Super Rugby enters Round 4 this weekend. Alongside my own opinions this week I have also included the winner predictions of 15 ‘experts’ from Rugby Heaven in Australia and TVNZ in New Zealand. Below are the Luxbet odds for this weekends fixtures (subject to change).
Crusaders vs. Brumbies
5:35 PM AEDT
Expert tips: 13 for Crusaders, 2 for Brumbies
The Crusaders looked fantastic last week as they demolished an in-form Waratahs side. They were rusty for the first 20 minutes, but when the Crusaders kicked into gear they looked like a championship winning team. Richie McCaw is still out, but opposition teams will have troubles enough with Sonny Bill Williams in the squad this season. The Brumbies come into this fixture on the back of successive defeats to the Rebels and Reds. They are still in disarray after the sacking of coach Andy Friend, and this fixture may be a blessing in disguise for the Brumbies. If you are out of form, you may as well play teams that are expected to beat you anyway, rather than teams you normally feel you should beat. The Brumbies will at least be able to play without the burden of expectation this round. Bookmakers are pessimistic about the Brumbies’ chances, and so am I. I would back the Crusaders in a head to head bet. If you’re really pessimistic about the Brumbies’ chances, you may want to consider backing the Crusaders to win by 13+.
Rebels vs. Sharks
7:40 PM AEDT
Expert tips: 2 for Rebels, 13 for Sharks
The Sharks impressed me last week by winning comfortably on the road after a long journey from South Africa. The Rebels’ have struggled to defend this season, and will be wary of a side that put 39 points on the board last week. I expect the Sharks to win comfortably here. I would back them to win by 13+.
Stormers vs. Highlanders
4:10 AM AEDT
Expert tips: 12 for Stormers, 3 for Highlanders
This fixture features two undefeated teams, although the Stormers had a bye in Round 1. The Highlanders continue to surprise everyone this season. They were 6.25 odds on to win last week against the Bulls, which were the highest odds for any side. The Stormers weren’t able to put the Cheetahs away easily last week, and while the Stormers will be the odds on favourite, backing the Highlanders in a head to head bet is better value for money.
Hurricanes vs. Chiefs
5:35 PM AEDT
Expert tips: 9 for Hurricanes, 6 for Chiefs
This is one game I find hard to pick. Both teams will be desperate for a victory here. The Hurricanes have only played one game this season after having a bye and a canceled game against the Crusaders, so it’s still too early to assess their potential. The Chiefs won comfortably last week against the Rebels, but this followed two disappointing losses to the Brumbies and Highlanders. I can’t pick a winner, but given the available odds, I would back the Chiefs in a head to head bet, because at least you’re getting more than 2.00 odds.
Force vs. Blues
10:05 PM AEDT
Expert tips: 2 for Force, 13 for Blues
The Blues enter this fixture on the back of a high scoring victory over the Lions, while the Force were hammered last week by the Sharks at home. This is the third away fixture on the trot for the Blues, which must start to wear them down. Having said that, I certainly rate them as a stronger team than the Force. I would back the Blues in a head to head bet.
Cheetahs vs. Lions
2:05 AM AEDT
Expert tips: 11 for Cheetahs, 4 for Lions
This fixture is expected to be the most even of the round. The bookmakers can barely separate the two sides, which makes it interesting to see that so many experts have backed the Cheetahs. Both sides have played the Bulls and Stormers this season, and both lost by similar margins. Given that the Cheetahs are at home, I give them the slight edge, but I’m put off by the sub 2.00 odds on both teams. I will sit this one out.