REBELS v BRUMBIES
The Rebels beat the Force 25-20 last week, but only after a super time try after the sides had finished level. It was a disappointing performance from the Rebels especially given that the week before they put the Waratahs away by 19 points.
The Brumbies kept their 100% record when they came from behind to beat the Reds 22-20 with the final kick of the game sealing the win for the home team. It was their second nail biter having just edged the Waratahs 24-23 in Sydney a few weeks back and when the Brumbies and Rebels met in the early round of the competition it was the Brumbies who won 31-23 in Canberra
Handicap: Rebels (+5.5) at 9/10, Brumbies (-5.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Rebels win at 18/10
This is not a confident call, but I haven’t been impressed by the Brumbies yet and if the Rebels can reproduce the sort of form they showed against the Waratahs they will be big runners in this one.
WESTERN FORCE v REBELS – Click here to bet
Western Force and Rebels have both been handicapped by the fact that they haven’t had home games this season and the sides meet in Sydney this week.
The Force were well beaten by the Brumbies 24-0 last week in Sydney and they are without a win in their opening 3 matches. They did at least compete more effectively in their opening games beating the handicap against the Reds in Brisbane and the Waratahs in Sydney.
The Rebels impressed me last week when they beat a well backed Waratahs side 29-10 in Sydney. They had opened slight favourites in the betting, but the money came for the Waratahs, however the Rebels never looked like being beaten. If the Rebels win this game they will most likely assure themselves of a spot in the Top 3 and a crack at the Finals.
These sides haven’t met since 2017 when the Force won 31-22 in Perth and all, but one of their 9 meetings, had been decided by a single point margin.
Western Force 33/10
Handicap: Western Force (+10.5) at 9/10, Rebels (-10.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Winning Margin, Rebels Under 12.5 points at 17/10
As mentioned above this clash is historically tight and while the Rebels should win this, the Force are capable of keeping the score line respectable.
CHIEFS v HIGHLANDERS – click here to bet
The Chiefs return from a bye having lost all 4 of their matches to date. Their 2 home matches have been a 7 point defeat to the Hurricanes and a 12 point loss to the Blues.
The Highlanders went down 17-11 to the Hurricanes away last week, but their other away match this season was a 3 point loss to the Blues in Auckland.
The Chiefs and Highlanders squared up in Dunedin in Round 1 of this Tournament with the Highlanders edging it and they won that match 28-27. The Highlanders have a good recent record against the Chiefs in Hamilton beating them in March of this year in the regular competition and then they drew in 2019. These sides have scored exactly the same amount of tries in the last 4 matches that the Chiefs have hosted.
Handicap: Chiefs (-5.5) at 9/10, Highlanders (+5.5) at 9/10
Suggested Bet: Handicap, Chiefs (-5.5) at 9/10
There is not much to choose between these sides, but I think the Chiefs will benefit from the week off and that the Highlanders may start paying the price for a high tackle count over the past few weeks.
HURRICANES v BLUES – click here to bet
This looks like a cracking encounter with the Blues still in title contention and the Hurricanes showing signs of bouncing back to something like their old form.
The Blues beat the Hurricanes at home early in the Tournament and they also won their last match in Wellington earlier this season winning 25-14. That broke a run of 5 successive Hurricanes home wins against the Blues.
The Hurricanes were full value for their 17/11 win against the Highlanders in Wellington last week although those who backed them on the (-6.5) handicap would have been disappointed that they could not put the visitors away. Their other home match in this Tournament was a 39-25 loss to the Crusaders.
The Blues title hopes took a real blow last week as they lost by 11 points to the Crusaders despite leading at the break. Their other away match saw them beat the Chiefs 24-12 in Hamilton.
Suggested Bet: Winning Margin, Hurricanes under 12.5 at 18/10
The money has come for the home team and I fancy them to edge a tight one.
HURRICANES V HIGHLANDERS – click here to bet
The Hurricanes got a much needed victory last week away at the Chiefs having lost their opening two games including a home loss to the Crusaders in Round 2.
The Highlanders started the Tournament as rank underdogs and although they have only won 1 out of 3 they have performed better than many expected, beating the Chiefs by a point in Round 1 and then losing narrowly to the Blues in Auckland. They were beaten by 20 at home to the Crusaders last week, but that score line only blew out in the final minutes.
The Hurricanes have won their last 4 home matches against the Highlanders and, all but 3 of those, would have beaten the handicap.
Handicap: Hurricanes (-6.5) at 9/10, Highlanders (+6.5)
Suggested Bet: Winning Margin, Hurricanes under 12.5 points at 17/10
I am looking to this market again as it doesn’t look to be too much between these sides, but I can see the Hurricanes finishing the stronger to win the match by 12 or less.