2018 Super Rugby Round 9 Preview
The Crusaders were well disciplined against a side that loves to feast on penalty goals, and staunch in defence allowing just one try.
The Cheetahs showed everyone that the side that made the playoffs is still in them, but capitulated in the second half blowing a halftime lead ending up drawn with the Chiefs For all of the good things you can say about the Cheetahs fantastic attacking display that led to four tries, it was all undone by leaking six the other way.
Lions v Sharks Sharks The Sharks, returned from their bye week still on top of the competition ladder with five wins through six games, averaging 30 points per contest while allowing an average of just The Sharks are brutal up front and pack plenty of punch. The Lions will need to be completely back on top of their game to even have a shot against the Sharks.
Join the world's biggest bookmaker. The Crusaders will bid to make it back-to-back Super Rugby titles when they host the Lions in the final. Will they be crowned champions again? The Lions put a perfect home record this season on the line when they collide with the defending champions the Hurricanes in the second Super Rugby semi-final on Saturday.
New Zealand rivals the Crusaders and Chiefs meet in a blockbuster Super Rugby semi-final on Saturday as they bid to keep their title hopes alive. The Chiefs return from South Africa via Perth and will be looking to end their tour in style against an understrength Force side at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
We are committed to responsible gambling and have a number of ways to help you stay in control and keep gambling fun. Visit Gambling Help Online. Home Rugby Super Rugby. Super Rugby Round 9 tips - Game-by-game guide to Round 9. James Wells in Rugby 10 Apr Christian Lealiifano of the Brumbies makes a line break. The turbulent Highlanders escaped with a win over the similarly inconsistent Rebels, led by a sublime effort from All Black halfback Aaron Smith.
The Brumbies were quick to get their campaign on track after their shock loss to the Rebels, refusing to allow a single try to one of the most lethal attacking sides in the competition. The Lions undid a lot of their hard work this year, mailing in a very average performance at home to be downed against the Crusaders.
Upcoming Events 14 Sep Time to get your SuperBru campaign back on track! Sorry Sharks fans, but even the most optimistic amongst you must have trouble seeing a win for your side here. Last week's game against the Blues looked like the best chance the men from Durban would have at getting a win on tour in New Zealand; now they have to dust themselves off after a loss, and travel battered and bruised to face a Highlanders side refreshed from a bye weekend.
The Sharks haven't won in Dunedin since - that won't change this weekend. The Cheetahs' win over the Sunwolves was one of those results that make you do a double take when you first see it, and check with another source that there hasn't been a typo. It's one thing beating an injury-ridden, tired Japanese side at home, though, and another entirely beating an established Rebels team in their own backyard.
The men from Melbourne were surprisingly lacklustre in losing to the Hurricanes last time around, and will want to bounce back with a much-improved performance here. And so we come to the first game between the two expansionist teams. To be honest, it's been pretty underwhelming stuff so far. The Sunwolves were never expected to win a great deal in the first season although shipping 92 points to the Cheetahs was a real nadir , and indeed they haven't at all.
But the Jaguares' solitary win - way back in round one - and subsequent six losses represent a massive underachievement for a side boasting so many Argentine internationals. Of the two, however, they still look the better side, and should have enough to win in Tokyo. Oof, what a game this will be. Not only is this a meeting of two of the form teams in the competition neither side has lost since round two , but also two of the most free-scoring of their run of five wins in a row each, both have notched four try bonus points.
And while one unbeaten record should come to an end, you can bet that it will happen in exhilarating style. While the Canes have home advantage, the Chiefs have a much better record against the top teams the Canes have, in fact, only beaten one side in the top half of the table - last week's win over the Rebels, who sit in ninth. That just about makes the Chiefs favourites in my eyes.
The Tahs are having a miserable campaign, so this is perhaps not the time when they would have wanted to come up against something of a bogey team for them. They have a short turnaround for this match to go with the travel involved, so their fitness will be tested. The Cheetahs have named an unchanged starting XV as last week. For the perhaps the first time this season, they appeared to have given up, showing no intensity and playing with little defensive structure when the Cheetahs were in possession.
The Jaguares fell to the Crusaders last week in a game that was a microcosm of their season. They enjoy plenty of possession each week but once they get into promising positions a lack of composure costs them time and time again.
On defence, the Jaguares have also been hurt by their missed tackles count. Ten players were left in Argentina for the tour, which has definitely had an impact on their competitiveness. The Hurricanes thrashed the Rebels in Melbourne last week to continue a strong start to the season for New Zealand sides. It was a clinical performance which extended their winning streak to five games, with their opening round thrashing at the hands of the Brumbies now a distant memory. They just need to navigate around the fact that their scrum has been hit by season ending injuries to two props.
I can see this going either way and 5 of the last 6 games between the two have been settled by 12 points or less so I will back both the Hurricanes at 3.
To be fair though, all five were very tough fixtures and the Perth side showed marked signs of improvement defensively in their two defeats to the Highlanders and Crusaders. They have four of their five trans Tasman clashes out of the way and an easier run of fixtures coming up so the Force have a chance to build some momentum leading into the international break.
The defeat to the Crusaders came a heavy cost, with prop Pek Cowan breaking his arm and hooker Nathan Charles dislocating his right shoulder. The Waratahs fell to the Brumbies last week to record their third consecutive home defeat. They have just two wins for the season — both over the Reds, with the form of Michael Hooper in question along with the long-term future of Daryl Gibson as head coach.
The other talking point is the experiment of playing Israel Folou at centre with Rob Horne sidelined with injury. Nine out of the last twelve fixtures between the two have been settled by 12 points or less so I would back both the Force at 3. The Stormers are ruing a defeat to the Lions which they partially blame on under-fire referee Stuart Berry. With a record they remain at the top of the Africa 1 Conference however the Bulls have now moved to just one point behind them.