Round 2 is about to start and we have all of your Super Rugby tips and information right here at Punt Sports. These previews are detailed, statistic based and informative. So you know that your placing well-researched and well-analysed bets.
Seven awesome fixtures are here to feel your weekend with happiness, joy and utter content. Let’s bring it on!
On Friday the Highlanders will play their first game of the new year, while the Sharks will attempt to consolidate their upset win of last week. Whilst both the Brumbies and the Rebels will do battle in an All-Australian clash. Both trying to stake their claims as the countries best.
Onto Saturday, the Chiefs and Crusaders will do battle in what should be a close clash. Both sides claimed good wins last weekend and will be looking to do so again here. The Waratahs will then attempt to down the Blues and bounce back from their 18 point defeat last round.
And onto Sunday, the Reds are attempting to claim their first win of the season against a reeling Lions side. The Stormers need redemption against an unlucky Bulls side. And the Jaguares will look to continue their hot form against the definitely not in form Hurricanes.
Bring it on!
Super Rugby Tips – Friday, February 7
Highlanders v Sharks
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin | Start: 5:05 PM
Highlanders – The Highlanders had the bye last round, so as a result their last Super Rugby game was in Round 19 of last season. At Orangetheory Stadium, they went down 38-14 to the Crusaders in a poor 24-point loss. Their sole tries that day came via Tomkinson in the 16th minute and through Walden in the 35th. They leaked 5 tries as they had just 44% possession of the ball. Although in the 1st half they had a big 58% of it. They ran for 271m’s and beat 18 defenders. They also had 7 clean breaks and off-loaded the ball 4 times. They kicked 2/2 conversions, but went 0/1 in the PG’s department. They won 60 rucks and a disappointing 0 mauls. They also won 6 lineouts and 7 scrums. For their sake, lets hope their performance has improved dramatically from that of last season.
Sharks – The Sharks last round came away with a well-deserved 23-15 win over the Bulls. Their tries came through Nkosi in the 43rd minute and through Nohamba in the 79th minute. Those were the only two tries of the match as they kept the Bulls scoreless. The Sharks owned 49% of the ball and 54% of it in H1. They ran for 348m’s from 92 carries. They also beat 22 defenders and had 7 clean breaks. They made 80 tackles and won 9 turnovers. They kicked 2/2 conversions and 3/3 PG’s. They won 52 rucks and 2 mauls. They also won 10 lineouts and 5 scrums. Bravo to them for this closely contested victory.
Past History – The Sharks have won 4 of the past 7 clashes played between these two sides. The latest two scores have been 38-12 and 15-14, both in their favor. In the 38-12 affair, they owned 53% of the ball throughout the game and scored 5 tries to 2.
Key Player – Schreuder in his sides win last round, completed 50 passes and won 4 of his 5 tackle attempts. A success rate good for 80%. The South African is an experienced player after starting his career in 2010 for Western Provence. Expect his efficiency to continue well into this clash as he seeks to help his side get the win.
Head to Head: Sharks
Win Margin: Sharks by 1-10
Line: Sharks -3
Total Points: 40-50
Brumbies v Rebels
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra | Start: 7:15 PM
Brumbies – The Brumbies did it, albeit just, as in their all-Australian clash they beat the Reds 27-24 in Canberra last round. They opened the scoring through Simone in just the 4th minute of the game. But tries to Speight and Hegarty gave the Reds an unforeseen advantage. The Brumbies would then go onto score three tries after that to secure the decisive win. The Brumbies owned 48% of the ball. In H1 it was just 28%. In H2 it was a massive 69%. They scored 4 tries to 3 and ran for 374m’s. They beat 23 defenders and got 5 clean breaks. They were also forced into making a massive 121 tackles (Reds made 111). The Brumbies won 66 rucks and 5 mauls. They were also vicotrious in winning 12 lineouts and 5 scrums. They conceded 10 penalties, with 0 yellows or reds to their name. I have a not so sneaky suspicion that this match won’t be as close as their contest with the Reds. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
Rebels – The Rebels really made a mess of it in their most recent opening match of the season at Level5 Stadium, as they suffered a shock 36-27 defeat to the Sunwolves. The team who are traditionally the whipping boys of Super Rugby! Melbourne didn’t score until Rangi crossed the white-line in the 23rd minute. They then crossed again 8 minutes later via Haylett-Petty. But it would be a long 34 minutes wait for tries after that. The Sunwolves ended up outscoring them 5 tries to 4. The possession was split evenly between both sides at 50% each. Melbourne ran for 501m’s and had 122 carries of the ball. They beat 38 defenders and had 15 clean breaks. They alarmingly turned the ball over 18 times. They won 86 rucks and 7 mauls. They also won 16 lineouts, yet won just one scrum. They might want to fix their performance ASAP for their next encounter!
