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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Sharks can stun Brumbies in Aussie capital again

Crusaders may not be able to halt ace flyer Waisake Naholo

Chiefs backrower Liam Messam on the charge against the Blues
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Highlanders v Crusaders
Sky Sports Action, 6.35am Saturday

The Crusaders shut out the Highlanders 17-0 in last year's qaurter-finals but they will not be expecting to prevail by such a convincing margin and in such a manner on this occasion.

The champions need to pick themselves up from a heavy defeat in Wellington last Saturday and while they began the success with cosy successes over the Chiefs and Stormers, the Landers have scored five tries in winning their two games so far in Dunedin against the Blues and Stormers. 

In 2016, the Higlanders won the teams' Forsyth-Barr Stadium encounter 34-26 and last regular season, the Crusaders eked out two narrow wins in ding-dong battles. 

All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo bagged a brace of tries in both regular meetings last season and finished last year with four tries in three Tests. He looks worth backing to dot down for a second time this campaign in what could be a classic clash.

W Naholo to score a try
1pt 5-4 bet365

Brumbies v Sharks
Sky Sports Action, 8.40am Saturday

Take the Sharks to stun the Brumbies in Canberra.

The Durban franchise won 27-22 in the Aussie capital last year and sauntered to a 50-22 success over the Sunwolves last Saturday, with wing of the moment Makazole Mapimpi scoring two tries, before jetting down under. They were also not too far wide of the mark in a 26-19 loss at back-to-back runners-up the Lions and a 24-24 home draw with the Waratahs in their first two outings.

The Brumbies made hark work of winning against the Sunwolves in Tokyo in round two and have lost disappointingly to the Reds in Brisbane and Rebels in Melbourne since. 

1pt 10-11 bet365, BoyleSports

Chiefs v Bulls
Sky Sports Action, 6.35am Friday

The Chiefs defied a double-figure injury list to beat the Blues in Auckland in round three so with the benefit of a bye week it would be no surprise to see them give up 17 points to the Bulls.

The Pretoria outfit were run ragged by the Lions in round three and were involved in a hard-fought encounter with the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday and they lost 28-12 in Waikato last year.

The best value bet could be evergreen former New Zealand backrower Liam Messam to open his try account for the season.

Messam crossed for the Maori All Blacks against the British & Irish Lions last summer after another Super Rugby campaign in which he showed up to great effect in support of clean breaks and with the ball in hand close to the line.  

L Messam to score a try
1pt 2-1 Sky Bet

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All Blacks wing Waisake Naholo bagged a brace of tries in both regular meetings last season and finished last year with four tries in three Tests
E.W. Terms
Sky bet