Re: Super 15 - Round 3
Quick looks at the other games...
Lions v Blues
The Lions have been much improved this year, but still haven't broken through for that elusive win. This is another intriguing match-up as cases can be made for either side to prevail. Lions will be desperate for a win at home, but it's hard to back against the better team on paper. Auckland probably have too many options and will edge a close one.
Chiefs v Rebels
Melbourne heads across the ditch full of confidence after an amazing win over the Brumbies last Friday night. Waikato hasn't won since April 3 last year after starting that season 3-0. They were found out in Canberra in Round 1 and embarrassed in Dunedin last week (all be it against a much improved Highlanders outfit). You get the feeling they really want to belt Melbourne this week, but the Rebels will be no pushovers. Chiefs by <12 for mine, although I think the Rebels are a better bet at covering.
Brumbies v Reds
Another ripsnorter. Both teams playing below their best, but tradition says a team that sacks its coach comes out the next week and has a big win. I can't see the Reds rolling over that easily and actually think they're decent value at close to 3.00.
Force v Sharks
Another one where I see value in the dog. The Force are coming off a week off while the Sharks have come across from Africa (which admittedly isn't a huge flight to the west coast). I like what I've seen from the Sharks but I was also impressed with the Force's Round 1 effort at Suncorp despite being pipped at the post. Was hoping for more than a penalty goal to cover, but I think the home side will do it.
Stormers v Cheetahs
Not a great deal to say about this. Despite a different looking lineup, the Stomers will have too much class and win by 13+. Losing Juan Smith for the year is a massive blow for the Cheetahs.
Bulls v Highlanders
Last season I wouldn't have been surprised to see this end 80-0, but the Highlanders are a much, much improved side (who would haven thought?) Despite losing Dagg and losing Slade, they're 2-0 after magnificent wins over the Canes and Chiefs. Going on the road is a different story though and I think they'll be put to the sword. Kicking has been a HUGE problem for Otago and they come up against superboot Steyn. Can't see anything but a Bulls whitewash in this one.