To start us of for Super Rugby AU RD7, on Friday we have the Force going head-to-head with the Tahs, on the Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium. It is sure to be a super clash! (No pun intended). The Force had the bye last RD, and prior to that they were very unlucky, as they went down 25-20 to the Rebels in an ET thriller, at Leichardt Oval. The scores were locked up until the 82nd minute, at which point Naisarani crossed for the victorious, game-wining try. The Force still scored 2 tries, to Melbourne’s 3. And they made 2/2 conversions, + 2/3 PG’s. They are yet to claim a win yet, but they should still no doubt push NSW in this encounter. As for the Tahs, they are now just 3 points of 2nd place, after their biggest ever Super Rugby win over the Reds occurred last round. The score-line was 45-12 at the SCG, as they crossed for a crazy 6 tries to 2. And they dominated possession, owning 59% of the ball. Truly a result that came out of nowhere!
Then on Saturday we have the Reds hosting the Rebels in an all QLD Derby. The Reds were humbled by the Tahs last RD. As they went down 6 tries to 2, 45 points to 12, at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Since Super Rugby was formed, this was their biggest defeat to NSW. However, despite the massive dip in form, they still sit just 3 points of 2nd place (14 points vs 11). Their only tries came via Hardy and O’Connor. Whilst for the Rebels, they are doing things comfortably at the moment, as they sit in 2nd place on the ladder. And they are only 4 points of the 1st placed Brumbies (18 vs 14). This comes after they pulled of the biggest shock result of the season last RD, as they thrashed them 30 points to 12, in Leichardt. This was truly an un-expected result, which Melbourne fully deserved. They scored 4 tries to 2, with 63% possession of the ball.
Bring on RD7! It’s sure to be a cracker!
Super Rugby Tipping – Friday August 14
Western Force vs NSW Waratahs
Cbus Super Stadium | 7:05PM (AEST)
Force – The Force had the bye last RD, and prior to that, they were edged in a Super Rugby extra-time thriller. As they went down 25-20 to Melbourne in Leichardt. Their luck ran out in the 82nd minute, courtesy of Naisarani, who crashed over for the match-winning try. Prior to that, the Force had opened the scoring in the 11th minute, via a Lance PG. Whilst they also scored the match’s opening try in the 27th minute. That came from Fergus Lee-Warner. They got out-scored 3 tries to 2, and owned 50% of the ball. They also ran for 326m’s, beat 8 defenders and had 8 clean breaks. And shockingly, they turned the ball over 16 times. Although at 15, the Rebels weren’t much better either. And they (the Force), won only 3 turnovers. + They also had 28 kicks in play, as they won 73 rucks, 5 mauls, 15 lineouts and 11 scrums. This Force side has some real fight within side of it. But it hasn’t been quite good enough as they are still 5th and last on the ladder. With 0 wins to their name so far!
Waratahs – As for the Tahs, they are polar-opposite to the Force at the moment, as they sit in 3rd on the ladder, with 2 wins, on 11 competition points. They are just now only 3 points of 2nd placed Melbourne. Not bad at all for a side that’s been relatively shocking by any semi-decent standards this season! But they turned that all upside down last RD, as they killed QLD, 45-12! This was their biggest ever win over the Reds since Super Rugby was formed. Jake Gordon got 3 tries, as he scored in the 9th, 16th and 27th minutes of the game. Whilst overall, the Tahs scored 6 tries in the 9th, 16th, 23rd, 27th, 34th and 51st minutes of the match. They also owned 59% of the ball, as they ran for 489m’s. They also beat 25 defenders, and had 16 clean breaks to their name. + They missed only 21 tackles and won 10 turnovers. Have the Tahs finally turned a corner? This game should give a big indication as to whether or not that is true.
The Tahs have won 7 of the past 11 clashes contested between these two sides, dating all the way back to 2012. And when they last played, it was this year of the AUS season. At the SCG, NSW prevailed 23-14. The Force actually led 14-0, via 3 Prior PG’s and a 29th min Ralston try. But the rest of the way after that, it was all one-way traffic. NSW scored 2 tries to 1 overall, whilst owning 56% of the ball possession-wise throughout the game. The Tahs beat 30 defenders and had 9 clean breaks. The Force in comparison were at only 11 and 3 respectively. However, the clash prior to that, saw the Force win 40-11, at HBF Park. They absolutely played them of the park there, as they scored 5 tries to 1. That despite them only having 44% of the ball. This match should hopefully be pretty free-flowing and entertaining. However, ultimately, expect NSW to come out on top, possessing a bit too much class when it comes to the business end of the game.
Super Rugby Tipping – Saturday August 15
QLD Reds vs Melbourne Rebels
Suncorp Stadium | 7:15PM (AEST)
Reds – The Reds are currently 4th on the ladder. However, that does not paint the full picture, as they are also just 3 competition points of the 2nd placed Rebels. And equal on points with the 3rd placed Tahs. The team who leapt over them into that position last RD, via their biggest ever defeat to NSW in the Super Rugby era, a 45 points to 12 hiding!. They didn’t score their 1st try of the game until Hardy crossed the white-line in the 53rd minute. And they also scored via O’Connor in the 80th min. Overall they let in 6 tries to 2. As they let the Tahs score in the 9th, 16th, 23rd, 27th, 34th and 51st minutes of the game. They owned only 41% of the ball, as they had only 88 carries during the entire game. They did, however, run for 425m’s, beat 21 defenders and have 7 clean breaks. But they did shockingly turn the ball over 19 times. This was not a good game from the Reds to say the least. And they’ll be pumped again, this time by MEL, unless they fix a lot of the basic errors that were on display in their performance from last RD.
Rebels – The Rebels are the hottest team going round in AUS at the moment, this comes as they absolutely killed the Brumbies 30-12 last round at Leichardt Oval. This was a shocking result, and not one predicted by many. From start, to finish, they were the better side. They opened the scoring through Hodge in just the 3rd minute of the game and from there, they never looked back. They scored again via Wilkin, just 12 mins later. And overall they crossed for 4 tries to 2, whilst owning 63% of the ball. They made 302m’s, from 122 carries. Whilst they limited the Brumbies to just 87 carries. They also beat 17 defenders and had 7 clean breaks. And they missed just 11 tackles. The Brumbies were at 17. They also won 8 turnovers, whilst being victorious in 101 rucks, 4 mauls, 13 lineouts and 8 scrums. This was the complete performance from Melbourne! Will we see it again this RD?
The Rebels have won 7 of the previous 12 played contests between these two sides. And from newest to oldest, 6 of the 8 past score-lines between these teams have been 18-all, MEL 30-24, RED 37-23, RED 29-24, MEL 31-28 and MEL 25-23. These sides love a closely contested, thrilling and entertaining affair to keep us on the edge of our seats. And hopefully, that is what this game provides us with as well. When they last met, it was that famous draw, at a wet and cold Brookie Oval. But I was one of those lucky enough to witness it in person and they didn’t disappoint. They each scored 2 tries a piece and they couldn’t be separated after the extra period either. Expect a thrilling, high-scoring clash right here. But ultimately pick Melbourne too prevail, with their FB and Wingers having a huge say in the outcome of the game.