To kick us off in Super Rugby AU RD8, we have the Force and the Reds, going head-to-head at Cbus Super Stadium. The Force are still trying for their 1st win of the season. While if the Reds could get a win here, not all that far away from their home of Suncorp Stadium, they could move into 1st position (even if it is only for a day depending upon the Brumbies result). The Force weren’t good enough last rd, as they went down to the Tahs by 20 points, on the Gold Coast. As for the Reds, they turned it on in Brisbane, beating the highly-touted Rebels by 16 points. The Force gave up 3 tries to 1. While QLD produced 3 tries to 0. While there is a significant difference between these two sides. The Reds are only two games removed from their 33-point thrashing at the hands of the Tahs. And we all know the Force love a good fight. Expect this match to be a good one!
Then for the rd’s 2nd game, we have the Brumbies and the Tahs doing battle at GIO Stadium. The Brumbies need a bounce-back victory here to further solidify their position at the top of the table. Whilst NSW are just a point of 2nd and 3 of 1st. This game is vitally important to both sides with the current standings involved. The Brumbies had the bye in RD7 and prior to that, they were demolished by 18 points via Melbourne, at Leichardt Oval. The Tahs on the otherhand got things done quite comfortably, courtesy of their 28-8 win over the Force, at the Gold Coast last rd. The Brumbies gave up 4 tries to 2, in the shock-result. While the Waratahs were strong and composed, as they went in for 3 tries to just the 1. These rivalry games never fail to disappoint. So as such, you can expect a fierce battle in this encounter!
Get ready Rugby fans, cause your in for a treat this round! Two awesome games, played between four awesome teams! Let’s see what they got!
Super Rugby Tipping – Friday, August 21
Western Force vs Queensland Reds
Cbus Super Stadium | 7:05PM (AEST)
Western Force – Suffice to say, it just hasn’t been the Force’s year so far. They’re 0/5, on just 2 competition points, with a substantially bad PD of -65. The next worse is just at a -6. They started off the AU season with an encouraging 9 point defeat to the Tahs, in Sydney. Next up they showed more promise as the Reds beat them by just 7 points in Brisbane. A match in which the tries scored were at 4-4. Then from there, the Brumbies whooped them 24-0 in Leichardt. Then also at Leichardt, they were defeated in ET by the Rebels, 25-20, after Naisarani scored the winner in the 82nd min for Melbourne. And then the last rd, all that hard work was undone, as the Tahs beat them 28-8. They’ve had a mixed bag of results this campaign. To say the least! They were on the back early against the Tahs, conceding an 8th minute PG. And despite scoring the games 1st try in the 14th min, via Stander, they never really recovered well enough to be in the game for all that long (realistically speaking). However, coming up against an also very inconsistent Reds side, it will give them the perfect chance to redeem themselves.
Reds – The Reds on the other hand, are having a pretty decent year by most teams standards. They have won 3/6 games so far, + a draw. And on 16 points, they are just 2 of the 1st placed Brumbies. They have everything to play for at the moment and nothing to lose. Not many expected them to do awesome things at the start of the season and that has possibly helped them and their case a little bit. And they went from conceding 45 points against the Tahs two rd’s ago, to keeping the Rebels tryless last rd, as they came through strong in their 19-3 victory. The match being played at Suncorp Stadium. They scored in just the 18th minute through Petaia and from there the onslaught started. They scored 3 tries to zip, despite them having just 33% possession of the ball during the game. They also beat 20 defenders and had 6 clean breaks. And while they did turn the ball over 10 times, they also won 5 turnovers. And it was a bit of a feisty affair, as they gave up 13 penalties + a yellow. This game is the perfect opportunity for them to continue their miraculous rise up the ladder. This game is bound to be good!
The Force have funnily enough won 3 of the past 4 contested clashes between these two sides. From newest to oldest, their winning score-lines have been, 40-36, 26-19 and 22-6. While when they last played, the Reds did prevail by 7 points, however, each team also did score 4 tries a-piece. Could the Force perhaps win their first match of the new season in this one? I absolutely personally think that there’s every chance that they could. The Reds can be a very leaky side, defensively-speaking. That’s where the Force needs to strike hard and fast through the likes of Ralston, as he scored twice last time-out against the Reds and Prior. Prior is crucial to getting early points on the board, through conversions or PG’s for the Force. His accuracy between the sticks could prove to be acutely crucial in this affair. Force for the upset win, there it is!
Super Rugby Tipping – Saturday, the 22nd of August, 2020
Brumbies vs NSW Waratahs
GIO Stadium | 7:15PM (AEST)
Brumbies – The Brumbies have been absolutely unstoppable this season. Their campaign started off with a 31-23 win over the Rebels in Canberra. Then after a bye, they pipped the Tahs by a point, in Homebush. They then turned on the motors, tearing the Force to bits, as they won 24-0, in Leichardt. Back to GIO Stadium, as the pipped this time the Reds, 22 points to 20. And then came their latest efforts, beating their unstoppable reign of terror. The Rebels thrashed them 30-12 at Leichardt Oval. A damaging result which has left them just 2 points clear of 2nd, 3 points clear of 3rd and only 4 points clear of 4th. Another defeat nears and it could be a sharp and speedy decline down the ladder. Against Melbourne, they conceded the opening try in just the 3rd minute of the game and 2 to 4 overall. They were also held to just 37% ownage of the ball. And they beat just 11 defenders and made only 5 clean breaks. They also turned the ball over 21 times and missed 17 tackle attempts. This was not the Brumbies brightest or best efforts, that’s for sure! And coming up against one of their oldest rivals, they sure as hell need to put in something a lot more encouraging here!
Waratahs – The Tahs are coming of strong back-to-back wins. Last time out, they beat the Force with ease 28-8, on the Gold Coast. And prior to that, at the SCG, they smashed the Reds by 33 points, in an all-time biggest ever Super Rugby victory over them! This has left them in 3rd place, with 3 wins from 6 games played so far. They’re on 15 points, only one of 2nd and 3 of 1st. The Tahs seem to be slowly rising once again. Against the Force, they crossed for 3 tries to 1. Whilst they also owned 53% of the ball. They ran for 499m’s, beat 22 defenders and had 9 clean breaks to their name. They also completed 228 passes, 14 of which were offloads. This was the Waratahs 2nd win over the Force this AU season. They have suffered some bad losses this season. One example is when they lost in the final minute to the Brumbies in NSW, going down by a single point. Or another, when the Rebels whacked them, to win by the tune of 19 points. They have a lot of youth this season, combined with some experience. So everything is a good learning experience for their younger guys. But they really seem to be getting better here. Will all of this cultivate in a shock 3rd win on the trot?
The Brumbies have won 5 of the last 5 played games between these two teams. They have dominated their arch-rivals as of late. Just one factor as to why the Brumbies are the best Rugby team in AUS, for now, and for a while. From the newest to the oldest score-lines, they have won, 24-23, 47-14, 35-24, 19-13 and 40-31. There are mixed results in there, score-lines wise. When they last played, it was Fines who scored the 77th-minute try and the ensuing conversion by Kuenzle that won the Brumbies the match. This game shows that on their day, the Tahs can match it against the best. The Tahs still crossed for 2 tries, despite only having 42% ownage of the ball during the match. The Brumbies are in a bad patch at the moment. And NSW on the other hand, is catching fire at the exact right time of the season. The Tahs will cause an upset here, no doubt about it!