The 2016 Super Rugby regular season has concluded and we have reached the knock out stages of the tournament. Continue reading as we have our Super Rugby Quarter Finals Preview and Betting Tips.
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Brumbies vs Highlanders (Friday 6pm AEST)
The Brumbies are the only team to make it through to the finals from the Australian conference and despite finishing with nine-competition points less than the Highlanders, the Brumbies will take home field advantage into this match.
The Brumbies bounced back from their embarrassing loss against the Blues to pick up a win against the Force. However, the 14-point win was far from impressive. Their defence was cracked on four occasions but their scramble defence was able to restrict the Force to just the one try. It was their own attack that was lacking, as they weren’t able to maintain the pressure on their opponent and that is something they will definitely need to accomplish against the great Highlanders defence. There is no hiding the strategy the Brumbies will use to attempt to get ahead and that is by kicking the ball long and going to their line out. They have one of the strongest in the game and if they are able to get a rolling maul going close to the line they are hard to stop. The Brumbies were held scoreless in the second half which isn’t good enough for a side with title aspirations.
However, this could play into the hands of the Highlanders, as there is no team in the competition that can turn the ball over and capitalise better than them. The Highlanders are able to withstand a lot of pressure placed on them and capitalise on the little opportunities they are given. They earned their second win against the Chiefs for the season and they are the defending Super Rugby champions. The advantage of playing in front of their home fans will keep the Brumbies in this match, but unfortunately for Australian rugby the Brumbies will be eliminated as the Highlanders are far too strong.
Hurricanes vs Sharks (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
The Hurricanes finished the season off in style picking up a huge 35-10 victory against the Crusaders on the road. This was a massive statement to the rest of competition as the win saw them snatch first place. When you look at the score line you will think it was a great attacking performance from the Canes, however it was their defence that was more impressive as they were able to weather the early onslaught from the Crusaders and capitalise on the break. The tide changed in the second half as the Hurricanes kept the pressure on the Crusaders by not allowing them to escape their own half. It was a great all around performance and the Sharks will be up against it this weekend.
The Sharks just scraped into the finals series. Throughout the second half of the season they have been poor and their attacking is a worrying issue. They have scored the least amount of points of any team in the top 14 on the ladder but they make up for it with their defence as they have the best defence in the competition. They will need to be at the top of their game this weekend if they are to stand a chance but we can’t see an upset as the Hurricanes will win this match comfortably.
Lions vs Crusaders (Sunday 12.30am AEST)
This will arguably be the most enticing counter over the weekend with two of the best forward packs in the came going up against each other. Prior to last week a lot of experts were tipping these two sides to meet in the Super Rugby Grand Final, however the Crusaders weren’t able to get the job done against the Hurricanes and it has seen them put in a terrible position of having to travel to South Africa to take on the Lions.
As mentioned, these two sides have the most formidable forward packs in the game and it will be hard for either side to have an advantage at the scrum, breakdown and line out. It will likely come down to key moments in this area where a side will gain the upper hand and be able to capitalise on a larger scale.
The Lions will be well rested after the entire 15-starts were rested from last week’s match and they remained in South Africa to receive treatment on nagging injuries. This will allow the side to be fresh, however it could be a negative if the side comes out flat and takes a while to lift their game. Their home fans should be able to give the side the energy they need to prevent a slow start.
The Bookmakers are having trouble splitting this match with the Lions receiving the slight edge. The Crusaders are an experienced side in this position and it is hard to back against a New Zealand side, even in South Africa. If the Crusaders can capitalise on all of their early chances and then rely on their strong defence, they could cause an upset.
Stormers vs Chiefs (Sunday 3am AEST)
The final Super Rugby quarterfinal has the Stormers hosting the Chiefs. The Stormers were able to secure top spot with a 52-24 win against the Kings last week and they were able to benefit with a few of their star players earning early showers once the result was decided.
Meanwhile the Chiefs lost to the Highlanders and now have the hard task of travelling to South Africa. Despite having all the opportunities in the opening 40-minutes of the match, the Chiefs weren’t able to show it on the score board as the Highlanders were able to do what they do best by absorbing a lot of the pressure. If the Chiefs are able to have the same possession and territory against the Stormers it could be a different story. The Chiefs have won three of the eight matches at the Newlands Rugby stadium. We are predicting the Chiefs attack will be too strong in this one and if they can hold onto the ball they will eliminate the Stormers on their home soil.
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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