The following are previews with betting tips for Super Rugby AU Round 6 & Aotearoa Round 9 of the 2020 Super Rugby season.
To take advantage of odds before they possibly shorten, these previews are published before the team sheets are announced. Those who are more risk-averse may prefer to wait for the squad lists before wagering.
Friday, 7 August
Rebels vs. Brumbies
View a detailed form guide for Rebels vs. Brumbies
The Rebels overcame the Force 25-20 in extra time in Sydney last week after the scores were tied 20-all at full time. Both sides were guilty of ill-discipline in a scrappy contest but the Rebels will be pleased to have come through with a win to move to 2-1-1 for the season. Incredibly, two of the Rebels’ four fixtures this AU campaign have been tied at full time. Unfortunately, due to covid-19, this game is being played at a neutral venue in Sydney rather than in Melbourne.
The Brumbies kicked a last-gasp penalty to overcome the Reds 22-20 last week to move to 4-0 in Super Rugby AU. The Canberra side dominated the first half before the Reds came back with a strong second half. The Brumbies then showed great composure to steal the win at the death. Spanning this contest and the pre-covid season the Brumbies are now 9-1 for 2020 and are on a seven-game winning streak. They have won nine straight against domestic opposition and, as I write most weeks, they continue to win without playing at their best.
Betting: 7 of the last 9 games between the two were settled by 1-12 points and wet weather is forecast for Sydney so I would back both the Rebels 1-12 at 4.00 (bet365) and the Brumbies 1-12 at 2.70 (bet365). Those looking for more risk should simply back the Brumbies 1-12 selection given their strong winning record.
Saturday, 8 August
Hurricanes vs. Chiefs
View a detailed form guide for Hurricanes vs. Chiefs
Prior to their bye last week the Hurricanes ended the Crusaders’ 36-game unbeaten streak at home with a 34-32 victory. This was on the back of a 29-27 win over the Blues so the Wellington side clearly knows how to close out tight games. After two defeats to start the season the Hurricanes have now won four straight as they continue to build momentum with improved performances.
The Chiefs’s season from hell continued with a 19-32 home defeat to the Crusaders last week. The scoreline was harsh given the Crusaders appeared to be incorrectly awarded a try in the second half. The Hamilton side is now 0-7 in the Aotearoa competition and with a bye scheduled for Round 10, this is their last fixture of the season. The Chiefs have been far more competitive than their 0-7 record suggests, with the side never seeming able to catch a break this season.
Betting: given the Hurricanes’ strong form and the Chiefs’ poor results, I will side with the home team. I would back the Hurricanes in the head-to-head at 1.45 (bet365). Those looking for more risk should consider the Hurricanes 1-12 at 2.80 (Sportsbet).
Waratahs vs. Reds
View a detailed form guide for Waratahs vs. Reds
Prior to their bye last week the Waratahs suffered a disappointing 10-29 home defeat to the Rebels to slide to 1-3 for the season. Their sole win was at home over a Force side that was playing its first Super Rugby fixture since 2017. The Waratahs led briefly in the first half against the Rebels but then failed to score after the 23rd-minute. They were their own worst enemy as poor discipline and bad decision making undid their cause. Hopefully the Waratahs used the bye week to good effect to sort out their atrocious lineout.
The Reds suffered their 7th straight defeat in Canberra when they fell 20-22 to the Brumbies last week. They are now 2-1-1 for the campaign. The Reds came unstuck with poor discipline at times and their second half line-out was a liability but they defended well and can take heart from their competitive performance against Australia’s top side.
Betting: the Reds showed more than enough last week to suggest they have the quality to beat the Waratahs, who have lost 5 of their last 6. I would back the Reds in the head-to-head at 1.47 (bet365, Unibet). Given the Waratahs do have a good home record against the Queenslanders, for those looking for more risk I would back the Reds 1-12 at 2.70 (bet365).
Sunday, 9 August
Crusaders vs. Highlanders
View a detailed form guide for Crusaders vs. Highlanders
The Crusaders bounced back from a rare defeat a fortnight ago by seeing off the Chiefs 32-19 in Hamilton last week. They picked up a bonus point in the 5 tries to 1 victory but there was an element of fortune in the win with a key decision incorrectly going against the Chiefs in the second half. The Crusaders are now 5-1 in the Aotearoa competition and they have gone 10-2 in 2020.
The Highlanders fell 21-32 at home last week to the Blues to slide to 2-4 for the season. Once again they made a good game of it but lacked the finishing touch in key moments. Both of the Highlanders’ wins in Super Rugby Aotearoa were over the Chiefs and their only 13+ defeat this season was to the Crusaders in Aotearoa in Round 4. This is the second visit to Christchurch for the Highlanders this year. They fell 13-33 in Round 4 of the regular season prior to covid-19.
Betting: the Crusaders have won five straight against the Highlanders and all five wins were by 20+ points. I would back the Crusaders 13+ at 1.68 (bet365).
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