Waratahs attack can keep them in touch
Reds v Force
Sky Sports 2, 10.45am Friday
The Western Force crashed to a heavy defeat to the Highlanders last week as their round-the-world exertions seemed to take a toll, and they face another tough test against an improving Queensland Reds side who should be fresh from a bye week.
The Reds lost seven in a row after an opening-round victory against the Sharks, but coach Nick Stiles believes his side are finally hitting some sort of stride and their scoring stats back him up - after 15 tries in their first seven games they have run in 19 in their last four.
The round-two encounter in Perth between these sides went the way of the Force but the Reds look well-placed to atone for that defeat.
1pt 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power
Sunwolves v Cheetahs
Sky Sports 1, 6.15am Saturday
The two teams with the worst records in Super Rugby have met three times and each match has topped the 60-point mark and seen at least eight tries, so the match totals markets will clearly be worth a look.
The Cheetahs won two of their first three matches this year then haven't won since, while the Sunwolves' sole victory came by a single point against South African opponents the Bulls in round seven.
The Sunwolves have been undone late in their last two defeats this month, conceding two tries in the last ten minutes against the Jaguares, while they were within four points of the Sharks with 15 minutes to go last time out but shipped three unanswered tries to go down 38-17.
The Cheetahs arrive in Tokyo after back-to-back defeats in New Zealand, the latest a 61-7 hammering at the Hurricanes, and the hard-working Sunwolves are worth backing to be at least level at the break.
Sunwolves +1 on half-time handicap
1pt 10-11 Coral
Highlanders v Waratahs
Sky Sports 1, 8.35am Saturday
The Waratahs' four victories in this campaign have all come against fellow Australian sides while their three overseas trips have all ended in double-figure losing margins.
But the New South Wales outfit may just have enough firepower to stay in touch as they visit Dunedin to take on a Highlanders side on an eight-match winning run.
The Highlanders struggled against fellow Kiwi teams early on the competition but their last three home outings against overseas opposition have produced wins by 43, 25 and 39 points.
The Tahs have managed at least four tries in four of their last five games, including four against the Hurricanes in Wellington in round seven, and they could generate enough points to stay within an 18-point line.
1pt 10-11 BoyleSports