Past History – The Rebels have a dominant history against the Brumbies, as they have won 5 of their past 6 games played against them. The latest four scores, all their way, have been, 29-26, 34-27, 27-24 and 33-10. Clearly they both like a close clash. In the 26-26 match, Melbourne outscored them 4 tries to 3. Whilst the possession was split evenly at 50% each.
Key Player – Lomani. He played 76 minutes vs the Sunwolves and made 73 passes. He completed 6/6 tackles, good for 100%, while he completed 2 kicks as well. He is one of the players in focus for this one, as the Fijian international seeks to help his side bounce back from their shock loss and gain an opening victory of the season.
Head to Head: Brumbies
Win Margin: Brumbies by 10-15
Line: Brumbies -3
Total Points: 40-50
Super Rugby Tips – Saturday, February 8
Chiefs v Crusaders
Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton | Start: 5:05 PM
Chiefs – The Chiefs came away with a close 37-29 win against the Blues last round, as they escaped Eden Park with an awesomely close win. They conceded a try in the 17th minute and another one in the 27th, before they finally crossed the line in the 36th minute. They would then go on to score 4 of the games next 6 tries as they claimed the 8 point victory. The Chiefs were kept to just 40% ownage of the ball, including just 37% in the first half. They ran for 391m’s, beat 17 defenders and had 12 clean breaks. They kicked 3/5 conversions, 1/1 PG’s and 1/1 drop goals. They also won 64 rucks and 5 mauls. Additionally they won 9 lineouts and 8 scrums. They also leaked 11 penalties. But conceded neither a yellow or a red. What a game this was! What a game! Exciting from the start right through to the finish.
Crusaders – The Crusaders eventually prevailed in a high-scoring affair as they beat the Waratahs 43-25 in their opening game of the round last season. Ennor scored twice, as did Jordan, as they put on the big guns, scoring 6 tries to 3. They had 52% possession of the ball in both halves. They ran for 654m’s, beat 36 defenders and had a crazy 19 clean breaks. They made 111 tackles but missed a rather big 18. They converted on 5 out of their 6 conversions, as well as 50%, 1/2 PG’s. They also won 84 rucks and 3 mauls. As well as winning 10 lineouts and 8 scrums. They also conceded 10 penalties. Their defence is the one of the main issues to take from this game. They simply need to do better then leaking 25 points against NSW. But other then that, their offence clicked and scoring-wise, they seemed to be at close to 100% playing capacity.
Past History – The Crusaders have won 5 of the past 6 clashes played between these two sides. However, the last game played between them resulted in a 40-27 victory to the Chiefs at the ANZ National Stadium in Suva. The Chiefs had 55% of the ball and outscored them 6 tries to 4. It was a high octane attacking game. The score-line before that was a massive 57 points to 28 in favor of the Crusaders.
Key Player – Romano. He scored a try last round and made 4/4 tackles. He ran for 17m and made just one handling error. The Lock weighing 120kg will have to be on his best performance in order to stop the Chiefs from getting past him. He will be critical to stopping their high points scoring side within the less desirable side of things.
Head to Head: Chiefs
Win Margin: Chiefs by 5-15
Line: Chiefs -4
Total Points: 50-60
Waratahs v Blues
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle | Start: 7:15 PM
Waratahs – The Waratahs could never quite fully get it together in their last round 43-25 defeat to the Crusaders. They didn’t score a try until Nawaqanitawase scored for them in the 53rd minute. But then he proceeded to cross the white-line again just 4 minutes later, as he had his double. Newsome also scored in the 79th minute of the match for the Tahs. But they leaked in 6 tries and that was quite costly to them. They held 48% of the ball throughout the game. They ran for 459m’s and had 108 carries of the ball. They also beat 18 defenders and had 13 clean breaks. They made 145 passes and 6 offloads. They were also forced into making a big 124 tackles. They won 73 rucks and 2 mauls. Additionally, they won 15 lineouts and 3 scrums. They need to be more consistent throughout the game, as well as the need they have to fix some of their defensive holes. But it could have gone a lot, lot worse for them. So there are a fair few positives to take from that encounter as well.
