We’ve had quite a long break for the internationals and the Lions have lost their captain for 6 weeks with a shoulder injury to Whiteley, which means Jaco Kriel steps into the captain’s role. Let’s not waste another second as we look ahead to the weekend and predict the scores. Sign up to our superbru club to join the fun!
Chiefs vs Crusaders
Crusaders by 6
While the Chiefs are currently on a run of three consecutive wins against the Crusaders, they will be without star flyhalf Aaron Cruden for the key encounter. The Crusaders will equal their most ever wins in a regular season of Super Rugby if they win on Friday, and with their current form, they should edge it narrowly.
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Sportsbet odds: Chiefs 1.25 / Crusaders 0.75
Brumbies vs Reds
Brumbies by 12
The Brumbies remain Australia’s most consistent side, boasting a balanced starting XV. The Reds are dangerous on the break, but their form in 2016 has been woeful, and should struggle to match the class of the home team in Canberra.
Sportsbet odds: Brumbies 0.14 / Reds 5.5
Sunwolves vs Waratahs
Waratahs by 23
Despite posing a threat to complacent teams, a Waratahs setup laden with Wallabies and a coach reeling of a whitewash suffered at the hands of the English should thump them.
Sportsbet odds: Sunwolves 12 / Waratahs 0.05
Hurricanes by 9
The Canes should be able to see off the inconsistent Blues, and further make their claim for a playoff spot from within a highly congested and competitive group. Talisman Beauden Barret was in fine form for New Zealand in the final test against Wales, and should look to further his claim for the no. 10 berth in the Rugby Championship.
Sportsbet odds: Hurricanes 0.22 / Blues 4
Rebels vs Stormers
Stormers by 5
The Stormers Springboks did not come out of the Irish series with massively enhanced reputations, but will look to Melbourne as an opportunity to get their playoff push back on track after winning only once in the last four rounds. The Stormers pack should set up the groundwork for an ultimately tight encounter.
Sportsbet odds: Rebels 1.25 / Stormers 0.75
Cheetahs vs Force
Cheetahs by 3 points
Two of the weakest teams from their respective countries face off, with both sides coming in at polar opposites in terms of style. The Cheetahs should have a slight edge, with the Force unlikely to punish the Bloem sides defensive weaknesses as much as they should. A close high scoring close encounter is predicted, where the Cheetahs superior pack should prove the difference.
Sportsbet odds: 0.36 / Force 2.5
Lions s Sharks
Lions by 9
The Lions are the flavour of the month of South African rugby at the moment, and are the form side in the African conferences by some margin. Their blend of high intensity attacking rugby should see them beat the Sharks by more than one score, despite missing captain Warren Whitely. Both sides are on a three match winning run, but with Pat Lambie still uncertain to start, the Sharks will struggle at Ellis Park.
Sportsbet odds: Lions 0.47 / Sharks 1.8
Kings vs Highlanders
Highlanders by 19
While it’s never easy to start a tour late into the season, it does make it a bit easier when your opponents are the Kings. The Highlanders will want to push on with the ultimate goal of winning their conference, and should do so easily against a 60 minute Kings team.
Sportsbet odds: Kings 18 /Highlanders 0.01
Jaguares vs Bulls
Jaguares by 4
A brave call, but the Bulls have been flat in recent rounds, which should be compounded by the lack of game time at international level compared to the Argentines these past three weeks. A heavily undisciplined side, the Jaguares have three home games left of 2016 to restore some pride, while a Bulls side that has lacked direction in the absence of Handre Pollard are likely to struggle in Buenos Aires.
Sportsbet odds: Jaguares 1.25 / Bulls 0.75
Good luck and remember to bet responsibly or just use superbru for fun.