The 2016 Super Rugby season continues this weekend with a lot of big matches taking place including the blockbuster match between the Waratahs and Brumbies. Continue reading as we offer our Super Rugby Round 8 Preview and Betting Tips.
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Crusaders vs Jaguares (Friday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Jaguares opened their Super Ruby account with a victory as a lot of people had expected. However, since then the side that has a lot of Argentina Internationals has fallen away dramatically and they have lost five consecutive games. The task continues to get harder for them as they take on the Crusaders who have one of the best home records in the competition.
The Crusaders have had the complete opposite in results to the Jaguares as they started the season with a loss before picking up a five game winning streak. In the opening half against the Force last week they had all of the possession but weren’t able to capitalise on the scoreboard before they began to panic in the second half as the Force took the lead. However, as all of the quality sides do, they regrouped and pulled together to find a narrow victory. We expect the Crusaders to learn from their performance last week and be a lot more effective in attack as they pull off a comfortable victory.
Rebels vs Hurricanes (Friday 7.45pm AEDT)
A slow start to the season has been put behind last year’s grand finalists as they are on a four game winning streak and are sitting in a position that would put them in the finals series. Their destructive winger returned to form last week as Julian Savea crossed for a double and was constantly looking for the ball throughout the match. He puts the side on the front foot with some big runs and if he continues to make an impact it will be a massive positive for the side. The Hurricanes have split the two matches in Melbourne whilst holding a 3-1 record against the side overall.
The Rebels have been the underdog team of the season thus far as they have won four matches of their six including their first victory over the Waratahs in Sydney in their last start. It is a positive sign for a side that has struggled since its induction into the competition. The Rebels will attempt to keep the match close, as they have won the majority of their games by a small margin and on the back of their defence. However, we see the Hurricanes coming out on top in this one by showing a bit more experience towards the end of the match.
Cheetahs vs Sunwolves (Saturday 3am AEDT)
The Sunwolves are still searching for their first victory in the Super Rugby competition and they were dealt a massive blow with their star winger Akihito Yamada who will be out of the team for the next two to three weeks. Yamada is currently the Sunwolves leading try scorer with a total of five tries. It removes a bit of the sides attack as Yamada has been able to create chances for himself when receive the ball in his hands.
Meanwhile the Cheetahs haven’t been impressive this season and have recorded only the one victory against the Kings. This is a great opportunity for the Japanese side to earn their first win of the competition but unfortunately I believe the Cheetahs will have too much in attack for the Japanese side. The Cheetahs will look to attack from all over the field and if their passes stick they will cross the line with relative ease, however I believe the line favours the Sunwolves as they have been competitive in the majority of their contests.
Blues vs Sharks (Saturday 5.35pm AEDT)
The Sharks were incredibly disappointing on home soil last week as the South African opponents the Lions embarrassed them. Up until then they had the best defence in the competition. They are on a two game losing streak whilst they haven’t won in their last three contests, which has seen them drop from first place to 10th on the full ladder. The injuries the side has suffered to key players was evident and with their first trip to New Zealand for the season they will be looking for their other experienced players to step up to return the side to winning ways.
The Blues almost caused the upset of the season last week as they continually challenged the competition leaders the Chiefs away from home. It was their best performance of the season but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as they ultimately fell to their New Zealand opponents. However, they can take a lot of confidence out of the match as their defence shut down a lot of the Chiefs best attacks whilst they had a lot to offer on offence. The New Zealand sides seem to be a level above the competition this season and we are backing the Blues to continue the dominance and earn a victory on home soil.
Waratahs vs Brumbies (Saturday 7.45pm AEDT)
These two sides will enter the match on the back of a bye and will be fresh, however the Brumbies have received a massive blow as they will be without one of the best players in the world and one of the most influential players in David Pocock. He is a game changer and always lifts for the biggest matches so he will be missed a lot by the away side in this contest.
This is almost a must win match for the Waratahs as a loss here would see them fall up to 11 points behind the Brumbies whilst the rest of the field would continue to separate themselves. The Waratahs will be at near full strength this weekend and it will be interesting to see how successful the move of Israel Folau to outside centre will be. Bernard Foley now has a couple of games under his belt since returning from injury whilst the week off would have allowed the back line to work on its combination. The Waratahs have won nine of the 10 matches at Allianz Stadium and I am backing the trend to continue.
Bulls vs Reds (Sunday 1.05am AEDT)
The Reds pulled off their first win of the 2016 Super Rugby season and it was an impressive won as they defeated the defending champions. They had been building up to that performance over the last few weeks and the side definitely deserved the victory. Liam Gill made a massive impact at flanker and was constantly causing havoc at the breakdown. Meanwhile outside centre Samu Kerevi had the performance of the round as he scored a try, set up another, broke eight tackles and ran for 164 metres. They will need another big performance from their experienced players this weekend as they begin their tour of South Africa.
The Bulls are coming off a comfortable victory against the Sunwolves and they haven’t lost since the opening round of the competition. They have been able to overcome the injury to Handre Pollard and they will be pencilling in a win this weekend despite the Reds impressive win last weekend. Their dominance over the Reds on their home soil is evident as they have won seven of the 8 meetings and they will extend that record this weekend.
Lions vs Stormers (Sunday 3.05am AEDT)
This will be one of the matches of the round as the second placed Stormers take on the third placed Lions in a South African contest. The Stormers have just the one loss this season whilst the Lions have earned big wins against the Chiefs and Sharks. Their forward pack is arguably the best in the competition and they lay the platform for their skilful backline to take advantage.
Meanwhile the Stormers are coming off a comfortable victory against the Sunwolves and the week before that they had a bye. They will be fresh as they head into this contest and are surprisingly outsiders to earn the victory. The Stormers have 16 wins in the 21 meetings with the Lions as their dominance has also been evident on the Lions home soil with 9 wins in 12 matches. Despite the Lions earning two victories against top sides already this season we are backing the Stormers to continue their dominance against the Lions.
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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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