2016 Super Rugby: Round 12 Preview & Betting Tips

May 11th 2016, 11:10am, By: C.McGregor9

The 2016 Super Rugby season continues this weekend and there is a lot of massive matches to take place that will have implications on the finals series. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 12 Preview and Betting Tips.

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Highlanders vs Crusaders (Friday 5.35pm AEST)

This block buster New Zealand clash has the Crusaders taking on the defending champions as they look to extend their winning streak to nine games. The Crusaders lost their opening match to the Chiefs but since then they have been dominant in almost every facet of the game and they have proved a lot of experts wrong who believed they would struggle after losing club legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw.

The Highlanders also lost their opening match of the season but have been consistent and strong throughout the year. Over the past couple of weeks they have taken their game to another level and have dispatched the Brumbies and Chiefs in consecutive weeks. They were dominant in both matches and last week their defence shut down the Chiefs attack whilst their scrum was superior. They will be tested in that area this weekend though as the Crusaders have the strongest scrum in the competition and have been one of the best sides at the breakdown. The battle between the two forward packs will go a long way to determining which side will come out on top in this one.

The biggest flaw to the Highlanders game this season is they haven’t been able to capitalise on all of their opportunities to cross for a try and have often settled for the three points. Whilst the majority of the teams are happy to kick for three, when the Crusaders are given an advantage they can generally make it count and turn it into a 5 or 7 pointer. I will be backing the Crusaders to extend their streak and remain on the top of the table.

TIP: Crusaders 1-12 @ $3.00 with Sportsbet

 

Rebels vs Brumbies (Friday 7.45pm AEST)

In another massive match on the Friday night we have the top of the Australian Conference the Brumbies up against the Rebels who are just two competition points behind their Australian rivals.

The Rebels are coming off a bye and they will be keen to get back onto the field and improve their already best start to a season in their five year history. They were unlucky to leave without a victory in Auckland against the Blues as they mounted a great comeback and crossed the line in the final minutes but it was ruled they had infringed in the lead up to the try. Their forward pack has been solid and lead by Sean McMahon at the breakdown. He has progressed this season and a lot of that can be due to the experience he picked up at the Rugby World Cup last year with the Wallabies. However, he will face his biggest test of the season as he takes on the best flanker in the world David Pocock. The Brumbies flanker was again instrumental in his sides victory last week against the Bulls. His ability to turn the ball over prevented the Bulls from building upon their attack, which contributes to their defence. We are expecting a close match but the Brumbies will have too much experience and earn a narrow victory on the road.

TIP: Brumbies 1-12 @ $2.60 with William Hill

 

Hurricanes vs Reds (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)

The Reds took a massive step backwards last week as they were thrashed by the Crusaders in Christchurch. However, that loss was expected and they were definitely due for a performance like that after they had put in a lot of effort on the road in South Africa and earned a win the week before against the Cheetahs. I am expecting them to bounce back this weekend and put in a strong performance against the Hurricanes but they won’t have enough to earn the victory.

The Hurricanes lost last week on the road against the Sharks and it saw them drop on the ladder and they are only just holding onto their finals spot. They will definitely want to earn a bonus point victory this weekend and they will be pushing hard in attack. This could lead the side to make a few crucial errors, which could end up costing them in the long run. They have never lost on home soil to the Reds and that trend will continue but I am backing the Reds to make a game out of it.

TIP: Reds +19.5 @ $1.91 with Ladbrokes

 

Waratahs vs Bulls (Saturday 7.45pm AEST)

The Waratahs will be looking to continue their resurgence this weekend when they face the Bulls on home soil. They are currently on a three game winning streak and it has put them back in contention for the finals and they are sitting in equal position on the top of the Australian conference. They crossed for a bonus point try against the Cheetahs in their last match but the try was reviewed and called back for a forward pass which cost the side a crucial competition point. However, they will put that disappointment behind them and earn a victory this weekend. The move of Israel Folau to outside centre has continued to pay dividends as he crossed for his fourth try in as many matches whilst the rest of the team has excelled in their positions and their defence has been solid too.

