Thu, Apr 6, 4:07pm by Staff Writer
As many would have expected it is the New Zealand franchises that are dominating Super Rugby once again this year. Round Six saw four match ups between Australian and Kiwi sides, with those from New Zealand taking the spoils in all of the games. A sure sign of things to come but there is plenty of rugby left to be played.
Highlanders v Blues, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, Saturday April 8, 5:35pm AEST,
The battle for the bottom of the New Zealand Conference takes place this weekend as the Highlanders host the Blues. With only a point separating the two on the ladder this matchup has even more importance. Both sides head into the game after wins over Australian sides in Round Six with the Highlanders warming up for this one with the destruction of the Rebels, a confidence booster ahead of much tougher task against the Blues.
The Auckland based side had to battle hard to overcome a resilient Western Force side. On paper there isn’t too much to separate these two but the home advantage appears to have swayed the prices with the Highlanders standing at $1.45 to the Blues at $2.75.
Bet of the Match: Highlanders to Win by 1-12 points at $2.65
Brumbies v Reds, GIO Stadium, Saturday April 8, 7:45pm AEST
In the Australian Conference, all eyes will be on Canberra as the Brumbies host the Reds. The away team will head into this match high on confidence despite their loss to the Hurricanes. They pushed the reigning Champions all the way in Round Six and had the opportunities to win the match themselves. If they can replicate that performance against the Brumbies then they could well overturn the price of $3.05 with William Hill.
Despite a loss of many experienced players in the off-season, a young Brumbies squad has been particularly impressive in the opening Rounds. One criticism that they can’t seem to shrug off is their reliance on the maul. In their last match before the bye in Round Six, they persisted with the attacking maul game plan with no success against the Highlanders. The Brumbies are priced at $1.38.
Bet of the Match: Reds to Win by 1-12 points at $3.45
Stormers v Chiefs, Newlands, Cape Town, Sunday April 9, 1:15am AEST
The Stormers face the Chiefs in Cape Town, in what is arguably their biggest test of the year so far. The lack of clashes between New Zealand and South African sides due to the Conference format is one of the major criticisms levelled at Super Rugby at the moment. Indeed the Lions will play no Kiwi side in 2017 before the Finals. The Stormers are unbeaten with only two bonus point wins and 13 points clear at the top of their Conference while the Chiefs have a 100% record for wins with four bonus points. Yet sit only second their Conference. The away side are favourites with William Hill at $1.57 with the Stormers priced at $2.40. A unbeaten start to the year will end here but it is hard to say which sides.
Bet of the Match: Stormers to Win by 1-12 points at $3.15
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