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Super Rugby week-14 preview panel

The NSW Waratahs look the best chance of breaking Australia's Super Rugby trans-Tasman drought when they host the Hurricanes in Sydney.

Super Rugby week-14 preview panel

The NSW Waratahs look the best chance of breaking Australia's Super Rugby trans-Tasman drought when they host the Hurricanes in Sydney.

PREVIEW OF SUPER RUGBY WEEK 14 (all times AEST):

FRIDAY, May 18:


HURRICANES v QUEENSLAND REDS at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 17:35

Head to head: Played 21, Hurricanes 15, Reds 6

Hurricanes at home: Played 11, Hurricanes 9, Reds 2

Last clash: Rd 6, 2017, Hurricanes 34-15 in Brisbane

If the Reds thought it couldn't get any worse than a humbling 63-28 loss to the previously winless Sunwolves, they'd better think again. Coach Brad Thorn welcomes back Scott Higginbotham from injury and twin brothers JP and Ruan Smith from suspension but he shouldn't expect any respite when the Reds face the competition favourites on their home patch. Victory for the Reds would end Australian teams' dreadful 39-match losing streak against Kiwi outfits, but the Hurricanes' odds of 50-1-on reflect the enormity of the task.

Tab Sportsbet: Hurricanes $1.02, Reds $13

Tip: Hurricanes by 28

SATURDAY, May 19:

SUNWOLVES v STORMERS at Mong Kok Stadium, Hong Kong, 15:15

Head to head: Played 4, Sunwolves 0, Stormers 3, drawn 1

Sunwolves at home: Played 2, Sunwolves 0, Stormers 1, drawn 1

Last clash: Rd 16, 2017, Stormers 52-15 in Cape Town

Tab Sportsbet: Sunwolves $3.85, Stormers $1.26

Tip: Stormers by 15

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

Head to head: Played 30, Blues 11, Crusaders 19

Blues at home: Played 15, Blues 8, Crusaders 7

Last clash: Rd 4, 2017, Crusaders 33-24 in Christchurch

Tab Sportsbet: Blues $4.25, Crusaders $1.22

Tip: Crusaders by 10

NSW WARATAHS v HIGHLANDERS at Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 19:45

Head to head: Played 22, Waratahs 13, Highlanders 9

Waratahs at home: Played 11, Waratahs 7, Highlanders 4

Last clash: Rd 14, 2017, Highlanders 44-28 in Dunedin

The Waratahs will be hoping its third time lucky against Kiwi counterparts after suffering two frustrating near misses against the Blues and Crusaders. Their cause hasn't been helped by the return of All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith to a near-full-strength Highlanders team wary of a Waratahs outfit overdue for a breakthrough win. Smith sat out last week's victory over the Lions but again links with Lima Sopoaga in a classy halves pairing.

Tab Sportsbet: Waratahs $2.65, Highlanders $1.48

Tip: Highlanders by 5

SHARKS v CHIEFS at GIO Jonsson Kings Park, Durban, 23:05

Head to head: Played 19, Sharks 8, Chiefs 11

Sharks at home: Played 10, Sharks 3, Chiefs 7

Last clash: Rd 10, 2016, Chiefs 24-22 in New Plymouth

Tab Sportsbet: Sharks $1.40, Chiefs $2.90

Tip: Sharks by 8

SUNDAY, May 20:

LIONS v BRUMBIES at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg, 01:15

Head to head: Played 18, Lions 5, Brumbies 13

Lions at home: Played 8, Lions 3, Brumbies 5

Last clash: Rd 12, 2017, Lions 13-6 in Canberra

They've reached the playoffs for five-straight years but nothing less than a boilover win can save the Brumbies' season after their last-gasp loss to the Melbourne Rebels. The Canberrans trail Australia's conference-leading Waratahs by nine competition points. In a huge boost, inspirational flanker David Pocock has travelled to South Africa with the side and is expected to recover from a calf injury in time to play, but Test prop Scott Sio is doubtful with concussion.

Tab Sportsbet: Lions $1.11, Brumbies $6.50

Tip: Lions by 20

JAGUARES v BULLS at Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires, 07:40

Head to head: Played 2, Jaguares 1, Bulls 1

Jaguares at home: Played 1, Jaguares 1, Bulls 0

Last clash: Rd 8, 2018, Bulls 26-13 in Pretoria

Tab Sportsbet: Jaguares $1.55, Bulls $2.45

Tip: Jaguares by 10

Bye: Melbourne Rebels

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