The Super Rugby season is starting to heat up and Round 8 offers two fantastic games across Friday and Saturday night. The action gets underway with the Melbourne Rebels taking on the Western Force on Friday night before the Queensland Reds take on the ACT Brumbies on Saturday. As usual, our Super Rugby expert Jim Tucker has his best bets for the action below.
Fri, April 9 AAMI Park, Melbourne 7:45pm (AEST)
The Rebels shot themselves in the foot with those two intercepts that led to tries against the Reds last weekend. They just have to win this one to lock in a spot in the qualifying final. Promoting Rob Leota to starting lock is a good move to add more anger, hustle and dynamism. The Rebels will get some more ball-playing and variety to their attack now sevens distributor Lewis Holland is at inside centre. Reece Hodge is happier at fullback anyway. The Rebels got huge value deploying quick-stepping winger Frank Lomani at first receiver when he punched several holes in the Reds’ defence. The Rebels seem to have more weapons and that includes Marika Koroibete. This is the sort of match where Koroibete might just explode off a loose Force kick or against some disorganised defence.
The Force are playing their third five-eighth in six games with Domingo Miotti at No.10. That’s an all-Argentinian halves pairing with Tomas Cubelli. With four Argentinians in the starting side, they’ll know what they are doing in Spanish. Three different No.10s is still no formula for consistency which is what the Force crave. Can again see the Force winning enough ball to win through their diligent pack but lacking a bit of execution to turn it into points gold. Winger Byron Ralston has been starved of chances so he’ll relish any ball that reaches him. There's more chance with Kyle Godwin returning at inside centre because he's a clever player.
The Rebels won 25-20 and 34-30 in two tight clashes between the clubs last year and 10-7 in Perth last month. Sense this one may not be as close.
Sat, April 10, Suncorp Stadium 7:45pm (AEST)
The Reds-Brumbies rivalry has amped up over the past two seasons because the teams keep running into each other and both see it as the benchmark game in Australia. This will be the sixth meeting of these teams in 14 months. They are incredibly close. Five points has been the biggest margin between the teams in matches that matter because we’re ruling out the 26-7 win by the Reds at Suncorp Stadium last September when it was the last match before the finals. It had no bearing on ladder positions which explained the milder Brumbies that night.
The 40-38 epic between the sides in Canberra last month swung on the Reds’ huge scrum dominance over the final 30 minutes when the Brumbies’ top four props were sidelined. The Brumbies have taken care of that with the return of Wallaby prop Allan Alaalatoa from suspension to scrum with James Slipper. It’s the Reds’ front-row which looks a little wobbly in this one if they have to go to their rookie bench props too early.
The Reds have huge motivation...a win locks in hosting rights for the final. They’ve won nine straight at “Fortress Suncorp” so that’s a big pointer here too. More pointedly, at Suncorp Stadium, the Reds are 4-0 in this clash on the Brumbies' most recent visits to Queensland. Paisami v Ikitau at outside centre is a great match-up. The Reds really need Jordan Petaia to chime in for more work off his wing like he did in Canberra with that match-winning try grounding. James O’Connor is in rich form and expect that to continue. For the Brumbies, Nic White loves these games and he can be a real pest against the Reds.
It’s Australia’s final preparation for the T20 World Cup, as they head to Dhaka for a five game T20 series against Bangladesh. Can the Australians find a way to combat spin? Or will Bangladesh hand the Aussies a fifth straight T20 series loss? read more
We are getting to the pointy end of the season with just 5 rounds to go following the rescheduled Monday night matches in Round 20. Tonight we’ve got the Bulldogs taking on the resurgent Titans while Cronulla take on a Manly side who are pushing for a top four spot. read more
It hasn't been the easiest period for Australian cycling, but with some changes in personnel can they bounce back in Tokyo? We preview the Olympics track cycling schedule and find a few Olympics bets that we like the look of. read more
What are the best Australian sports betting apps? Punters love the convenience of betting on mobile, so we thought we'd look at the best sports betting apps available today, to help you choose the best sports betting site for your iOS or Android mobile device. We highlight our top five Australian sports betting apps based on the usability and features of their app, as well as key mobile app features from all of our partnered sports betting sites. read more
The best Australian sports betting sites ensure safe and successful online betting for punters. Here's our list of the best sports betting options in Australia. read more
Julian Vallance from Sportsbet takes us through some of the key factors which he uses with pricing upcoming horse races such as performance ratings. Check out his video from Sportsbet here. read more
Over-Round is an important concept for both punters and sportsbooks. It's how Australian sportsbooks make money! All punters should understand over-round, how to spot it, and how to find better value on the Betfair Exchange. read more
Is it a race in two for the 2021 Brownlow Medal? Round 19 may see Ollie Wines and Marcus Bontempelli start to draw away from the pack as we approach the finish line in the 2021 season. Check out our Round 19 Brownlow vote predictions right here. read more
Sam Walsh was the stand out performance of AFL Round 18, and is the big mover on the Brownlow leaderboard, but several Brownlow contenders were in the votes over the weekend's action. Check out where our votes went with our Round 18 Brownlow vote predictions here. read more
The BBL11 fixture for the 2021-22 Big Bash League season has been tentatively released! Check out all of the BBL11 games including the dates for the all-important finals series here! read more
A round full of upsets has left a few of our Brownlow contenders high and dry in our Round 17 Brownlow vote predictions. Check out where our Round 17 Brownlow votes went and our latest 2021 AFL Brownlow Medal leaderboard here! read more