It’s a short week in Super Rugby as the South African teams take a break for international duty.
That means there are some great local derbies this week, which kicks off with the highly-anticipated Highlanders vs. Hurricanes.
There’s action throughout the weekend and we have free tips for all five games.
5:35pm Highlanders vs. Hurricanes @ Forsyth Barr Stadium
Round 15 wasn’t quite the strong week the Highlanders and Hurricanes had expected.
The Highlanders were narrow 18-15 winners over the Reds and the Hurricanes were taken care of by the Crusaders.
Whichever team wins this Friday will have a good advantage in the New Zealand conference and on form the Hurricanes are probably the team to follow.
Bookmakers have the ‘Canes as $1.51 favourites for this all-NZ clash and they should be tough to beat in this situation.
Betting tip: Hurricanes to win @ $1.51 (BET NOW)
Hurricanes by 10
3:15pm Blues vs. Rebels @ Eden Park
The Blues will be well-rested following a bye week and prior to that they looked solid in defeat to the Crusaders.
Melbourne Rebels’ fans were starting to get impatient with their side but a 40-13 win last week has righted the ship a touch.
That came over the Sunwolves, which were in red-hot form and it was a good sign from the Rebels in the mid-season rounds.
It’s tough to back the Blues with any confidence but they’re short-priced favourites and they should be able to get a win.
Betting tip: Blues 1-12 @ $2.80 (BET NOW)
Blues by 7
5:35pm Chiefs vs. Crusaders @ FMG Stadium
The Crusaders are starting to show why they’re a dominant force in Super Rugby with another solid victory over a New Zealand franchise last week.
It continued a significant winning streak for the Crusaders and they look set to head back to the final after winning it over the Lions last season.
Standing in their way are the Chiefs, which have been a touch below their best this season but always possess the strike power to upset any team.
With a counter-attack style, the Chiefs pose a threat across the park and if the Crusaders continually kick the ball to their back three, expect fireworks.
We are expecting, however, the Crusaders to come away with the win.
Betting tip: Crusaders to win @ $1.44 (BET NOW)
Crusaders by 10
7:45pm Reds vs. Waratahs @ Suncorp Stadium
The Waratahs looked to be back in form after beating the Highlanders 41-12 in Round 14, but they couldn’t sustain that effort last week.
Losing 39-27 to the Chiefs has put them on the back foot once again and the Reds have played themselves into form, despite losing their last two games.
Both losses were arguably their best performances this season when losing 38-34 to the Hurricanes and 18-15 to the Highlanders.
There’s nothing wrong with that form and we’re picking an upset here.
Betting tip: Reds to win @ $2.76 (BET NOW)
Reds by 6
4:05pm Brumbies vs. Sunwolves @ GIO Stadium
It was an upset result for the Brumbies last week as they climbed back to beat the Bulls in South Africa.
That was a character building win for the struggling franchise and taking on the Sunwolves could ensure they score another win and build momentum towards the end of the season.
It was back to reality for the Sunwolves last week, suffering a bad loss to the Rebels after showing plenty of promise in the weeks prior.
Despite not facing one of the better sides in the competition here, the Sunwolves are paying an incredible $17 to win the game.
Stranger things have happened but we’ll take the points to be safe.
Betting tip: Sunwolves +30.5 @ $1.90 (BET NOW)
Brumbies by 20