The following are previews with betting tips for Super Rugby AU 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, 28 August
Brumbies vs. Force
View a detailed form guide for Brumbies vs. Force
The Brumbies battered the Waratahs 38-11 last week to stay at the top of the AU standings. The 2nd placed Reds have a bye this week so the Brumbies can clinch the top seed with a win this week. The comfortable win over the Waratahs was on the back of a heavy defeat to the Rebels, which had snapped a seven-game winning streak. The Brumbies evidently made good use of the bye week and responded with nine changes to their starting XV and 16 changes in total for the Waratahs clash. They used the rolling maul to great effect as they played classic Brumbies rugby.
The Force’s miserable return to Super Rugby worsened with a 5-57 thrashing at the hands of the Reds on the Gold Coast. They have put in some brave performances but it’s hard not to be demoralised by losing 3 of your last 4 fixtures by 20+ margins. Living on the east coast throughout the tournament hasn’t helped.
Betting: if the Brumbies can rotate their squad and defeat the Waratahs by 27 points, then I expect they can cover the -20.5 line against the beleaguered Force. The Brumbies defeated the Force 24-0 on neutral soil earlier in the season so this could get ugly if the Brumbies give it their all. I would back the Brumbies -20.5 at 1.93 (bet365).
Saturday, 29 August
Rebels vs. Waratahs
View a detailed form guide for Rebels vs. Waratahs
Prior to their bye last week the Rebels fell 3-19 to the Reds in Brisbane to slide to 4th in the standings. The defeat snapped a three-game winning streak and was a curious change of fortunes after the Rebels had impressed in their 30-12 win over the Brumbies the week before. The Melburnians had an incredible 88% of possession but ended up pointless in the second stanza as they couldn’t get past the Reds’ defence and failed to make the necessary adjustments.
The Waratahs were thrashed 11-38 by the Brumbies last week to bring them back down to earth following heavy wins over the Reds and Force. They trailed 11-12 at halftime before being blown away in the second stanza. The Waratahs had no answer to the rolling maul and they failed to take their chances in the second half. To add insult to injury the Brumbies had made nine changes to the starting XV for that clash. The defeat in Canberra extends the Waratahs’ poor away form. The NSW side has lost 10 of its last 13 away fixtures. So far in 2020 the Waratahs’ only away win was over the struggling Force at a neutral venue in Queensland.
Betting: the Waratahs have an awful away record but this fixture is being played on ‘neutral’ territory at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney. The erratic nature of the results in this competition makes predictions difficult to make, but I will side with the Rebels, who should be refreshed following their bye. The Rebels have played the Waratahs twice already in 2020 and won those fixtures by 14 and 19 points, respectively. I would back the Rebels in the head-to-head at 1.78 (bet365).
Best Bet of the Round
Brumbies -20.5 at 1.93 (bet365)