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Blues to scrape home?

In a round likely to produce a number of close results fans should be in for a treat when the Reds travel to Auckland to take on the Blues.  – Blues vs Reds – Being a different kettle of fish when playing at home the Blues have now won four from four on their own …

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Brumbies now tournament favorites

Log Points – Played – Side – Odds – Remaining away games 31 – 9 – Sharks – 11/4 – Rebels, Brumbies, Crusaders, Blues, Cheetahs, Stormers. – Dropping to second favourites following a disjointed performance against the Highlanders the Sharks now have everything to prove with their tour which begins on Friday. Considering current injuries, …

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4 nutshell predictions

Sharks vs Highlanders The Sharks don’t lose when Willem Alberts plays lock and things should be no different this Friday.  – The Highlanders play their first game on tour after a lengthy flight and they have lost both of their away games thus far compared to the Sharks 6 from 6 home wins this season. – …

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Brumbies vs Chiefs preview

Brumbies vs Chiefs Super 15 Preview – In cool playing conditions the Australian conference leaders host the New Zealand conference leaders with both sides currently tied on 25 log points.  – Coming off a bye the Brumbies are at risk of starting a new run of form after a highly successful run up until now. …

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Blues vs Waratahs preview

Blues vs Waratahs – This could be a more difficult game to predict than most expect because the 11th placed Blues have won every home game this season (vs Crusaders, Cheetahs, Highlanders). Yes the Waratahs should be a bigger challenge than those sides were but none of them even managed to come within 7 points …

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3 result defining head to head battles

Scott Fardy vs Brodie Retallick – Two physical yet mobile forwards with excellent work rates will hit it out in Canberra on Friday. – With a number of key forwards unavailable due to injury the Brumbies’ best bet is to direct play through their back line in a wide to wide approach, playing off 10 rather …

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Staggering Super Rugby stats

We’ve all got a rough idea of what’s gone on in an unusual Super Rugby season this year but numbers will likely aid to make the picture a little clearer. – Its been a more closely contested season than usual with a large number of sides grouped mid-table. Nothing portrays this grouping more clearly than …

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Friday Super Rugby recap

A very unstructured spectacle in Wellington saw the Hurricanes take their chances against a Blues side which clearly lacked much needed finishing touches. – A final score of 39 – 20 does little justice to the quality of rugby which the visitors produced.   Other than poor finishing it was an inferior kicking game which …

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Super Saturday part 2

Sharks vs Cheetahs A tough task lies ahead of the Cheetahs who have scored a third of the log points which the Sharks have racked up in one more match than their hosts have played. – A rare blemish to the Sharks’ season lies in their only loss which came against the Bulls after sustaining …

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Super Saturday part 1

Chiefs vs Crusaders They don’t come much bigger than this. A repeat of 2013′s semi-final and the Crusaders’ last chance of getting into the running for the title. -  Likely making for a closely fought contest the Chiefs recently went through a slump (1 loss and 2 draws of 5 outings) while the Saders have …

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Fridays Super Rugby previews

Hurricanes vs Blues We’re keenly looking forward to this NZ derby. Both sides have played the same number of fixtures and are on equal log points with this fixture serving as a major determinant of who takes the NZ conference wooden spoon. – Over their last four outings the Canes are ahead of the Blues …

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Sharks tournament favourites and our pick to win conference

Things couldn’t have gone any better for the Sharks in round 9. – On Friday South African conference contenders the Bulls lost by a narrow 7 points to the Highlanders. Closing out the round the Durbanites defeated the only other major conference challengers, the Lions, on their home turf of Ellis Park by 25 points …

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Four nutshell tips for Saturday

The Chiefs’ hopes for a three-peat were dealt a massive blow by their unsuccessful overseas tour. Things may look up on Saturday however as opponents Rebels have been horrible away from home for their history in Super Rugby (yet to win on NZ or RSA soil)! – The Chiefs haven’t won in their last three …

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Reds to sneak it?

If ever there was a carrot in Super Rugby 2014 for the Brumbies it is now. Should they defeat the Reds in Brisbane on Friday, our panel sees no way that the Queenslanders will be able to win their conference (in effect ending their chances of lifting the trophy and making the Aussie Conference a …

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Bulls in with a chance?

