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Sticking with the home teams might be Super-safe way to go

Might be a good weekend to stick with the home teams in Round 11 of the Super Rugby competition.

However, the Hurricanes face a tough assignment when they take on the Stormers in Palmerston North.

The Hurricanes and Stormers sit just outside the top six, so it should prove an epic contest.

The Stormers, who welcome back Habana, are considered a strong chance in some circles, however the Hurricanes, who have lost Savea, welcome back automatic selections Eaton, Lowe, Vito, Perenara and Taylor.

The Stormers are fresh after the bye, but Palmerston North is foreign territory and surely the Hurricanes, who battled to put the Force away last weekend, will capitalise.

If the Reds down the visiting Blues in the match of the round then the Brisbane-based outfit will become the first Australian side to complete a clean sweep of New Zealand in a single season.

The Ioane dispute isn’t exactly what the Reds needed on the eve of such an important game, but the second-ranked outfit on the competition ladder had the ideal preparation for their match against the third-ranked Blues following last weekend’s exhilarating draw against the first-ranked Brumbies.

The Blues have had a great season and will prove worthy finalists in 2013, but on this occasion the home ground advantage should get the Reds over the line.

In a replay of last year’s final, the Chiefs play host to the Sharks in Hamilton.

The Chiefs creamed the Sharks 37-6 in the final and it might well be a similar story on this occasion as the South African outfit has a shocking injury toll.

Defeats at the hands of the Reds and Waratahs would have stung the Chiefs, so it could be long night for the Sharks if they fail to fire in defence.

The Force have seemingly found another gear after stunning the Crusaders in Perth before suffering an honurable defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes in Wellington.

The Brumbies are the team to beat for this year’s title and it’s hard to see them letting this game slip from their grasp, although they must treat the Force with the utmost respect as they got the Reds in Brisbane earlier in the season.

The Bulls have been the quiet achievers in 2013 and currently sit in fifth place, and welcome the Waratahs, who somehow got the points against the Chiefs last weekend, after an emphatic 34-0 win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth.

Speaking of the Kings, returning home to play the Bulls was perhaps a tough ask after a fairly successful tour of Australasia.

The Kings have displayed plenty of ticker in their debut season, which has been a breath of fresh air following the poor displays the Lions produced over the years.

The Cheetahs, who had suffered endless heart-breaking defeats since entering Super Rugby, have clearly turned the corner and are a massive chance of qualifying for the finals if the second half of their season replicates what has been a memorable start to the 2013 campaign.

It’s always entertaining when two South African teams meet, but the Cheetahs will rightly start the game against the Kings at Bloemfontein as a warm favourite.

After a shock home loss to the Kings in their last appearance, it’s hard to see the Rebels troubling the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Crusaders have been ruthless at home this season with a total scoreline that reads 120-47 in three games, and seeing as though they sit outside the top six they will be aiming for a bonus point win.

 

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