Blues – The Blues couldn’t quite get past the Chiefs at Eden Park last round, as they went down 37-29 in what was a closely contested game. Lamborn opened the scoring for them in the 17th minute. And 10 minutes later, Loane made it two tries for them. They then conceded in the 36th minute, before Loane was back at it again with his second of the match, just 5 minutes later. After that, there was a bit of a Chiefs run, before Tu’inukuafe scored their final try of the game in the 57th minute. They held 60% of the ball, including 63% in the 1st half. They ran for 489m’s and made 107 tackles. They also won 4 turnovers and did 18 kicks in play. They converted 3/4 conversions and just 1/3 PG’s. They won 100 rucks and 2 mauls. Additionally they won 11 lineouts and 9 scrums. The missed PG’s proved to be a costly factor for them in this encounter.
Past History – The Blues have won 5 of the past 6 games played between these two sides. They have a recent dominant history against NSW. The Blues winning scores have been 32-29, 24-21, 40-33, 34-28 and 21-13. They’ve always been close and high scoring as well. The 32-29 match-up was played at Brookvale Oval, as the Blues had 54% of the ball. 4 Tries a piece were scored by either side in the close game.
Key Player – Harrison. He kicked 2 conversions last round as well as 2 PG’s. These sides always seem to contest close encounters. His ability with the boot may well be the difference between either a win or a loss for the Tahs. He also made 6 tackles and completed 19 passes last round. He’ll be a pretty handy player to have play for you in this sort of a game.
Head to Head: Waratahs
Win Margin: Waratahs by 5-15
Line: Waratahs -4
Total Points: 50-60
Lions v Reds
Venue: Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg | Start: 12:05 PM
Lions – The Lions seemingly were barely in their match against the Jaguares last round, as they went down 38-8 in the thrashing. Their only points of the game came from an 18th minute Jantjies PG and a 22nd minute Warner try. The possession was split evenly at 50% for each side. Whilst the Lions were outscored a massive 5 tries to 1. They ran for 335m’s, beat 13 defenders and had 5 clean breaks. They made 156 passes + 5 offloads. They made a fairly big 136 tackles, but also missed a big 37. In comparison, the Jaguares missed only 13. Kicks in play, they had 31. They won 91 rucks and 4 mauls. 12 Lineouts they won, as well as 5 scrums. The less said about this one the better. At least for the Lions sake anyway!
Reds – The Reds couldn’t quite get it done last round as they suffered a three-point, 27-24, tough defeat to the Brumbies down in Canberra. They conceded a try in just the 4th minute of the match, but they bounced back to score tries through Speight (17th minute) and Hegarty (39th minute). After that unfortunately for them, the Brumbies took control of the match and never really looked back. The QLD based side got outscored 4 tries to 3. They ran for 308m’s, beat 20 defenders and had 6 clean breaks. They made 111 tackles and missed 23. They converted a perfect 3 out of 3 conversions + 1/1 PG’s. They won 71 rucks, but only 1 maul. They also won 12 lineouts and 7 scrums. They leaked 10 penalties. But didn’t see a yellow or a red. This was a close encounter, but at the end of the day, they just couldn’t quite outlast the Brumbies.
Past History – The Lions have won 3 of the past 5 games played between them and the Reds. The last match however, was won by the Reds at home (Suncorp Stadium), 27-22, in a thrilling and close game. The Reds led 27-0, before they allowed the Lions to score 22 unanswered points in return. The Reds only had 37% of the ball throughout the match, yet the try ledger was at 4 each. The score before that was a big 44-14 to the Lions.
Key Player – McDermott. He lasted a solid 75 minutes against the Brumbies down in Canberra last round. He completed 6 of 7 tackles, good for an 86% success rate. He also made 1 clean break, beat 1 defender and made 6 runs. The young 21 year old will get better and better, the more experience he gets. This match is no different. And he’s a pretty decent 21 year old at that!
