Thu, May 10, 8:59am by Staff Writer
Round 13 of the 2018 Super Rugby season features two Australian conference matches, with the Sunwolves hosting the Reds in Japan and the Brumbies taking on the Rebels in Canberra.
Sunwolves versus Reds
Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 1.05pm AEST
The Sunwolves are winless so far this season but have shown improved play in recent weeks.
Their last match against the Hurricanes was one of their best performances of the season, as they pushed the competition favourites for 70 minutes, before allowing in three late tries
The Reds visit Tokyo for the first time and are $1.40 favourites to extend the Sunwolves losing streak to 10 games this season. The hosts are $3.
The Reds best performance of the season came in a 27-22 win against the Lions a fortnight ago in Brisbane.
The Queenslanders held off a fast-finishing Lions side after leading 27-0 midway through the second half.
Australian sides have enjoyed success against the Sunwolves in Tokyo this season, with the smallest margin of victory begin a seven point win by the Brumbies in round one.
The Rebels and Waratahs both enjoyed 20+ point victories against the Sunwolves earlier this season and with the line for this match set at a meagre 6.5 points, taking the Reds at the handicap is the way to go in this fixture.
The Sunwolves have only covered that handicap once in nine matches this season, in a surprisingly narrow defeat to the Lions in South Africa 40-38 earlier this season.
Best bet- Reds 6.5-point handicap at $1.90
Highlanders versus Lions
Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 5.35pm AEST
The Highlanders return to Dunedin after a horrible 38-12 loss to the Sharks in Durban last weekend. They now face a Lions side that was competitive despite losing to the Hurricanes 28-19 in Wellington.
The home side are $1.35 favourites for this match, with the Lions $3.20 outsiders.
The big query surrounding this Lions team has been their road form and so far this tour they have been disappointing. Despite a 29-0 win against the Waratahs, they have lost to the Reds and Hurricanes and face another stern test in the Highlanders on Saturday.
The Highlanders will have to contend with travelling back from South Africa and don’t have the luxury of a bye week. The Lions will have acclimatised to New Zealand conditions and will be looking for a scalp to end their tour.
The past four matches between these two sides have been won by the home team, with their last meeting in the 2016 finals where the Lions were victorious 42-30.
While the Highlanders are a level below the Crusaders and Hurricanes, they should be good enough to bounce back from last weekend’s performance to beat this Lions team on Saturday.
Best bet- Highlanders Big Win Little Win 1-12 at $2.88
Stormers versus Chiefs
Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 10.05pm AEST
The Chiefs were awful last weekend in their loss to the Jaguares in Rotorua as short-priced favourites. They now travel to Cape Town to take on the resurgent Stormers who have won two games in a row.
Both sides are priced at $1.90 for this match, with bookmakers unable to split them.
A heavy injury toll has burdened the Chiefs for much of this season and it may have finally caught up with them after last weekend’s performance. They lacked fluidity in attack and failed to defend the driving maul or lineout effectively.
Those are two areas of attack which the Stormers pride themselves on and will look to exploit the Chiefs in this weekend.
The Chiefs have enjoyed success at the Newlands ground in recent times, winning three of their past four encounters at the venue, including a narrow 17-11 win last season.
Rarely will a New Zealand team other than the Blues be priced at such generous odds in South Africa, but the current price on the Chiefs is justified given their questionable form line.
The Stormers will look to kick away late in this match and should be too good for a tired looking Chiefs outfit.
Best bet- Stormers to win at $1.90 at Sportsbet.
Elsewhere in round 13, the Hurricanes ($1.25) should have no problems beating the Blues ($4) on Friday night.
On Saturday, the Crusaders ($1.07) are short-priced favourites to beat the sliding Waratahs ($8.50) and the Brumbies ($1.57) look to heap more misery upon the Rebels ($2.40) who have lost their past four matches.
Super Rugby Round 13 Odds – Sportsbet
Blues $4 v Hurricanes $1.25
Sunwolves $3 v Reds $1.40
Crusaders $1.07 v Waratahs $8.50
Highlanders $1.35 v Lions $3.20
Brumbies $1.57 v Rebels $2.40
Stormers $1.90 v Chiefs $1.90
Bulls $1.75 v Sharks $2.10
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