Super Rugby Pacific – Round 1 Betting Tips

The following are betting tips for selected fixtures in Round 1 of the 2024 Super Rugby Pacific season.

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To take advantage of the odds before they possibly shorten, these previews are published before the team sheets are announced. Those who are more risk-averse should wait for the squad lists before wagering.

I recommend treading carefully with stake levels until the impact of the shakeup following the World Cup year can be determined.



Chiefs vs. Crusaders


This is a rematch of last year’s final, which the Crusaders won 25-20 to secure their 12th Super Rugby title. A lot has happened since then, however, which is why I am leaning towards the Chiefs.

A number of key Crusaders’ players left after last season. This includes lock Sam Whitelock and fly-half Richie Mo’unga. The Crusaders also begin life under new head coach Rob Penney following the departure of Scott Robertson to the All Blacks. The Crusaders have since been hit by injuries. Marquee signing Leigh Halfpenny tore his pectoral muscle in pre-season, plus the luckless All Blacks outside back Will Jordan could be out for the season with a shoulder injury. In other injury news, loose forward Ethan Blackadder is expected to miss this week with a calf injury, while fly-half Fergus Burke is out until April with an Achilles injury. Burke’s injury compounds the departure of Mo’unga.

The Chiefs have seen some key players depart too. This includes Brodie Retallick, Brad Weber, Codie Taylor (partial-season sabbatical) and Sam Cane (full-season sabbatical). They retain a strong backline, however, headlined by Damian McKenzie. The Chiefs also welcome back Quinn Tupaea from long-term injury.

While the Chiefs did lose last year’s final to the Crusaders, they did beat the Cantabrians twice during the regular season. With the Crusaders now entering a period of uncertainty following the departures of star fly-half Richie Mo’unga and head coach Scott Robertson, I will side with the Chiefs this week.

I would back the Chiefs in the head-to-head at 1.52 (Bet Right)



Force vs. Hurricanes


The Force only lost twice at home last season and they only lost by three points away from home against the Hurricanes last year. Since then the Perth side has received an influx of experienced players, including Nic White from the Brumbies, Ben Donaldson from the Waratahs, former All Blacks prop Atu Moli, former Crusaders hooker Ben Funnell and ex-Leicester Tigers outside back Harry Potter. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have parted ways with Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Ardie Savea and Julian Savea. The Wellington side also starts the campaign under a new head coach Clark Laidlaw following the departure of Jason Holland to the All Blacks setup.

I would side with the Force +11.5 at 1.75 (Dabble)



Blues vs. Drua


This is a bet against the Fijian Drua’s away form. They were excellent on Fijian soil last year, where they won five out of six matches. It’s worth noting that the only side to beat the Drua on home soil last year was the Blues. Away from Fiji, however, the Drua went 1-7. Their solitary win came by a 2-point margin over Moana Pasifika in Round 1. The Drua went 2-5 at the line away from home last campaign and they failed to cover the line in their final four away games. Six of their seven away defeats were by 13+ margins.

I would back the Blues 13+ at 1.60 (bet365)



Highlanders vs. Moana Pasifika

Moana Pasifika

The Highlanders were incredibly predictable at home last season. They went 4-0 as the home favourite and 0-3 as the home underdog. Looking at both home and away games, the Highlanders went 5-1 as the favourite and 0-8 as the underdog. Moana Pasifika, meanwhile, went 1-13 last campaign. Their only win came in the final week of the season. Moana Pasifika’s previous two fixtures against the Highlanders resulted in 20+ defeats. While the Highlanders have lost some notable talent during the off-season, most notably Aaron Smith, their turnover has been modest compared to the twenty new contracted players for Moana Pasifika this season. Eleven of those players have no Super Rugby experience. The Highlanders have the lowest expectations of the Kiwi franchises, but they did go undefeated in pre-season. This includes a 41-14 win over the Crusaders.

I would back the Highlanders in the head-to-head at 1.27 (Bet Right)


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