The final round of the Super Rugby season is upon us and despite the fact the top six teams have been finalised, there is still a lot to play for as teams fight it out for a home semi-final or for pride. Continue reading for our Round 18 Super Rugby Preview and Betting Tips.
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Blues vs Highlanders (Friday 5.35pm AEST)
The Highlanders travel to Auckland with a finals spot all sewn up but they have plenty to play for as they look to earn themselves a home semi. They are on the same amount of points as the Chiefs and are only a single point behind them on points differential. I expect the Highlanders to come out in attack mode looking to secure a bonus point victory.
Rebels vs Force (Friday 7.40pm AEST)
This match is purely going to come down to who wants to finish their season on a high. The Rebels have made progress this season and have shown glimpses of potential whilst the Force has mainly had a year to forget. They have only two wins to their name and surprisingly both are against the Tahs. The Rebels are massive favourites in this one and they should get a narrow victory against their Australian rivals.
Brumbies vs Crusaders (Saturday 3.30pm AEST)
This is harsh on the Brumbies to end the regular season against the Crusaders whilst they are trying to maintain the top spot of the Australian conference. The side from Christchurch is missing the finals series for the first time since 2001 but that doesn’t mean they are going to lie down and hand the victory to the Brumbies. They have travelled to Canberra on 10 occasions and have left with a victory four times. That is a good return, however the Brumbies have Wallabies Matt Toomua and Henry Speight returning and their desire to lock up the Australian conference should get them the victory in this one.
Chiefs vs Hurricanes (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
This match up gives fans a finals match a week early. The Hurricanes have secured the top spot on the overall ladder but won’t want to give the Chiefs any confidence by losing this weekend. Sonny Bill Williams returns for the Chiefs to give them a massive boost, as he is a danger every time he touches the ball with his ability to offload and create space for players around him. The Hurricanes have been dominant throughout the whole season and their 56-20 demolition fo the Highlanders last weekend should scare any opposition.
Waratahs vs Reds (Saturday 7.40pm AEST)
The State of Origin comes early this weekend as New South Wales will look to land the first blow in the state rivalry. Despite the scoreline, the Reds put on a solid performance last weekend and they bombed two certain tries when James O’Connor tripped over his own feet with nothing but the try line in front of him and Will Genia dropped the ball as he was diving over to score. The O’Connor incident would have put the Reds in the lead whilst Genia dropped the ball right on halftime which would have seen the Reds have some momentum to work on heading into the second half.
Meanwhile the Waratahs were involved in a showcase that saw Israel Folau score a hat trick and return to form at just the right time. That should spell trouble for any side and the defending champions will head into the finals series on the back of two victories, however with such a large line I suggest leaving this match alone.
TIP: No bet
Bulls vs Cheetahs (Sunday 1.05am AEST)
The Bulls have been disappointing this season whilst the Cheetahs started off great but have suffered serious injuries to key players throughout the year. The Bulls will be looking to finish their season on a high and should be too strong for the Cheetahs. I expect an exciting and high scoring match similar to the one the Cheetahs had last week against the Waratahs.
Sharks vs Stormers (Sunday 3.05am AEST)
The Sharks are another side that has been disappointing this season as injuries have derailed their year. They will be looking to finish the season on a high but they are up against a strong Stormers outfit that will be playing to move into second spot and earn themselves a bye in the first week of the finals. They need the Waratahs and Brumbies to both lose beforehand and they will know what they are playing for prior to kick off.
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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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