Super Rugby week-11 preview panel

Adrian Warren

PREVIEW OF SUPER RUGBY WEEK 11 (all times AEST)

FRIDAY, April 27

HURRICANES v SUNWOLVES at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 17:35

Head to head: Played 1, Hurricanes 1, Sunwolves 0

Hurricanes at home: N/A

Last clash: Rd 1, 2017, Hurricanes 83-17 in Tokyo.

Tab Sportsbet: Hurricanes $1.01, Sunwolves $41

Tip: Hurricanes by 39

SATURDAY, April 28

STORMERS v MELBOURNE REBELS at DHL Newlands, Cape Town

Head to head: Played 5 Stormers 4 Rebels 1

Stormers at home: Played 2, Stormers 2 Rebels 0

Last clash: Rd 15, 2016, Stormers 57-31 in Melbourne.

The Rebels have never won in 14 games in South Africa, while the Stormers have won 12 of their past 13 regular season home matches against foreign teams. Both sides have lost their past three and in the Rebels case, four of their past five, but the Victorian side still has some cause for hope. Captain Adam Coleman has been cleared to play following an injury scare last week. Fellow Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty is out, with Jack Maddocks moving from the wing to fullback. Flanker Lopeti Timani and centre Billy Meakes will add starch to their side.

Tab Sportsbet: Stormers $1.18, Rebels $4.80

Tip: Stormers by 6

REDS v LIONS at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, 15:05

Head to head: Played 11, Reds 5, Lions 5, draw 1

Reds at home: Played 5, Reds 2 Lions 3

Last clash: Rd 4, 2017, Lions 44-14 in Johannesburg

The early-season optimism surrounding the Reds has been dissipated by four straight losses and their struggle to score tries. The latter could be a big problem if it continues against the high scoring Lions, who have won their past six matches in Australia. With five-eighth Jono Lance injured, Hamish Stuart gets a chance to run the backline. Veteran flanker George Smith starts for the first time this season, while centre Samu Kerevi leads the side in the absence of Scott Higginbotham and James Slipper.

Tab Sportsbet: Reds $4.75, Lions $1.18

Tip: Lions by 11

BLUES v JAGUARES at Eden Park, Auckland, 17:35

Head to head: Played 1, Blues 1 Jaguares 0

Blues at home: Played 1, Blues 1 Jagaures 0

Last clash: Rd 6, 2016, Blues 24-16 in Auckland

Tab Sportsbet: Blues $1.33 Jaguares $3.30

Tip: Jaguares by 5

BRUMBIES v CRUSADERS at GIO Stadium, Canberra, 19:45

Head to head: Played 24, Brumbies 8, Crusaders 16

Brumbies at home: Played 12, Brumbies 6, Crusaders 6

Last clash: Round 1, 2017, Crusaders 17-13 in Christchurch

If playing the Crusaders wasn't hard enough already, the Brumbies have to do it without David Pocock. The Wallabies star is on co-captain Christian Lealiifano on the sidelines due to a calf injury. It's the worst possible time for the ACT team, who are battling to keep their season alive with a 3-5 record. The Crusaders, who are reigning Super Rugby champions, top the powerful New Zealand conference. They are hottest of favourites to make it 36 consecutive wins for New Zealand teams against Australian opposition.

Tab Sportsbet: Brumbies $7.00, Crusaders $1.10

Tip: Crusaders by 10

SUNDAY, April 29

BULLS v HIGHLANDERS at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria , 03:15

Head to head: Played 20, Highlanders 13, Bulls 6, draw 1

Bulls at home: Played 11, Bulls 5, Highlanders 5, draw 1

Last clash: Round 12 2017, Highlanders 17-10 in Pretoria

Tab Sportsbet: Bulls $2.75, Highlanders $1.45

Tip: Bulls by 3