SUPER RUGBY WEEK 13
Blues v Hurricanes
The Blues continue the streak of Australian sides losing to NZ sides after their win against the Waratahs on Saturday. The Hurricanes played well and had a good win against the Lions.
The Blues welcome back Sonny Bill Williams to the mix after a broken hand injury has ruled him out for some time now. The Blues are nearing a full strength side now and with the inclusion of Jerome Kaino last week they looked a much better side to the one that got beat by the Jaguares the week earlier.
The Blues have not beaten another NZ side since February 2016 which includes 1 draw and 14 losses. They’ve also struggled at home this year losing all home games. They haven’t beaten the Hurricanes since May 2014 which includes 5 losses in a row; though of these 5 losses 4 have been within 10 points.
I think the Blues are getting back on track now and although they do struggle against NZ sides they’ve got plenty to play for. They don’t have too bad of a record against the Hurricanes, particularly at home with the last two matches at Eden Park between these two teams the Hurricanes winning by just 4 points.
I think the Hurricanes will win in a tight one.
Sunwolves v Reds
Both teams had the bye last week, the week prior the Reds played awesome in their win over the Lions while the Sunwolves hung in for most of the game against the Hurricanes but conceded many points late in the game.
These two teams have played once before in 2016 with the Reds winning in Brisbane 35-25. The Sunwolves have never beaten an Australian side in 8 attempts, while the Reds struggle away from home winning on 2 of their last 21 away games.
Not keen on anything in this game as both teams are rather unpredictable.
Crusaders v Waratahs
The Crusaders had their best performance of the year in beating the helpless Rebels last weekend 55-10 after being only up 13-10 at half time. They had their best team on the park last weekend and it showed. The Waratahs meanwhile lost to the Blues in what some thought was an upset.
The Crusaders have won 7 of the last 9 games against the Waratahs, their only losses being back to back losses in 2014-2015 with both of those games in Sydney. As mentioned the streak continues with NZ sides dominance over Australian sides, with the streak now 38 games.
The Crusaders continue their home dominance form and they have now not lost at home for nearly 2 years.
I’m liking everything about this Crusaders side and to me they should be favourites to win the title. I would tip up the Crusaders minus but unfortunately there is some uncertainty about the weather for Saturday. Therefore an unofficial tip on the Crusaders minus (-18.5 to -19.5) if the weather is fine!
Highlanders v Lions
The Highlanders were hammered by the Sharks last week, one tip I really got wrong! The Lions were gallant in defeat against the Hurricanes, particularly after losing their best player Malcolm Marx early on in the game.
The Home side has won this fixture in 6 of the last 7 matches. The Highlanders have won 3 of their last 4 matches in Dunedin against the Lions. The Highlanders travel back from South Africa so it might be a tricky one for them to get back into the rhythm. The Highlanders have a 10 match home winning streak to look after though!
Not interested in anything for this game therefore no bet.
Brumbies v Rebels
After starting the season 4-1, the Rebels have not lost their last 5 games. A more alarming statistic is the amount they’re losing by – 22.5 points on average in their last 5 games. They lost to the Crusaders last week in an embarrassing 2nd half display, also losing Will Genia in the process. The Brumbies meanwhile had the bye after a close but tough loss to the Crusaders the week prior.
How this game has been marked up so low I’m not sure. The Brumbies should welcome back their best player David Pocock* while the Rebels lose their best player in Will Genia. The Brumbies only lost to the Crusaders by 13 points two weeks ago while the Rebels lost to the Crusaders by 45 last week.
These teams have alternated victories against each other in the last 6 months, which suggests it’s the Brumbies turn if that trend is to continue. These are typically low scoring matches with the last 5 games between these sides averaging just 37.5 points per game, though I think this game will be a little more than that.
Really like the Brumbies in this one. I’m keen on a small play on the 13 plus too, only the trend of low scoring games is putting me off a bigger play.
*Note David Pocock has not been named this week.
Stormers v Chiefs
A massive game for both sides and a fairly even affair by the odds. The Stormers played well in beating the Bulls last week to keep their home winning streak against the Bulls going. The Chiefs through poor decision making and poor discipline were upset by the Jaguares last week.
The Chiefs have beaten the Stormers in 4 of the last 5 games. The Stormers are undefeated at home this season with 5 victories at an average of 12 point wins. One thing that must be mentioned is the calibre of these wins at home for the Stormers. They’ve played 5 teams who are considered to be the weaker sides of the competition (Bulls, Rebels, Reds, Blues, Jaguares). So they do face an upward task in this one.
The Chiefs will be seething after their loss to the Jaguares and will be looking to put in a huge performance. Sam Cane will not be touring but Brodie Retallick who was forced onto the bench last week after the late out of Lachlan Boshier is a guaranteed starter for this game. He’ll be instrumental if the Chiefs are to win this game.
Not too keen on tipping up anything for this game as I think it could go either way.
Bulls v Sharks
The Bulls lost to the Stormers last week after leading for some of the 2nd half. They really let that game slip. The Sharks hammered the Highlanders in a surprising scoreline.
Some teams have the wood over others and in this case it is the Bulls that have the wood over the Sharks. They haven’t lost to the Sharks since 2014 (5 wins and 1 draw) and the last time the Bulls lost to the Sharks at home was in 2011.
I know the Sharks had a great victory last week but only a few weeks ago the Bulls hammered the Sharks by 30 points in Durban too! The Sharks have struggled away from home this season with only 1 away victory.
Really keen on the Bulls here to turn things around from last week.
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%