Super Rugby Round 9 Preview

Former Reds and Wallabies forward Mark Connors
Former Reds and Wallabies forward Mark Connors previews Round 9 of Super Rugby.

TattsBet Super Rugby Round 9 Preview

Highlanders v Bulls
Friday 11/4/14 @ 17:35

The home side did just enough last week, while the Bulls will be looking to resurrect their forward pack's reputation after a lacklustre display and poor scrum effort last start. The Bulls will be better for a second start in New Zealand and will also need to show greater discipline to win the game.

My pick: Bulls to win 

Reds v Brumbies
Friday 11/4/14 @ 19:40

While showing lots of endeavour and having some big name players (Horwill and Genia) back into some form, the Reds are still struggling to play for the full 80 mins. The Brumbies were strong against an enormously inept Blues team last week, but will be fired up for some payback after their early season loss to the Reds in Canberra.

My pick: Brumbies on form


Chiefs v Rebels
Saturday 12/4/14 @ 17:35

In a big blow, the Chiefs lose playmaker Cruden with a broken thumb, but should be able to cover him for this game. While they had courageous fight-backs to claim two draws in South Africa, they will be disappointed with their overall form. If they freshen up after a tiring tour, they should win, but the Rebels will provide some solid resistance.

My pick: Chiefs to win (but it will be closer than the odds suggest)


Force v Waratahs
Saturday 12/4/14 @ 19:40

This is a danger game for the Tahs, with the Force on a roll and super confident at home. The Force will need to play more rugby (themselves) though, as their DEFENCE and preying on OPPOSITION MISTAKES will only get them so far. The Tahs will be ready and also hoping Folau is back to help.

My pick: Waratahs to win  


Cheetahs v Crusaders 
Sunday 13/4/14 @ 01:05 

Both sides would be relieved that we've finally seen them return to form last week. The Crusaders have some further injury woes though and will be tested in the set piece play by the Cheetahs who will be desperate to show they are "back" to their supporters. This will be a high scoring match.

My pick: Cheetahs to sneak a win (tough call though) 

Lions v Sharks
Sunday 13/4/14 @ 03:10

The Lions would be disappointed with their efforts against the Crusaders last week. They produced a lot of errors, had a terrible day at the breakdown and at the line-outs. They have though shown an ability to bounce back after any form lapses this season and should improve markedly this week. The Sharks come off a bye and I expect they should be good enough to grind out a win and show they are "real" title contenders this season.

My pick: Sharks to win 

Mark Connors, former Reds and Wallabies forward

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