredibly low head-to-head price and giving away nearly a two-try start.
In their only other match this season against Australian opposition in Cape Town, they struggled to a 25-19 win against the Reds, who had a chance to win the game after the siren.
The Rebels could win this outright, but the points start looks the best play.
If you’re looking to be more adventurous, take the Rebels to win at $5.30 or the Rebels 1-12 in the margin market at $6.
Best bet- Melbourne Rebels to cover 13.5-point handicap at $1.90
Brumbies versus Crusaders
Saturday, 28 April 2018 at 7.45pm AEST
The Brumbies are in a rotten run of form managing only three wins this season as they sit third in the Australian conference, but some way behind the Waratahs and Rebels.
The Crusaders continue to notch up victories and sit atop the New Zealand conference with a game in hand over the Hurricanes.
The Crusaders are $1.13 favourites to extend their winning streak to five matches against the Brumbies who are $6 at Sportsbet.
The hosts have not beaten Canterbury since 2009 where they squeaked out an 18-16 win in Canberra.
Canterbury are missing a number of their first choice players particularly in their backline, but that has not stopped them from remaining difficult to beat this season.
They were 2-0 in their trip of South Africa and Argentina, with their only blemishes this season coming on the road against fellow New Zealand competition.
A trip to Canberra won’t intimidate the Crusaders, with the Brumbies lacking the depth to compete with Canterbury for the full 80 minutes.
The Crusaders are favoured by 14.5 points in the handicap market at $1.90 and the match should open up in the final 20 minutes as the replacement players take the field.
A wager on the full game handicap or the second half handicap of -8.5 at $1.84 are the plays for this match.
Best bet- Canterbury to cover 14.5-point handicap at $1.90
Bulls versus Highlanders
Sunday, 29 April 2018 at 1.15am AEST
The Bulls welcome the Otago Highlanders to Pretoria after their 28-10 win against the Rebels at home last weekend.
They have won three matches in a row after a poor start to the season and sit in second position in the South African conference.
The Highlanders are $1.45 road favourites to beat the Bulls who are paying $2.75 at home.
The Bulls had no trouble upsetting the Hurricanes as big outsiders in round two and won’t be intimidated by a match up with another New Zealand club who play a similar style.
The Highlanders easily dispatched the Blues last weekend, but this will be a test for them playing at altitude after flying to South Africa this week.
In the last match between the two sides at Loftus Versfeld the Highlanders managed a seven-point win against a poor Bulls side last season.
The Bulls should be much tougher competition and are great value to get the upset win against the road-weary Highlanders.
Best bet- Bulls to win at $2.75
Super Rugby Round 11 Odds – Sportsbet
Hurricanes $1.002 v Sunwolves $41
Stormers $1.16 v Rebels $5.30
Reds $5 v Chiefs $1.17
Blues $1.30 v Jaguares$3.50
Brumbies $6 v Crusaders $1.33
Bulls $2.75 v Highlanders $1.45
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