The 2016 Super Rugby season has now passed the half way point and each match will increase in importance as we head towards the finals series. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 10 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Chiefs vs Sharks (Friday 5.35pm AEST)
The Sharks snapped a three game losing streak last week with a solid win over the Highlanders. However, they were able to benefit from the Highlanders centre Jason Emery being handed a red card in the opening 20 minutes and forcing his side to play the remainder of the match with 14-men on the field. It was ultimately too much for them to overcome but the Sharks still weren’t able to crack the defence which is a big negative for the Sharks as they had to rely on kicking goals to win the match by a narrow 1-point margin.
The Chiefs were lucky to escape with their own victory against the Hurricanes as they earned a one-point win too. The Hurricanes dropped the ball in the final minute with nothing but the goal line in front of them and it consolidated the top spot for the home side this weekend. The Chiefs have nearly scored double the amount of points in the same amount of matches as the Sharks this season whilst their defence has been nearly as strong. The Sharks will attempt to keep this match close early on but as they are nearing the end of a tough New Zealand trip and continue to have key players on the sidelines, the Chiefs will run away with it in this one.
Force vs Bulls (Friday 9.05pm AEST)
It has been a struggle all season as expected for the Force and things didn’t get much better for them on the weekend as they were annihilated on home soil by the Waratahs. Their defence was cracked far too easily and it was a worrying sign for the home side as it was the first match that they weren’t competitive at any stage of the contest.
Meanwhile the Bulls are on a four game winning streak and have climbed into third spot in the South African contest. They have overcame losing their flyhalf at the start of the season and in a massive positive for the side it is the only key injury they have at this point of the season. They are coming off a bye and they start their three game tour of Australian sides this weekend and they will be looking for a key victory against the Force before taking on the Brumbies and Waratahs. In their last match they were too strong for the Reds and as they are facing a weaker Australian side, we are expecting them to earn a big victory on the road.
Blues vs Rebels (Saturday 3.15pm AEST)
The Rebels have lived up to their expectations this season and even gone beyond them by putting themselves in second position in the Australasian conference. However, the side has been inconsistent, as they have won three of their last five matches with a loss coming in between all of their victories. The side has overcame some of its road issues this year as they won their first match ever in Sydney against the Waratahs but they still only have two victories outside of Australia and they will need to win away from home if they are to maintain a strong position on the ladder.
The Blues will enter this match on the back of a bye and will be fresh and ready to go after defeating the Sharks in their last start. It was a strong win for the side as it keeps them in contention for a finals spot as all of the New Zealand teams are incredibly strong this year. The Blues have faced the Rebels once at Eden park and they came out on top in a high scoring contest. I am expecting a close encounter between these two sides with the Rebels getting a victory on the back of their strong scrum. Young Wallaby Toby Smith was instrumental in the win last week as he forced a competition high four penalties at the scrum. This allowed the Rebels to add to their lead.
Highlanders vs Brumbies (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
The Brumbies struggles against New Zealand sides struggled last week as they lost by another huge margin on home soil. They were able to demolish the Hurricanes in the opening match of the 2016 Super Rugby season but since then they lost two straight matches against New Zealand opposition the Chiefs and then the Crusaders.
The Highlanders and Brumbies have both not lived up to their preseason expectations and are currently sitting in the middle of the ladder. The Highlanders have suffered back-to-back losses but if they had of played with the full 15-men on the weekend it is hard to see them not earning a victory against the Sharks. Centre Jason Emery will serve a four-match ban for his red card offence on the weekend whilst the Brumbies will still be without their superstar David Pocock and they clearly missed him last week at the breakdown.
This will be a tough contest for both sides and the Highlanders will start as favourites with the bookmakers due to their home field advantage. However, the matches played at Rugby Park Stadium have been split between the two sides. I am leaning towards the Brumbies in this one to earn a narrow victory and bounce back from their disappointing loss last week.
Reds vs Cheetahs (Saturday 7.45pm AEST)
The Cheetahs suffered another loss last week and have just two victories all season. Those two wins came against arguably the weakest opposition in the competition against the Kings and Sunwolves. The Cheetahs are a solid attacking team but their downfall can come at the breakdown and set pieces where they often cause an infringement and turn the ball over.
Meanwhile since the Reds had the two new coaches appointed, they have been a solid team and earned a big victory against the Highlanders three weeks ago before losing two tough matches in South Africa. They return home but face another South African opponent this week, however they will be full of confidence, as they have won all four matches at Suncorp stadium against the Cheetahs. The Reds will keep that undefeated record at home against the Cheetahs alive as they win by a narrow margin.
Lions vs Hurricanes (Sunday 1.05am AEST)
The Lions have been another surprising side this season as they are currently sitting in third spot on the ladder. They have won three straight matches including big wins against the Stormers and Kings. The build their attack on the back of their strong forward pack and they have shown they have the ability to dominate the set pieces and breakdown. To match that, their back line has shown a lot more class than was expected of them prior to the season starting. Their winger Ruan Combrinck has been on fire all season and he added to his impressive stat line last week by registering 4 line breaks.
In arguably the match of the round the Hurricanes will be looking to overcome the disappointment of losing to the Chiefs last week when victory was in sight before a crucial error cost them the win. Flyhalf Beauden Barrett will be crucial to their success as he has been instrumental in their revival and has scored five tries in four matches and has been involved in a lot of the tries scored by teammates.
The Lions are favourites in this one but it is the Hurricanes who have the dominant record against their opponents. In the 18 matches between these two sides the Hurricanes have won 15, including 5 of the six matches at Emirates Airlines Park. I will be sticking with history and backing that trend to continue this weekend.
Stormers vs Waratahs (Sunday 3.15am AEST)
The Waratahs finally showed what they are capable of last week as they ran riot against the Western Force in a dominant victory on the road. It was a match the side had to win and it could be a vital confidence booster as they start their tour of South Africa. Their season is still on the line as they need to win almost every match heading into the finals series and a win against the Stormers is incredibly important this weekend. Israel Folau became the leading try scorer for the Waratahs when he crossed on the weekend as the Tahs managed to score a total of six tries in their bonus point victory.
Meanwhile the Stormers returned to winning ways last week against the Reds in a convincing victory on their home soil. However, they can expect a tougher contest this weekend as the Tahs continue to return to full strength and Folau becomes more accustomed to his new role at outside centre. The key to victory for the Tahs is to continue to get the ball in the hands of Folau as much as possible as the damaging ball runner sucks in the defence as it almost always takes multiple players to bring him down.
The scoreline favoured the Stormers in their match against the Reds as they had just four tries to the Reds three but as the Stormers always do, they take advantage of their oppositions ill discipline and continue to knock over three pointers throughout the match. If the Tahs can avoid giving away cheap penalties and attack with their full ability, they will come away with an upset victory in this one.
Jaguares vs Kings (Sunday 7.40am AEDT)
The final match of the round could prove to be an entertaining one with these sides both only having pride to play for. The Jaguares were disappointing last week as they were the first team to suffer a loss against the Sunwolves. They haven’t picked up a victory since the opening round of the competition, which is disappointing for a side that was expected to be competitive despite being in its inaugural Super Rugby campaign.
Meanwhile the Kings are on the bottom of the ladder with also just the one win to their name but they have suffered larger losses this year and have missed out on opportunities to earn a bonus point. This match is heavily in favour of the home side and there isn’t much value in this contest with the two teams hard to predict as they have been very inconsistent. We suggest steering clear of this one.
TIP: No bet
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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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