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NRL and AFL are tricky, but for tipsters Super Rugby is horrific

NRL – Round 11
 
If games go according to form there shouldn’t be too many surprises this weekend, but are you game enough to back all eight favourites with confidence?
 
Yes, the Tigers are playing poorly, but they also have their injury concerns, so if the Cowboys can’t get them on this occasion you’ve got to question whether or not the Townsville-based outfit will in fact make the finals.
 
Here’s a statement.
 
If the Bulldogs don’t overcome the Broncos, they won’t play finals in 2013.
 
The Bulldogs were awful against the Knights, so it’s hard to tip them with confidence.
 
The Broncos have been a little up and down this season, but they did show encouraging signs as they dismantled the Titans last weekend.
 
No sitting on the fence here.
 
It’s the Bulldogs, but you’ll be holding your breath for the entire 80 minutes no matter who you tip.
 
The Panthers were dynamite against the hapless Warriors last weekend and will fancy their chances against the Dragons; however, it’s hard to get too excited about the Panthers on the road — especially against the Dragons, who are showing plenty of steel these days at Kogarah and Wollongong.
 
The Roosters are flying and it would come as a major surprise if they were to stumble at the hands of the Storm, who are capable of lifting for such a big game despite their brutal contest against the Sea Eagles.
 
The Storm have seemingly lost their attacking edge, but remember, they’re the premiers.
 
If there is going to be an upset this weekend it could be at Brookvale, but tipping against the Sea Eagles at home is a risky exercise.
 
Like the Storm, the Sea Eagles are licking their wounds following the Monday night cracker in Melbourne, so the Raiders, if they can put it together for 80 minutes, are some chance if their performance against the Sharks is any guide.
 
The Warriors have a fantastic record against the Knights, but a week ago the Warriors were annihilated at Penrith and the Knights creamed the visiting Bulldogs.
 
When last they travelled, the Knights were smashed in Canberra, but if the Novocastrians think they’re good enough to make the finals then they have to win this game.
 
The Eels have been great at Parramatta Stadium this season, but on the road it has been a different story and they didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Wollongong against the Dragons last weekend.
 
On paper, the Titans perhaps have a better looking side and no doubt facing the Eels in Mudgee instead of Parramatta Stadium has got to be a bonus.
 
The Eels will be out for revenge after grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory when last these two teams clashed, but if the Titans, who lost the plot in the first half against the Broncos, can nullify Jarryd Hayne and Chris Sandow they can win.
 
The Sharks-Rabbitohs game could be a highly entertaining affair; however, the Rabbitohs are playing faultless football and you’d be extremely brave to tip against them.
 
The Sharks have displayed signs of vulnerability during the ASADA investigation, so how will the Rabbitohs shape up with the Ben Te’o dramas grabbing all the headlines this week?
 
The Sharks are expected to welcome back Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis, which is great news after their courageous win over the Raiders last weekend, but at the moment the Rabbitohs are the best team in the competition.   
  
 
AFL – Round 9
 
If you can pick the winners of the Magpies-Swans game and the Tigers-Bombers clash then you might have a good weekend, although many will argue that the Lions-Blues and Kangaroos-Crows contests could go either way.
 
The Magpies were that awful against an injury-riddled Dockers a fortnight ago that you questioned whether or not they were capable of being around come September.
 
A week later, the Magpies come out and knock over the unbeaten Cats.
 
How many of you tipped the Cats after the way the Magpies played against the Dockers?
 
You would expect that the Swans, who have got the wobbles, will lift for such a big game; however, their record against the Magpies in Melbourne isn’t pretty.
 
This game compares to the Bulldogs-Broncos game in the NRL.
 
It’s a game that can go either way, but we’ll stick our neck out and go with the Magpies.
 
The Power jumped out of the blocks at the start of the season and, as a result, their rivals are taking them quite seriously.
 
The Cats were far from disgraced against the Magpies last weekend and boast a good record against the Power in Adelaide, so they should win.
 
The Eagles will get the cash in Sydney against the Giants, but when it comes to the punt would you be willing to take the Eagles by under 39 points?
 
The Bulldogs have been under the spotlight this week, and rightly so as they have lost 18 of their past 19 games, which is surprising after systematically dismantling the Lions in Round 1.
 
Can’t see the Bulldogs ending their losing streak against the Saints, who will post their fair share of wins against the lower-ranked teams and suffer their fair share of defeats against the top teams for the rest of 2013.
 
The Lions bounced back in style with a super win over the Bombers and have played well at home all season, but the Blues will prove stiff opposition.
 
It’s a danger game for the Blues, no doubt, but if they can overcome the Eagles in Perth then they’re capable of getting the cash against the Lions in Brisbane.
 
Losing Daniel Merrett to suspension is a blow for the Lions.
 
Now here’s a 50/50 contest – Tigers v Bombers.
 
Yes, the Tigers had a comfortable win over the Demons, but a fortnight ago they were highly impressive when they got the Power in Adelaide.
 
The Bombers have been cruising, but out of the blue they produced a shocker against the Lions, which perhaps gives an indication that the supplements saga is taking its toll.
 
The Bombers should bounce back and they usually lift for the “Dreamtime at the G”, but don’t dismiss the Tigers so easily.
 
Perhaps it’s the Bombers if their big win over the Magpies on Anzac Day is any guide.
 
After enduring a tough draw at the start of the year, the Hawks get the opportunity to cruise for a few weeks.
 
After a comfortable win over the Giants in Launceston, the Hawks will down the Suns, although the boys from the Gold Coast will prove a lot more competitive than GWS.
 
The Kangaroos are so close to making an impact this season you can smell it and the fact they didn’t get the cash against the Eagles in Perth bordered on the criminal.
 
The Crows looked good against the Saints, who marched into Adelaide after toppling the Blues, but face a team this weekend who are hellbent on claiming redemption.
 
Should be a terrific game.
 
The Dockers, who are really starting to show premiership qualities, will prove too good for the Demons — in fact, it could get ugly — and with the future in mind you’ve got to wonder how good Freo will be when they’re at full strength.    
 
 
Super Rugby – Round 15
 
Like the Waratahs against the Rebels, the Force are capable of getting the Highlanders and the Cheetahs are likely to get the cash against the Kings, but the other four games are fair dinkum lotteries.
 
The Chiefs have been among the top teams all year, but the Crusaders are finishing the season strongly and will prove hard to beat.
 
This game can go either way.
 
The Brumbies have also been among the high-flyers this season and deserve a spot in the finals; however they face a desperate opponent in the Blues, who will take some stopping in Auckland.
 
The Blues have been highly impressive at home and the Brumbies are hoping to avoid a third straight loss.
 
The Stormers are back at home after a shock road loss at the hands of the ever-improving Rebels, while the Reds’ finals hopes took a hit when they suffered an unexpected loss at the hands of the Cheetahs.
 
No idea who will win here, but perhaps it could be the Reds as the Stormers have injury concerns.
 
It’s a similar scenario when it comes to the Sharks-Bulls clash in Durban.
 
The Sharks were highly disappointing on their Australasian tour, while the Bulls haven’t lost a game since Round 7 and are bound for the finals.
 
There you have it, but the unpredictability of Super Rugby in 2013 means that the Chiefs, Brumbies, Stormers and Sharks are capable of winning.  
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