(Fri, Feb 28 5:05pm)
The Highlanders host the Rebels in Dunedin this Friday with both teams looking for their 2nd win of the season. For the home side, they were no match for the Crusaders in Christchurch last week in the 33-13 loss. But they did beat the Brumbies previously in Canberra and they haven't lost to an Aussie team at this venue since 2014. The Rebels are a hard team to read at the moment with an inconsistent 1-3 start. They struggled with the Sharks last week despite the South African's earning 2 yellow cards and it figures to be even tougher in NZ. However, both sides leak plenty of points and that should see a high scoring and hopefully close affair. As such, the Highlanders are allowing 32.3 points per game and the Rebels aren't far behind with 30.3 points allowed. The home side also holds an 0-4 ATS record at this venue so we'll take on the Rebels at the line.
(Fri, Feb 28 7:15pm)
The Friday night double-header will see the winless NSW Waratahs taking on the Lions at Bankwest Stadium. It's been a tough start to the year for the 'Tahs after 4 straight defeats and they sit at the bottom of the Aussie conference. Interestingly, they'll start as fairly comfortable favourites in the betting markets but we're not sold. The Lions are fresh from the bye for this clash and previously scored 30 points against the Stormers in South Africa, which is not an easy task at the moment. So they should have plenty of success against this Waratahs squad, which is allowing 33 points per game. NSW also has an 0-9 record against overseas teams and the Lions have a nice 4-1 ATS record against the 'Tahs.
(Sat, Feb 29 2:45pm)
The Super Rugby action heads to Napier on Saturday afternoon with an expected blowout between the Hurricanes and Sunwolves. The Japanese side were woeful last week as the Reds cruised to a 64-5 victory at Suncorp and the Sunwolves have now allowed 107 points in their last 2 games. The Hurricanes probably haven't been at 100% best attacking wise thus far but this is a perfect matchup for the 'Canes to inflict more damage on the Sunwolves leaky defence. After a 27-0 shutout in Round 1, the 'Canes have bounced back nicely with wins over the Jaguares in Argentina and a 38-22 victory over the in-form Sharks. In the end, this should be an easy victory but a massive 34 point line is just not worth taking on.
TIP: No Bet
(Sat, Feb 29 7:15pm)
The QLD Reds are back at Suncorp Stadium this Saturday night with an interesting battle against the Sharks. After a tough opening 3 rounds of the season overseas, the Reds played free-flowing Rugby in their first home game of the season against the Sunwolves as they crushed the Japanese side, 64-5. Meanwhile, this fixture will end the Sharks Aus/NZ tour where they've won 2 of 3 games and will be looking forward to a 3 game home-stand starting in Round 6. Last week's 36-24 victory over the Rebels was especially impressive considering they were reduced to 11 players at one stage. In terms of the head to head, the Reds have won the last 2 meetings, which includes a 21-14 result in South Africa last season. So with the odds locked at $1.90 at this stage, we do like the value for either team under 8.5 points considering this should be a close battle.
(Sun, Mar 1 12:05am)
This matchup features the 4-0 Stormers looking to defend their home turf once again as they meet the Blues. Their home defence has been stellar in the opening rounds as they've allowed just 7 points in 3 games and they've shutout the Hurricanes/Bulls in the first two rounds. So the Blues will need to take their chances for points in this one. They should be confident after a 23-21 victory over the Bulls last week as Otere Black slotted the game-winning penalty goal in the 81st minute. However, they have lost the last 3 meetings in South Africa with the Stormers. The Stormers are holding a 3-0 record against the HT/FT bet at home this season, so we'll continue to back them to lead throughout the contest with their defence absolutely on fire in Cape Town.
(Sun, Mar 1 2:15am)
The Bulls are back at home in Round 5 and they'll be keen to bounce back from a devastating loss against the Blues on this field. The Blues stole victory after the 80 minutes with a late penalty goal and it reduced the Bulls to an 0-3 record. So they obviously need to win this crucial home clash with the Jaguares. The Argentinians South African tour started in Cape Town with a tough 17-7 loss against the Stormers but not many sides have had success in Cape Town thus far. Last season, these two teams met twice and the Jaguares were victorious in both. They won 22-20 at this venue in Round 8 and also easily cruised to victory at home, 27-12. But with the Bulls desperate for their first win of the season, we can see a similar result to last week in a close battle between Conference rivals.
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The 2020 AFL season kicked off over the weekend, and although there was a little controversy and no crowds, there were still premiership points to be won, and Brownlow votes to be earned! Here's our game-by-game analysis and Brownlow Medal vote predictions for Round 1 of the 2020 AFL season. read more
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