The Super Rugby season is now in full swing and Round 3 gets underway this Friday night as the Hurricanes take on the Brumbies from 5.35pm (AEDT). We take a look at all seven games over the weekend and give our betting tips below.
The ACT Brumbies produced a stunning result in Round 2 and they'll head across the ditch this weekend looking for more. Against the Chiefs in Canberra, the home side ran riot as they put up 54 points in a 37 point crushing victory. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes are looking to rebound from a 38-22 loss against the Crusaders. They started poorly as they were down 24-0 at half-time but in good signs, they outscored them in the second half 22-14. However, they'll need to find some scoring options in the first half this week, especially after the Brumbies led 33-10 at half-time over the Chiefs. While they don't have a great record in NZ, last week showed they can score points at will and that should see them cover the large line on offer.
The Friday night double-header continues to Australia as the Rebels host the Highlanders at AAMI Park. It's the Rebels first home game of the season and they should be fresh after the bye in Round 2. They kicked off the season with an impressive 34-27 away victory in Canberra. New signing Quade Cooper could be a masterstroke by Dave Wessels and he'll be important in this clash. The Highlanders are 2-0 so far but it hasn't all been easy. After a stunning comeback victory in Round 1, they were almost upset by the Reds in Round 2. However, they snuck out a 36-31 victory and a 3-0 start will be on their minds. They have an impressive record against the Rebels with 6 wins in the last 7 meetings. But their away record isn't too flash and I think the Rebels have enough points in them to keep this close, especially with Cooper back in form it seems. The odds are saying these two sides can't be separated and that opens up an opportunity for the either team bet. Combining the 3 wins these two sides have played in this season, this bet is 3-0 already. It also saluted in the 2018 meeting over in New Zealand.
Super Saturday begins in Hamilton as the Chiefs look to rebound after last week and the Sunwolves better bring some defence. Last week, the Chiefs were blown off the park by the Brumbies in a 54-17 loss. After two losses to start the season, the home side will be desperate for a win. The Sunwolves head to New Zealand looking for their first ever away victory (0-23) in Super Rugby history. They were gallant in defeat last week, going down to the Waratahs by a point. However, their overseas record and with the Chiefs coming off a shocking loss means this could get ugly. The line is currently massively in favour of the Chiefs and they should win this fairly well. But it's just too high for a safe bet at this stage.
The QLD Reds opened their Super Rugby campaign with a close 36-31 defeat against the Highlanders in New Zealand. In Round 3, they will host their first game at Suncorp as the Crusaders come to town. These two sides actually didn't play each other last year so the form guide goes back to 2017 when the Crusaders last travelled here and won 22-20. The defending champions have started 2019 with two fairly comfortable wins over the Hurricanes and Blues. As a result, they open the betting as firm favourites. However, the Reds showed some good signs last week on the road and I think they'll be pumped for this home game. The line offers good value in what should be a fairly close affair.
The first of the South African matchups will see the 1-1 Lions take on the 1-1 Bulls in Jo-Burg. Despite leading 14-6 at half-time last week, the Lions lost control in the second half as the went down by 2 points. The Bulls followed an impressive Round 1 showing with a poor attacking display in Argentina as they lost by 15 points. With both teams coming off a loss, this could be a closely fought battle. However, the Lions home dominance and the Bulls poor away form is looking like the difference in this matchup. The Lions are aiming for a 6th straight home win dating back to last season and this will also be their first home game of the season. After two games on the road, they should be raring to go in front of their home faithful. Meanwhile, the Bulls have recorded just 1 win in their last 9 road games. They've also been smashed in the last 2 meetings at this venue, 38-12 and 51-14. So the Lions to beat the line looks the best bet based on previous results.
In Durban, the Sharks will put their undefeated record on the line when they face the Stormers. The side from Durban has looked dominant in their first two games, outscoring opponents 71-17. But the Stormers may pose a better challenge. They're coming off a 19-17 win over the Lions at home. While they have lost 3 straight at this venue, the last 2 have been fairly close. However, their away record is concerning as they've won just 4 of 17 road games since 2017. Meanwhile, the Sharks are 12-3-2 at home in the same period. They're playing attacking Rugby at the moment and it's hard to see the Stormers D keeping them quiet.
The last game of the round sees the Jaguares play a 3rd straight home game as they face the Blues. So far in their two home games, they've beaten the Bulls 27-12 and lost to the Lions 25-16. The Blues road-trip got off to a poor start as they went down to the Sharks 26-7. This is their first trip to Argentina and this hasn't proved to be an easy venue for opposing sides. The Jaguares have recorded 4 wins in their last 5 home games and I think they'll have enough points in them to win this.
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