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The good, the bad, and the downright difficult

If you had the nerve to tip the Blues last weekend against the Crusaders, then there’s every chance you would have gone close to picking the card in Round 3.
Although, you would have been mumbling under your breath had you tipped the Hurricanes as they were stiff not to roll the Reds in Brisbane.
And you would have given it serious thought before settling on the Sharks to get the points against the visiting Stormers.
The other three games were relatively predictable, but full credit to the Rebels for sticking it up the Waratahs and the Force for giving the Bulls a major fright.
The fact that the Chiefs clocked the Cheetahs by 42 points was significant.
The Highlanders should prove too good for the Cheetahs and you’d think the Sharks would have too much class for the Kings this weekend.
However, an air of intrigue surrounds the other four games.
The Hurricanes fell to the Blues when last they appeared at home a fortnight ago, and after a gut-wrenching loss to the Reds would be full of fire as they await the visit of the Crusaders.
The Blues made the Crusaders look second rate last weekend and the Christchurch-based franchise are no certainties in Wellington, however it must be said that it was their first game of the year
The Hurricanes and Crusaders are desperate, and although Sportsword are giving the Crusaders a second chance there is no doubt the Hurricanes are capable of winning the game.
The Rebels are proving competitive and will give the Reds a run for their money.
The loss of Beale is a killer for the Rebels because you’ve got to wonder if the Reds have fully recovered after a sensational defensive display in their spine-tingling victory over the Hurricanes.
The head says the Reds, but if there is an upset this weekend this could be the game.
The Brumbies look ominous and the return of Smith is certainly an added bonus.
Even if Smith wasn’t on board for the Brumbies they still would have started the game against the Waratahs as a warm favourite.
The Waratahs were poor against the Reds and battled to shake the Rebels, and will have to find rapid improvement if they envisage upsetting the Brumbies in Canberra.
To put things into perspective, at this stage, the Rebels have more chance of downing the Reds than the Waratahs have of rolling the Brumbies.
The Stormers have lost their opening two games – albeit narrowly on the road against the Bulls and Sharks – and welcome the visit of the powerful Chiefs in Cape Town.
The Stormers, who fell one game short of the final last year, could be sitting at 0-3 and will have to produce something special to nullify the 2012 champions.
The Chiefs have jumped out of the blocks and will once again be a threat in 2013, but at the moment the same cannot be said of the Stormers.
You’d be disappointed if you tipped the Chiefs and they lost.
After a shocking 2012 campaign, the Blues are back in town and they never looked like losing against the Hurricanes and Crusaders.
The Bulls were trailing against the gutsy Force last weekend in the closing 10 minutes before their forwards sprung to life to seal victory.
Yes, Steyn will bang penalty goals and conversions from all over the park, but unless the Bulls match the Blues in the battle of the forwards the Auckland-based outfit, who dominated Super Rugby when it first evolved, will be sitting pretty at 3-0.

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