SUPER RUGBY WEEK 7
Chiefs v Highlanders
The Chiefs have become one of the form teams with a comfortable win against the Sunwolves in Japan last weekend. The Highlanders struggled against the Canes and were comfortably beaten by the Hurricanes in Wellington.
This shapes up to be one of the games of the round with the Highlanders having the historical edge over the Chiefs winning 6 of their last 7 games against the Chiefs. The Highlanders have made a few changes in this game with a midfield reshuffle while the Chiefs injury crisis worsens with Dominic Bird now out for the remainder of the season. The Chiefs have shown strong depth throughout this campaign.
The Chiefs have only lost 1 of their last 11 games of Super Rugby at home, while the Highlanders have lost their last 3 away games.
History suggests the Highlanders are the way to go in this one, but I think the Chiefs have built a strong foundation for this season and I can’t see them letting this one slip, particularly at home.
Rebels v Hurricanes
The Rebels were sensational against the struggling Sharks last weekend with a comprehensive win, while the Hurricanes deserved the win against the Highlanders.
The Rebels really struggle against the Hurricanes, they’ve lost their last 5 straight against the Hurricanes including a 73-6 thrashing last season. Of the Hurricanes last 5 victories against the Rebels, only 1 of them has been under 13 points. Though we do know this is an entirely different Rebels team.
The last 5 matches between these two teams has seen a particularly high 61 points per game average. This could be another high scoring affair, particularly in the fact that the Rebels so far at home this year average 41 points per game themselves.
I really think the Hurricanes are getting to their best and think they’ll win this one easily. We might also have a crack at the total tomorrow, so be sure to check back in the afternoon on Friday.
Blues v Sharks
The Blues with huge expectations this year have again failed with a sole win from their 4 games this season. The Sharks on the other hand have had a rough time on the road losing both games in Australia to the Brumbies and Rebels.
The Sharks have a pretty good record against the Blues winning 6 of their last 7 games; they always seem to lift for this game for some reason, however the Sharks are in a bit of a rut having lost their last 4 away games and I don’t think they’re in any shape to be winning this one.
These teams have particularly low scoring matches with the last three games averaging a low 45 points per game.
We may play the total on Saturday, but for now we are staying out of this game, two teams I have begun to not trust.
Brumbies v Waratahs
Both these teams had a bye last week but the week prior the Brumbies had a convincing yet unflattering score line win against the Sharks while the Waratahs dealt to the Rebels with a strong second half performance.
The Brumbies have the edge on the Waratahs of late winning their last three matches, however this Brumbies side is a lot weaker than years gone by and I feel the Waratahs side is a lot stronger.
The Waratahs do struggle away from home and have lost 4 of their last 5 matches away including 1 draw. These two teams struggle to score when playing each other with an average of only 44 points per game in the last three games played.
In my opinion the Waratahs are getting their season back on track and should win this one.
Bulls v Stormers
The Bulls have lost their last 4 games being beaten by the Crusaders last week quite comfortably, though they did cover the handicap. The Stormers on the other hand had a scrappy win against the Reds, they should have won by a whole lot more but handling errors let them down once again.
The Stormers have a strong record against the Bulls winning 6 of their last 7 games against the Bulls. This year however they have struggled away from home losing all 3 games, though these were against Waratahs, Crusaders and Highlanders.
This could be a high scoring match with the last two games between these sides averaging 67.5 points.
We may have a crack at the total but for now I am liking the Stormers in this one and think they’ll beat the handicap.
Lions v Crusaders
The Lions were upset by the Jaguares last week while the Crusaders top the NZ conference after their win against the Bulls, though they have played an extra game in that conference.
These two teams played for the title last year with the Crusaders eventual winners 25-17 in a tight contest. The Crusaders have the edge over the Lions historically winning 7 of their last 8 games against the boys from South Africa.
The Lions defence this year is absolutely woeful, they’ve leaked 206 points from 6 games this season, though they still sit 2nd on the ladder somehow, signalling their attacking flair get them out of trouble. This week they are without one of their beast weapons in new sensation Aphiwe Dyantyi though.
I’m loving the Crusaders line in this one, I marked the Crusaders a 10 points favourite and with the news of Dyantyi not playing I’m pretty confident the Crusaders will win this one easily in a high scoring match.
We may also have a play on a team total, please check back on Saturday.
RESULTS STAKES ROI Semi Finals -0.14 2 -7% Quarter Finals -0.28 8 -4% Week Nineteen +4.53 5 91% Week Eighteen -6.15 12 -51% Week Seventeen -3.1 8 -39% Week Sixteen -2.3 8 -29% Week Fifteen +1.1 7.5 15% Week Fourteen -0.38 8 -5% Week Thirteen -3.78 11.5 -33% Week Twelve +1.75 8 22% Week Eleven +9.25 11.5 80% Week Ten +5.5 12.5 44% Week Nine +1.3 11 12% Week Eight +5.84 9 65% Week Seven +5.98 19 31% Week Six +2.64 9 29% Week Five -4.7 9 -52% Week Four -4.4 12 -37% Total +12.66 171 7%