Author: Ryan D
March 9 - Welcome to our Round 3 preview of the 2012 Super Rugby tournament.
The young Bulls keep marching on, the Stormers seems to have forgotten how to
score tries and the hype surrounding the Lions has been somewhat dampened.
The Bulls will look to put away a dangerous Blues side coming off two losses
and the Sharks need to score their first win on 2012.
Here is our take on Round 3, including match predictions and betting tips.
Ryan's tipping success ratio this season: 64% (9/14)
Friday 9 March: Crusaders (0.5) v Chiefs (1.9) - Napier
These Kiwi derbies have been hard to call this year. The Chiefs were shocking
in Round 1, but came out in Round 2 and belted the fancied Blues outfit. The
Crusaders came close to a good Highlanders team away from home, and should build
on their form against an often erratic Chiefs team that struggles to find
Margin Tip: Crusaders by 6-10 at 3/1
Prediction: Crusaders by seven
Friday, 9 March: Force (0.95) v Hurricanes (1.0),
The most boring and uninventive team in the comp must be the Force who should
be better all round at home in Perth, but they come up against a Hurricanes team
on a high. The Canes were tipped to be reasonably poor this year but they have
played enterprising rugby.
The bookies are giving the Hurricanes a 5.5 point head start at 1.6 which
looks like good value because the young Canes back line will score a few tries.
Margin Tip: Hurricanes by 6-10 at 9/2
Prediction: Canes by more than 7
Saturday, 10 March: Brumbies (.28) v Cheetahs (3.0),
The Cheetahs were woeful against the Bulls. Last year they got beaten well at
home but then travelled to Australia to beat the Waratahs and will hope to
repeat those efforts against the Brumbies. We think they will and tip the
upset. The Brumbies forwards looked less than convincing in Round 1.
Margin Tip: Cheetahs by 1-5 at 5/1
Prediction: Cheetahs by less than a try
Saturday, 10 March: Highlanders (.7) v Waratahs (1.3),
We just like the way the Highlanders play. It's like Bulls rugby on steroids
at the moment. No team can live with them at the breakdown at present and
although the Tahs have a strong pack, the combination of great collision work
and speed out wide will be too much for the Sydneysiders. The Waratahs will
compete well but the form book goes against them.
Margin Tip: Highlanders by 1-5 at 5/1
Prediction: Highlanders by a whisker
Saturday, 10 March: Reds (.14) v Rebels (5.5),
The Rebels looked pretty good at times against the Tahs last week but that
was at home and not in the house of the defending champions. The Reds are
playing like a champion team and even with the debut of Kurtley Beale in Rebels
colors, will smash their Melbourne rivals good and proper.
Margin Tip: Reds by 16-20 at 7/2
Prediction: Reds by 15 or more
Saturday, 10 March: Sharks (.25) v Lions (3.5), Durban
The Lions wrestled defeat from the jaws of victory last week against the
hurricanes but they come up against a Sharks team that absolutely have to win at
home and should, especially with the return of Willem Alberts in the pack. It
won't be pretty though.
Margin Tip: Sharks by 6-10 at 3/1
Prediction: Sharks by one 7+
Saturday, 10 March: Bulls (.4) v Blues(2.2), Pretoria
The Blues are at their most dangerous when they throw caution to the wins and
after two losses in a row they know that they won't travel to Loftus and win an
arm wrestle. Before the competition most Bulls fans would have picked this game
as a possible home loss but they have every reason to feel confident. The Blues
are sure to run in a few spectacular tries but the Bulls pack should lay the
foundation for a tight victory.
Margin Tip: Bulls by 1-5 at 7/2
Prediction: Bulls by 3
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