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Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Sharks can show bite in battle against Rebels

Melbourne outfit have been hammered in both away games

Sharks players celebrate a try against the Brumbies
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Force v Chiefs
Sky Sports 5, 10.45am Saturday
The Force have won their two home games this season and won their last Perth meeting with the Chiefs 18-15, but the Waikato outfit, who won last year's Hamilton clash 53-10, are still taken to give up 13 points.

The Chiefs won all four matches before beginning their tour of South Africa and Australia with a 28-12 win at the Bulls and they bounced back from a 34-26 defeat at the classy Stormers with a 41-27 success at the Cheetahs last Saturday.

The Force do have dangerous backs but their forwards look a touch lightweight with Wallabies backrower Ben McCalman among those sidelined. By contrast, All Blacks Dominic Bird and Liam Messam return to the visiting pack. 

Recommendation
Chiefs -13
1pt 5-6 bet365


Bulls v Cheetahs
Sky Sports 2 red button, 4.15pm Saturday

With a perfect weather forecast for expansive rugby and neither side having anything to gain from playing a tight game in Pretoria, a bet on seven or more tries looks best.

That mark has been reached in six of the Cheetahs' seven matches and five of the Bulls' seven outings this season, including when they met in Bloemfontein in round two.

Indeed, three of the teams' last four clashes have seen seven or more touchdowns, including a 42-29 away win for the Free State franchise at Loftus Versfeld two years ago.

The Cheetahs have lost 41-14 at Los Jaguares and 53-10 at the Stormers this campaign (seven and nine tries).

And while the Bulls are without South Africa fly-half Handre Pollard (injury) and centre Jan Serfontein (Springbok rest protocols), they looked to be regaining rhythm in their 26-13 home win over Los Jaguares last Saturday.

Recommendation
Over 6.5 tries
1pt 5-6 Betfair 


Sharks v Rebels
Sky Sports 2, 6.30pm Saturday

This Durban encounter looks the ideal opportunity for the Sharks to finally harness their defensive and attacking powers and maintain hopes of making the playoffs. Take them to give up 15 points.

The Rebel ended their five-game losing streak with a shock success over Australian conference leaders the Brumbies in Melbourne last Saturday.

But they have been hammered in away games at the Hurricanes and Highlanders and also been weak defensively at home to the Blues, Chiefs and Waratahs.

The Sharks have shown how good their attack can be with a 37-14 home win over the Tahs, away wins at the Cheetahs and Brumbies and two losing-bonus-points at the Reds and Lions, while their defence has shone in narrow Kings Park wins over Los Jaguares and the Kings.      

Recommendation
Sharks -15
1pt 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power

The Sharks have shown how good their attack can be with a 37-14 home win over the Tahs and away wins at the Cheetahs and Brumbies
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