Super Rugby Preview: Week 5
Highlanders vs Rebels
The Highlanders succumbed to a disappointing 20 point loss in Christchurch last weekend. They are now 1-2 this season and will be desperate to get some continuity going in their home fixtures. The Rebels have been poor this season, despite being joint early season Australian conference favourites. The Melbourne side have failed to live up to the expectations and face a tricky visit to NZ shores where they have only covered 3 of their last 8 handicaps. The ‘Landers are particularly strong against Australian opposition at home, having won 12 straight with an average differential of 16 points. Despite this statistic, I feel that the ‘Landers are significantly weaker than past years. I’ll be leaning towards a Rebels plus, albeit not with a lot of confidence.
Bet: Rebels +13.5
Waratahs vs Lions
The Waratahs remain one of the only winless sides in the competition having been downed by the Rebels in their last match in week 3. It’s been tough going for the Sydney side with few positives to draw from their season so far. The Lions start their Australasian tour desperate to get their season going. There have been big disappointments, with their only win this season coming against the Reds. The ‘Tahs have only lost 1 of their last 5 games at home against the Lions and traditionally outperform South African sides in front of their home fans. Add to this the inclusion of Australian Angus Gardener with the whistle, I expect the ‘Tahs to record a much needed victory.
Bet: Waratahs to win
Hurricanes vs Sunwolves
The Hurricanes come off a bye having recorded back to back wins in gameweek 2 and 3. They seem to have put their round 1 drubbing, at the hands of the Stormers, behind them and will be looking to pick up a full house in Wellington this weekend. The Sunwolves come off a 59 point drubbing against the Reds to meet the ‘Canes on the road. There hasn’t been an awful lot to cheer about for the ‘Wolves since their shock opening round victory against the Rebels. Interestingly, the Sunwolves have covered the handicap in all 6 games that they have played in NZ. Couple that with the rest protocols kicking in for the Hurricanes’ All Black contingent, and this handicap starts looking a little too big.
Bet: Sunwolves +33.5
Reds vs Sharks
The Reds got their campaign off to a winning start after dismantling the Sunwolves at Suncorp. It was one way traffic from beginning to end as the Reds finally gave an indication of the type of rugby that they are capable of. The Sharks recorded their second victory on tour eclipsing the Rebels 36-24 over the weekend. The Sharks backs have been in fine form all season and will be firmly up against it when they encounter a youthful and pacy Reds side. History presents a toss up between these sides and I just feel that the Sharks have already done their bit on tour. The Reds will be quietly confident and I see them coming up victors this weekend.
Bet: Reds +1.5
Stormers vs Blues
The Stormers are the only unbeaten team heading into round 5 and will be looking to cap off their home stretch with another win before hitting the road in the coming weeks. The Blues managed to edge out a very underwhelming Bulls side through a last gasp Otere Black penalty. It’s been an indifferent start for the Auckland side who have won 2 and lost 2 so far this season. The Blues have only covered 3 of their last 12 handicaps in South Africa, and it’s tough to bet on them upsetting the odds this weekend. From a points perspective, I will definitely be looking at an unders play as it has arrived in 21 of the last 23 games at Newlands. The Stormers have only conceded 7 points across their 3 home games this season and I see them continuing their strong defensive efforts.
Bet: Stormers -7.5
Bulls vs Jaguares
The Bulls were left in disbelief as a stoppage time 3 pointer left the Pretoria side winless in Super Rugby 2020. There really isn’t a lot of good to write about this Bulls side as they have only managed to cross the whitewash twice this season. The Jaguares were outmuscled in Cape Town and are yet to really get their season going, having recorded 2 wins and 2 losses. The Jaguares will be spurred on by their last visit to Loftus, where they ran out 20-22 victors in 2019. The Bulls have won 6 of their last 10 games at home and I feel as if they will do enough to cover the handicap in front of their home support.
Bet: Bulls +5.5
Find your Super Rugby odds here: https://www.gggaming.bet/Sports-Betting/rugby-union
*All handicaps correct as of writing and are subject to movement throughout the week.