Thu, Mar 16, 12:48pm by Staff Writer
Most of the talk this week of Super Rugby has been about what it will look like in 2018. As possible changes are discussed, the potential ideas have gotten ever more dramatic. There is, however, still plenty of action on the field this weekend to draw attention away from the surrounding issues of the tournament. The Force and Stormers will take a well-deserved rest as they have the bye and once again it is the New Zealand rivalries that could provide the best of the action.
Crusaders v Blues, AMI Stadium, Friday March 17, 5:35pm AEDT
Kicking off the weekend are the Crusaders and Blues in Christchurch. These sides have had differing starts to the year with the Crusaders underperforming but with a 100%-win record while the Blues have been in form despite only winning their opening match against the Rebels. It has been two incredible second-half comebacks from the Crusaders that has seen them win their last two matches and the Blues will need an 80-minute performance. The home side are currently on a five-game winning streak over the Blues and stand at $1.42 with William Hill, while the Blues are priced at $2.85 and desperately need to start beating the teams in their own Conference if they are to challenge for the Finals.
Bet of the Match: Crusaders to Win by 1-12 points at $2.60
Hurricanes v Highlanders, Westpac Stadium, Saturday March 18, 5:35pm AEDT
The defending Champions, the Hurricanes, host another all New Zealand clash as the Highlanders make the trip north to Wellington. Despite having lost five of the last seven to the Highlanders at home, they are heavy favourites with William Hill priced at $1.27. After outclassing the Sunwolves and Rebels they struggled against a well-drilled Chiefs side in the last Round and will face a similar foe here in the Highlanders. The men from Dunedin battled to victory against the Blues last weekend to record their first win of the season and will be up against it when they face the Hurricanes, a fact reflected in their price of $3.80 with William Hill.
Bet of the Match: Hurricanes to Win by 1-12 points at $2.70
Waratahs v Brumbies, Allianz Stadium, Saturday March 18, 7:45pm AEDT
In what is arguably the biggest clash in Australian rugby, the Waratahs face the Brumbies this weekend. Despite losing a host of senior players in the off-season, the Brumbies young guns have shown plenty of potential. Pushing both the Crusaders and Sharks close before claiming victory over the Force in Round Three. They are up against it in Sydney priced at $2.45 despite having won the last two fixtures against the Waratahs. Having just returned from a disappointing South African tour there is plenty of pressure on the home side to live up to their price of $1.55 with William Hill. With morale potentially low, the Brumbies have a great opportunity to go for a third successive victory.
Bet of the Match: Brumbies to Win by 1-12 points at $3.25
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