The 2016 Super Rugby season continues this weekend and after the opening two weeks it seems as if this is going to be an incredibly close season in the middle of the table. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 3 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Blues vs Hurricanes (Friday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Hurricanes have started the season with two losses to their name and despite coming off one of their best years in 2015 it is no surprise considering the turn over of players. This is the third straight away game for the Hurricanes and they will be looking to head back home with a win under their belts. The side has great wingers but they haven’t been able to get quality ball as their inside and outside centres are still finding their way as they are forced to replace two of the all time greats in Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith.
Meanwhile the Blues started with a massive win over the defending champions the Highlanders but last week they were awful in their loss to the Crusaders. To be fair, coach Tana Umaga decided to experiment with his squad and there was a few different faces taking the field. Those changes have been reversed and the Blues should be a better side this weekend but I believe the Hurricanes will leave with a narrow victory.
Western Force vs Brumbies (Friday 10.05pm AEDT)
The Brumbies continued their great start to the season by defeating the Waratahs on home soil. The match was a lot closer than the score line suggests as two late tries including one on the siren turned the match in a blow out. However, the Brumbies deserved the victory and throughout the match it never looked as if they would suffer a loss. They have a terrific forward pack whilst they have a lot of class in their back line with a lot of internationals filling the positions.
The Force picked up an important victory last week against the struggling Reds. There aren’t high hopes for the side this season but to get the monkey off their back and earn the five points. However, they face a much tougher opponent this weekend and with the Brumbies having picked up two 13+ victories already this season we will stick with a big win for the away team.
Highlanders vs Lions (Saturday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Lions shocked almost everyone last weekend when they managed to defeat the Chiefs. The line was at over 16 points prior to the commencement of the match and it could be a sign of things to come from a side that caused a lot of upsets last season. It was the side’s first victory in Hamilton on their ninth attempt and it will give them a lot of confidence as they take on the defending champions this weekend. The Lions scrum was dominant as expected whilst they were willing to chance their arm, which paid off for the South African side.
The Highlanders got their first win of the season as they defeated the Hurricanes last week. They went out to an early second half lead before they almost let the match slip away. However, replacement flyhalf Hayden Parker managed to kick a penalty goal in the final 5 minutes to hand his side the victory. The Highlanders haven’t shown much promise this season and after a terrific performance last week from the Highlanders I will be backing them at the line.
Rebels vs Reds (Saturday 7.45pm AEDT)
The Rebels return home for the first time this season after playing a one off game in South Africa last week. They lost that match to the Bulls but they earned a strong victory in their opening game against the Force. They have a young side but they show a lot of promise and they are an Australia side that can cause a few upsets this season.
The Reds have had a tumultuous start to the season and it came at a cost for coach Richard Graham as he was sacked after their loss to the Western Force. It was unfortunate for Graham as he has had to deal with his team having a lot of injuries heading into this year whilst it was a similar story last year. However, hopefully it will give the side a bit of a spark as they will need to turn things around quickly as they can’t afford to suffer three straight losses to their Australian rivals. Although I believe the Rebels will be far too strong and the Reds season will continue to get worse before it gets better.
Sunwolves vs Cheetahs (Saturday 9.55pm AEDT)
The Cheetahs have missed out in their past two matches by suffering narrow defeats in matches they were expected to lose by a big margin. This weekend will be their best chance to earn their first victory of the season as they face off against the Japanese side. However, in the Sunwolves opening match of the season they proved they won’t be giving up in any match, similar to how the Japanese side played in the World Cup last year.
This is set to be an entertaining match with both teams willing to throw the ball around and they don’t have much to lose despite it only being early stages of the competition. The Cheetahs showed in the first half against the Jaguares what they are capable and despite being on the road I am backing them to win and cover the line.
Kings vs Chiefs (Saturday 12.05am AEDT)
The Kings suffered a big loss in their opening match of the season and had to spend a week off thinking about it as they had the bye last week. To make matters worse for the side, it is bad timing for them as they are taking on a Chiefs side that suffered a disappointing loss last week and they will come out all guns blazing this weekend. The Chiefs were dominated at the scrum and weren’t able to defend as strongly as they are known for. However, this weekend they take on a Kings outfit that is weak across the board and if the Chiefs get off to a strong start then the score line will quickly grow. They need to stick to the basics and they will easily clear the line in this one.
Stormers vs Sharks (Sunday 2.15am AEDT)
This is easily the most enticing match of the round, as these two teams will be fighting it out for the top spot on the South African conference. The Stormers picked up a big victory against the Bulls in the opening round but the score line favoured them as it was a close match until the final quarter of the game and last week they were ordinary in a dull contest against the Cheetahs. A side that was meant to be one of the strongest in the competition hasn’t lived up to the hype. However, this could be a match they lift for as it is a match they will need to play at their best to get the victory.
Meanwhile the Sharks have had two more impressive victories. They dismantled the Kings from the get go in the opening match of the season whilst last week they held of the Jaguares in a close contest. This will be a close match with both teams likely to elect to use their boots to gain the upper hand in the contest. I am backing the home side to gain the advantage in this area, as they are a strong side at the breakdown. They will pick up a narrow victory.
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*Excludes SA, NSW, WA & VIC
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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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