Super Rugby Preview: Week 6
Sunwolves vs Brumbies
The Sunwolves wretched away form continues following their second 60 point hiding in two weeks. Although jotted down as a home game for the Sunwolves, this fixture will be played in Wollongong as a curtain raiser for the Waratahs - Reds fixture due to Coronavirus fears in Japan. The Sunwolves welcome back England international Ben Teo’o into the fold this week which significantly boosts their midfield ranks. The Brumbies will be looking to continue their winning ways and strengthen their hold of the Australian conference following a 28-14 upset in Hamilton 2 weeks ago. Despite the Sunwolves past two results, I am going against the grain here as the ‘Wolves welcome back a couple of players in April, Teo’o and Engelbrecht. The Brumbies aren’t known to be a ruthless side that despatches an opposition, so I am sticking my neck out here by opting for the Sunwolves plus.
Bet: Sunwolves +28.5
Crusaders vs Reds
The Crusaders enjoyed a weeks rest after their 20 point mauling of the Highlanders in the South Island derby. The only hiccup for the Crusaders this season was the loss against a fired up Chiefs side in Hamilton. The Reds were brought down to earth this weekend after a clinical second half performance saw the Sharks end off their Australasian tour as 33-23 victors. The Reds have generally performed well against NZ opposition and have covered the spread in 6 of the last 7 meetings. The Crusaders on the other hand, have only covered the handicap once in their last 4 meetings with Australian opposition and I expect this Reds side to put up a decent fight. The Reds pack have a strong enough set piece and with O’Connor marshalling at pivot, should cover this generous handicap.
Bet: Reds +23.5
Waratahs vs Chiefs
The Waratahs got their season up and running by downing a poor Lions side 29-17 in Parramatta. The match up against the Chiefs is set to be played in Wollongong, a home game for the ‘Tahs outside of Sydney. The Chiefs will be left shaking their heads that a sickness ridden Brumbies side was able to comfortably beat them at home, following a 3-0 start this season. The Waratahs have won their last 4 home games against the Chiefs and have covered the spread in 4 of their last 5 against the Chiefs. The Chiefs will be looking to amend their hiccup a fortnight ago, and should have enough to beat this Waratahs side away from home. The handicap seems a tad generous at 9.5, so I will be siding with a confident Waratahs side to keep this close. In the points markets, the unders has arrived in 11 out of the last 14 that the Chiefs have played on the road.
Bet: Waratahs +9.5 (Also keep an eye on points markets)
Hurricanes vs Blues
The Hurricanes made light work of the Sunwolves running in 10 tries to win the fixture by 47 points. The Blues on the other hand, capped off a strong tour of South Africa by handing the Stormers their first defeat of the season. The ‘Canes have historically dominated the Blues, having won 9 straight meetings between the two sides. You have to jump back to 2013 to find the last time the Blues managed to record a victory at the Cake Tin. The Blues will be looking to build on a successful tour while the ‘Canes will look to continue their dominance over the Blues. The ‘Canes have covered the handicap in their last 4 against the Blues and I feel the bookmakers are overrating a jet lagged Blues side following their tour heroics.
Bet: Canes -5.5
Rebels vs Lions
The Rebels picked up a shock away win after running out 28-22 winners in Dunedin last weekend. The Lions come off a 12 point loss against a ‘Tahs side that isn’t too hot. Having only won one game this season, a come from behind victory agains the Reds at home, I can’t see them upsetting the odds against the Rebels. The Lions are woeful on the road, having covered the handicap only 3 times in their last 14 away fixtures. The Rebels have covered the handicap in 7 of their last 9 fixtures when they have been favourites of less than 7 points and they should have enough to ease past the struggling Johannesburg outfit this weekend.
Bet: Rebels -5.5
Sharks vs Jaguares
The Sharks return home from a highly successful tour, where they won 3 and lost 1. The Jaguares continue their rollercoaster start to the season, dispatching a horrific Bulls side in Pretoria. Despite last weekend’s result, the Jaguares are traditionally very weak in South Africa having only covered 3 of their last 11 handicaps in South Africa. Although the Sharks are travelling home, I expect the morale and confidence to be soaring as they look to turn it on in front of their home support. The Sharks have covered the handicap in 4 of their last 5 games, and I can’t see that ending when they front up to the Jaguares this weekend in Durban.
Bet: Sharks to win
Bulls vs Highlanders
The Bulls continued their abysmal start to the season by succumbing to their fourth consecutive loss. In their defence, they weren’t favourites in any of those 4 fixtures but 2 consecutive home defeats isn’t welcomed by the Pretoria fanbase. The Highlanders have been the worst performing NZ side so far, only beating the Brumbies in their 4 games to date. The Bulls traditionally struggle against the Highlanders, having only beaten the ‘Landers once in the last 10 years. The Bulls are missing their leader in Burger Odendaal as the main ball carrier in the 12 jumper and will need other senior players in Juandre Kruger, Josh Strauss and Morne Steyn to start justifying their selections. Given the Highlanders failure to cover their last 7 handicaps in South Africa, I feel as the Bulls could get their season up and running here. The Bulls have also covered the handicap in 9 of their last 12 match ups with NZ opposition and will be desperate to record a W.
Bet: Bulls -2.5
Find all the bets here: https://www.gggaming.bet/Sports-Betting/rugby-union/world/2020-super-rugby/4267
*All handicaps were correct at the time of writing and prices are subject to change.