The 2019 Super Rugby season continues this weekend with a great seven game slate. The action gets underway Friday ngiht with teh Chiefs facing off against the Reds from 5.35pm. We have a preview and betting tips for all seven games in Round 15 below.
The Chiefs and Reds meet on Friday night with the intention of keeping their season alive. At 4-7-2, the Chiefs need to win games like these at home, especially with an upcoming matchup against the Crusaders. The good news is they've smashed the Reds in the last 4 meetings. QLD are coming off two straight losses to Australian sides and they'll also be without captain Samu Kerevi (rested). So the task is looking tough for QLD. Their record in New Zealand is not flash either at 3-9 ATS and 15-28 ATS as an away underdog. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have a good record after a loss at home, covering in 8 of 13. So with home-field advantage and based on their record against the Reds, get on the Chiefs here.
The Brumbies host their 3rd straight game at GIO Stadium this Friday as the Bulls are in town. ACT is right in the thick of the finals race after 4 wins in their last 5. They smashed the Sunwolves 33-0 last Sunday and overcame the Blues 26-21 previously. But the 7-5 Bulls should pose a challenge. They overcame a poor record in Australia last week as they beat the Rebels in Melbourne 32-17. So that should give them confidence as they travel to Canberra. Interestingly, 10 of their last 11 games in Australia have been low scoring so this should be no different in the cold conditions Canberra will provide. There's also a good trend when these two sides meet with 4 of the last 6 meetings finishing under 12.5 points. So back a close battle in this one.
The Sunwolves are back in Japan as they face the Rebels on Saturday. After 5 straight defeats, the 2-10 Sunwolves will be playing for pride in this clash. Whereas the Rebels are going to be desperate for a big win. They've never lost against the Sunwvolves in the previous 4 meetings and also crushed them 42-15 in early April. The line for this matchup is fairly close mainly because the Rebels have a few injuries and haven't been at their best lately. But with a 6-6 record, this is a key game for their finals hopes and they should dominate a Sunwolves team that was held scoreless last Round.
The Crusaders are back from their South African trip and they'll take on the Blues in Christchurch. With a few key players out, the Crusaders drew with the Stormers last week for their 2nd draw in 3 games. Their home form against NZ sides this season is hard to back against as they've smashed the Highlanders, Chiefs and Hurricanes. While for the Blues, they ended a long losing streak with a crucial 23-8 victory over the Chiefs at Eden Park. However, their record at this venue is very poor as they've lost the last 7 meetings since 2012. So while the Crusaders should win this, their constant lineup changes at the moment make them a hard team to bet on and that makes this a no bet.
The Waratahs are back on the winners' list after beating the Reds 40-32 and they'll look to continue their momentum against the in-form Jaguares. The Argentian side is currently equal on points with the Bulls in the South African Conference and with 2 winnable games against NSW and QLD on this Australian trip, they do seem good value in this contest. They've beaten the Waratahs in both meetings since 2017 and that includes a 40-27 victory in Sydney. After last week's win over in New Zealand against the Hurricanes 28-20, they should be able to cover the line here and can upset the 'Tahs if they don't show up defensively.
Saturday night features the Stormers and Highlanders clash in Cape Town. Games involving the Stormers at this venue lately have been close battles and this figures to be another cracking contest. Last week, the Stormers matched the Crusaders as the two sides couldn't be separated in a 19-19 draw. Their other home games recently have been a 1 point win over the Bulls and a 2 point loss against the Brumbies. For the Highlanders, they fell away in the second half against the Lions as the South African’s scored a 38-29 victory. This is the first meeting in South Africa since 2014 and on that occasion, the Stormers got home by a single point. In this matchup, the odds are very close and I see great value in either team winning by under 8.5 points in a grinding battle.
Round 15 will conclude with a South African derby matchup as the Sharks host the Lions. In early April, the Sharks absolutely dominated the Lions in Johannesburg, winning 42-5. So there's a lot of motivation for the Lions to rebound here. The Sharks are back in the country after a road trip and a few close games lately. They lost to the Chiefs in NZ last week 29-23 and drew with the Crusaders in Christchurch, which is not an easy feat. Meanwhile, the Lions seem to be heating up after back to back wins at home. The Sharks have been beatable in Durban lately with 3 straight losses to the Reds, Jaguares and Bulls. So with the Lions holding a nice 30-14-1 ATS record in away night games, they do look good value at the line.
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