As we are nearing closer to the business end of the season, the importance of each match is increasing for those sides fighting for finals positions with only the Hurricanes guaranteed a position in the final six. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 15 preview and betting tips.
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Chiefs vs Bulls (Friday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Chiefs have suffered two losses in a row but still find themselves in the top position as a wildcard. They can’t afford another loss though with the ladder starting to become a bit of a logjam in the middle with six sides within five points of each other. The Bulls are one of those sides as they missed a good opportunity last week to start their road trip positively with a loss against the bottom of the New Zealand conference Blues. They will need to improve on that performance this week. I think they will come close but narrowly miss out again.
Reds vs Sharks (Friday 7.35pm AEDT)
The Reds and Sharks are both playing for pride and will not play a part in the finals this year. The two sides are very inconsistent and you don’t know what attitude the sides will take when they enter the field. The Reds were impressive last week as they beat the Rebels at home and ruined their intentions to make a push for the finals whilst the Sharks have lost all three of their road matches and will finish their road trip off this weekend.
Blues vs Hurricanes (Saturday 5.35pm AEDT)
This clash has the top of the table Hurricanes up against the bottom of the New Zealand conference Blues. The Hurricanes have still only lost the one match this season at home to the Waratahs despite their recent injury woes. They lost their most in form player of the season, fly half Beauden Barret, but they still found a way to defeat the Chiefs last week. They will also be without Conrad Smith who is being rested. Despite this, the Hurricanes are still outright favourites and this match should be avoided.
TIP: No Bet
Waratahs vs Crusaders (Saturday 7.40pm AEDT)
The time is now for the Crusaders if they are going to have any shot at making the finals, with four games remaining they will need to win at least three and possibly all of them if they don’t want to miss the finals for the first time since 2001. They have made five changes to the line up that beat the Reds a fortnight ago before the Crusaders had a bye last weekend. Meanwhile the Waratahs bounced back with a win against the Sharks at home after suffering their second loss to the Force this season. This match is crucial for both sides, as the Waratahs will head on a two-week trip to South Africa before returning home for their last match of the season.
Force vs Highlanders (Saturday 9.45pm AEDT)
The Highlanders have been flying a bit under the radar this season and are sitting in fifth spot on the overall ladder. Unfortunately for the Highlanders they have a tough end to the season as they play three of their four matches on the road and two of those are against the Hurricanes and Chiefs. They need to take advantage of this match against the Force. Despite the Force’s two victories against the Waratahs this season I still don’t think they stand a chance against an Highlanders outfit playing for a finals spot.
Cheetahs vs Lions (Sunday 1.05am AEDT)
The Cheetahs have struggled this season as everyone expected whilst the Lions have produced some great performances and have competed in almost every match this season. The Lions are in a spot where a win here would push them into finals contention and a loss would all but end their season. I expect them to get up against an injury-ravaged Cheetahs outfit.
Stormers vs Rebels (Sunday 3.05am AEDT)
The Rebels have had a positive season as they weren’t expected to have secured as many wins as they have but they let their opportunity slip last week as the Reds smashed them. They travel to South Africa to take on the Stormers who are battling with the Bulls for the top of the conference and will be desperate for a win this weekend.
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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