The following are previews with betting tips for Super Rugby AU Round 7 & Aotearoa Round 10 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, 21 August
Force vs. Reds
View a detailed form guide for Force vs. Reds
The Force fell 8-28 to the Waratahs in a scrappy contest last week to slump to 0-5 for the campaign. They were still in the contest down 8-16 at the half but weren’t able to trouble the scoreboard in the second spell. The scoreline arguably flattered the Perth side as the Waratahs had two second half tries chalked off by the TMO. The Force’s lineout continues to be their Achilles’ heel after they lost eight against the throw.
The Reds saw off the Rebels 19-3 despite being starved of second half possession and territory last week to move 2nd, just 2 points behind the tournament-leading Brumbies. Defence won the day as the Reds kept the Rebels pointless in the second half despite the Melburnians having 88% of possession. The win continues the Reds’ lopsided home and away form. The Queenslanders have gone 5-1 at home and 0-1-6 away in 2020.
Betting: the Reds are awful away from home but this fixture is being held at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. If they can put in the same defensive effort in as they did last week they should win this comfortably but 1.20 head-to-head odds is short for a side with such an appalling away record. The Reds haven’t won away from home by more than 11 points since 2016 so if I were to bet on this fixture I would take the Reds 1-12 at 3.10 (Sportsbet).
Saturday, 22 August
Brumbies vs. Waratahs
View a detailed form guide for Brumbies vs. Waratahs
Prior to their bye last week the Brumbies fell 12-30 to the Rebels in Sydney to snap a seven-game winning streak. The Brumbies’ backs came off second best to their counterparts in the tough, wet conditions. It was an uncharacteristically poor performance but the Brumbies were probably due a defeat after winning two of their previous three games by two points or fewer. Having a bye week will have given them extra time to stew over it so I’m expecting a strong response this week.
The Waratahs defeated the Force 28-8 last week to move to 3-3 for the season. They beat the Reds the week before so they are on a two-game winning streak for the first time since 2018. The Waratahs’ defensive structure appears to have improved in recent weeks and it shows with the 10 points conceded on average over the last fortnight. Revenge will be on the Waratahs’ minds after they suffered an agonising one-point home defeat to the Brumbies in Round 3.
Betting: the Brumbies have won 8 of the last 9 against the Waratahs including the last 5. The Brumbies have gone 5-1 at home over the last 12 months while the Waratahs have gone 1-4 away from home and 0-4 as the away underdog. The Waratahs have looked improved since the covid break, however, suffering just one 7+ point defeat in six games since July, compared to five 13+ point defeats in six games before covid (albeit it with a different calibre of opposition). Given the Brumbies have won the next game following their previous four defeats I would back the Brumbies in the head-to-head at 1.36 (bet365). I expect the Waratahs will keep this close, however, so those looking for more risk may prefer the Brumbies 1-12 at 2.70 (Sportsbet).