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We analyse the upcoming Super Rugby round.

Spirderman jersey Lions Aphiwe Dyantyi

28 February 2019, by: Quintin van Jaarsveld


It’s set to be a Super Hero Saturday as Marvel jersey-clad South African sides go head-to-head in the third round of Super Rugby.

The weekend’s action will offer clarity in the South African Conference as one (Sharks) meets five (Stormers) in Durban and two (Bulls) and three (Lions) lock horns in Johannesburg. The fourth-placed Jaguares, meanwhile, battle the Blues in Buenos Aires.

New Zealand and Australian sides will square off in Wellington, Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, while the Chiefs welcome the Sunwolves to Waikato.

Blown away 38-22 by a classy Crusaders outfit, the Hurricanes face another tough test in the men from Canberra, who surprised all and sundry by crushing the Chiefs 54-17. Last week’s results suggest success for the Brumbies, but New Zealand sides are notoriously tough to beat at home. The Wellington franchise are better than they’ve shown thus far, and the energy that comes with the first home game of the season will help carry the ‘Canes to a close victory.

Prediction: Hurricanes by 2. (Suggested BET – Brumbies +12.5)

The visitors will be seeking to claim a second Australian scalp in as many weeks, this time away from home following their narrow win over the Reds. The men from Melbourne, who sat out Round Two, were outstanding in their opening-round triumph over the Brumbies in Canberra, with Quade Cooper in commanding form for his new franchise. At home, the edge goes to the Rebels.

Prediction: Melbourne Rebels by three. (Suggested BET – Rebels 1-12 points)

It’s hard to believe this is a basement battle, with the talent-rich Chiefs finding themselves at the very bottom of the log. It’s a massive match for the Hamilton franchise after being utterly humiliated by the Brumbies last week and a win will be non-negotiable. The pressure is already on, and it doesn’t help that the likes of Anton Lienert-Brown, Nathan Harris and Nepo Laulala are being rested as per All Black protocol. Still, the hosts are set to open their account rather comfortably.

Prediction: Chiefs by 18. (Suggested BET – Sunwolves +25.5)

Brad Thorn’s new team versus his old team. The young Reds will be buoyed by their performance in the 36-31 defeat to the Highlanders in what was their season opener last week. The Highlanders, with respect, are not the Crusaders, who found their groove and made an emphatic statement in their hammering of the Hurricanes. Back the defending champions to go over away from home.

Prediction: Crusaders by 10. (Suggested BET – Reds +14.5)

A big clash for both teams who’ll look to set the record straight after disappointing defeats last weekend. With tantalising positional battles across the board and both sides’ willingness to play expansive rugby, it should be a cracker of a trans-Jukskei derby. A tough one to call as the teams are so evenly matched. Home ground advantage might tip it in the Lions’ favour ever so slightly, but we’re backing the Bulls to eke out the win.

Prediction: Bulls by 3. (Suggested BET – Bulls to win)

The coastal clash has traditionally been a closely contested affair, however, the first of this year’s two head-to-head derbies look set to buck that tradition as the teams find themselves at opposite ends of the form book. The Stormers did show character last week, but it was very much a fortuitous win over the Lions. The switched-on Sharks top the table for a reason and should run out comfortable winners.

Prediction: Sharks by 13. (Suggested BET – Sharks -6.5)

Having bounced back well from their First Round loss to the Lions with a comfortable win over the Bulls, the Argentinians will be aiming to turn back the Blues in similar fashion in their third straight home game. Whereas the Jaguares made strides in Round Two, the Blues took a big step back in Durban and are winless going into this contest. Which Blues side shows up remains to be seen, but all signs point to another win for the hosts.

Prediction: Jaguares by 7. (Suggested BET – Jaguares to win)

BET: Super Rugby 2019

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Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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