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Super Rugby teams find their feet; A-League finals race hots up

Super Rugby – Round 5: It can be safely assumed that the Chiefs will prove too good for the Kings and that the Reds will get the cash against the Force.
However, the other four games will leave you scratching your heads.
Can the Highlanders bounce back from their shock loss at the hands of the Cheetahs and overcome the visiting Hurricanes, who finally cracked it for a win last weekend with a stirring come-from-behind triumph over the Crusaders?
The Waratahs were awful against the Brumbies and coach Cheika has wielded the axe for the home fixture against the always-competitive Cheetahs, who recovered from a disastrous loss at the hands of the Chiefs to blow the Highlanders out of the water last weekend.
The winless Crusaders are heavy favourites against the Bulls, but the Canterbury-based franchise have proven vulnerable against the Blues and Hurricanes without McCaw and it’s hard to dismiss the Bulls after their superb win over the Blues in Round 4.
The Sharks-Brumbies contest should be a peach. Both teams have yet to lose a game, but home ground advantage may benefit the Sharks on this occasion as the Brumbies adjust to life without Pocock.
It looms as yet another enjoyable weekend of rugby.
 A-League – Round 25: Apart from Wellington, the other nine teams remain in the hunt to secure a place in the finals. Adelaide will play finals and will finish in the top four, but getting the cash at home against a desperate Newcastle, who sit in sixth spot, won’t be easy as the Jets have Brisbane, Perth and the Heart breathing down their necks.
The Heart have seemingly hit the wall and were most disappointing against Wellington and Adelaide in two games they were expected to win. Welcoming the first-placed Wanderers, who are aiming for a staggering 10 straight wins, is a daunting prospect for the red and white half of Melbourne.
Sydney have suddenly sprung to life and a 2-0 win over Central Coast made everyone sit up and take notice, so perhaps they are worthy of making the finals if they can topple the Victory.
In 26 games between the clubs, Sydney has only managed to celebrate a win over the Victory on five occasions.
Brisbane has a decent record at Gosford, so can they inflict more pain on the Mariners, who are imploding at the wrong time of the season?
Central Coast will be hard to beat at home as they strive to catch the Wanderers in the race for the Premiers’ Plate, but they did play a midweek game in Japan and the Roar will have no better opportunity to strike.
Perth, sitting in eighth place, are buzzing under new coach Edwards and, if results go as expected this weekend, they could find themselves in the top six.
The Glory deserve credit for seemingly saving their season, but they don’t deserve to contest the finals if they fail to claim the three points against the Phoenix, who are on the road for a second straight week after giving the Wanderers a fright.

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