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Super Rugby preview panel for round eight

NZN 13/04/2017 Darren Walton and Matt Coughlan

PREVIEW OF SUPER RUGBY ROUND EIGHT (all times AEST)

FRIDAY, April 14

CRUSADERS v SUNWOLVES at AMI Stadium, Christchurch, 5.35pm

Head to head: first meeting

Tab Sportsbet: no head-to-head market

Tip: Crusaders by 59

SATURDAY, April 15

QUEENSLAND REDS v KINGS at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 3.05pm

Head to head: first meeting

Tab Sportsbet: Reds $1.13, Kings $6

The Reds will rarely get a better chance to snap a six-game losing streak. They have won six of their past eight home games against South African opposition and welcome back star playmaker Quade Cooper from suspension and fullback Karmichael Hunt from concussion. Coach Nick Stiles has opted to rest Wallabies captain Stephen Moore and hand hooker Alex Mafi his Super Rugby starting debut against a Kings outfit that is leaking an average of 48 points a game in their past five matches overseas.

Tip: Reds by 28

BLUES v HURRICANES at Eden Park, Auckland, 5.35pm

Head to head: Played 27, Blues 14, Hurricanes 12, drawn 1

Blues at home: Played 14, Blues 8, Hurricanes 6

Last clash: Round 15, 2016 - Hurricanes 37 bt Blues 27 in Wellington

Tab Sportsbet: Blues $2.95, Hurricanes $1.40

Tip: Hurricanes by five

MELBOURNE REBELS v BRUMBIES at AAMI Park, Melbourne, 7.45pm

Head to head: Played 11, Rebels 3, Brumbies 8

Rebels at home: Played 6, Rebels 2, Brumbies 4

Last clash: Round 12, 2016 - Brumbies 30 bt Rebels 22 in Melbourne

Tab Sportsbet: Rebels $3.50, Brumbies $1.30

The Rebels and the Western Force were given a stay of execution after signalling they would fight any move to axe them from Super Rugby. With everything to prove, Melbourne will search for their first win of the season against a Brumbies outfit that added attacking flair to the best defence in the competition in dismantling Queensland last week. While the Rebels are winless at the bottom of the ladder, four of their first five games have been against New Zealand sides. The Brumbies are out to extend their Australian derby winning streak to 11.

Tip: Brumbies by 10

SUNDAY, April 16

CHEETAHS v CHIEFS at Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, 11.05pm

Head to head: Played 10, Cheetahs 1, Chiefs 6, drawn 3

Cheetahs at home: Played 5, Cheetahs 1, Chiefs 2, drawn 2

Last clash: Round 7, 2015 - Chiefs 37 bt Cheetahs 27 in Hamilton

Tab Sportsbet: Cheetahs $5.25, Chiefs $1.16

Tip: Chiefs by 10

STORMERS v LIONS at DHL Newlands, Cape Town, 1.15am

Head to head: Played 14, Stormers 11, Lions 1, drawn 2

Stormers at home: Played 6, Stormers 5, Lions 0, drawn 1

Last clash: Round 8, 2016 - Lions 29 bt Stormers 22 in Johannesburg

Tab Sportsbet: Stormers $1.65, Lions $2.25

Tip: Stormers by eight

BULLS v JAGUARES at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, 3.30am

Head to head: Played 1, Bulls 0, Jaguares 1

Bulls at home: first meeting

Last clash: Round 15, 2016 - Jaguares 29 bt Bulls 11 in Buenos Aires

Tab Sportsbet: Bulls $2, Jaguares $1.80

Tip: Bulls by 10

BYE: NSW Waratahs, Western Force, Highlanders, Sharks

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