Considering that the Highlanders have won three of four home games they surely can stake a claim on Friday against the Bulls who have lost all three of their away fixtures thus far in 2014. – Although the Highlanders are in a similar log position to the Hurricanes, who defeated the South Africans, there is …

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Sportingbets Super Rugby Odds

Which side do you believe has a greater chance of winning than the bookies’ estimated percentage chance of victory? Do you fancy any team with a head start (+handicap) or are any franchises capable of over coming their handicap/deficit (- handicap). – Highlanders vs Bulls Outright: 4/9 vs 15/8 Handicap: -4 vs +4 Percentage: 64% …

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Super 15 news

Naka Drotske blames the Cheetahs’ lack of intensity paired with going into a defensive mode for much of the second half as the main reason for squandering their 34 – 10 half time lead to ultimately draw 43 all with the Chiefs. We wouldn’t be too critical of the Cheetahs’ finishing however as the Chiefs …

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Mogg McCabe crush Blues

In a match where both sides chose to apply their possession to strategic kicking rather than running, there were very few highlights to speak of. – On song Jesse Mogg pulled the strings at will, making it rain out there! He trumped everything that the Blues could throw at him and this gave the Brumbies …

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Highlanders 8 moments that mattered

In a match that ebbed and flowed several outstanding moments of brilliance from both teams saw the dynamic Highlanders to a 33 – 30 victory over a sound Rebels’ charge. – 2 mins. Rebels’ fly-half Bryce Hegarty slammed his head into the turf after contesting an up and under with Richard Buckman. He had to leave the field following the heavy …

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Waratahs experience to pay dividends?

All eyes will be on Newlands closing out Super Rugby round 8 to see if the Stormers can salvage some pride against the recently trounced Waratahs. – Venu: Newlands, Cape Town. Kick-off: Sat 5 Apr 19:10 (Local). Referee: Glen Jackson Weather: Warm with a moderate breeze. -#- Stormers:  15. Jaco Taute,  14. Kobus van Wyk,  13. Juan de Jongh,  12. …

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Canes Bulls a lottery?

Starting off a feast of Saturday Super Rugby action the Canes host visitors Bulls playing in game one of their overseas tour. – Venu: McLean Park, Napier. Kick-off: Sat 5 Apr 19:35 (Local), Sat 5 Apr 08:35 (RSA). Referee: Steve Walsh. Weather: Warm with a slight possibility of drizzle. -#- Hurricanes:  15. Andre Taylor,  14. Cory Jane,  13. Conrad …

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Reds to hang on?

We’ll be surprised if this Aussie derby between the Reds and Force proves to be anything but exciting on Saturday as both sides are running neck and neck for a shot at the play-offs. -  Venu: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Kick-off: Sat 5 Apr 18:40 (Local), Sat 5 Apr 10:40 (RSA). Referee: Garratt Williamson Weather: Hot with a very …

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Lions too strong for Crusaders?

Very little separates the Lions from the touring Crusaders if you take the visitor’s game in hand into account. When these two sides meet it ‘s typically a recipe for attacking rugby, something that we are keenly looking forward to. – Venu: Ellis Park, Johannesburg. Kick-off: Sat 5 Apr 17:05 (Local). Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen Weather: Warm with …

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Chiefs to edge Cheetahs in high scoring thriller?

With only pride at stake the Cheetahs will look to deny the Chiefs of any success on Saturday which might see them move above 3rd on the overall log. – Venu: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein. Kick-off: Sat 5 Apr 15:00 (Local) Referee: Craig Joubert  Weather: Warm with a light breeze, perfect playing conditions. -#- Cheetahs:  15. Willie le Roux, …

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Brumbies to pull strings

The Brumbies came unstuck against the Rebels last round in a nail-biting thriller. That loss may spell bad news for the travelling Blues as the hosts are unlikely to be complacent or is a tournament defining Brumbies’ slump about to begin? – Venu: GIO Stadium Canberra, Canberra. Kick-off: Fri 4 Apr 19:40 (Local), Fri 4 Apr 10:40 …

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Highlanders to sneak past Rebels?

Last round the Highlanders were well below par losing by 18 points to the Blues. Their upcoming opponents, the Rebels, enjoyed completely opposite fortunes a week back in defeating the Brumbies who currently sit second on the overall log. -  Venu: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin. Kick-off: Fri 4 Apr 19:35 (Local) Fri 4 Apr 08:35 (RSA) Referee: Chris Pollock Weather: Cool …

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Cheetahs favourites Highlanders value to come last

Banter is currently flying between Super Rugby fans in a more evenly contested tournament than usual. Understandably most of it regards the sides vying for a shot at the play-offs.  Genuine punters appreciate however that it is just as important to follow who may come last. Here is our take on Sportingbet’s wooden spoon market with particular …

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Super Rugby form

Bookies worldwide have cleaned up to this point in Super Rugby due to a higher than usual rate of upsets. We’re in the plus but would like to do better and in looking to do so, here’s a quick reminder of the current form.  – This analysis covers sides set to run out in round …

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Crusaders loyalty tested

If alarm bells weren’t already ringing in Christchurch then now is probably an appropriate time. – The Crusaders’ dropped to bottom of the New Zealand conference with their recent 26 – 29 loss to the Hurricanes at home. Terrible results reflected by this current lowly position are a clear sign that things aren’t well within …

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Eden Park in for ding dong battle?

