Round 7 in the Super Rugby League features plenty of rivalries and Conference shaping games in NZ and South Africa. As usual, we have a full betting preview of the round below, which gets underway on Friday night with a clash between the Chiefs and Hurricanes.
It's the Chiefs hosting the Hurricanes in what should be an entertaining NZ rivalry matchup. For the Chiefs, they returned to form with a huge 51-14 win over the Waratahs last Friday, which included 38 unanswered points. They now sit on top of the NZ Conference by points difference. The Hurricanes 3 game winning streak ended on Saturday as the Blues outlasted them 24-15 in Wellington. Now, they'll need to overturn a 1-5 record at this venue, although the last clash resulted in a 23-23 draw. So after the Brumbies beat the Chiefs at this venue and the Hurricanes desperation to keep up with the top sides in the conference, we'll back them to cover.
The Blues are back at Eden Park on Saturday after a successful 3 game road-trip. They beat the Bulls and Stormers in South Africa and then defeated the Hurricanes in Wellington last week. So they're just 1 point behind leaders in the NZ conference. On the flip side, the Lions have been pretty woeful lately with 3 straight losses and heavy defeats against the Tahs/Rebels doesn't bode well for them in NZ. So we can't see the Blues dropping this home game against a struggling team. The Lions have struggled in the first half lately so we'll be taking the Blues to put up plenty of points before half-time.
The Sunwolves will continue to play in Australia this week as they "host" the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium and this could get very ugly. The Japanese side has now conceded 216 points in this 4 game losing streak, which has been disappointing in their last season of Super Rugby. Meanwhile, the Crusaders were challenged by the Reds last week in the 24-20 result. They've smashed the Sunwolves by a combined total of 83-14 in their 2 meetings so the -38.5 line reflects how far apart these two teams are. Once again, it's a massive line that we're not keen on.
TIP: No Bet
The Saturday double-header at Suncorp Stadium concludes with the QLD Reds taking on the Bulls. While the Reds have lost their last 2 games against the Crusaders and Sharks, they have been very competitive and challenging the Crusaders in NZ is not an easy task. Meanwhile, the Bulls are on the board in 2020 after a huge 38-13 win over the Highlanders. They have played all 5 games in South Africa thus far so this is a key road-trip. Interestingly, the home side has won all of the last 5 meetings and the average margin in QLD has been just 5.5 points. So we can see a similar type of result on Saturday with good value for the either team bet.
It's a massive game for the Sharks and Stormers on Sunday morning as they fight for the top position in the South African conference. For the home side, they continued their good form with a 33-19 victory over the Jaguares and they've now 3 games on the trot. The Stormers will be keen to get on the park after a bye and their first loss of the season coming against the Blues, 33-14. In the last 5 meetings, there's been very little between the two teams in terms of margin and we can't see much difference here. The top spot in the conference is on the line and that should mean a very close game. The average winning margin in those 5 games is just 7.6 points and the last 2 games have easily been decided by under 8.5 points.
The Jaguares are back in Argentina on Sunday as they host the Highlanders in a clash between two inconsistent teams. The home side is coming off a 3 game road trip to South Africa where they lost 2 of 3 games. It's a pretty similar story for the Highlanders after 4 losses in their last 5. They're one of the worst defensive teams in Super Rugby having allowed 32.6 points per game and that will not help them in Argentina. But also, they're scoring just 18 points per game as well. So it's hard to back against a big Jaguares victory on their home turf.
Super Rugby is back at GIO Stadium on Sunday as two Aussie rivals meet. The Brumbies comfortably recorded a 47-14 win over the Sunwolves last week and will look for their 3rd straight victory this Sunday. They're the 2nd best scoring team in the competition behind the Chiefs so the Tahs defence will need to be at their best. Unfortunately, the Waratahs are coming off a 51-14 loss against the Chiefs and outside of a 29-17 win over the struggling Lions, they've been pretty poor. ACT also has a good record over them with 3 straight wins by an average margin of 8 points. In the last two clashes, the Brumbies have outscored them 40-8 in the first half so we're liking the first half-line for the home side.
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