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Super Rugby: Chiefs out to maintain winning start

The Chiefs and Brumbies will be out to maintain their winning start to the 2023 Super Rugby campaign when week four gets underway.

It has been a strong start to the season for both sides with the Chiefs priced at 2.90 to go all the way and win the Grand Final, while the Brumbies can be backed at 13.00.

The Chiefs made light work of the Highlanders in week three when running out 28-7 winners, while the Brumbies were given a run for their money by the Reds before edging to a 23-17 win. It was not the only closely-fought encounter in week three. Indeed there was a host of them with just a handful of points the difference in five of the six games.

Elsewhere the Blues picked up a massive win away at the Hurricanes when coming out on top 25-19. The Hurricanes remain in fourth spot on the ladder. The Rebels earned their first win of the campaign as they beat the Waratahs 34-27, while Fijian Drua jumped to fifth on the ladder with 25-24 upset win over the Crusaders.

In the final game of the round the Force beat Moana Pasifika 21-18 in another thriller. Hopefully we are set for just as much excitement in the week ahead. Let’s take a closer look at each game.

Hurricanes v Waratahs

The Hurricanes, who are priced at 1.11 to win the opening game of round four on Friday night, are boosted by the return of Ardie Savea who has served his suspension and is ready to play. Elsewhere Asafo Aumua is also set to return to the side as hooker, with Dane Coles moving to the bench.

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Bailyn Sulivan is also on the bench after returning from injury, while Kini Naholo is set to make his debut on the wing. The Tahs are priced at 6.50 to pull off an upset and they have made a couple of changes to their side with Ben Donaldson making his first start of the season in the No.10 jersey.

Max Jorgensen will also play in the No.15, while Harry Johnson-Holmes has been named to start in the front row. The Waratahs will be missing Dave Porecki though as the Test hooker has an infection.

Chiefs v Rebels

The Chiefs top the ladder and are the hot fancies at 1.025 to beat the Rebels, who can be backed at 12.00 to cause a big upset. The Rebels have won just the one game so far this season but at least it came in the last round against the Waratahs and should give them a heap of confidence.

They also have a talented young playmaker in the form of Carter Gordon, who stood out in the seven-point win. The Rebels chances of springing a surprise could rest on him. Stacey Ili says spirits in the camp are high and they are targeting a shock win.

Blues v Crusaders

This is a re-match of last season’s Grand Final which of course the Crusaders won. However the Blues do have a good record against teams from New Zealand and have won their last two. They sit third on the ladder and are priced at 2.05 to pick up their third win of the campaign.

The Crusaders are 1.78 but will have show a big improvement on last week when they slipped to a 25-24 loss against Fiian Drua. The Crusaders will have been licking their wounds all week and should come out firing.

Brumbies v Moana Pasifika

The Brumbies are flying after winning their opening three games of the season but their attacking has not been on point so far. Indeed they have scored the lowest number of tries in the competition with just eight.

That could give Moana some hope going into the game and the visitors can be backed at 8.00 to cause an upset. The Brumbies are available at 1.071 to get their fourth win on the bounce and keep the pressure on at the top.

Highlanders v Force

The Highlanders are the hot fancies at 1.083 to beat a Western Force side that do not travel well. The side from Perth, WA, have won two games this season but both have been on home soil.

Their only trip outside of Western Australia resulted in a heavy defeat. They may not get a better chance than this though. The Highlanders have lost their opening three games and the Force can be backed at 7.50.

Reds v Fijian Drua

Fijian Drua should be full of confidence following their shock win against the Crusaders and can be backed at 5.50 to pick up their third win of the campaign. The Reds are below them on the ladder with just the one win to their name so far this season.

Reds backrower Liam Wright says there will be no complacency in the camp as they know they’re in for a tough game. The Reds are priced at 1.14 to avoid a banana skin and win the game.

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