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ESPN SCRUM / ESPNscrum Columnist
Greg Growden
Greg Growden | Columnist Index
After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for ESPNscrum. Never afraid to step on toes, you can expect plenty of compelling insight from one of Australia's most renowned rugby writers.
Super Rugby Preview with Greg Growden
Reds tipped to end Force's winning streak
Greg Growden
April 2, 2014
Will the Force celebrate a fourth consecutive win? © Getty Images
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Friday, April 4

Highlanders v Rebels, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

19:35 local, 06:35 GMT, 17:35 EDT, 17:05 CDT, 14:35 WST

Head to head: Played 3; Highlanders 2, Rebels 1

In Dunedin: Played 1; Highlanders 1, Rebels 0

Last clash: Round 20, 2013- Rebels 38 - 37 Highlanders, AAMI Stadium, Melbourne

Greg Growden writes:At last the Rebels showed they are not a one-man team when more than just Scott Higginbotham excelled against the Brumbies. Now they can prove they are something by backing up in Dunedin. Good luck overcoming the curse of the Speights slab.

Tips - Greg Growden: Highlanders by 8 Brittany Mitchell: Highlanders by 7 Brett McKay: Highlanders by 10

Brumbies v Blues, Canberra Stadium, Canberra

19:40 local, 08:40 GMT, 19:40 EDT, 19:10 CDT, 16:40 WST

Head to head: Played 18; Brumbies 7, Blues 11

In Canberra: Played 8; Brumbies 4, Blues 4

Last clash: Round 15 - Blues 13 - 20 Brumbies, Eden Park, Auckland

Greg Growden writes: The Brumbies had their slumperoo moment against the Rebels when they just went through the motions, but back on home turf they should get their act together.

Tips - Greg Growden: Brumbies by 4 Brittany Mitchell: Brumbies by 6 Brett McKay: Brumbies by 5

Greg Growden and Russell Barwick give you the inside word on Super Rugby round eight
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Saturday, April 5

Hurricanes v Bulls, McLean Park, Napier

19:35 local, 06:35 GMT, 17:35 EDT, 17:05 CDT, 14:35 WST

Head to head: Played 16; Hurricanes 7, Bulls 9

In Wellington: Played 7; Hurricanes 3, Bulls 4

Last clash: Round 12 - Bulls 48 - 14 Hurricanes, Loftus Versfield, Pretoria

Greg Growden writes: As shown last weekend, the Hurricanes are not exactly mugs, and should take advantage of the Bulls having to go half way across the world for this match.

Tips - Greg Growden: Hurricanes by 9 Brittany Mitchell: Hurricanes by 3 Brett McKay: Hurricanes by 7

Reds v Force, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

18:40 local, 08:40 GMT, 19:40 EDT, 19:10 CDT, 16:40 WST

Head to head: Played 9; Reds 5, Force 3, Drawn 1

In Brisbane: Played 6; Reds 5, Force 1

Last clash: Round 12 - Force 11 - 11 Reds, nib Stadium, Perth

Greg Growden writes: The Force are so good they can win the Super Rugby tournament, the Bledisloe Cup, the Six Nations, the Shute Shield… everything except this game.

Tips - Greg Growden: Reds by 15 Brittany Mitchell: Reds by 7 Brett McKay: Reds by 10

Cheetahs v Chiefs, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

15:00 local, 13:00 GMT, 00:00 EDT +1d, 23:30 CDT, 21:00 WST

Head to head: Played 8; Cheetahs 1, Chiefs 5, Drawn 2

In Bloemfontein: Played 3; Cheetahs 0, Chiefs 2, Drawn 1

Last clash: Round 3 - Chiefs 45 - 3 Cheetahs, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

Greg Growden writes: Yes, the slump against the Force was a minor blemish by the Chiefs, and they showed their true worth with their late fightback against the Bulls last weekend. The Cheetahs will be easier.

Tips - Greg Growden: Chiefs by 6. Brittany Mitchell: Chiefs by 12 Brett McKay: Chiefs by 15

Lions v Crusaders, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

17:05 local, 15:05 GMT, 02:05 EDT +1d, 01:35 CDT +1d, 23:05 WST

Head to head: Played 16; Lions 4, Crusaders 12

In Johannesburg: Played 7; Lions 2, Crusaders 5

Last clash: Round 6 - Lions 13 - 23 Crusaders, Ellis Park, Johannesburg

Greg Growden writes: The Crusaders are turning into the big disappointments of the tournament, and if they fail this week on the veldt don't expect them to be around at finals time. It is getting your act together time for the Cantabrians.

Tips - Greg Growden: Crusaders by 2. Brittany Mitchell: Lions by 3 Brett McKay: Lions by 6

Stormers v Waratahs, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

19:10 local, 17:10 GMT, 03:10 EST +1d, 02:40 CST +1d, 01:10 WST +1d

Head to head: Played 17; Stormers 9, Waratahs 7, Drawn 1

In Cape Town: Played 9; Stormers 6, Waratahs 2, Drawn 1

Last clash: Round 13 - Waratahs 21 - 15 Stormers, Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Greg Growden writes: With Israel Folau, the Waratahs are a good chance. Without him, forget it. Football heads become pumpkin heads. Folau is the key.

Tips - Greg Growden: Waratahs by 3 (if Folau is playing). Stormers by 7 (if Folau is not playing). Brittany Mitchell: Waratahs by 3 Brett McKay: Stormers by 5

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