Super Rugby Round 11 Tips - Game-by-game guide to this week's games

James Wells 25 Apr 2019

The Super Rugby season moves into Round 11 this weekend and here is our game-by-game preview for all six matches across the weekend.

Crusaders vs Lions

A big line to start the round, but understandably so with the Crusaders at home. These two sides have clashed 21 times in Super Rugby with the Lions winning just four times. That poor record includes losses in each of the last two Super Rugby finals. The Lions have also never won in Christchurch. The Crusaders had the week off last round so will also come into this game well rested, while the Lions are on the third leg of a southern hemisphere tour that did include an upset win over the Chiefs last week. The last time these two sides met in Christchurch was the 2018 final that the Crusaders dominated 37-18. The Crusaders have remained their usual dominant selves this season, not so the Lions who have been erratic at times and stuck in a fight to even get through the South African conference. 

Sunwolves vs Highlanders

The Highlanders broke a run of seven weeks without a victory last round putting down the Blues 24-12 while the Sunwolves put up a stiff fight against the Hurricanes but ultimately succumbed 29-23. This will be the first time the Highlanders have ventured to Tokyo and just the second time the two sides have played each other, the first a 40-15 Highlanders win in 2017. The Highlanders remain fourth in the New Zealand conference, yet sit just two points out of a wildcard playoff spot so have plenty of reason to get up for this one. The Sunwolves are yet to win a home game this season so they too should be inspired even if the playoffs are a dream to them. Despite their record, the Sunwolves have rarely been blown out this season. While I don't see them winning, I do see them making it a contest.

Hurricanes vs Chiefs

The Hurricanes maintained the second best record in Super Rugby after going on the road and taking down the Sunwolves 29-23. They weren't convincing, but away from home, absent star names like Beauden Barrett, they got the victory for the sixth time this year, better than anyone but the Crusaders. Conversely, the Chiefs sit at the bottom of the kiwi ladder and a 23-17 loss on their home paddock to the Lions reinforced why. These two met last month in Hamilton, resulting in a 23-23 draw an upset result for the Chiefs at the time, but since then they've failed to build further momentum and the loss of Damian McKenzie has terminated any hope they may have had left. Returning to Wellington is a huge boost for the Hurricanes who have won 12 of the 16 games between the two sides when playing at home.

Waratahs vs Sharks

Breathing some life back into the Australian conference race, the Waratahs took down the top ranked Rebels last round 23-20 leaving them one win behind the conference leaders with a game in hand. The Sharks are stuck in the middle of the South African conference dogfight and let themselves down last round losing 21-14 to the Reds at home. They now make the long trip to Sydney, a city that they have not won in since the year 2000. The visitors have won just six total games against the Waratahs in 20 contests. The Sharks are traditionally poor travelers, their only trip outside of South Africa this season was a comprehensive win over the Sunwolves, but this should be a much tougher contest. 

Stormers vs Bulls

It's first place vs last place in the South African conference, but the top ranked Bulls have just one more win on the season than the Stormers, such is how tight that conference has been. These two sides played in the first round of the year, and it was a dominant victory for the Bulls in Pretoria 40-3. Now, they go to Cape Town where the Stormers have won seven straight games between the two. Fortunately for the Bulls, with a bye last week, they will be refreshed coming into this one, while the Stormers are coming off a loss at home to the Brumbies. In saying that, the week prior they had knocked off the Aussie conference leaders on the road 41-24, such is the inconsistency they have shown this year. The Stormers have scored the fewers points in Super Rugby with just 180 points over eight games,while the Bulls have given up the second fewest, allowing just 167 in nine.  

Jaguares vs Brumbies

Wrapping up the round the Brumbies continue their road trip traveling to Argentina to play the Jaguares for just the second time. The two games between these sides have been split one a piece, with the road team winning each time so the Brumbies do have experience winning in Buenos Aires. Each of these sides have four wins on the year, though the Brumbies have played one extra game. The Jaguares have been resting at home after the bye last week, but crushed the Sharks 51-17 in Durban during their last outing. The Brumbies got their overseas tour underway successfully with a scrappy 19-17 win over the Stormers. That marked two in a row for the Brumbies, half of their total season win total. While they may be turning the corner, the Jaguares had won two in a row before their break as well, in more dominant fashion, and now they're on their home court.

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Super Rugby Round 11 Tips - Game-by-game guide to this week's games

The Super Rugby season moves into Round 11 this weekend and here is our game-by-game preview for all six matches across the weekend.

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