The 2016 Super Rugby competition started off with a bang last weekend with a lot of high scoring matches and a couple of big surprises. I also managed to bag 6 winners on the last day of games during Round 1, so continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 2 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Crusaders vs Blues (Friday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Blues caused one of the biggest upsets of Round 1 as they defeated the defending champions in the opening match of the 2016 Super Rugby season. They showed vast improvement in offence as they threw the ball around with ease and defended solidly. However, a lot of their success came at the hands of the Highlanders struggling to hold onto the ball and their inability to maintain pressure. The Blues also struggled a lot on the road last year so this could be the real test for the side this year.
The Crusaders fell short against the Chiefs last week, but they put up a good fight and led for the majority of the match. It is clear that they will miss Dan Carter, his ability to control matches and steer his team towards a victory. The Crusaders are undefeated at Christchurch against the Blues and we expect that trend to continue this weekend, as the home team will pick up their first victory of the season.
Brumbies vs Waratahs (Friday 7.45pm AEDT)
Arguably the biggest match of Round 2 as the teams that will be fighting it out for supremacy in the Australian conference will face off. The Brumbies are coming off their best performance in years as they dominated the Hurricanes for the full 80 minutes. Their attack was close to perfect, while their defence kept the Hurricanes out of the match as they shut them down completely. David Pocock was playing at an incredibly high level and it will be a good matchup between him and fellow Wallaby Michael Hooper.
The Waratahs also earned a victory, however they weren’t as convincing in their performance. It seems as if they need a few more trial matches before they are completely ready for Super Rugby action and that could be their downfall this weekend as the Brumbies have hit the ground running. Kurtley Beale still has a lot to prove as the primary playmaker as Bernard Foley will remain on the sidelines for this on. Meanwhile his opposite flyhalf Matt Toomua was brilliant at getting his side on the front food as he stands very flat in attack. You can’t go past the Brumbies at home after last week’s top level performance.
Chiefs vs Lions (Saturday 3.15pm AEDT)
The Lions will start their short tour of New Zealand against the Chiefs with a victory under their belts. They defeated the Japanese newcomers last week but it was far from the dominant performance that was expected. The Lions will face a much tougher challenge this weekend and they will need to rely heavily on their big forwards. Last week it was the scrum that was the weakest point for the Chiefs and if the Lions are able to continually get the advantage at the breakdown then they can stand a chance in this match. However, despite their forward dominance the back line of the Chiefs is far superior to the Lions and they should be able to take advantage on a lot of occasions. The Chiefs are a strong attacking side and have a lot of points in them, they also have never lost at home to the Lions and they will be able to earn the win in this one.
Highlanders vs Hurricanes (Saturday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Hurricanes would have been excited when reading the release of the schedule and realising they wouldn’t of had to wait long to get revenge – however they did lose eight players from their starting line up from last year’s Super Rugby Grand Ginal loss. They will come into this match with a lot of energy and they will want to overcome the massive embarrassment they suffered last week. They have lost a lot defensively with the departures of Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu in the two centre positions and they will need Beauden Barrett to step up in attack and return to the form he showed in last year’s competition before he suffered his season ending injury.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders lost on the road to the Blues in a match a lot of experts expected them to win comfortably. It was a high scoring and entertaining first half but they were able to snatch the lead in the second half before relinquishing the lead and continually dropping the ball which relieved all the pressure they were attempting to apply to the Blues. They will need to hold onto the ball this weekend and we expect them to do so as they hand the Hurricanes consecutive defeats to start the 2016 Super Rugby season.
Queensland Reds vs Western Force (Saturday 7.40pm AEDT)
This is an important match for both sides as a loss here could spell a downward spiral for the rest o the season. Both teams are expected to struggle throughout the 2016 season with the Reds having the worst of it after losing a lot of key players at the end of last season, while they have also suffered injuries in preseason that has derailed the start of the year. Wallaby Greg Holmes was a standout for the Reds against the Waratahs as he was destructive at the scrum and constantly earned his side valuable penalties.
The Force were able to make a bit of a comeback against the Rebels, which suggests they won’t give up throughout the season. Adam Coleman was by far their best player as he was on the receiving end of 12 lineouts whilst being the link for the side in attack. This will be an incredibly close match and it could go either way, because of that we will be taking the Force with the start.
Bulls vs Rebels (Sunday 12am AEDT)
The Bulls managed to remain in the match against the Stormers throughout the first half last week, but they lost their way in the second as the Stormers flexed their muscles and ran away 33-9 victors. It was a dull performance by both sides as they lacked conviction and would often run out of ideas in attack.
The Rebels picked up a win against the Force to start the season and the side is quietly confident heading into this one as they have assembled the best squad in the team’s history. Sean McMahon had a big match at flanker and is constantly causing havoc at the breakdown. The key to this match will be the Rebels to hang in their and not allow the Bulls to kick them out of the match early by earning three points every time they head into the Rebels territory. If they are able to get out to a good start they could go on to pick up the biggest win in the clubs history.
Cheetahs vs Stormers (Sunday 2.05am AEDT)
The Cheetahs let a massive chance to get off to a great start to the 2016 Super Rugby season slip as their 24-3 lead against the Jaguares was diminished. They would eventually fall in that game 34-33 and the side could feel the impact of that loss as they head into a match against South Africa’s strongest team.
It took a while for the Stormers to get going last week but they were eventually able to put the Bulls to rest and earned a bonus point victory. The side was scrappy in the first half but we expect that to be behind them with the game under their belt. The Stormers will continue their dominance against the Cheetahs as they have won 10 of the 15 meetings between the sides.
Sharks vs Jaguares (Sunday 4.10am AEDT)
The Jaguares showed a lot of character last week to overturn a big deficit to come out victorious in their opening Super Rugby match. It was a great way for the team to announce themselves to competition but they will face a much tougher task this weekend. The Sharks demolished the Kings 43-8, which was an expected result. Their fullback Willie le Roux was in fine form and put up some incredible numbers, which included a terrific solo try, two linebreaks, two line break assists, a try assist and five tackle busts. He will be a player the Jaguares need to be careful of and take out of the match as much as possible. To do that they will need to limit their kicking or at least kick to open space and limit the time le Roux has the ball in his hands.
This match should be another close contest but we are expecting the Sharks to come out on top in a narrow contest. The Jaguares showed inexperience last week by conceding a lot of penalties and they were lucky to make the comeback they did. If they give the Sharks a similar start then it could turn ugly.
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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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