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Super Rugby Quarter-finals team by team preview

TOKYO, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 25: Detail view of Super rugby logo during the Super Rugby Rd 1 game between Sunwolves and Hurricanes at Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground on February 25, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images for SUNWOLVES)

Super Rugby has reached the quarter final or knock out stages which means that we have just seven matches remaining for the 2017 season.

There are just eight teams remaining and whoever loses this weekend is out of the running until next year.

The weekend kicks off in Canberra where the Brumbies host the Hurricanes and the round finishes in Cape Town with the Stormers hosting the Chiefs.

There are four matches this weekend with one on Friday and three on Saturday.


Brumbies v Hurricanes Super Rugby Preview

Australian Conference winners the Brumbies hosting  the Hurricanes is the first of four Super Rugby quarter finals this weekend.

The Brumbies go into this match having been hit by injuries in their backline and are coming off back to back losses. It’s fair to say they are heavy underdogs
in this contest.

In contrast the Hurricanes became the first team to beat the Crusaders this season last weekend and they scored the second highest number of points in the standings. The Hurricanes 596 points scored through the season is the highest of all 18 teams.

Strangely in the last two matches the winner has scored over 50 points against the other team and they are on one win each. Overall the Brumbies have played the Hurricanes 23 times and they have won 13 matches or 57% of the matches.

The Bookies have given the Brumnbies an 11 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Brumbies have home advantage in this match but they are up against a team that won the SUper Rugby title last season and earned almost twice as many points in the regular season. The Hurricanes should win this by 13 points or more.

Average score: Brumbies 27 Hurricanes27

Last five results
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 Brumbies v Hurricanes 21-56 Napier
Fri, 26 Feb 2016 Brumbies v Hurricanes 52-10 Canberra
Sat, 27 Jun 2015 Semi Brumbies v Hurricanes 9-29 Wellington
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 Brumbies v Hurricanes 29-21 Wellington
Fri, 31 May 2013 Brumbies v Hurricanes 30-23 Canberra

Brumbies overall record against theHurricanes
Played 23 , Wins 13, Losses 10, Draws 0

Match Officials
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 1:Nic Berry
Assistant Ref 2: Will Houston
TMO : Ian Smith

Teams

Brumbies

15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Andrew Smith, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell; 1 Scott Sio, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Sam Carter (c), 6 Scott Fardy, 7 Chris Alcock, 8 Jordan Smiler.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Axel, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Jordan Jackson-Hope, 23 Christian Lealiifano.

Hurricanes

15 Nehe Milner-Skudder , 14 Wes Goosen , 13 Jordie Barrett , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Julian Savea , 10 Beauden Barrett , 9 TJ Perenara (c) , 8 Brad Shields , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Vaea Fifita , 5 Sam Lousi , 4 Mark Abbott , 3 Jeff To’omaga-Allen , 2 Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Ben May

Replacements : 16 Dane Coles , 17 Chris Eves , 18 Loni Uhila , 19 Reed Prinsep , 20 Callum Gibbins , 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi , 22 Otere Black , 23 Cory Jane


Crusaders v Highlanders Super Rugby Preview

The Crusaders face south island rivals the Highlanders in the first of Saturday’s Super Rugby Quarter-finals.

The Crusaders lost their unbeaten streak last weekend and with it the top seeding for the play offs – and potentially the right to host the final.

The Crusaders finished the Super Rugby season as the highest placed New Zealand team while the Hurricanes finished as the lowest placed New Zealand team.

The Crusaders have played the Highlanders 31 times in Super Rugby and they have won 21 matches or 68% of the matches.

The teams have met 16 times on home soil for the Crusaders and the Christchurch side have won 12 of the matches. The last two matches between the sides – regardless of venue – have both been won by the Crusaders.

The winner can look forward to playing a semi-final game against the Chiefs or Stormers while the losers will be spectators for the rest of the competition.

The Bookies have given the Highlanders a 6 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. Although the Crusaders lost their unbeaten run last week they are still unbeaten at home. The Crusaders should win this by 7.

Average score: Crusaders 29 Highlanders 21

Last five results
Sat, 03 Jun 2017 Crusaders v Highlanders 25-22 Christchurch
Sat, 04 Mar 2017 Crusaders v Highlanders 30-27 Dunedin
Fri, 13 May 2016 Crusaders v Highlanders 26-34 Dunedin
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 Crusaders v Highlanders 20-25 Christchurch
Sat, 21 Feb 2015 Crusaders v Highlanders 26-20 Dunedin

Crusaders overall record against theHighlanders
Played 31, Wins 21 , Losses 10 , Draws 0

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 2:Mike Fraser
TMO : Glenn Newman

Teams

Crusaders

1. Joe Moody , 2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Scott Barrett , 5. Sam Whitelock (C) , 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd (VC) , 8. Kieran Read , 9. Bryn Hall , 10. Richie Mo’unga , 11. Seta Tamanivalu , 12. Ryan Crotty (VC) , 13. Jack Goodhue , 14. Israel Dagg , 15. David Havili

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Michael Alaalatoa , 19. Luke Romano , 20. Pete Samu , 21. Mitchell Drummond , 22. Mitchell Hunt , 23. George Bridge

Highlanders

1. Daniel Lienert-Brown , 2. Liam Coltman , 3. Siate Tokolahi , 4. Jackson Hemopo , 5. Tom Franklin , 6. Liam Squire , 7. James Lentjes , 8. Luke Whitelock , 9. Aaron Smith , 10. Lima Sopoaga , 11. Richard Buckman , 12. Rob Thompson, 13. Malakai Fekitoa , 14. Waisake Naholo , 15. Ben Smith (cc)

Replacements : 16. Ash Dixon (cc) , 17. Aki Seiuli , 18. Siosuia Halanukonuka , 19. Alex Ainley , 20. Gareth Evans , 21. Elliot Dixon , 22. Kayne Hammington , 23. Marty Banks


Lions v Sharks Super Rugby Preview

The Lions finished the season as Super Rugby’s top ranked team which means that as long as they keep winning they will host the final.

