Thu, Apr 12, 8:57am by Staff Writer
Round 9 of Super Rugby kicks off on Friday night with the Hurricanes hosting the Chiefs in what will be another gripping New Zealand derby.
Elsewhere arch rivals the Waratahs and Reds will meet at the SCG in a heritage fixture, with the Tahs heavy favourites to inflict a second consecutive loss on the young Reds.
Hurricanes versus Chiefs
Friday, 13 April 2018 at 5.35pm AEST at Westpac Stadium
The Hurricanes managed to scrape by the Sharks in a classic Super Rugby encounter in Napier last Friday night 38-37 after an 84th minute try and conversion.
They will need to be much better defensively against the Chiefs this weekend if they hope to win their fifth consecutive match this season, which they are favoured to do as $1.30 favourites.
The Chiefs themselves have been in tremendous form, winners of five in a row, including a 21-19 win against the Blues last Saturday night. They start this match as $3.50 underdogs.
The Canes welcome back Beauden Barrett who was a late scratching last week but will be without TJ Perenara who missed the second half of last week’s match with an injury.
Jamie Booth starts in the number nine jersey with Richard Judd included on the bench.
The Hurricanes at home are a scary proposition for any Super Rugby opponent, but we can’t have them as 9.5-point favourites without arguably their most influential player in Perenara out of the side.
Best bet- Chiefs to cover +9.5-point handicap at $1.90
Melbourne Rebels versus Jaguares
Saturday, 14 April 2018 at 3.15pm AEST at AAMI Park
Afternoon rugby makes its way to Melbourne on Saturday afternoon with the Rebels hosting the Jaguares from Argentina.
The Rebels were outclassed in their last match against the Hurricanes a fortnight ago losing 50-18, but enter this match as $1.25 favourites.
The Jaguares have had a difficult season so far, but have managed two home wins. They are expected to struggle on their Australia and New Zealand tour and are $4 underdogs for Saturday’s clash.
The Rebels hold a slender one point lead at the top of the Australian Conference, so will be seeking a bonus point win from this match against the Jaguares.
In this fixture last year, the visitors earned a shock 32-29 win in Melbourne, as the Rebels had a disastrous season, winning only one match.
They are a different team this year under coach Dave Wessels and should brush aside their Argentinian opponents by 15+ points.
Best bet- Melbourne Rebels Big Win Little Win 13+ at $2
Highlanders versus Brumbies
Saturday, 14 April 2018 at 5.35pm AEST at Forsyth Barr Stadium
The Highlanders will be hoping to end their two-game losing streak when they host the Brumbies on Saturday night in Dunedin.
The Otago franchise start as one of the shortest teams of the round at $1.13 to beat the Brumbies who are $6 underdogs.
The Brumbies recorded their best performance of the season last weekend with a 45-21 win against the reds.
The A.C.T team ran riot in the second half against a tired looking Reds side, as the Brumbies dominated territory and possession.
The Highlanders have won the past three matches between these two foundation sides, but they have all been low scoring, with no match exceeding 33 points.
With an opening line of 15.5-points favouring the Highlanders, we are going to back the Brumbies to keep this match close in another low-scoring encounter.
Best bet- Brumbies to cover 15.5-point handicap at $1.90
Elsewhere in round 9, the Blues will be desperate to demolish the Sunwolves after a lean month and are the rounds shortest-priced favourites at $1.11, despite losing the Japanese club last season in Tokyo. The Sunwolves are paying $6.50 for their first win of the season.
The Waratahs should have too much firepower for the Reds, with the 9.5-point start for the Tahs being the play in that match.
In a South African derby, the Sharks should be too good for the Bulls, but the Sharks are returning from a heartbreaking loss in New Zealand and will need to overcome travel fatigue against a Bulls team coming off a bye. The best bet in that one is no bet.
Super Rugby Round 9 Odds – Sportsbet
Hurricanes $1.30 v Chiefs $3.50
Sunwolves $6.50 v Blues $1.11
Rebels $1.25 v Jaguares $4
Highlanders $1.13 v Brumbies $6
Waratahs $1.30 v Reds $3.50
Sharks $1.50 v Bulls $2.50
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