We could be in for a closely fought return leg of the round 2, eight point thriller between the Blues and Highlanders who are currently sitting neck and neck on the overall log.  – Venu: Eden Park, Auckland. Kick-off: Sat 29 Mar 19:35 (Local) Sat 29 Mar 08:35 (RSA) Referee: Steve Walsh Weather: Perfect playing conditions. -#- Blues:  15. Charles …

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Durban in for test match

This top of the table clash between the Sharks and Waratahs is guaranteed to be ultra physical featuring a tonne of brutal hits.   Venu: Growthpoint King’s Park, Durban. Kick-off: Sat 29 Mar 17:05 (Local) Referee: Mike Fraser Weather: Hot and partly cloudy with a moderate breeze. -#- Sharks:  15. Lwazi Mvovo,  14. Odwa Ndungane,  13. S’bura Sithole,  12. …

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Canberras crushing crusade to continue?

Falling off the pace in the in the Australian conference the Rebels have a lot to do when they host the currently galloping Brumbies.   Venu: AAMI Park, Melbourne. Kick-off: Fri 28 Mar 19:40 (Local) Referee: Jaco Peyper Weather: Warm with a slight possibility of rainfall. -#- Rebels:  15. Jason Woodward,  14. Tom Kingston,  13. Tamati Ellison,  12. Mitch …

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A draw on the cards?

Fans in Pretoria are in for a treat when the Bulls, who are beginning to hit their straps, host 2012 & 2013 champions the Chiefs in their first match on tour in RSA. – Venu: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria. Kick-off: Sat 29 Mar 15:00 (Local) Referee: Craig Joubert Weather: Hot and partly cloudy with a slight chance of drizzle. -#- …

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Reds forwards unlikely heros?

Both the Reds and Stormers will look to break their losing streaks in this humid Brisbane clash.   Venu: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Kick-off: Sat 29 Mar 18:40 (Local) Sat 29 Mar 10:40 (RSA) Referee: Chris Pollock Weather: Hot, humid and overcast with a moderate possibility of rainfall. The pitch will likely be soft under foot due to heavy …

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Saders to edge Canes?

Both the Crusaders and Hurricanes have everything to play for as the loser of this New Zealand derby will go bottom of their conference, an extremely uncomfortable and unenviable position. The hosts will have added motivation as their captain Kieran Read is set to win his 100th Super Rugby cap for the franchise, a very rare …

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Stormers players not to blame

Things are getting heated in the Cape and not because of thrilling results. Allister Coetzee and Robbie Fleck have found themselves the targets of ever increasing criticism for their team’s sustained under performance in Super Rugby over recent years. In 2014 the Stormers have managed to win only one of five outings, already ruling them …

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Three memorable Honey Badger interviews

Figurehead of the Force’s recent revival, Wallaby winger Nick Cummins has made a name for himself through a series of highly entertaining interviews. Here are three of the most popular: Why he’s called the Honey Badger Compilation of some of the Honey Badger’s most classic quotes Honey Badger interviews Wallaby team mates following victory over …

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Writing on the wall for Stormers

We’re well aware that its still early days in the tale that is Super Rugby 2014 but the following Super 15 analysis will likely surprise most fans. – Have a look at this comparison between franchises topping the log at round six and the related accolades when the respective Super 15 season concluded. – Top …

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Blues outshine Pastrana

In a match where the biggest talking point was the whistle happy, T.M.O-over-ruling-double-movement-try-allowing Francisco Pastrana, both the Blues and Cheetahs did well to produce rugby of substance under the circumstances.  - Play begun in an edgy fashion as up and unders (and a whistle happy ref) tempered things with both sides getting a feel for …

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Tahs sublime second half takes accolades

Jaco Peyper took charge of the promising Tahs vs Rebels derby. Here’s a summary of the most influential moments of the match. – 4 mins. Slow at the breakdown in the opening exchanges, the Tahs were left to attack with scrappy ball. Some soft Rebels’ defence where players ran out of their defensive line then …

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