The Bulls were held to just six points against the Brumbies and they will need to put in a better performance this weekend if they are to get back to winning ways. They had too many handling errors and turned the ball over far too easy and whilst the Tahs flanker Michael Hooper isn’t quite as good as David Pocock but the Tahs captain is always causing havoc at the breakdown.

The Waratahs have a superior record on home soil against the Bulls but they can’t afford to hand the Bulls a lead as it will be hard for them to play catch up like they have had to in a lot of games already this year. If the Tahs can have a solid start to this match they should win.

TIP: Waratahs 1-12 @ $2.60 with CrownBet

 

Sunwolves vs Stormers (Saturday 9.55pm AEST)

This will be the second time these two sides face off against each other and the Stormers earned a comfortable bonus point victory in their first meeting. They crossed for seven tries in a high scoring match and we are expecting a similar result this time around. The Sunwolves are coming off another disappointing loss and it was a match they dominated throughout periods of the match and they were hard done by on the scoreboard as a few mistakes and defensive lapses cost them. However, that is expected from a side getting its first taste of Super Rugby action this season.

Meanwhile the Stormers lost their last match against the Waratahs but are coming off a bye and will be fresh for this contest. You can pencil in the victory for the Stormers but by what margin is the real question. As they are coming off a loss they will be desperate for at least a bonus point victory and I believe this match could turn ugly quickly for the Sunwolves.

TIP: Stormers -22.5 @ $1.90 with William Hill

 

Cheetahs vs Kings (Sunday 1.05am AEST)

The Cheetahs have won just two games this season and one of those came against their opponent for this weekend. Their wins against the Kings and Sunwolves were incredibly dominant. However, their biggest issue is turn overs and that was very evident last weekend when they turned the ball over more than 30 times against the Waratahs but to their credit they kept the match competitive until the final 10 minutes of the contest. Their defence was strong in that match and they will be facing a weaker team this weekend.

The Kings only have the one win this season and they haven’t been able to earn a bonus point all season, which means all of their losses have been by more than seven points. Last week they lost by 16 against a strong Blues side and we are expecting them to be within the line this weekend against the Cheetahs.

TIP: Kings +24.5 @ $1.90 with CrownBet

 

Lions vs Blues (Sunday 3.15am AEST)

The Lions had a much-needed break last weekend as they had played a long stretch of games in a row and they would have freshened up over their weekend away from action. In their last match they were smashed on home soil by the Hurricanes in an embarrassing and disappointing performance as the Lions have been one of the stronger sides this season. They will need to return to their basics that made them a successful team this year and that is using their forward pack to their own benefit and taking advantage of the penalties they create at the set pieces.

The Blues earned a victory last week against the Kings but they still remain as the weakest team in the New Zealand conference. However, they are still sitting in a strong position, which demonstrates how tough and strong the Kiwi sides are this season. The Blues will put up a fight in this match but I am backing the home side to come out on top in this one.

TIP: Lions -6.5 @ $1.90 with Sportsbet

 

Jaguares vs Sharks (Sunday 6.40am AEST)

The Argentina side has been disappointing this season with a lot of experts predicting they would reach the finals this season. Inconsistencies with their squad have been their ultimate downfall as the changes have led to their inability to create combinations and therefore their attack and defence has lacked throughout the season.

Meanwhile the Sharks earned a valuable and impressive victory in their last start as they held off the Hurricanes on home soil. It was a short home stint as they are back on the road and a win in this one will be crucial for them to stay within striking distance of a finals appearance. I am predicting the Sharks to continue to look to attack more and their defence will be far too strong for the Jaguares to break on multiple occasions.

TIP: Sharks -0.5 @ $1.91 with Ladbrokes

 

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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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