Super Rugby Round 5 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Round 5 of the 2016 Super Rugby season.

View and compare bookmaker odds for this round.

Friday, 25 March


Hurricanes v Kings

5:35 PM AEDT, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
View a detailed form guide for Hurricanes v Kings

After a poor start to the season the Hurricanes have their campaign back on track with wins over the Blues and Force. They appear to be improving each week and their 41-6 demolition of the Force is a sign they are getting back closer to their impressive 2015 form. They should be far too strong for the Kings on Friday. The Hurricanes have rotated in three bench players for this clash. They have opted not to make as many changes as the Crusaders did last week, so with a strong squad a blowout win looks likely.

The Kings were expected to be thrashed by the Crusaders last week and they duly were, falling 24-57 in Christchurch to remain without a win this season. The Kings have an atrocious defensive record this year, conceding 53 points on average, so the Hurricanes will definitely be eyeing up a bonus point win. To compound their woes, the Kings have had to call up more players from South Africa after two returned home with injuries.

Head-to-head pick: Hurricanes
Line pick: Hurricanes -35.5

Betting: South African sides say that the second game on tour is often tougher than the first. The Hurricanes won by 35 points against the Force last week, so I will back them -35.5 at 1.92 (Luxbet).

Saturday, 26 March


Chiefs v Force

5:35 PM AEDT, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
View a detailed form guide for Chiefs v Force

The Chiefs put on a gallant performance to see off the Jaguares 30-26 in Argentina last week. As part of the cruel season scheduling they now play their third consecutive game in a different continent from the week before. The Chiefs have lost loosehead prop Pauliasi Manu for the season after he sustained an Achilles injury in training.

The Force held up well for 60 minutes last week but were completely blown away by the Hurricanes in the final quarter, losing 6-41 in the end. The result leaves them with just one win for the season so the Force are quickly falling into a race with the Reds to avoid the conference wooden spoon. Their defensive structures will need to be addressed as the side has conceded 72 points in its last two fixtures.

Head-to-head pick: Chiefs
Line pick: Force +17.5

Betting: the Chiefs won this clash by just 8 points last year and with the hosts returning home from a grueling overseas tour I will back the Force +17.5 at 1.95 (Marathon Bet).


Rebels v Highlanders

7:40 PM AEDT, AAMI Park, Melbourne
View a detailed form guide for Rebels v Highlanders

A strong second half performance saw the Rebels blow the Sunwolves away 35-9 last week to move to 3-1 for the season. For the fourth consecutive week they will now play in a different continent to their previous week’s fixture.

The Highlanders pulled off an upset last week by defeating the Waratahs 30-26 in Sydney. They had stormed out to a 30-0 lead and had to withstand a furious Waratahs rally to secure the win. Since losing to the Blues in Round 1, the Highlanders have gone unbeaten despite picking up a raft of injuries, which suggests their squad depth is superior to last year. The Rebels will have to be careful on Saturday because the Highlanders can break out from anywhere and are very capable of stringing tries together in quick succession. The Highlanders injury woes have eased during this week, with five players rejoining the squad.

Head-to-head pick: Highlanders
Line pick: Highlanders -5.5

Betting: the Highlanders enter this fixture having won 7 of their last 8 games spanning this season and last. The Rebels will be competitive, but I will back the Highlanders in the head-to-head at 1.50 (bet365).


Sunwolves v Bulls

9:50 PM AEDT, Singapore National Stadium, Singapore
View a detailed form guide for Sunwolves v Bulls

After almost upsetting the Cheetahs in Round 3, the Sunwolves suffered a sobering 9-35 home defeat to the Rebels last week. They were down by only 5 points after the first half but were blown away in the second spell as fatigue set in. In team news, lock Tim Bond has been suspended for a week for charging into a ruck.

The Bulls dodged a bullet last week as the Sharks inexplicably missed an extra-time penalty with the scores locked at 16-all. Despite the reprieve the Bulls languish 8 points behind the Stormers in the Africa 1 conference, but this week provides a golden opportunity to pick up a coveted bonus point and make some inroads into the Stormers’ lead. The Bulls will be without lock Grant Hattingh this week due to a groin injury.

Head-to-head pick: Bulls
Line pick: Bulls -15.5

Betting: unfortunately for the Sunwolves I expect opposition teams to eye them up as an opportunity to pick up a bonus point win. I would back the Bulls -15.5 at 1.91 (Betstar).

