The 2016 Super Rugby season continues this weekend with a lot of big match ups that will have a lot of implications on the finals series. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 13 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Crusaders vs Waratahs (Friday 5.35pm AEST)
The Waratahs have won four straight matches to revive their season but the side’s chances were dealt a massive blow with Kurtley Beale suffering a serious knee injury in the opening minute of their clash against the Bulls. They were able to overcome this and go on to earn a convincing bonus point victory. However, they face a tough challenge this weekend as they travel to Christchurch to take on the Crusaders. The Tahs have a terrible record against the Crusaders and have won just six of the 22 meetings between the two sides, however they have had recent success against the New Zealand side including their 2014 championship season when they won the title against the Crusaders.
However, the Crusaders are currently sitting on the top of the table but they are coming of a loss on the road against the Highlanders. It was their first loss since round 1 and they will be desperate to ensure it isn’t a habit that sticks around, as they will want to return to winning ways this weekend. This match will have a great match up at the breakdown but the Crusaders will have a superior advantage at the scrum. The Waratahs back line will be lacking attacking flair with Beale out of the line up and it will place more pressure on Bernard Foley and Israel Folau to produce more in this area. The Crusaders will come out on top but I believe it will be a close contest.
Reds vs Sunwolves (Saturday 3.05pm AEST)
The Sunwolves took a huge step forward last week on their home soil when they almost pulled off the upset of the season as they were leading the Stormers by seven points with just minutes remaining but unfortunately for them a converted try by the South African side saw them level the scores. The draw shows a lot of progress for the side, as they were able to defend a lot better than the week earlier when the Force had a field day.
Meanwhile the Reds are coming off another loss but they were again able to put on a solid performance. They were competitive against the Hurricanes but they currently don’t have a squad to match it with the high quality sides such as the Hurricanes. Similar to the Sunwolves, the Reds have been constantly improving throughout the season and they have been a stronger side when playing in front of their home crowd at Suncorp stadium. They will be the better team on this occasion and earn the points in convincing fashion.
Chiefs vs Rebels (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
The Rebels again showed how far they have come this season as they pushed the Brumbies to the limit last weekend but unfortunately they came away empty handed as they lost by eight points. They are facing another tough task as they face a Chiefs outfit that will be fresh after coming off a bye and they will be motivated as they lost in their last match. The Rebels are notoriously poor on the road and especially outside of Australia.
The Chiefs have been one of the best attacking sides in the competition this season and whilst their attack has slowed in recent weeks, the week off should do a lot for the side and it could end up in them turning this match into a white wash as the Rebels have had a lot of tough meetings recently. The Chiefs lead the head to head battle 3-1 and have never lost to the Rebels on home soil. The Rebels will do their best to keep this match close and whilst the Rebels won’t win, they will be able to match the line.
Force vs Blues (Saturday 7.40pm AEST)
The Blues will end their three-week road trip this weekend against the Force and they will attempt to turn things around after an embarrassing loss last week against the Lions. They were blown off the park in a 43-5 smashing as the New Zealand side was never in the contest. It was their first big loss this season as they have been able to remain competitive in the majority of the matches and they have won more than half of their matches.
Despite the Force winning their last match, they remain on the bottom of the Australasian Conference and are the third worst defensive team in the competition. They have been competitive in matches throughout the first half of games but they struggle to put together a full 80-minute performance and often their lapses have cost them. The Blues have a convincing record against the Force as they have lost just once in the nine meetings against the Force, including being undefeated on the Force’s home ground. I am predicting the Blues bounce back from their big loss last week and grab a close victory in this one as the Force will keep in close in front of their home fans.
Lions vs Jaguares (Saturday 11pm AEST)
The Jaguares played one of their best matches in over a month as they were able to push the Sharks to the limits but they lacked the experience to finish off the match as the Sharks earned a penalty and kicked the winning goal. It has been a disappointing season for the Jaguares in their inaugural season in the Super Rugby competition and I am predicting it to get worse this weekend.
The Lions have been arguably the biggest surprise this season as they have built on their performances from last year to become a superior team in the competition. Their latest win against the Blues was dominant and it saw them move into second spot on the overall ladder. They haven’t faced the Jaguares yet this season but I am expecting them to continue to use their forward to gain the advantage against the opponents and on the back of that it will create an overlap for their back line and they will use their superiority to turn this match into a big victory.
Sharks vs Southern Kings (Sunday 1.05am AEST)
The Sharks started their season in great fashion but injuries have derailed them as they have lost their way. They narrowly avoided a loss on the road against the Jaguares last week as the victory has kept them in a wildcard position for the finals series with just over a month of the regular season to go. Their defence has been solid throughout the year but it has been their attack that has continued to lack. Only the Sunwolves and Kings have scored less points than them in the South African conference and they will take on the Kings this weekend.
However, the Kings have been a far worse defensive team and have conceded a hefty 457 points in 10 matches at over 45 points per contest. The Sharks will have an opportunity to throw the ball around in this match and grab some confidence in attack heading into the back end of the season. I am expecting them to earn a massive victory on their home soil.
Bulls vs Stormers (Sunday 3.20am AEST)
The biggest match of the round for the South African conference will take place in the final match as the Bulls will look to put the disappointment of their trip to Australia behind them and return to winning ways. The Bulls suffered back-to-back losses against the Brumbies and Waratahs and in both contests they were unable to trouble the oppositions defence. The two losses saw the Bulls fall out of a finals position and a loss this weekend will be disastrous for the side as the Stormers will push further add of them on the competition ladder.
The Stormers would have pencilled in a victory against the Sunwolves last week and it would be incredibly frustrating for the players and coaching staff that they weren’t able to leave with the maximum amount of competition points against one of the weaker sides in the competition. They were coming off a bye and should have been fresh for the match and full of motivation considering they had lost to the Waratahs on home soil in their previous match.
The team that gets out to a better start will likely prove to be victorious in this contest as both sides play better with a lead. The two sides can’t be separated at the bookmakers and despite the Bulls having the advantage of playing on home soil, I am predicting the stormers to come out on top as they have a superior back line and are the more likely side to break open the oppositions defence.
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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