The 2016 Super Rugby season continues this weekend as we have reached the final month of competition and teams are now at the do or die stage. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 14 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Hurricanes vs Highlanders (Friday 5.35pm AEST)
The second instalment of the rematch of the 2015 Super Rugby Grand Final will be an exciting match if the recent history is anything to go by. Their last match was a nail biter that the Highlanders were able to win by just one point.
These two sides will be fresh for the contest as they are both coming off a bye and desperate for a victory with just one competition point separating them on the ladder. They are sitting in the middle of the logjam and the team that pulls off the victory in this match will go a long way towards securing that finals spot.
Heading into their break, the Highlanders were one of the in form teams in the competition as they picked up three wins in a row against tough opposition. They snapped the Crusaders nine game winning streak and defeated the Chiefs on the road who were sitting on the top of the table. There attack has been clicking whilst they are holding their own defensively and don’t give up a penalty easily.
Meanwhile the Hurricanes have been inconsistent and have looked like the team that reached the Grand Final last season with a 50-17 smashing of the Hurricanes but then looked like the team that started the season that made a lot of errors in their 32-15 loss to the Sharks. This match will depend on which team turns up but I believe the Highlanders will win regardless, the only question is by how much.
Waratahs vs Chiefs (Friday 7.35pm AEST)
The Tahs are currently sitting on the top spot of the Australian conference but a loss here would see them likely drop below the Brumbies and out of a wild card spot. They were outplayed by the Crusaders last weekend in Christchurch as nothing went their way. Their attack wasn’t clicking as they clearly missed Kurtley Beale’s impact and x-factor.
The Chiefs returned to winning ways in dominant fashion, as they were too good for the Rebels. They ran away with the match early and showed their experience and class to continue to apply pressure throughout the match and not allow the Rebels into the contest.
In favour of the Waratahs, they have an impressive record against the Chiefs winning 12 of the 19 matches including seven of the nine on home soil. However, the Tahs have had a tough season and we are expecting the Chiefs to make it a lot worse.
Kings vs Jaguares (Saturday 3am AEST)
This match will be a battle between two of the bottom teams of the competition as they have both had seasons to forget. The Kings have been on the wrong end of some massive score lines and have just one win to their name. In the 10 matches they have lost, they have all been by a score line of more than seven points and they are the only side not to have registered a bonus point. The Kings have conceded a massive 505 points and scored just 190.
Meanwhile the Jaguares are arguably as disappointing as a lot was expected of them in their inaugural season in the Super Rugby competition. They have just two wins next to their name but they have been competitive in the majority of their matches.
The Kings just don’t have enough personnel to compete in the best rugby competition in the world and their defence is borderline embarrassing at time. They were trailing 43-0 on the weekend at half time against the Sharks and if their opposition hadn’t of gone into cruise control it could have been a lot worse. The Jaguares will win this one comfortably.
Blues vs Crusaders (Saturday 5.35pm AEST)
The Crusaders returned to winning ways last weekend in dominant fashion against the Waratahs. They continued their impressive run against the New South Wales side as they are undefeated against them in their last six games on home soil. The win put them in a great position on the ladder as they are now sitting in the top spot out of the wild card teams and just one competition point behind the Chiefs in the New Zealand conference. They are up against a New Zealand opponent that will be desperate for a victory as if the Blues lose this weekend they will be out of the finals race.
The Blues kept their season alive with a win against the Force last week. They raced to a 17-3 lead at half time but they were forced to fight for their victory as the Force brought the score line back to within 4 points and had an opportunity to win it in the dying minutes but the Blues were up to the task in defence. However, they will face a much stronger opposition this weekend. The Crusaders are one of the stronger teams in the competition in both attack and defence and they should get the upper hand against the Blues at the breakdown throughout the match and they will earn a convincing win.
Brumbies vs Sunwolves (Saturday 7.45pm AEST)
The Brumbies will be searching for a big victory in this match, as they will want to cement their spot on the top of the Australian conference with a bonus point win. The Brumbies were able to string together two victories in a row before they had a week off and they will be fresh for this contest.
The Sunwolves have the one victory this year but they have showed they can be competitive in some matches as they have picked up three bonus points for being within seven points and also earned a draw against the tough Stormers outfit. However, it has been a different story on the road and we are expecting the Brumbies to put the Sunwolves to the sword in this contest.
Stormers vs Cheetahs (Saturday 11am AEST)
The Stormers season has gone from bad, to worse, to a disaster over the last few weeks as they have now dropped out of a finals spot. They can get their season back on track with a victory this weekend and we are backing them to be able to be successful at that against the Cheetahs.
The Cheetahs are coming off a bye and they earned a victory in their last match against the Kings. However, it was far from impressive against the worst team in the competition and they won by just 14-points on home soil. The Cheetahs have a terrible record against the Stormers and have won just one of eight games on the Stormers home ground.
The Stormers need to return to what made them so successful at the beginning of the season and that was defending strongly and capatalising on the break after forcing a turn over against their opponent. The Cheetahs turn the ball over more than any other team in the competition and that should play into the hands of the Stormers and they will earn a big victory in this one.
Bulls vs Lions (Sunday 1.05am AEST)
The Lions have been the surprise of the competition this year as they are currently on the top of the South African conference and are coming off the back of two huge victories. Their victory against the Blues was very impressive as they bounced back from a loss whilst their win last week was expected. Their forward pack is a dominant force at the break down and at set pieces whilst their backs have been firing and they are brilliant on the counter attack.
Meanwhile the Bulls lost back-to-back matches in Australia in hard fought contests against the Brumbies and Waratahs but they defeated the Stormers last week to remain undefeated on home soil this season. They will be put to the test this weekend against a strong Lions pack and they will need to use their experience if they are to get the victory. The Lions attack will be able to crack the strong Bulls defence and snap their home winning streak.
Rebels vs Force (Sunday 4.05am AEST)
The final match of the round is an all Australian affair with the Rebels hosting the struggling Force. The Rebels were sitting on the top of the Australian competition just three weeks ago but that quickly changed after three straight losses. It has been a disappointing period for the Rebels after they showed a lot of promise throughout the opening 10 weeks of the season. A bonus point victory here would revive their chances of reaching the finals but they can’t afford another loss over the last month of rugby.
The Force have put up a fight for the majority of the season but they haven’t had the class or experience to get them over the line for a victory. This was evident on the weekend when they had three chances to score a try from a rolling maul but were unable to succeed. They ultimately turned the ball over and the Blues picked up the four-point victory. I am predicting the Force to continue to put up a fight as they search for their third victory of the year but the Rebels will be too strong on home soil and grab a narrow win.
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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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