After wins last weekend the Crusaders and Hurricanes continue to Head both the New Zealand conference and the super league table, with both the favourites for the 2018 Super Rugby title.
All prices are from William Hill, all times BST
Friday 11th May
Blues v Hurricanes 8.35am
The Blues won only their third game of the season when winning at the Waratahs 24-21 at the weekend. They remain bottom of the New Zealand conference
The Hurricanes have a 8-1 win-loss record after they beat the Lions 28-19 in windy conditions which limited their superiority and kept the score within the points handicap
Here the Hurricanes, one of the top two teams in the competition, are -10.5 on the point handicap at 10/11 and I fully expect them to cover is conditions are reasonable.
Saturday 12th May
Sunwolves v Reds 4.05am
The Sunwolves have lost all nine of their games this season and now host the Queensland Reds with a 4-5 win-loss record. Both sides are coming off byes. For the Reds to only be -7 at 10/11on the handicap looks interesting but the away side aren’t that reliable a proposition. No bet.
Crusaders v Waratahs 6.15am
Crusaders are top of the competition and New Zealand conference after their resounding 55-10 win versus the Rebels, and now have a record of 8 wins in 10 games. The Waratahs lost 21-24 at home to the Blues but still lead Australian conference with a 5-1-3 win-draw-loss record.
Given that the Crusaders beat the Rebels by 45 points away last week we should expect the Crusaders to win comfortably, and -18 at 10/11 is a bet
Highlanders v Lions 8.35am
Highlanders were the surprise losers of round 12, going down 38-12 to the Sharks in Durban. They now have a 6-3 record and have fallen two games behind the leading teams in the conference
The Lions lost 28-19 to the Hurricanes in Wellington, but top the South African conference with 6 wins from 11 games
I will take the Lions to cover +7 at 10/11
Brumbies v Rebels 10.45am
The Brumbies come off a bye week with 3 wins only from 9 games. The Rebels were thrashed 55-10 at home by Crusaders last week and now have 4 wins from 10 games. Two disappointing franchises then, likely to play out a close game and we’ll take the Rebels with the points +3 at 10/11
Stormers v Chiefs 2.05pm
The Stormers beat the Bulls 29-17 to win their fifth game in 11
The Chiefs were the latest side to succumb to the Jaguares, in one of the shock results of the season as the home side lost 19-23. This was a significant loss as it put the Chiefs two wins behind Crusaders and hurricanes now with a 6-3 record
Interestingly for a New Zealand side from the dominant conference they are only-1 here for the match in Cape Town. -1 at 10/11 is probably the bet of the weekend.
Bulls v Sharks 4.15pm
The Bulls lost 29-17 in Cape Town to the Stormers and are bottom of the South African conference with a 4-6 record. The Sharks recorded their performance of the season in beating the Highlanders 38-12, a result belied their form so far this season. They are 3rd in the South African conference with a 4-1-5 win-loss-draw record
The Bulls have been installed as -2 10/11 favourites on the points handicap, and the Sharks have to be supported at +2.