Fri, Mar 16, 11:03am by Staff Writer
Round 4 of Super Rugby did not disappoint, with the Melbourne Rebels victory against the Brumbies extending their win streak to a franchise best three matches.
Elsewhere, the Hurricanes recorded an impressive win in an important all New Zealand clash with the Crusaders.
The Waratahs couldn’t back up their 24-24 draw with the Sharks in round three with a win in Buenos Aires, going down 38-28 to the Jaguares.
Round 5 features a number of closing betting matches, with the Highlanders hosting the Crusaders looking to be the match of the round on Saturday night.
The round kicks off on Friday night with the Chiefs hosting the Bulls in Hamilton.
The Chiefs enjoyed a much-needed bye week in round 4 as the team has been beset by injuries this season.
A gritty win against the Blues in round 3 was important to kick start their season and they now face the Bulls as $1.10 favourites on Friday night.
The Bulls come to New Zealand as huge $7 underdogs, having recorded only one win in New Zealand against the Chiefs since 1996.
Their last meeting in New Zealand was last season, where two late tries by the Chiefs ensured a 28-12 win for the home side.
The 18.5-point start with the Bulls looks to be the play in this one, with the Chiefs still finding their feet early on this season.
The Highlanders have recorded two wins from two starts but face a Crusaders side coming off a rare loss last weekend.
Otago start this match as $2 underdogs at home in Dunedin, with the Crusaders $1.80 favourites.
The status of Ryan Crotty and captain Sam Whitelock for the Crusaders is uncertain as both were concussed in the loss to the Hurricanes.
The Crusaders have won their past three matches against the Highlanders are seldom lose consecutive matches, so we are backing them to get the job done by a narrow margin on Saturday night.
Back the Crusaders in the Big Win Little Win 1-12 market at $3.25.
The Brumbies first home match of the season has them hosting the Sharks. After a disappointing 1-2 start to the season, the Brumbies will hope to arrest their two match losing streak.
They start this match as $2 underdogs, with the Sharks $1.80 favourites.
The Sharks themselves have been patchy this season, and it is hard to figure out how they are $1.80 favourites away from home. They did beat the Brumbies in Canberra after the siren last season 27-22 to record a rare victory in the A.C.T.
Back the Brumbies to get the job done at home at $2 against a poor travelling side in the Sharks.
The Stormers return from their travels winless after losses against the Waratahs, Crusaders and Highlanders. They return home and face a stern test against the Blues on Sunday morning.
The Stormers are $2 underdogs with the Blues $1.80 favourites. Auckland recorded their first win of the season in a pulsating clash with the Lions last weekend.
The Blues should be too strong for a travel weary Stormers side missing a number of key players through injuries, with goal kicker S.P. Marais under an injury cloud.
Back the Blues to get the better of the Stormers and record a rare South African double at $1.80.
The Sunwolves are the worst team in Super Rugby this season and are $19 to topple the Lions in Johannesburg, who are $.101 favourites.
The Lions are huge 33.5-point favourites and just as we backed the Sunwolves with the points start last weekend against the Sharks, we are doing the same this weekend.
The Lions ran out 94-7 winners when these sides met last season, but haven’t quite clicked into gear yet this season. Hopefully this weekend we don’t see a return to form from the Lions.
Take the Sunwolves to cover 33.5-points at $1.90.
The Jaguares snapped a three match-losing streak on Sunday morning with a 10 point win against the Waratahs.
They now face a Reds side who recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since 2014 after wins against the Brumbies and Bulls in the past fortnight.
The Argentinians are $1.38 favourites, with the Reds $3.07 outsiders.
A young Reds side travelling to Argentina will be a huge test and we like the Jaguares to make it consecutive victories against Australian sides on Sunday.
Back the Jaguares to cover -7.5 points at $1.90 against the Reds.
The final match of round 5 has the Waratahs returning to Australia to face the Rebels.
Melbourne are 3-0 this season, but start this match as $2.10 underdogs. The Tahs are $1.75 favourites.
The Waratahs won both matches between the sides last season, but we are backing the red-hot Rebels to continue their excellent start to the season.
Back the Rebels to win at $2.10.
Super Rugby round 5 odds
Chiefs $1.10 Bulls $7
Highlanders $2 Crusaders $1.80
Brumbies $2 Sharks $1.80
Stormers $2 Blues $1.80
Lions $1.01 Sunwolves $19
Jaguares $1.38 Reds $3.07
Waratahs $1.75 Rebels $2.10
*Odds at Sportsbet
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