NRL Eels v Rabbitohs NRL Tigers v Bulldogs A-League Victory v Mariners Super Rugby Reds v Lions
Russian keeper rushed to hospital after being hit by flareRussian keeper rushed to hospital after being hit by flare Finkler brace seals Victory winFinkler brace seals Victory win Folau scores double as Eels upset SouthsFolau scores double as Eels upset Souths
Most popular articles
$10,000 up for grabsSign-up for NRL, AFL
and Rugby tipping
Wide World of Sports TV partners
AFL Footy ShowAustralia's favourite team takes you through the week in AFL.Footy ClassifiedOur award winning panel tell it how it really is in the AFL world.Wide World of SportsCatch up with Ken Sutcliffe and the team on Wide World of Sports.NRL Footy ShowFatty and the gang bring you an entertaining look at rugby league.
Super Rugby preview - Round three
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Eden Park, Auckland, Friday 5.35pm AEDT
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has made an early statement, dumping All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg to the bench in one of four changes to the run-on side. Five-eighth Tyler Bleyendaal and wing Johnny McNicholl are also on the pine, with Colin Slade, Tom Taylor and Rob Thompson promoted. Skipper Kieren Read, who sat out their tight loss to the Chiefs, will start. The Blues came good after an awful first half against the Highlanders but couldn't close the gap and Chris Noakes has paid the price with Simon Hickey making his debut. They will desperately miss exciting centre Francis Saili (foot) while skipper Luke Braid is also in doubt. On the plus side Test veterans Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock are back.

Tip: Crusaders by 9 points
Last clash: Round 14 2013 - Crusaders 23 Blues 3 at Christchurch Head to head: Played 23 Crusaders 13 Blues 10
$1.45 Odds $2.65


AAMI Park, Melbourne 7.40pm AEDT
After the most promising pre-season in their short history the Rebels, who had the bye last round, are primed for a winning start. They have never beaten the Cheetahs but are playing with new-found physicality and confidence under incoming coach Tony McGahan. Expect skipper Scott Higginbotham, who missed the international season through injury, to come out firing while their new front row is also up for the challenge. The Cheetahs have retained the same line-up that cracked their first win over the Bulls in 12 starts, with Springbok fullback Willie le Roux the dangerman among the backs.

Tip: Rebels by 6 points
Last clash: Round 7 2013 - Cheetahs 34 bt Rebels 16 in Bloemfontein Head to head: Played 3 Cheetahs 3 Rebels 0
$1.78 Odds $2.00


Newlands Stadium, Cape Town Saturday 4.10am AEDT
Stormers skipper Jean de Villiers didn't mince words after the 34-10 loss to the Lions, describing their performance as "pretty disgusting" while coach Allister Coetzee said it was the worst he could recall. Expect them to bounce back after making a raft of changes, including fullback Jaco Taute coming back in after recovering from a knee injury. Schalk Burger is tipped to play despite suffering a groin problem. The Hurricanes were first-round losers to the Sharks but as long as their new-look front row holds up, they have the attacking ability to rattle the Stormers.

Tip: Stormers by 10 points
Last clash: Round 11 2013 - Stormers 18 Hurricanes 16 at Palmerston North Head to head: Played 15 Stormers 9 Hurricanes 6
$1.40 Odds $2.85


Waikato Stadium, Hamilton Saturday 5.35pm AEDT
The defending champs were made to really work for their win over the Crusaders and should do it easier against the no-name Highlanders. The underdogs' case won't be helped with the loss of their most experienced forward Brad Thorn with a rib injury. Still, the men from Otago showed defending as a team can reap rewards as they took down the Blues. Chiefs fullback Mils Muliaina can delay surgery on his injured elbow until season's end and is likely to play. The Chiefs overcame the Crusaders with just 31 per cent of the ball - imagine what they can do if they hang on to it against the Highlanders.

Tip: Chiefs by 12 points
Last clash: Round 6 2013 - Chiefs 19 Highlanders 7 in Hamilton Head to head: Played 21 Chiefs 14 Highlanders 7
$1.28 Odds $3.50


ANZ Stadium, Sydney 7.40pm AEDT
This is where we find out whether the pre-season hype surrounding NSW was justified. While they put six tries on the Western Force, the Reds will give them a far more searching test as a classic interstate battle looms. The Waratahs will be led by Michael Hooper for the first time after losing captain Dave Dennis to a knee injury, giving Stephen Hoiles an unexpected `Tahs return in the back-row. While Queensland are unchanged, there's a cloud over the Reds midfield with Anthony Fainga'a a possibility to replace Mike Harris. The Reds' kicking game against Israel Folau will be intriguing while the smaller Queensland pack are confident they can chop the Tahs' big men down.

Tip: Reds by 3 points
Last clash: Round 20 2013 - Reds 14 Waratahs 12 in Sydney Head to head: Played 21 Waratahs 7 Reds 13 Draw 1
$1.42 Odds $2.85


NIB Stadium, Perth, Saturday 10.00pm AEDT
The Brumbies are smarting after a frustrating 27-17 loss to the Reds at home. Little went right in attack for the ACT outfit as the Reds' defence and breakdown efficiency won the day. Tackle-shedding Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani should make a difference in the midfield but they will miss injured winger Joe Tomane, replaced by pocket rocket Robbie Coleman. The Force were extremely disappointing against NSW, leaking six tries in an uncharacteristic defensive display. But they will put out the welcome mat for former skipper David Pocock and look to repeat last season's final-round upset in Perth.

Tip: Brumbies by 8 points
Last clash: Round 20 2013 - Force 21 Brumbies 15 in Perth Head to head: Played 11 Brumbies 6 Force 4 Draw 1
$1.40 Odds $2.90


Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Johannesburg, Sunday 4.05am AEDT
Veteran lock Victor Matfield is back in the starting line-up while five-eighth Louis Fouche has been replaced by Jacques-Louis Potgieter in two of four changes made by Bulls coach Frans Ludeke as they look for their first win of the season. The unheralded Lions are proving the surprise packets of the competition, upsetting both the Cheetahs and Stormers. Five-eighth Marnitz Boshoff has been the star, collecting 29 points last round including three long-range drop-goals.

Tip: Lions by 3 points
Last clash: Round 18 2013 - Bulls 37 Lions 20 in Pretoria Head to head: Played 17 Bulls 12 Lions 5
$1.40 Odds $2.90

Bye: Sharks