The Super Rugby season continues this weekend with a lot of important matches taking place with the ladder congested during these early stages of the year. Continue reading for our Super Rugby Round 5 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Hurricanes vs Kings (Friday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Kings suffered another large defeat last weekend in Christchurch as they conceded 57 points. They were able to do some damage on the scoreboard themselves as they racked up 24 points but their defence is terrible and sides are scoring at will against them this year. It is already clear this side isn’t going to reach the finals this season but as the year goes on their will to compete could lessen and the scores get uglier.
Meanwhile the Hurricanes were in a comfortable position for the majority of the match against the Force last week but they really put the foot down in the final 20 minutes as they raced in four tries during that span. Last week the Kings lost by 33 points to the Crusaders and this week we are expecting the side to lose by even more as the Hurricanes defence will lock them down whilst they will still manage to score a lot of points.
Chiefs vs Force (Saturday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Force will be searching for its second win of the season this weekend and they can take a lot out of their loss last week despite the score line looking ugly. They were in the contest for the opening 60 minutes and they were challenging the Hurricanes defensive line and opting to attack rather than taking the three points on offer. It is a positive style of rugby and will benefit the side in the long run, however it isn’t helping them win games at the moment as if they took the three points it would have put a lot more pressure on their opponents as they would have narrowed the lead.
The Chiefs return home after a successful trip to South Africa and Argentina that saw the side earn back-to-back victories. They demolished the Kings but last week they were forced to come from behind in the final seconds of the match to earn the win. I expect them to come out firing against the Force this weekend and they will win this one convincingly.
Rebels vs Highlanders (Saturday 7.35pm AEDT)
The rebels have had a great start to the season and they have earned three victories over their opening four games. Their only loss came against the Bulls in South Africa but they managed to win their second ever win out of Australia as they defeated the Sunwolves on the weekend. It was a convincing performance and they will need to be even better this weekend as they take on the defending champions.
The Highlanders had a near perfect first half against the Waratahs last week as they raced out to a 30-0 lead. However, it wasn’t that easy for the entire night as the Waratahs made a second half comeback that got them within four points for the final seven minutes. The Highlanders managed to hold on but they can’t afford to switch off in matches and they should be experienced enough not to allow that to happen again and the Highlanders will clear the line comfortably.
Sunwolves vs Bulls (Saturday 9.55pm AEDT)
The Bulls have been able to overcome the injury to flyhalf Handre Pollard and have a positive start to the 2016 Super Rugby season. They held on for a draw last week but they were lucky as the Sharks missed a penalty goal from right in front after the siren. The side is fortunate to have only the one injured player on the sidelines and it is a big factor as to why they have still managed to remain competitive this season.
The Sunwolves are still searching for their first victory in the Super Rugby competition. They had been competitive in their opening two games but last week they were embarrassed 35-9. It will be another tough ask for them this weekend as they take on a Bulls outfit that defeated the Rebels a couple of weeks ago.
Cheetahs vs Brumbies (Sunday 12.05am AEDT)
The Brumbies suffered their first loss of the season and it was a disappointing one as they were in the contest for the majority of the match before the jetlag and travel could have taken its toll as they were ran off their feet in the final stages of the match. The side will be looking for a big bounce back after winning its three opening matches in convincing fashion but they suffered a big loss as winger Henry Speight suffered a facial fracture and will be out for the next two months.
The Cheetahs have just one win in their opening four matches but they have been competitive in every match on home soil. They lost by a one point margin to the Jaguares and lost by 10 to the Stormers. I am expecting the Cheetahs to put up a similar fight this week on their home soil against the Brumbies but eventually lose by a narrow margin.
Sharks vs Crusaders (Sunday 2.15am AEDT)
The Sharks missed a big opportunity last week to continue their dominant start to the season. The missed penalty goal after the siren could end up costing them a home finals match, especially as the side has six players on the sidelines through injury. They are up against a Crusaders outfit that is practically at full strength as they have just one player on the sideline.
The Crusaders are on a two game winning streak since losing their opening match to the Chiefs but this will be the first match the side plays on the road this season. It is a tough ask to take on the Sharks in South Africa, however the Crusaders have won 5 of the 9 matches at Kings Park Stadium – although that record is largely due to their dominance over the past decade with Dan Carter and Richie McCaw in the side. This will be a tough encounter and end with the Sharks narrowly coming out on top.
Jaguares vs Stormers (Sunday 8.40am AEDT)
This is arguably the match of the round with a lot to be determined in this match. The Jaguares have lost their last two matches and whether they can be competitive against the Stormers will show a lot about the season ahead for the Argentinian side. The Jaguares will enter the match as favourites despite the Stormers earning a massive victory against the previously undefeated Brumbies.
The Stormers have only lost one match to the Sharks by a narrow margin. They ran in three tries in the second half to run away with the match as they eventually wore down their opponents. The Stormers kept in the match as they normally do by constantly earning penalties in the oppositions half and ticking the scoreboard over. I expect them to be able to do the same this weekend as they will have a superior forward pack and constantly look towards their set piece to gain an advantage and it will lead to an upset.
Reds vs Waratahs (Sunday 4.05pm AEDT)
The Waratahs were disappointing last week in their performance against the defending champions the Highlanders. It was expected that the New South Wales side would lift for the contest after being embarrassed by them in last year’s semi final but it was a similar story with the Highlanders racing out to a massive lead in the first half. They managed to fight back in the second half but it was too late for the side. However, in a massive boost for the Waratahs, Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley will return to the line up this weekend. This will allow for Kurtley Beale to reshuffle in the backline to a position he feels more comfortable in whilst it should allow for the combination between Foley, Beale and Israel Folau to reach its full potential.
Meanwhile the Reds were able to earn their first positive result of the season with a draw against the Blues last week. Since the takeover of Matt O’Connor and Nick Stiles the side has shown a lot of development. They could have easily defeated the Rebels a week earlier and should put up a fight this weekend. However, the Waratahs will be a vastly improved side with Foley in the line up as he will steer the team around a lot better than Beale was able to do and give the team a lot of direction.
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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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