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WHITE LINE FEVER: Crusading to the Night Race in the Desert

The IPL is literally in full swing, there is night racing in F1 and let’s not forget there is still Vodacom Super Rugby action as well. Here is a look at what you shouldn’t miss this weekend.

FRIDAY

Hurricanes vs Crusaders – Rugby (Friday @ 08:35)

The weekend gets off to an amazing start as two of the best Super Rugby teams cross swords in Wellington. The Canes have stuttered along without really finding top gear but with the likes of Coles, Savea, Laumape, TJ and the Barrett’s in their ranks there is no end to the danger they pose with ball in hand. The Crusaders were seemingly cruising to another title a few weeks ago but all of a sudden the Christchurch tragedy was followed by a lacklustre showing in Sydney. The defending champs will be keen to stop their bump in the road from becoming a full-blown road block.

Verdict: Both Kiwi teams have incredible strike power but the Crusaders have the more solid set piece and forward play. Razor should have his team at their sharpest for this one so I am backing the visitors to dispatch the Hurricanes on their own patch.

Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Rajasthan Royals – IPL Cricket (Friday @ 16:30)

Both these team come off a loss in their opening encounter and will be keen to get their campaign underway. Josh Buttler and Steve Smith are the big names in the Royals’ batting whilst the Sunrisers have the other Aussie naughty boy, David Warner in their ranks. Jofra Archer and Rashid Kahn are two of the best at what they do when they have the ball in hand so keep a close eye on them come bowling time.

Verdict: SRH look a bit limited barring Warner at the top whilst RR will have to cope with the mystery of Rashid and the death accuracy of Buvi Kumar – this one might be a touch more tactical than explosive.

SATURDAY

Blues vs Stormers – Rugby (Saturday @ 08:35)

Can the Capetonians do what has proven a near impossible task for most South African sides – pick up a victory in New Zealand?

Verdict: I struggle seeing this one going any different than what we saw last week. The Stormers will try and keep things tight near their strong pack but in the end they will offer the Blues one or two moments of space – Rieko Ioane does not need to be invited twice.

Sharks vs Bulls – Rugby (Saturday @ 15:05)

The Sharks left Loftus on a stretcher a few weeks ago. In the meantime the Bulls have also taken a few body blows against the Chiefs and now we wait for these two local rivals to square off again. This one won’t be pretty but it’s bound to be brutal.

Verdict: This one is likely to go down to the wire and it’s a case of flip a coin to determine who comes out on top in Durban. The neutrals will be the real benefactors as they will be spared 80 minutes of tense nail biting. Pour a beer and chew on your billies as you watch these Avengers do battle.

SUNDAY

Bahrain Grand Prix – F1 Motorsport (Sunday @ 17:10)

The night race and unique conditions of the track often make this a very unique circuit and event. The Ferrari’s will hope that their car takes to this track like a duck to water as they need to lift the spirits of supporters and the team themselves asap if they are to ensure that we see a proper battle for the title this season. Seb will take some confidence from being the sheik of the Persian Gulf having won the last two additions of this race.

Verdict: Historically Vettel and his Ferrari have gone well in Bahrain but the Italians were so far off the pace in the Aussie Park that one just can’t see them turning things around so dramatically in two weeks. Hamilton had a few car issues at the previous race and he will be chomping at the bit to set the records straight with regard to getting one back against his team mate.

Argentine Moto GP – Motorbikes (Sunday @ 20:00)
Those on four wheels are shortly followed by the bikes on Sunday evening. If you still have a need for speed after what went down in Bahrain then keep the tv on the Moto GP.

Verdict: Dovizioso beat Marquez to the chequered flag in Qatar so the champ will be determined to get back to winning ways here and I struggle to see how the others can stick with the speedy Spaniard.

ADD SOME BETTING SPICE

If the action itself doesn’t quite raise your excitement levels enough then it means you are in need of having a punt to raise the stakes! If you’re feeling Olympic then here are a few bets of the weekend that could catch your eye, offered by my friends at BETOLIMP:

      • Crusaders to beat the handicap of -2.5 @ 1.85
      • Cricket IPL double – SRH to beat Royals and KKR to beat Delhi @ 2.89
      • F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Hamilton to win @ 2.50
      • Marquez to win the Moto GP @ 1.80

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