The Lions host the Sharks who finished as the lowest ranked qualifying team. These teams have already met twice this season and the Lions won both matches.

The Lions and Sharks have played each other 26 times in Super Rugby and the Lions have won 8 matches, drawn two and lost 16. However the last five matches between the sides have all been won by the Lions.

The Lions have only had three wins this season against the the teams that have reached the play offs and two of those were against the Sharks.

The Bookies have given the Sharks a 15 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Lions go into this match as Super Rugby’s form team as they have won their last 12 matches and have home advantage. The Lions should win this comfortably by 14 points or more.

Average score: Lions 20 Sharks 27

Last five results
Sat, 15 Jul 2017 Lions v Sharks 27-10 Durban
Sat, 01 Apr 2017 Lions v Sharks 34-29 Johannesburg
Sat, 02 Jul 2016 Lions v Sharks 37-10 Johannesburg
Sat, 09 Apr 2016 Lions v Sharks 24-9 Durban
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 Lions v Sharks 23-21 Johannesburg

Lions overall record against the Sharks
Played 26, Wins 8 , Losses 16, Draws 2

Match Officials
Referee:
Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 2:Egon Seconds
TMO : Marius Jonker

Teams

Lions

1. Jacques van Rooyen,2. Malcolm Marx,3. Ruan Dreyer,4. Andries Ferreira,5. Franco Mostert,6. Jaco Kriel ©,7. Kwagga Smith,8. Ruan Ackermann,9. Ross Cronje,10. Elton Jantjies,11. Courtnall Skosan,12. Harold Vorster,13. Lionel Mapoe,14. Ruan Combrinck,15. Andries Coetzee,

Replacements : 16. Akker vd Merwe,17. Corne Fourie,18. Johannes Jonker,19. Lourens Erasmus,20. Cyle Brink,21. Faf de Klerk,22. Rohan Janse van ,Rensburg,23. Sylvian Mahuza.

Sharks

15. Lwazi Mvovo,14. Kobus van Wyk,13. Lukhanyo Am,12. Andre Esterhuizen,11. S’busiso Nkosi,10. Curwin Bosch,9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Daniel du Preez,7. Jean-Luc du Preez,6. Philip van der Walt (c),5. Stephan Lewies,4. Etienne Oosthuizen,3. Coenie Oosthuizen,2. Chiliboy Ralepelle,1. Thomas du Toit

Replacements: 16. Franco Marais/Stephan Coetzee,17. Juan Schoeman,18. Lourens Adriaanse,19. Jean Droste,20. Tera Mtembu,21. Michael Claassens,22. Garth April,23. Jeremy Ward


Stormers v Chiefs Super Rugby Preview

The final Super Rugby Quarter-final is a repeat of last year’s Super Rugby quarter final as it featured the same teams at the same venue and at the same
stage.

Last year the Chiefs won the match 21-60 in Cape Town but it was the first time that the Stormers had faced New Zealand side. This season the Stormers played all five NZ sides but won two and lost three.

Crucially though one of those wins was a 34-26 victory over the Chiefs which will be a big physcological boost for the Cape Town side.

The Stormers finished the season on 43 points (10 wins) while the Chiefs finished with 57 points (12 wins).

These teams have played each other 19 times in Super Rugby and the Stormers have won 10 matches and lost 9. In Cape Town the Stormers have played the Chiefs 10 times and won six matches.

Both teams have won their last three matches.

The Bookies have given the Stormers a 3 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. While the Stormers will have home advantage the Chiefs have shown much stronger form

Average score: Stormers 26 Chiefs 28

Last five results
Sat, 08 Apr 2017 Stormers v Chiefs 34-26 Cape Town
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 Elim Stormers v Chiefs 21-60 Cape Town
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 Stormers v Chiefs 19-28 Cape Town
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 Stormers v Chiefs 20-36 Hamilton
Sat, 09 Mar 2013 Stormers v Chiefs 36-34 Cape Town

Stormers overall record against the Chiefs
Played 19 , Wins 10 , Losses 9, Draws 0

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Ref 2: Quinton Immelman
TMO : Johan Greeff

Teams

Stormers

15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Seabelo Senatla, 23 Juan de Jongh.

Chiefs

1. Kane Hames , 2. Nathan Harris , 3. Nepo Laulala , 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Mitchell Brown , 6. Liam Messam (, 7. Sam Cane (c) , 8. Michael Leitch, 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden (c) , 11. James Lowe , 12. Stephen Donald , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Solomon Alaimalo , 15. Damian McKenzie ,

Replacements : 16. Liam Polwart, 17. Aidan Ross, 18. Atu Moli, 19. Dominic Bird, 20. Lachlan Boshier, 21. Finlay Christie, 22. Tim Nanai-Williams, 23. Shaun Stevenson