S15 odds preview - Week 7

2012-04-04 13:43

Cape Town - Last weekend was a pretty satisfactory weekend for the South African sides as the Cheetahs and Sharks both notched up away wins, whilst the Lions - impaled by injuries - were not disgraced against the most successful side in Super Rugby who had the services of Daniel Carter once again. The derby of the week, Stormers v Bulls, turned out to be an extremely close eagerly contested game. Although it was not the prettiest, this is what derbies are about!

There are some good fixtures again this week, with another all South African derby in the form of Cheetahs v Lions. However the game of the weekend is without a doubt Bulls v Crusaders. The Bulls will be looking to bounce back after last week’s loss and build some momentum as their home games are starting to run out. The Crusaders on the other hand, will be desperate to put a good performance together as they have been largely unimpressive throughout the entire season. They are notoriously slow starters but should start producing results now if they any ambition of keeping up their great track record in this competition.

A closer look at Super Rugby, Week 7 action with

Thursday's action:
(All kick-off's SA time)

Rebels v Blues (Melbourne) – 11:40
Odds: Rebels 13/5 Blues 3/10

Due to Good Friday this fixture will be played a day early on Thursday. The Blues who were heavily fancied before the start of this tournament have in many ways been a complete let down. They have played some awful rugby at times, which has not been helped by a few injuries and suspensions. One such player who was suspended is the ever illusive, Rene Ranger. The blues will be bolstered by the return of him this week along with Kevin Mealamu. The Rebel’s forwards will have to step up this weekend after getting dominated by the Highlanders last week. The star-studded backline sees the return of Cipriani, who looked to be in great form before his injury against the Force. This is going to be another tough game for the Rebels and if the forwards don’t step up, could be another long day at the office!
Prediction: Blues by 12

Friday's action:
(All kick-off's SA time)

Hurricanes v Sharks (New Plymouth) – 09:35
Odds: Hurricanes 1/1 Sharks 8/10

The Hurricanes are coming off a shock loss against the Cheetahs, and will be looking to bounce back against quickly against a less than impressive Sharks outfit. Although the Sharks beat the Brumbies last week, they had a fair amount of fortune with them which resulted in a few tries against the run of play. Brumbies dominated the game and if Sharks are to claim their second win on the road they will have to play a much better game. Lambie has been training again with the side, but whether he will play or not has yet to be decided. He will be crucial to the outcome of this game and if he plays, Sharks should make it two from three on the road. 
Prediction: Sharks by 4

Reds v Brumbies (Brisbane) – 11:40
Odds: Reds 7/10 Brumbies 5/4

The struggling Reds will return home this week in a big Aussie derby against the top of Conference Brumbies. The Reds terrible injury list has not improved at all and flyhalf remains to be a massive problem. The Brumbies will feel hard done by from their loss last week and should bounce back quickly with a victory. However these Aussie derbies are never quite as simple as that and the Reds could turn up. The loss of Matt Toomua could be a big blow for the Brumbies, but Jake White's men should have enough to win this one.
Prediction: Brumbies by 8

Force v Chiefs (Perth) – 13:40
Odds: Force 9/5 Chiefs 9/20

The Force will host the Chiefs with week after putting plenty on the Reds last week! It was the best performance that the Force have put on show in quite some time and the squad will be brimming with confidence. The Chiefs will also be very bullish on their chances of a win after coming off a clinical performance against the Waratahs last weekend. The Chiefs possibly have the best backline in the tournament and should have too much pace, flair and ability for the Force to keep up. However if the Force get in front they will be tough to beat, will the Perth crowd well behind their boys.
Prediction: Chiefs by 8 points

Saturday’s action:
(All kick-off's SA time)

Highlanders v Stormers (Dunedin) – 9:35
Odds: Highlanders 17/20 Stormers 19/20

This is set to be a cracking fixture with both sides in excellent form. Confidence in the Highlanders camp will be at an all-time high after their drubbing of the Rebels last week, however they cannot get carried away as they will face the best defense in the tournament this week when they meet the Stormers. This is the first week in Australasia for the Stormers and they will be looking to start their tour off on a positive note and keep their unbeaten run! However, the long travel coupled with very sore bodies from their physical encounter against the bulls last weekend will make this extremely tough for the Stormers to go five from five. 
Prediction: Highlanders by 3

Cheetahs v Lions (Bloemfontein) – 15:00
Odds: Cheetahs 9/20 Lions 9/5

After a very successful tour away for the Cheetahs they will look to come back and keep up the good record and seek some revenge after losing to the Lions in week 1. This game should take the same shape as the previous one with the lead changing hands multiple times. Lions will have Jantjies back which is a huge plus, with many people calling for the Kings to replace the Lions in Super Rugby this is their chance to cause an upset and stake their claim to retain their position. The terrible injury though must have an effect on them and the Cheetahs should pull away in the last twenty minutes.
Prediction: Cheetahs by 10

Bulls v Crusaders (Pretoria) – 17:05
Odds: Bulls 7/10 Crusaders 23/20

The Bulls are back at their fortress this weekend and host a less than impressive Crusaders side. The Crusaders on paper are an extremely impressive unit but as we know you don’t win games on paper! The Bulls although losing to the Stormers last week and the Blues a few weeks back have been very impressive. The youngsters have really stepped up and done a great job! The Bulls should take this at home but will need Morne Steyn back in top form as he had a poor game last week! Discipline will also be a key as Dan Carter will make them pay from anywhere!
Prediction: Bulls by 4 points

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