SUPER RUGBY WEEK 12
Chiefs v Jaguares
The Chiefs had the bye last weekend after beating the Reds over in Brisbane the week prior. The Jaguares “upset” the Blues which was called on here last week, they’re now 3 on the trot away from home and looking the best improving team in the competition.
These teams played once in 2016 with the Chiefs winning 30-26. The Chiefs have had a fairly good year but apart from good wins against the Reds and Sunwolves they’re not exactly thrashing teams. The Jaguares as mentioned are the big improvers with away wins against the Rebels, Brumbies and Blues.
The Chiefs have rested a few players in this game, mainly Brodie Retallick. I think the Jaguares are capable of covering the handicap out there at the moment.
Rebels v Crusaders
The Rebels against got beaten last week this time to the Stormers while the Crusaders fought on well in the last quarter against the Brumbies with 13 men for a period of time to win the game by 13 points.
The Rebels are on the decline having lost their last 4 matches while the Crusaders now have a full strength side (other than Codie Taylor on the bench) for this weekends clash.
The Rebels have Will Genia back in the fold but are still without the Haylett-Petty boys. I really like the look of the Crusaders team this week and think they’ll win this one comfortably.
Hurricanes v Lions
The rematch to the 2016 final that the Hurricanes one in freezing conditions. The Hurricanes have been cruising of late winning their last 7 matches this season. They looked scratchy for most of the game against the Sunwolves but the last 10min they put on three tries to blow the score line out. The Lions had an upset lost to the Reds last week where they looked a shell of their normal self, only hooker Malcolm Marx standing out for the Lions.
I marked this game where the market is and I don’t think there is anything of value.
Waratahs v Blues
The Waratahs had the week off last weekend and they probably needed it after being humiliated by the Lions the week prior. The Blues season keeps getting worst with another loss, this time to the Jaguares.
The home team has won 7 of the last 8 matches in this fixture, an interesting statistic. The Waratahs will want to get their season kick started again as they make a run for the playoffs while the Blues will want to keep the 36 game streak alive for NZ Super Rugby teams beating Australian sides.
I marked this around where the market is at present so I’ll be staying out of this one. Right now, both teams cannot be trusted.
Stormers v Bulls
The Stormers beat the Rebels last week by 16 while the Bulls lost to the Highlanders after full time by 1 point. They played particularly well and probably deserved the win.
Possibly the game of the round; both teams will be desperate to win this one to keep their playoff chances alive.
The last three games between these sides has averaged 63 points per game, but this is probably a more crucial game than those of the past so I’d expect the total to probably be a little lower than that.
The Stormers have the wood against the Bulls at home winning the last 6 games. You have to go back to 2011 when the Bulls last tasted a win in Cape Town. The Stormers have played well at home this season winning all games while the Bulls have had a tough time on the road winning 1 of 4 games.
All this points to a Stormers victory, however I think the Bulls are the more rounded side and although they are outsiders I think they should be slight favourites in this one. I think the Bulls have the arsenal to win this one in a close game.
Sharks v Highlanders
The Sharks had the bye last week after beating the Stormers the week prior. As mentioned the Highlanders beat the Bulls after the siren last weekend.
The Sharks have a fairly good record against the Highlanders winning 5 of the last 8 games, including 3 of the last 4 at home. The last 4 games in South African between these two teams has averaged a fairly low 48 points per game.
The last time these two teams played was in Dunedin in 2016 with the Sharks winning the game by 1 point. However the Highlanders were suffered an early blow with Jason Emery being red carded for a tackle in the air. The line for that game was about 11 points and it’s fair to say the Highlanders did well with 14 men only to lose by 1 point.
I think the Highlanders should win this one easily. They beat the Bulls by 1 point last week and the Bulls beat the Sharks (in Durban) by 30 points a few weeks ago. Those numbers to me point to a Highlanders victory.
RESULTS STAKES ROI 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 +19 120.5 16%