SUPER RUGBY WEEK 2
Force v Reds
Two great games played by these two sides last week with the Force almost getting up in what would have been a massive boil over. Meanwhile the Reds holding on to record a tough win against the Sharks.
Some interesting stats in this clash. The force have lost 14 of their last 15 home games while the Reds have lost 14 of their last 16 away games.
These games are typically low scoring affairs with the last three games averaging 31 points. The Force have a 3-2 winning record in the last 5 games.
Again I think this will be a low scoring affair, therefore we'll have a crack at the total for this game.
Chiefs v Blues
Two different games these teams played last week. A massive attacking display from the Blues to hammer the Rebels, meanwhile an awesome defensive effort saw the Chiefs upset the Highlanders.
The Chiefs have beat the Blues in their last ten clashes, but they're pretty close games to be fair with an average win of seven points per game in the last eight games between the two sides.
The last seven games have surprising averaged a low 40.5 points as well.
I marked this Chiefs -6.5 so I don't think there's too much value there, we'll have a crack at the unders total again and hope for another huge Chiefs defensive effort.
Hurricanes v Rebels
Wow, we expected the Hurricanes to hammer the Sunwolves, but not like that and with largely a 2nd string side. The Rebels were disappointing last week and struggled in defence.
The Hurricanes have won 4 of the last 5 against the Rebels with the two games the Hurricanes playing at home beating them by 24 and 42 points respectively.
Typically high scoring games with an average of 59 points between the two sides. The Rebels had a respectable 4-4 away record last year while the Canes had a 9-1 home record.
Possibly a few showers in Wellington on Saturday but they should be sparingly and I don't think they'll affect the Hurricanes attacking flair. The Canes should be way too good for the Rebels and should win easily. Whether they beat them by the market line of 23-24 points is up for debate and we will see on Saturday. No pick.
Highlanders v Crusaders
The Highlanders failed to score a try last week while the Crusaders after a promising start scraped home against the Brumbies.
Highlanders have beaten the Crusaders in their last two games, but the six games prior the Crusaders came out on top. The Highlanders have won 6 of last 8 games at home while the Crusaders have lost 3 of last 4 away.
An average of 48 points between the two sides in the last 4 games. These two teams will be playing attacking fast rugby for 80min, it will no doubt be test match quality.
After two mediocre games last week for both sides I'm happy to just enjoy the clash with no opinion. No pick.
Brumbies v Sharks
The Brumbies surprised me last weekend being able to keep the Crusaders to 17 points and the Sharks were strong in a losing battle.
The Sharks have a good record against the Brumbies winning 4 of the last 6 with a low average of 44 points between the two sides.
I think the Sharks can cause an upset here, I marked this a coin flip game, I don't think they'll win by much though in typical Sharks fashion.
Sunwolves v Kings
Most would suggest this clash is the battle for the wooden spoon. Two terrible sides going at it, a match that the best of rugby fans will struggle to watch.
The Kings beat the Sunwolves at home last year by 5 points.
It has the potential to be a high scoring game with poor defence. I'm happy to stay out of this game and watch the Highlights or more than likely the lowlights of this game. No pick.
Lions v Waratahs
I'm looking forward to this game a lot. The Lions just got up against the Cheetahs last week and the Waratahs did the same to the Force.
The Waratahs won 4 of the last 5 against the Lions, however the Lions won the last game by a sole try.
The Lions only lost two games at home last year while the Waratahs had a 4-3 away record, two of those losses being against NZ opposition. There has been some high scoring games between the two sides in the past including a 73-12 drubbing to the Waratahs in 2010, though this is a much different Lions side.
I think this will be a titanic battle and the winner will set up their season nicely. No pick.
Stormers v Jaguares
Both teams impressed somewhat last week with good wins, the Stormers more so as their opposition was a lot stronger.
The Jaguares only won one game away last season (equalled that already after last week), while the Stormers had a 6-3 home record last season.
The match last year between these two sides was a dour 13-8 victory to the Stormers in Argentina, 0 points in the second half. From memory it was a wet game and a very stop start affair.
I think the Stormers will win this game but it's hard to know by how much, I'm happy to leave this game alone. No pick.
Cheetahs v Bulls
Two losses for these teams last week, although the Cheetahs were gallant in defeat.
The Bulls have a strong record against the Cheetahs winning 4 of the last 5 including 5 point and 25 point victories last season.
This really should be a close game, I marked it Cheetahs +1.5 and this is currently what the market is. I need to watch these two teams go around another week to see how I think their season will shape up.
Bulls won 4 of last 5 against Cheetahs including 5 point and 26 point victories last season
Bulls 4-4 Away record last season
Cheetahs 3-4 Home record last season
55 point average in last 5 games between the two sides
RESULTS STAKES ROI Week Nine -5.52 13 -42% Week Eight +6.77 12 56% Week Seven +7.8 9 87% Week Six +15.46 13 119% Week Five +1.61 10 16% Week Four -2.24 8 -28% Week Three -10 10 -100% Week Two +4.9 8 61% Week One -4.15 13.5 -31% Total +14.63 96.5 15%