Round 5 of the Super Rugby season is set to be an exciting one with the action getting underway on Friday night as the Melbourne Rebels host the NSW Waratahs from 7.45pm! Check out our full preview and betting tips for both games across the weekend, courtesy of Jim Tucker, below.
Super Rugby Round 5 Betting Tips
Melbourne Rebels vs NSW Waratahs
Fri, March 19 AAMI Park 7:45pm (AEDT)
The $4.60 being offered at Sportsbet for a Waratahs’ victory is definitely “overs” but where exactly do the winless ‘Tahs win this one to turn it into cash. Can’t see it. Harry Johnson-Holmes is an excellent footballer but switching him to the other side of the scrum is just admitting that he is not as influential as he should be at a prop’s main job. So, the Waratahs have an average scrum and an underpowered tight five. Not a good start.
The Waratahs’ defence was much improved last game so that’s a plus. No one is attending a passing clinic by Tepai Moeroa but that’s not why the former NRL player is at inside centre. It’s the big crash ball he runs to set up quick ball just like he did when Joey Walton scored against the Rebels in Sydney last August.
Winning enough ball or dropping possession they do win has been a Waratahs’ handicap. Treasure the ball more and fullback Mark Nawaqanitawase and winger James Ramm can be try weapons.
The Rebels have been hustling, top-notch defenders from their first outing against the Reds. That’s great bedrock and they are improving on attack. Halfback Joe Powell is really adding slickness but the guy just waiting to explode is winger Marika Koroibete. Be it a pick-and-go, a roaming run or a finish on his wing, he’ll score a try on Friday night. The Rebels are playing their first home game in a year and that emotional lift will feed into a win. They got out of Melbourne so quickly to beat a COVID lockdown in February that coach Dave Wessels’ car and 13 others had to be trucked back from Canberra.
Queensland Reds vs Western Force
Sat, March 20 Suncorp Stadium 7:45pm (AEDT)
There are six Queenslanders in the Force squad for this game so expect a full-on effort to pull off an upset here. Prop Greg Holmes played 144 Super Rugby games for the Reds and will reach No.150 as a Force player. He’ll be typical of those wanting a big showing. The Force have had excellent passages of play in all three of their games but are still lacking the polish to maximise points.
On the other hand, the Reds have found a great rhythm in attack. More importantly, they have scrapped hard and won two matches when behind at the death. Coach Brad Thorn has always wanted to turn their home ground into “Fortress Suncorp” and finally it is...eight wins in a row. The Reds look too strong and driven not to win this one. The bonus of other weapons standing out like Hunter Paisami and Jordan Petaia means five-eighth James O’Connor is double-teamed less often and he can dart more. The weakest part of the Reds’ game was the lineout and that was far more secure with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto back in the epic win over the Brumbies last weekend. Winger Suliasi Vunivalu came off his wing in defence and was burnt by the Pete Samu try. Force veteran Richard Kahui is running on 35-year-old legs but he’ll love trying to keep Vunivalu quiet. The Reds have too many weapons.