The last round of Conference matches before the knockout stages begin next weekend. Fixtures are as follows, all prices are from Ladbrokes and all times BST
Friday 13th July
8.35am Chiefs v Hurricanes
These two teams are going to meet in the quarter finals next week and 4 and 5 seeds, currently the Hurricanes would host and the Chiefs need to win here to reverse home advantage, currently one game behind in the win loss standings.
Last weekend the Chiefs beat the Brumbies 24-19 while the Hurricanes beat the Blues 42-24. The Chiefs are +2 here at home and should be supported at 10/11.
10.45am Reds v Sunwolves
These two sides are 13th and 15th in the 15 team table and out of play off contention. The Reds were surprise winners last weekend 37-23 against the Rebels while the Sunwolves were shellacked, losing to the Waratahs 77-25. The Reds are 11 point favourites ands should cover
Saturday 14th July
6.15am Highlanders v Rebels
The Highlanders look set to be the 6th seed in the play offs and will travel to the Waratahs next week. They lost 45-22 to the table topping Crusaders last weekend while the Rebels lost to the Reds 37-23. The Reds are in a battle with the Sharks for the final play-off place, the team that gets it will face the unenviable task of visiting the Crusaders in the quarter finals
The Highlanders are 14 point favourites for this match at 10/11. The Rebels will be scrapping for that play off spot though. The Rebels +14
8.35am Crusaders v Blues
The Crusaders beat the Highlanders 45-22 last weekend and are assured of the top seed in the play offs starting next weekend while the Blues, out of play off contention lost 42-24 to the Hurricanes This was the 20th consecutive away loss against New Zealand teams for the Blues and this is likely to be loss 21. Furthermore the Crusaders should cover -15.
10.45am Waratahs v Brumbies
The Waratahs are set for the number three seed in the play offs as winners of the Australian Conference and last weekend thrashed the Sunwolves 77-25 while the Brumbies mini-revival in fortunes ended when they lost to the Chiefs 24-19. The Waratahs may well rest players here, so no bet at -6/+6.
2.05pm Lions v Bulls
While the Lions, number 2 seed for the play offs as South African conference winners were having a week off the Bulls beat the Jaguares 43-34 for their sixth win of the season.
The Uncertainty here is that the Lions may again rest players. No bet at -8/+8
4.15pm Sharks v Jaguares
The Jaguares lost 43-34 at the Bulls last weekend but are safe in the play offs as the 7ty seed where a trip to the Lions awaits
The Sharks lost 27-16 at the Stormers a disappointing result for a side on the cusp of a play off place. They now need to win and hope the Rebels lose to sneak into the play offs. I like the Sharks -2 here.