Both Teams struggled last week to win...
Hurricanes v Chiefs
Both teams struggled last week to win, but they did that just anyway. The Hurricanes had a scare against the Sharks pulling off an injury time try to beat them while the Chiefs had a great tussle with the Blues coming away with the victory.
The Chiefs come into this one having beaten the Hurricanes in their last two matches. The Chiefs have bracketed Damian McKenzie this week, if he does not play I can’t see the Chiefs getting close to winning.
The Hurricanes are without TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett is playing yet apparently will not be doing any kicking duties.
With all these injuries up in the air i’ll be staying well clear of this game.
Sunwolves v Blues
The Sunwolves were well beaten by the Waratahs last week while the Blues again proved that beating an NZ team is a bridge too far for them, even though they played what was probably their best all round performance of the year.
The Sunwolves famously beat the Blues in the last round in 2017, not only did they beat them but gave them an old fashioned hiding winning 48-21. That was the last time the Sunwolves faced victory as they are yet to win a game this year.
It’s hard to rate where the Blues are this season, I think i’ll be staying out of this game. I do predict a very high scoring game though so keep your eye on totals come Friday Night/Saturday Morning.
Rebels v Jaguares
The Rebels were soundly beaten by the Hurricanes in their last match but they’ve had a week off with the Bye and should be ready to go in this match. The Jaguares start their away trip after being beaten by the Crusaders last week convincingly.
The Jaguars upset the Rebels last year in this fixture, beating the Rebels in Melbourne by a few points. They’ve only played the one game between them. Again we have to mention that this is an entirely different Rebels team and they should be able to do this one comfortably.
I’m picking the Rebels to put on a decent score in this one and come out victorious.
Highlanders v Brumbies
The Highlanders come off the Bye this week after two losses to the Chiefs and Hurricanes. The Brumbies are the real improvers over the last few weeks winning 2 of 3 games. The return of David Pocock has been instrumental to their season turn around. The comfortably beat the Reds last week as predicted.
These two teams tend to play low scoring tight affairs and I think it will be no different this weekend. I really like the way the Brumbies have progressed and I think this one will be closer than what is predicted. The handicap is as high as +17.5 and the Highlanders haven’t covered a handicap that high against the Brumbies since 2010.
Waratahs v Reds
As mentioned the Waratahs beat the Sunwolves last week convincingly while the Reds were hammered by the Brumbies.
The Waratahs season is shaping up nicely now and to me they are the best Australian side in the competition winning their last three games.
The Reds on the other hand seem to be slipping away after a solid start to the season. They’ve now lost their last two matches and I think they’ll be losing this one too.
The Waratahs have had the wood over the Reds of late winning their last 7 matches against the boys from Queensland. The Reds don’t seem to score many points against the Waratahs either scoring just 67 points in their last 7 matches against the Waratahs.
I’m tipping up a big Waratahs victory here, we may even play a points bet on Saturday.
Sharks v Bulls
The Sharks should hold their heads high after a difficult away tour. They did come away with an emphatic victory against the Blues and narrowly lost to the Hurricanes. The Bulls season is back on track with a great win against the Stormers at home last weekend.
This has the potential to be the match of the round. The Bulls have a good record against the Sharks having not lost to them since 2014 including 3 wins and a draw in that time period.
These teams do tend to have low(ish) scoring games with only one blowout in their last ten matches. The travel factor is a big concern for the Sharks and after a tough last couple of games they may come to this game a little fatigued. I’m surprised this match has the Sharks as 6 point favourites, I think the Bulls can cause what would be considered by others an upset in this.
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%