Three wins in a row over Kiwi sides have made the Canberra-based Brumbies the talk of Super Rugby Pacific. A Friday night clash at home in Canberra against the Crusaders is next up in Round 13 action while the in-form NSW Waratahs have a big one on Saturday against the Hurricanes in Sydney. We steered you to a $2.90 collect when the Waratahs came from behind to beat Moana Pasifka by 1-12 points last round.
Where is the value this week? Check out our full preview and betting tips for the key matchups of the weekend from Jim Tucker below. Remember to head to our Rugby Tips page for regular updates on all the League and Union action.
Super Rugby Round 13 Betting Tips
Highlanders v Western Force
Fri, May 13, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin 5.05pm (AEST)
The Force haven’t win in New Zealand since a 2014 win over the Highlanders at this ground but they do have their greatest success over any NZ team when they face this team.
The Force are fielding a strong enough side to contend but they just haven’t lived up to their early season promise.
Winger Manasa Mataele is not to blame. Only one player in the competition tops his running metres (845m).
Having Jeremy Thrush back to pack beside Izack Rodda at lock gives the Force strength there.
The Highlanders can smell eighth spot and a spot in the finals after two tough wins on the road. They’ll relish being at home for this one.
All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith won’t play past the hour mark because bench half Folau Fakatava is rated such a gun as he showed with a key late try to sink the Reds.
It’s got to be the Highlanders. Under the roof, weather is no factor so back a points spree.
Brumbies v Crusaders
Fri, May 13, GIO Stadium 7.45pm (AEST)
It will be a cracking match but the Brumbies have lost two of their biggest factors to injury. No Rob Valetini strips power running and dominant defence from their arsenal. He’s been a match-winning weapon in the three wins over Kiwi sides and the Brumbies just can’t replace that confident authority.
Lolesio is improving as a general so his absence will be felt too with Rod Iona stepping in at No.10.
It’s hard to tip the Brumbies without those two key players. Jahrome Brown and Pete Samu have been superb in the backrow beside Valetini and must be again in a big pack performance that takes it to the Kiwis.
Brumbies halfback Nic White is the scheming director who must take charge and have a blinder for his side to win. That clear direction and no back-to-back errors will give the confident Brumbies a shot.
It’s a fair Crusaders backline when they can push powerful Leicester Fainga’anuke to the bench after scoring three tries last weekend. All Black George Bridge comes in.
The Brumbies have lost 10 in a row to the Crusaders. This may well be their best shot to break the drought.
Blues v Queensland Reds
Sat, May 14, Eden Park, Auckland 5.05pm (AEST)
The Reds welcome the return of experienced general James O’Connor from a knee injury as well as the authority of Wallaby centre Hunter Paisami.
Both will make a major difference to the Reds attack.
Against their three Kiwi opponents to date, the Reds have led twice at half-time and been on equal terms on another occasion. All those chances have fizzled with poor moments, defensive lapses and wasted chances.
The free-running Blues are the hot outfit in Super Rugby Pacific right now. They are on a 10-match winning streak and blitzed the Rebels 71-28 just last round.
The Reds have to step up in defence to apply some major pressure. No Taniela Tupou again in the front-row means the scrum could be in for an unstable night against one of the best in the competition.
Blues hooker Kurt Eklund averages under 5m per ball carry but has scored six tries which tells you how clinical the Blues are in the scoring zone with pick-and-go plays or driving mauls.
It’s hard to tip a Reds win but they need a big game to right the ship.
NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes
Sat, May 14, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney 7.45pm (AEST)
The Waratahs have historically performed well against the Hurricanes if you look beyond the four most recent losses in this match-up.
The Hurricanes break more tackles (25) per game than any team so the Waratahs’ defence really has to be on.
No Michael Hooper is a handicap for a match like this against a backrow force like Hurricanes’ All Black Ardie Savea.
The Waratahs need more of that direct, bumping Izaia Perese running and really taking on the Kiwis up the middle.
You’d like to see the Waratahs really compete in this one because they are such big improvers in 2022.
Melbourne Rebels v Chiefs
Sun, May 15, AAMI Park, Melbourne 2pm (AEST)
The Rebels fell apart when conceding 71 points against the Blues a week ago. The Chiefs can apply plenty of the same attacking heat.
Just giving the Chiefs ball with poor kicks and dropped ball is a recipe for disaster so the Rebels have to really lift at home.
The Chiefs have won seven of their eight contests against the Rebels, their best record against any side.
Flanker Brad Wilkin has been a standout for the Rebels.
It’s the Chiefs by a clear margin.