The jostling for ladder positions is intense with just two rounds until the finals of 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season. The second-placed Brumbies will be playing for high stakes in Canberra on Saturday. Upset the Blues and they could have home advantage for a semi-final as well a quarter-final.
We found a nice $2.50 winner last round with Crusaders neatly fitting the bill as a 1-12 point winners over the Brumbies.
Where is the value this week? Check out our full preview and Super Rugby betting tips for the key matchups of Round 14 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 14 Betting Tips
Crusaders v Fijian Drua
Fri, May 20, OrangeTheory Stadium, Christchurch 5.05pm (AEST)
Credit to the Fijian Drua for beating Moana Pasifika 34-19 last weekend. That was a big one for them and you might expect a dip on this trip to NZ. Let’s hope it is not the 67-5 dip experienced against the Hurricanes earlier this month.
Total Points Over 59.5
Queensland Reds v Moana Pasifika
Fri, May 20, Suncorp Stadium 7.45pm (AEST)
After four straight losses to Kiwi teams, the Reds must win this one against last-placed Moana Pasifika or they are officially in free fall.
It’s the Reds’ last game of the season at home and they do get some lift from returning players. Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight and Richie Asiata are big ins for the pack. Having James O’Connor at flyhalf as game controller is huge. This is the second game of his return from injury.
The Reds just look too good in this one, especially with winger Suliasi Vunivalu snapping back to form with a try and involvements in two more against the Blues last round. He's too short at $1.75 as an Anytime Tryscorer in markets for this game.
Moana Pasifika are a dangerous opponent despite eight straight losses. Attacker Timoci Tavatavanawa has broken more tackles (56) than any player in the competition. For comparison, Jordan Petaia has broken 27.
This could be a high-scoring game.
Jock Campbell Anytime Try Scorer
Chiefs v Western Force
Sat, May 21, FMG Stadium, Hamilton 2.35pm (AEST)
The Force are limping to the end of this season. They are on a six-game losing streak and have conceded 50-plus points in their past two matches against the Crusaders (53-15) and Highlanders (61-10). It’s a poor return after a fighting four-point loss to the Blues.
The Force are averaging just 2.5 tries per game so, simply, they don’t have the strikepower to win this one on Kiwi soil.
It’s a big ask for Force centres Reesjan Pasitoa and Kyle Godwin to keep the Chiefs attack in check. The Force haven’t beaten a NZ team since 2014 and this game won’t break the drought. The bookies have got it right with the line at 24.5 points. The Force may need more protection.
Hurricanes v Melbourne Rebels
Sat, May 21, Sky Stadium, Wellington 5.05pm (AEST)
The Hurricanes average 33-point wins in home games against the Rebels.
The Rebels have been improvers and did so much right before the Chiefs stole that game 33-30 on the bell last weekend in Melbourne.
Young Rebels flyhalf Carter Gordon had a strong game against the Chiefs and will need to again here to steer his team around. He will have veteran Matt To’omua at inside centre to share the load and add steadiness.
The Rebels have had some running punch back in the pack in recent weeks with Pone Fa’amausili and Rob Leota. It will take a massive effort from the Rebels to stay in this one.
The Rebels have the lowest tackle completion rate (71 per cent) in the competition which is not a good pointer for a game on Kiwi soil.
ACT Brumbies v Blues
Sat, May 21, GIO Stadium, Canberra 7.45pm (AEST)
No Rob Valetini or Jahrome Brown in the backrow does trim two of the big strengths of the Brumbies. That said, the Brumbies have beaten three Kiwi opponents and fought back well after a poor start against the Crusaders.
There’s a lot on the line for the second-placed Brumbies. They have hosting rights for a quarter-final locked up but staying in the top two will earn them a potential home semi-final as well. Nic White, Nick Frost and Caderyn Neville have all recently inked contract extensions at the Brumbies who are in an upbeat period for the club.
The Brumbies really have to take it to the Blues in the forwards, have Darcy Swain and Frost pinch lineouts, generally disrupt the breakdown and have direct, error-free runners in the backs.
This should be a worthy match between No.1 and No.2 on the ladder. The Blues are on an 11-game winning streak and have picked their top side for this one. Flyhalf Beauden Barrett can still change a game in a blink.
Highlanders v NSW Waratahs
Sun, May 22, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin 1.35pm (AEST)
Having Michael Hooper back and former wallaby Ned Hanigan returning as a reserve forward are big plusses for the Waratahs. Unfortunately, they have lost so much of their punch with Izaia Perese (knee) sidelined. His direct running and his flip offloads in contact really trouble the Kiwis. Replacement outside centre Alex Newsome is a good player but he’s not that sort of threat.
The Waratahs have really built confidence through this season and will relish playing on a guaranteed dry ground under the roof in Dunedin. The Waratahs have won three of their last four away games so there is resilience away from Sydney too.
This could be close but also realise the Highlanders are on a three-win streak.