Head to Head: Reds
Win Margin: Reds by 12-17
Line: Reds -5
Total Points: 40-50
Stormers v Bulls
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town | Start: 2:15 PM
Stormers – At the DHL Newlands, the Stormers put on a classy show as they beat the Hurricanes 27 to nothing. The convincing performance saw them cross for four tries to zero in the absolute rout. They came via Petersen in the 7th minute, Kitshoff in the 18th minute, Jantjies in the 26th minute and Willemse in the 77th minute, as four different players got on the score-sheet. They had 62% possession of the ball. That included 62% in H1 and 73% in H2. They ran for 520m’s, beat 24 defenders and had 9 clean breaks. They made 107 passes and completed 2 offloads. They made 75 tackles and missed only 12. In comparison, the Hurricanes missed double that at 24. They won 79 rucks and 4 mauls. They also won 9 lineouts and 10 scrums. This was a complete game from the Stormers. Anyone who watched it were truly blessed to watch a master class of Rugby performed.
Bulls – The Bulls couldn’t quite get it done at Jonsson Kings park last round, as they went down in a close game, 23-15 to the Sharks. And what an upset that was! There was just 2 tries scored the entire game, but neither of them went to the Bulls. They ran for 362m’s, beat 16 defenders and had 7 clean breaks. They won 91 tackles and missed 22. They turned the ball over 8 times and had 40 kicks in play. They kicked 4/5 PG’s and 1/1 drop goals. They won 52 rucks and 4 mauls. They also won 6 lineouts and 7 scrums. Defensively the Bulls were very strong in this low-scoring affair. That’s definitely something that’ll come in handy against the Stormers.
Past History – The Stormers have won 4 of their past 6 clashes they’ve participated in against the Bulls. Those winning margins have been 24-23, 29-17, 41-33 and 37-24. In the latest game, the Stormers had 42% possession and the Bulls 58% possession. The Stormers however scored 3 tries to 2 to ever so slightly edge the game in their favor.
Key Player – Willemse. Last round in his sides 27 point win, he scored a try and made 11 successful passes, all whilst playing a solid 80 minutes of hardcore Rugby. He made 2 clean breaks, as well as having 1 tackle and 1 offload in his stats sheet. He also ran for an incredible 146m! And he beat 5 defenders! The Fly Halfs running game will prove critical to the Stormers pursuit of a win in this one.
Head to Head: Stormers
Win Margin: Stormers by 15-20
Line: Stormers -5
Total Points: 50-60
Jaguares v Hurricanes
Venue: José Amalfitani Stadium, Buenos Aires | Start: 8:40 AM
Jaguares – 38-8 Was their score last round as they thrashed the Lions badly at Estadio Jose Amalfitani. They opened the scoring inside the games opening 10 minutes through Miotti. While Moroni scored twice. They eventually outscored the opposition 5 tries to 3. The possesison was split evenly at 50% each. They had 49% of the ball in the 1st half and 51% of it in the 2nd. They ran for 515m’s, had 130 carries, beat 37 defenders and had 19 clean breaks. They completed 181 passes + 9 offloads. They turned the ball over 14 times and won 5 turonvers themselves. They also had 34 kicks in play, as they converted 5/5 conversions and 1/1 PG’s. They were victorious in 87 rucks and 5 mauls. They also won 10 lineouts and 5 scrums. Classy performance all round from them.
Hurricanes – In DHL Newlands, the Hurricans were smashed 27-0 by the Stormers. What a way to open your season eh! They conceded 4 tries to 0 as they held just 38% of the ball. They had 49% possession in H1 and a small, small, small 27% possession in H2. They ran for 204m’s, beat 14 defenders and had 3 clean breaks. They completed 78 passes, along with 3 offloads. They made 127 tackles and missed 24. They won 8 turnovers as well. They won 49 rucks. They won just 0 mauls! Yep ZERO! They also won 11 lineouts and 8 scrums. This affair was over from the very beginning, as the Hurricanes were outclassed in pretty much every way possible. This match didn’t exactly make for pretty viewings on their behalf.
Past History – The Hurricanes have won 2 of the only 3 games ever played between these two sides. The latest edition of this clash went the Jaguares way, 28-20. But the other two were in the Hurricanes favor, 34-9 and 40-22. In the most recent match, contested at Sky Stadium, the Jaguares had just 37% of the ball. But they made the most of it as each team crossed for 3 tries each.
Key Player – Moroni scored 2 tries last game, while lasting 80 minutes on the field. He completed 5/5 tackles and ran for 64m from just 7 runs. He beat 7 defenders, had 3 clean breaks and 2 offloads next to his name. Offensively, he was one of the major reasons his side won the game in the commanding fashion that they did. Expect him to perform no differently in this one.
Head to Head: Jaguares
Win Margin: Jaguares by 13-18
Line: Jaguares -6
Total Points: 50-60