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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Hurricanes' quickfire backs can run the show against Jaguares

Bulls and Lions set for physical showdown in Pretoria

Ngani Laumape of the Hurricanes was Super Rugby's top tryscorer in 2017
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Sharks v Waratahs
Sky Sports Action, 1.05pm Saturday

The Tahs left it late to see off the Stormers at home last week and face a Sharks side who had a bye in week two after an opening defeat to the Lions.

Neither side looked particularly dominant in the set-piece and this could be an open game with gamebreakers on both sides. Three of the last four meetings have topped the 50-point mark.

Graham Woods's recommendation
Over 50.5 points

1pt 10-11 bet365 

Bulls v Lions
Sky Sports Action, 3.15pm Saturday

This looks set to be a heavyweight contest between a Bulls side who outmuscled the Hurricanes in a narrow upset last week and last year’s beaten finalists the Lions, who are two from two.

The Lions have put 50 points on their Pretoria rivals in the last two meetings but this could be a closer contest as the Bulls showed last week how they can knock the best teams out of their rhythm with their huge physical presence.

Graham Woods's recommendation
Lions to win by one to 12 points

1pt 21-10 Betfair

Jaguares v Hurricanes
Sky Sports Mix, 9.40pm Saturday

Los Jaguares get back to home comforts in Buenos Aires after two tough defeats in South Africa but they are 14-point underdogs against a Hurricanes side hurting from defeat to the Bulls in round one.

Beauden Barrett wears the number ten shirt for the Canes after starting on the bench last week and his partnership with TJ Perenara should help unleash the New Zealand side’s dangerous backs.

Ngani Laumape was Super Rugby’s top tryscorer last season and is worth backing for a try at a shade of odds-against.

Graham Woods's recommendation
N Laumape to score a try

1pt 23-20 bet365

Sunwolves v Rebels
Sky Sports Action & Mix, 4.15am Saturday

Wallabies wing Dane Haylett-Petty's life at the Rebels began with the bang of a brace of tries and he is worth backing to cross the whitewash in Tokyo against the Sunwolves too. 

Haylett-Perry finished his spell at the Force with three tries in four Super Rugby games and while the Rebels benefited from the ill-discipline of the Reds last week, they have clearly clicked in attack under former Force boss David Wessels.

And while the Sunwolves have much more Super Rugby nous in their ranks than in their first two campaigns, their 32-25 defeat to the Brumbies in Tokyo suggests that their defensive structures are still susceptible to fast-moving, multi-phase attacks. Haylett-Petty will be hitting the line at pace from full-back to start with.

Max Oram's recommendation
D Haylett-Petty to score a try
1pt 21-10 bet365 

Crusaders v Stormers
Sky Sports Action, 6.35am Saturday

The Crusaders opened their title defence with a 45-23 win over the Chiefs, although there were only three points in it before a penalty try and sin-binning allowed the Canterbury side to pull away.

The Stormers opened with a win over Los Jaguares then pushed the Waratahs all the way in Sydney last week, but they have not won in New Zealand since 2013.

The home side scored seven tries last week and their backline is packed with attacking threats.

Graham Woods's recommendation
J Goodhue to score a try

1pt 13-8 Sky Bet

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Ngani Laumape was Super Rugby’s top tryscorer last season and is worth backing for a try at a shade of odds-against
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