SUPER RUGBY WEEK 8
Crusaders v Sunwolves
The Crusaders only 1 of 2 teams to be undefeated this year should steamroll the Japanese side with ease. They have had the week off and will be fit and ready to put on a big score. The Sunwolves grabbed their first win of the season defeating the Bulls in a tight match last week.
The Crusaders have named a pretty strong side this week and have the return of Kieran Reid, Richie Mounga and Seta Mananivalu to strengthen their squad. These two teams are yet to play each other but even with no history you'd be dumb not to think the Crusaders will absolutely tear apart the touring Sunwolves.
I marked the line around what the market line is so I don't think there is too much value around.
Reds v Kings
As predicted the Reds were taught a lesson last week against the Brumbies, they hung in there for the 1st half but were dispatched in the second stanza. The Kings had a close encounter with the Force last week but fell away in the last 15 minutes of the game.
The Reds really need to pull finger and grab the full 5 points in this game if they want any chance of playing playoff rugby this season.
Again, these two teams have never played each other so there is no form to go off apart from this seasons. The Reds are averaging a woeful 16 points per game and conceding 31 points per game. The Kings are averaging 25 points per game but conceding 35 points per game.
I think the Kings are a little over valued in this game and think a crack at the plus is the bet to go for.
Kings +16.52 at 1.91+1.82
Blues v Hurricanes
Another close loss for the Blues against an NZ side further derails their season. Meanwhile the Hurricanes played a real game of two halves to beat the Waratahs by 10 points after leading by 26 in the first half.
The Hurricanes have won 5 of the last 6 games against the Blues including their last two away games. The Hurricanes welcome back Julian and Ardie Savea and they will be needed to grab the win. Sonny Bill Williams gets his first start this weekend after a mixed bag in last weeks game.
In the last 6 games against each other the two sides have averaged 52 points between them. While this year Hurricanes games have averaged 65 points and the Blues games have averaged 51 points.
I think this will be another close game and suggest the Hurricanes will win but not by a lot.
Rebels v Brumbies
The Rebels have really struggled this year while the Brumbies are going from strength to strength. The Rebels with the bye last week really needed it and will look to regroup to try and get anything out of this game. The Brumbies have a couple of tough games coming up so will also want to add to their good start to the season.
The Brumbies have won 8 of the last 10 games against the Rebels and they haven't lost an away game against an Australian side in over two years. The Rebels who used to be a proud side at home have now lost their last 4 games at home albeit against difficult opposition.
I think the Brumbies should really put the sword to the Rebels here. The Rebels have struggled all season and have conceded on average 47 points per game while averaging 15 themselves.
Cheetahs v Chiefs
The Cheetahs have really struggled themselves this year, losing the last three after a promising start. Form suggests their two wins against the Bulls and Sunwolves this year are nothing to write home about. The Chiefs suffered their first loss last week against the high flying Stormers.
Over the last 6 games between these two sides the Chiefs have yet to taste defeat, although there has been 2 draws in that. These games are typically high scoring games with the last four games averaging 67.5 points per game.
I'm not too fond on taking on the line here as I think it is about right, however I'll wait a couple of days to see what the total comes out with and reassess then.
Stormers v Lions
The Stormers are shaping up to be a real contender this year. They're 6 from 6 and have scored on average a tick over 40 points per game. They have to date had one of the easier draws but proved their worth last week with a great win against the then top of the table Chiefs. The Lions meanwhile had the Bye last week after a trio of wins against some weaker opposition in the Kings, Sharks and Reds.
This to me could be the game of the round, two great sides going at it which may give us some indication of who will win the South African Group this season.
Over the last three seasons and five games both teams are at 2 wins a piece against each other and 1 draw. They have been pretty low scoring affairs with an average of 39 points.
Again I think the market is right with the Stormers slight favourites so no value here, I'll look to see what the total points market is and reassess on Saturday.
Bulls v Jaguares
The Bulls got the shock of their lives last week by losing to the lowly Sunwolves. Their season is in absolute turmoil and have even expressed interest for Graham Henry to help with consultancy work. The Jaguares had a close tough loss against the Sharks last week again proving their lack of ability to win away from home making that 2 from 11 away wins.
Hard to make a case for either side in this game. The Bulls have hit rock bottom and the Jaguares struggle to win away from home. They've played once before with the Jaguares winning at home 29-11 last year. The Bulls will welcome back their better players this week so will no doubt improve, consistency is their weakness though.
I'm happy to stay out of this game which to me is one of the less interesting games of the round.
RESULTS STAKES ROI Quarter Finals +2.94 9 33% Week Seventeen -1.2 11 -11% Week Sixteen -3.3 9 -37% Week Fifteen +0.52 19.5 3% Week Fourteen -16 16 -100% Week Thirteen +3.81 13.5 28% Week Twelve +2.71 17.5 15% Week Eleven -2.9 11 -26% Week Ten -0.35 14 -3% 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% Futures +5.7 10 57% Total +6.56 217 3%