The Fijian Drua showed what they are capable of in Round Three with a 22-0 rush of points in their come-from-behind win (31-26) over the Melbourne Rebels. The new club in Super Rugby Pacific has also lost games by 30 and 39 points.
The Drua are exciting, capable of a try from anywhere and also a rollercoaster team to risk a confident bet on. We suggest steering clear against the Queensland Reds on Saturday night. The margin is a real mystery box guess.
Let's take a look at Round 4.
Super Rugby Round 4 Betting Tips
Melbourne Rebels v ACT Brumbies
Fri, Mar 11, AAMI Park, Melbourne 7.45pm (AEDT)
The Rebels are on an eight-game losing streak and look to be getting more ragged rather than better.
To lead 14-0 and be run over 31-26 by the Fijian Drua last round was poor in the extreme. If some defensive line speed and desperation is not cranked up, the Brumbies will have it their way as well.
The return from injury of Wallabies winger Andrew Kellaway will add confidence and poise to the Rebels backline. Likewise, fullback Reece Hodge’s return from suspension.
The Rebels still have a pair of rookie centres in Lukas Ripley and Ray Nu’u so you’d expect the Brumbies to try to pick them apart. Guess at wingers Tom Wright and Jesse Mogg spearing through in the midfield off set plays or pacy fullback Tom Banks doing likewise.
The Brumbies have been super-efficient in reaching 3-0. They have grabbed more turnovers (28) than any team in the comp and the Rebels, sadly, have given plenty of those chances in 2022.
For the record, the Rebels have won once in their past five outings against the Brumbies.
You have to imagine the Rebels producing a desperate performance to save their season. This maybe it but the Brumbies still look too good.
TAB.com.au have a funky market “To Score And Win.” That creates some value with Tom Banks ($2.25) and Tom Wright ($1.90) a good shot at crossing for at least a try in a winning team.
Brumbies H2H + Tom Banks Try
Queensland Reds v Fijian Drua
Sat, Mar 12, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 7.45pm (AEDT)
This will be a fascinating clash. The Reds will be far better drilled than the Rebels at restricting the chances for the flying Fijians to run. The Reds’ defence has been outstanding in their 3-0 run. That is a great start.
The Reds have also concentrated a lot on controlling possession so they won’t be bored by pick-and-go plays and keeping it tight to limit turnover possibilities. Get a lead and keep pressuring.
The four tries scored against the Force last round were all sharply executed efforts with James O’Connor positioning a support by isolating a defender or dabbing a pinpoint kick for the Josh Flook try.
The Reds will be confident.
The Drua will feel a huge weight has been lifted by winning for the first time against the Rebels. It only took them three games to log a first win as a club. It took the Force 12 games.
The Drua went on a 22-0 scoring spurt against the Rebels which shows how dangerous they can be. One try came from a quick tap, another from a lineout steal from an errant Rebels’ tap and the other from a chip kick ahead.
All three capitalised on moments of disorganisation in the defensive line. The Fijians love that chaos to excel in.
Halfback Peni Matawalu is a beauty. He’s a running, sniping gem while winger Vinaya Habosi has made more metres (221m) than any player in the competition.
Perhaps the most telling stat from Opta Stats is that the Drua make the second-most entries into the opposition 22 (10.7) of any other side but average the least points (1.1) per entry.
When they improve their execution, watch out. Still, can’t see a win in Brisbane.
The Reds will try to outmuscle the Fijians at the set piece. Although the Reds’ lineout has been average, a mauling drive try to hooker Josh Nasser will be on the cards somewhere.
Jordan Petaia will have more touches and room to roam from fullback too.
Josh Nasser 1st Tryscorer
NSW Waratahs v Western Force
Sun, Mar 13, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney 2pm (AEDT)
You cannot overstate the importance of this game. The five Kiwi teams, the 3-0 Reds and the 3-0 Brumbies are in the box seat for seven of the eight play-off spots.
That leaves the 1-2 Waratahs and 1-2 Force jostling for the eighth spot although the Drua may have a say.
Anyway, both the Waratahs and Force have looked very sharp at times and will have major laments that they have let wins slip away already.
The Force look starchy in the pack. The return of abrasive former All Blacks lock Jeremy Thrush only adds to that and he’ll relish ripping into the Waratahs pack.
The Force have won six of the last 10 clashes between the sides thanks to two good wins last year.
Losing to the Reds last round really highlighted valuable work-ons for the Force who will hit Leichhardt Oval with more line speed in defence and more physicality.
It’s hard to split these two sides. NSW halves Jake Gordon and Ben Donaldson look a better grooved partnership than Issak Fines-Leleiwasa and Reesjan Pasitoa.
The Waratahs duo can better control a game and additional playmaker, Will Harrison, will certainly chime into first receiver at times from fullback to direct play too.
The Waratahs will be much more dangerous if Izaia Perese and Charlie Gamble have both learnt how to pass in the past week after blowing tries against the Brumbies.