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The Hurricanes to Face Toughest Test Yet

Chiefs ($1.80) v Hurricanes ($2)

The defending champions Hurricanes face their sternest test of the new season when they travel to Hamilton to face the Chiefs. While the Hurricanes have enjoyed comfortable wins against the Sunwolves and the Rebels (scoring over 70 points in each) the Chiefs have had to work harder for wins against the Blues and the Highlanders. The bookies have them as favourites on account of their tougher lead in games, but we’ll tip the Canes in a close one, 1-12.

Brumbies ($1.41) v Force ($2.94)

The much fancied Brumbies find themselves winless after two rounds and already behind the eight ball in their Conference standings. However, their favourites this weekend against a very weak looking Rebels outfit that have already conceded 127 points in their two games. Don’t expect a great spectacle, but expect a Brumbies win by 13+.

Blues ($1.71) v Highlanders ($2.14)

The Blues have shown more promise in 2017 than they have in any of their last four Super Rugby campaigns and arguably have the most exciting player in the competition in their team. Reiko Ioane is an absolute beast and should be the All Blacks outside centre this year. While question marks remain over Ihaia West at first five, and Steven Luatua missing through suspension, the Blues should have enough quality over the park to win by 1-12.

Reds ($3.04) v Crusaders ($1.37)

Scott Robertson’s coaching career is off to an excellent start. The former All Black flanker has seen his side carry over the Todd Blackadder-era professionalism and record two nice wins thus far. Last week’s comeback effort against the Highlanders was remarkable and should give them the belief to beat a Reds side that has won one and lost one in two close games this season. The Crusaders will win by 13+, but will they also score 26 points like the Red’s opponents have in the first two rounds.

Kings ($9.30) v Stormers ($1.06)

The Kings have arguably had the easiest start to the competition with games against relative newbies the Sunwolves and the Jaguares; games which they split with a win and a loss. They haven’t looked overly impressive in either and thus the bookmakers have given them zero chances. The Stormers are also 1-1 but a much better side that should run out winners comfortably. Stormers 13+.

Cheetahs ($1.01) v Sunwolves ($19)

The travel must be torture for the team from Japan. Sharing their games between the four continents and even sharing some of their home games with neighbours. It started to show last year and it’s looking like it could be a problem for them again this year. They also have major problems with their defence too – they conceded 83 points to the Hurricanes in 62 minutes in game one. They could surprise a few teams later in the season (Kings and Rebels we’re looking at you), but they won’t beat the Cheetahs. Cheetahs 13+.

Sharks ($1.57) v Waratahs ($2.40)

This might end up being the closest game of the round even though Kings Parkin Durban is one of the toughest away grounds to win at. Both teams are 1-1, with the Sharks accounting themselves well on their Australian tour, while the Waratahs have been slow out of the blocks but have considerable quality across the board. Sharks 1-12.

Jaguares ($2.38) v Lions ($1.59)

The Lions lead the South African Conference but will need to be at their best to get the better of an Argentinian outfit that seems to be adapting to the rigours of Super Rugby better than the other new side, the Sunwolves. Buenos Aires is a tough place to play, so we’re giving it to the home side by 1-12.

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