Super Rugby AU Round 3 & Aotearoa Round 6 Preview & Betting Tips

The following are previews with betting tips for Super Rugby AU Round 3 & Aotearoa Round 6 of the 2020 Super Rugby season.

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View the Super Rugby form guide

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, 17 July


Reds vs. Force

7:05 PM AEST, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
View a detailed form guide for Reds vs. Force

The Reds are now 1-1-0 for the competition after they drew the Rebels 18-all in Sydney last week. It was a dour, mistake-riddled contest but it does maintain the Reds’ unbeaten streak heading into a game they will be heavily favoured to win. Reds fans will hoping their lineout issues don’t persist, although they’re not the only Australian franchise with that problem.

The Force started their return to Super Rugby with a 14-23 defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney. They shot out to a 14-0 lead as the Force dominated the opening 35 minutes but a Waratahs try late in the first half commenced a concession of 23 unanswered points as the hosts upped the tempo and took advantage of their superior conditioning. There are certainly positives to take from the performance. If the Force can sustain the first 35 minutes of that performance for 80 minutes then they have a shot at avoiding the wooden spoon. In team news the Force have signed former All Black Richard Kahui. He joins fellow former All Black Jeremy Thrush at the club.

Betting: prior to their removal from Super Rugby the Force had won three on the bounce against the Reds but both sides have undergone a lot of player turnover since then. Now that they’ll be back in dry conditions I expect the Reds will put in an improved performance to defeat the Force on Friday, but there’s little value in the 1.16 head-to-head odds. The Force showed a lot of promise last week but I expect their conditioning will let them down late in the game. I would back the Reds to win the second half at 1.30 (Sportsbet).
Confidence/value: low

Saturday, 18 July


Hurricanes vs. Blues

5:05 PM AEST, Sky Stadium, Wellington
View a detailed form guide for Hurricanes vs. Blues

The Hurricanes have bounced back from 0-2 to be 2-2 for the competition after they defeated the Chiefs 25-18 a fortnight ago and the Highlanders 17-11 last week. In both fixtures the Hurricanes raced out to a healthy lead before their opponents clawed their away back into the game. Last week’s win was made all the more pleasing given the Hurricanes were without the injured forwards trio of Dane Coles, Fraser Armstrong and Reed Prinsep to minor injuries. It does feel like the club is making strides in the right directions but this week’s fixture will be a stern test.

The Blues suffered their first defeat of the competition last week when they fell 15-26 to the Crusaders in Christchurch. The Blues started the stronger of the two sides but ill discipline in the first half kept the Crusaders in the contest through the boot of Richie Mo’unga. The Crusaders then pulled away late in what was a high quality contest. The Blues showed they have the goods to match it with the Crusaders for 60-70 minutes, they just need to find the conditioning and ability to maintain that level for the full 80 minutes, which is easier said than done!

Betting: after enduring a 9-game losing streak to the Hurricanes the Blues have now won two in a row. Prior to the Crusaders defeat the Blues had won five consecutive away games so their travelling woes appear to be over. I would back the Blues in the head-to-head at 1.70 (Sportsbet). Every Blues contest this Super Rugby Aotearoa season has been settled by 1-12 points so I also like the Blues 1-12 selection at 2.80 (bet365). An alternative to the head-to-head bet is to back the Blues 1-12 along with the Hurricanes 1-12 at 3.60 (bet365). For those looking for more risk, given the Hurricanes’ recent history of starting quickly there is value in the Hurricanes/Blues HT/FT selection at 7.00 (Unibet).
Confidence/value: medium


Waratahs vs. Brumbies

7:15 PM AEST, ANZ Stadium, Sydney
View a detailed form guide for Waratahs vs. Brumbies

The Waratahs fought back from a 14-point deficit to defeat the Force 23-14 last week. The win broke a four-game losing streak to Australian sides but the nature of the victory over a team that hadn’t played Super Rugby since 2017 doesn’t do much to silence the critics. To their credit, however, the Waratahs did make positive adjustments in the second half after they were second best for the first 35 minutes. They then dominated territory and possession as the Force fatigued, but ill-discipline at the breakdown, poor handling and lineout issues prevented the Waratahs from winning by a more commanding margin.

Prior to their bye last week the Brumbies overcame the Rebels 31-23 in a scrappy encounter in Canberra. Their pack came off clearly second best at the scrum but the Rebels came undone by an error-ridden performance.

Betting: the Brumbies have won 7 of the last 8 against the Waratahs and the visitors have won 10 of their last 12 games. The hosts meanwhile have lost 9 of their last 12. I would back the Brumbies in the head-to-head at 1.30 (Sportsbet).
Confidence/value: medium

Sunday, 19 July


Chiefs vs. Highlanders

1:35 PM AEST, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
View a detailed form guide for Chiefs vs. Highlanders

Prior to their bye last week the Chiefs suffered their 5th straight defeat when they fell 18-25 at home to the Hurricanes. The damage was done in the first half as the Hurricanes ran out to a 17-point halftime lead. To add insult to injury the visitors were able to hold on for the win despite going down a player for 35 minutes due to card infringements. The Chiefs are struggling to achieve sufficient go-forward at the moment, which is resulting in a lot of lateral moment before they lose patience and too often force a bad pass. It’s not an easy thing to fix but the bye week should have helped.

The Highlanders slid to 1-3 for the competition after they fell 11-17 to the Hurricanes in Wellington last week. The six-point scoreline flattered the Highlanders, who only had only 30% of possession and had to make over 100 more tackles than their opponents. Their bravery kept them in the contest but poor goal-kicking, line-out issues and handling errors contributed to their defeat.

Betting: both sides are in terrible form. The Chiefs have lost their last 4 at home while the Highlanders have lost their last 4 away from Dunedin. Given 15 of the last 20 meetings between the two were settled by 1-12 points, I would back both the Chiefs 1-12 at 2.80 (bet365, Sportsbet) and the Highlanders 1-12 at 3.75 (bet365).
Confidence/value: medium


Best Bet of the Round

Chiefs 1-12 at 2.80 (bet365, Sportsbet) and the Highlanders 1-12 at 3.75 (bet365)


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