Sunday, 27 March


Cheetahs v Brumbies

12:00 AM AEDT, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
View a detailed form guide for Cheetahs v Brumbies

The Cheetahs fought hard, but were ultimately outclassed by the Lions 22-39 in Johannesburg last week. Once again their poor defensive record is holding them back, with only the Kings conceding points at a higher rate this year.

After an imperious start to the season the Brumbies have come down with a thud, losing 11-31 to the Stormers in Cape Town to move to 3-1 for the campaign. It was a closely fought affair until the Brumbies hooker Josh Mann-Rea was red carded for throwing a punch in the 63rd minute. The Brumbies have since been distracted by the news that CEO Michael Jones has been stood down after he made an explosive radio interview regarding accounting anomalies. He has since voiced his intention to take legal action for wrongful dismissal. In player news, Henry Speight has fractured a bone above his eye and has returned to Australia where he is expected to miss up to eight weeks. Josh Mann-Rea has been suspended for a week.

Head-to-head pick: Brumbies
Line pick: Brumbies -10.5

Betting: the best time to back the Brumbies is on the back of a defeat. Over the last 12 months the Canberra side has gone 6-1 at the line on the back of a loss. While the Cheetahs do have a good home record against the Brumbies, they are 1-6 at home over the last 12 months. The Brumbies are too short to back in the head-to-head market, so I would back the Brumbies 1-12 at 3.00 (bet365).


Sharks v Crusaders

2:05 AM AEDT, Growthpoint KINGS PARK, Durban
View a detailed form guide for Sharks v Crusaders

The Sharks missed a golden opportunity to beat the Bulls last week when Joe Pietersen inexplicably missed an extra-time penalty with the scores locked at 16-all. They remain undefeated this season but have the Lions breathing down their necks in the Africa 2 conference.

The Crusaders should be fairly fresh for their tour of South Africa after they rotated out nine players prior to their 57-24 win over the Kings last week. The game would have served as good preparation for the tour, with the Kings employing a forwards-dominated approach last week. The Crusaders won their previous trip to Durban 52-10 but the Sharks are in much better form this year.

Head-to-head pick: Crusaders
Line pick: Crusaders +2.5

Betting: this could go either way and I can’t see either team being blown off the park. I would back both the Sharks 1-12 at 2.86 (Pinnacle Sports) at and the Crusaders 1-12 at 3.60 (bet365).


Jaguares v Stormers

12:00 AM AEDT, José Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires
View a detailed form guide for Jaguares v Stormers

The Jaguares fell to the Chiefs 26-30 last week in what was their first ever home game. They actually led at halftime as well as in the dying minutes but were undone by a 78-minute try to the visitors. Nevertheless the Jaguares can take heart from the performance which ended a streak of receiving multiple yellow cards, so their discipline is improving.

The Stormers bounced back from a home defeat to the Sharks by seeing off the in-form Brumbies 31-11 last week to move to 3-1 for the season. They applied plenty of pressure throughout the match but it wasn’t until the last 23 minutes that the Stormers were able to score the first of their three tries. There was a touch of controversy with one of them, but the Stormers were nevertheless the stronger of the two teams of the day.

Head-to-head pick: Jaguares
Line pick: Jaguares -3.0

Betting: the Stormers haven’t been a great travelling team over the last few years, winning only 3 of their last 12 fixtures on foreign soil. I would back the ever-improving Jaguares in the head-to-head at 1.67 (Luxbet).


Reds v Waratahs

4:05 PM AEDT, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
View a detailed form guide for Reds v Waratahs

The Reds remain winless in 2016 after conceding an extra-time penalty to draw 25-25 with the Blues in Brisbane last week. Despite not winning, their form has picked up since the departure of head coach Richard Graham, however I haven’t seen enough to suggest they will beat the Waratahs, who defeated them 30-10 in Round 1 to extend their winning streak over them to 5 games.

The Waratahs fell 26-30 to the Highlanders in Sydney last week after trailing 0-30 at one stage. They remain without a win since Round 1 but now take on a team that they have a dominant record over. The Waratahs are expected to welcome back fly-half Bernard Foley for this clash.

Head-to-head pick: Waratahs
Line pick: Waratahs -6.5

Betting: like the Brumbies, the Waratahs are a good team to back the week after a defeat. They are 5-5 on the back of a win over the last 12 months compared to 4-1 on the back of a loss. I would back the Waratahs in the head-to-head at 1.40 (William Hill).


Best Bets of the Round

Back both the Sharks 1-12 at 2.86 (Pinnacle Sports) at and the Crusaders 1-12 at 3.60 (bet365)

Back the Jaguares in the head-to-head at 1.67 (Luxbet)

Back the Waratahs in the head-to-head at 1.40 (William Hill)


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