Super Rugby kicks off with two games this week and both should be South African blockbusters.
The Stormers play the Jaguares on Sunday morning and it’s followed by the Lions vs. Sharks.
All four teams with have high hopes of making the playoffs, but the bookmakers believe both games could be one sided.
Which teams will make the early run at the 2018 Super Rugby title this year?
12:05am Stormers vs. Jaguars @ Newlands
The Stormers didn’t have an overly impressive 2017 season, which included a run of four consecutive losses, but they bounced back with three high-scoring wins.
They put away the likes of the Cheetahs, Sunwolves and Bulls, but weren’t able to get past the Waikato Chiefs in the final game of their season.
It was a disappointing season for the Jaguares as well. The Argentinian franchise showed plenty of razzle-dazzle rugby but were unable to gather any momentum.
Four wins from their first five games set up what could have been a record season for the Jaguares, but seven losses in an eight-game stretch quickly put those thoughts to bed.
The Jaguares like to keep the offloads coming and it gives punters something exciting to watch, but they need to pick and choose when they do it.
Often, they give themselves a great opportunity to score but are unable to capitalise on the chance. If the Jaguares are to upset the Stormers this Sunday morning, they’ll need to play the complete game.
Stormers fans will be expecting a win on soil at Newlands and the bookmakers believe they will do the job.
The current head-to-head line is $1.35 for the Stormers and $3.25 for the Jaguares. The points spread line is set at 7.5 and we think the Stormers might show some rust first up this season.
The Stormers have won both head-to-head games against the Jaguares in the past, but they won by only 15 points combined and this should be a close contest.
Betting tip: Jaguares +7.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Stormers by 3
2:15am Lions vs. Sharks @ Emirates Airline Park
Once upon a time the Lions were the laughing stock of Super Rugby, but fast forward to 2018 and they’re one of the powerhouse teams.
The Lions had a tremendous season in 2017, losing to the Canterbury Crusaders in the final 17-25, but take nothing away from what was a successful season.
After losing to the Jaguares in Round 3 of the competition last year, the Lions didn’t lose a match up until the final and they even won games without their full-strength squad.
The Sharks were knocked out of the competition by the Lions last season and they will be wanting to exact their revenge.
The narrow 21-23 loss will still be in the minds of the Sharks’ players but beating the Lions in Super Rugby has been tough in recent times.
Lions have won the last six Super Rugby games between these two sides, which included a 3-0 season sweep last year.
The Sharks’ strength is with their power forward pack. Ruan Botha, Robert Du Preez and Juan Schoeman make up a quality pack and that could counter the impressive back line of the Lions.
Aphiwe Dyantyi is a noted try scorer for the Lions and they have many more try-scoring threats than the Sharks.
With recent domination going the way of the Lions and with home ground advantage, we’re sticking with the home side.
Betting tip: Lions –7.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Lions by 10