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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Crusaders ready to open up shaky Lions defence in final repeat

Blues and Waratahs look set for success

The Crusaders got the better of the Lions in the 2017 Super Rugby final
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Blues v Sharks
Sky Sports Action, 7.35am Saturday

These teams have just one win each under their belts but the Blues' performances haven't always produced the results they have deserved, as underlined by their victory at last year's beaten finalists the Lions.

The Auckland outfit are 13-point favourites but were poor in their defeat to the Stormers in Cape Town last time out, a surprisingly limp performance after they had pulled off a stunning win over the Lions in Johannesburg the week before.

They are also without Sonny Bill Williams but on the plus side they should be fresher following a bye week while the Sharks are playing their third road match after defeats in Canberra and Melbourne and fatigue could tell. 

Blues to win by one to 12 points
1pt 12-5 Coral, Ladbrokes

Brumbies v Waratahs
Sky Sports Action, 9.45am Saturday

These Aussie outfits are trailing behind the Rebels and Reds and things could get worse for the Brumbies, who were the only Australian side to make the playoffs last season.

The Canberra outfit have the second-best defence in Super Rugby having conceded 93 points and ten tries, but they have yet to come up against an attack as sharp as that of the Waratahs.

The New South Wales side boast the pace and flair of Isreal Folau and Taqele Naiyaravoro on the wings plus the playmaking skills of Kurtley Beale in midfield and should have enough to put an end to a run of three successive defeats to the Brumbies.

1pt bet365, Betway

Bulls v Stormers
Sky Sports Arena, 4.15pm Saturday

The Bulls haven't won since they stunned Grand Final favourites the Hurricanes in round one, but they are back in Pretoria and looking feed off the energy of the Loftus Versfeld faithful.

The Stormers have racked up back-to-back home wins and beat the Bulls home and away last season.

Both those matches were high-scoring affairs, featuring nine tries in Cape Town and 11 in Pretoria. This looks set to be another frenetic clash and Stormers winger Raymond Rhule is the man in form having crossed in his last two matches.

R Rhule to score a try
1pt 11-10 bet365 

Lions v Crusaders
Sky Sports Arena, 1.30pm Sunday

Last year's finalists do battle again at Ellis Park looking to steady the ship after an uncomfortable start.

Having suffered defeats to New Zealand rivals the Hurricanes and Highlanders, reigning champions the Crusaders won't want another slip.

But they are taking on a Lions outfit who have looked all at sea in defence, shipping 16 tires and 125 points in their last three matches, and can register a comfortable victory.

Crusaders -6
1pt 10-11 general

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Last year's finalists do battle again at Ellis Park looking to steady the ship after an uncomfortable start
E.W. Terms
Sky bet