Super Rugby gets into full swing in round 2 as the Australian, New Zealand and Japanese teams all begin their campaigns over the weekend.
Super Rugby Rd.2 has seven matches with two on Friday and five on Saturday involving all teams with the exception of the Sharks who have the bye this weekend.
Highlanders v Blues Super Rugby Preview
The New Zealand teams join Super Rugby on Friday when the Highlanders host the Blues at the Forsyth Barr stadium in Dunedin.
The Highlanders and the Blues have played each other 29 times in Super Rugby and the Highlanders have won 13 matches and lost 16. There have been no draws between the sides.
The last two matches – one home and one away – were both won by the Highlanders. In the last five Super Rugby matches between the sides the Blues have won just once and that was in Auckland.
The Highlanders have won their last five Super Rugby matches against the Blues at home in Dunedin as the last Blues victory in the city was back in 2011. Overall the Highlanders have hosted the Blues 14 times and won 9 matches giving them a record of winning 64% of their home matches.
The Blues have named a strong side for their opening round match but they have a long-standing habit of losing away from home so the Highlanders should win this.
The Bookies have given the Blues a 7 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The Highlanders should win this match by at least six points
Average score: Highlanders 22 Blues 26
Last five results
08 Apr 2017 Highlanders v Blues 26-20 Dunedin
11 Mar 2017 Highlanders v Blues 16-12 Auckland
26 Feb 2016 Highlanders v Blues 31-33 Auckland
12 Jun 2015 Highlanders v Blues 44-7 Auckland
18 Apr 2015 Highlanders v Blues 30-24 Dunedin
Highlanders overall record against the Blues
Played 29 , Wins 13 , Losses 16 , Draws 0
Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant (New Zealand),
Assistant Ref 2:James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO : Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)
1. Daniel Leinert-Brown, 2. Ash Dixon (c), 3. Siate Tokolahi, 4. Jackson Hemopo, 5. Tom Franklin, 6. Liam Squire, 7. Dillon Hunt, 8. Luke Whitelock; 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Lima Sopoaga, 11. Tevita Li, 12. Teihorangi Walden, 13. Rob Thompson, 14. Waisake Naholo, 15. Ben Smith (c).
Replacements: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Aki Seiuli, 18. Tyrel Lomax, 19. Dan Pryor, 20. Elliot Dixon, 21. Kayne Hammington, 22. Fletcher Smith, 23. Matt Faddes.
Alex Hodgman, 2. James Parsons, 3. Ofa Tuungafasi, 4. Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5. Scott Scrafton, 6. Glenn Preston, 7. Murphy Taramai, 8. Akira Ioane; 9. Augustine Pulu ©, 10. Bryn Gatland, 11. Rieko Ioane, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 13. George Moala, 14. Matt Duffie,15. Michael Collins.
Replacements: 16. Leni Apisai, 17. Pauliasi Manu, 18. Michael Tamoaieta, 19. Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sione Havili/Antonio Kiri Kiri, 21. Jonathan Ruru, 22. Daniel Kirkpatrick, 23. Melani Nanai.
Rebels v Reds Super Rugby Preview
The first Australian teams to play Super Rugby in 2018 are Melbourne’s Rebels and Queensland’s Reds who meet at the AMI Stadium in Melbourne.
The Rebels have played the Reds 13 times since they joined Super Rugby in 2011 and they have won four matches and lost 9. There have been no draws between the sides.
In Melbourne the Rebels have played the Reds 7 times but they have only won twice. On their last visit to Melbourne the Reds won 24-29.
The Bookies have given the Reds a 5 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The Reds could sneak this one by three points.
Average score: Rebels 20 Reds 30
Last five results
13 May 2017 Rebels v Reds 24-29 Melbourne
15 Jul 2016 Rebels v Reds 31-28 Brisbane
12 Mar 2016 Rebels v Reds 25-23 Melbourne
15 May 2015 Rebels v Reds 29-46 Brisbane
03 Apr 2015 Rebels v Reds 23-15 Melbourne
Rebels overall record against the Reds
Played 13, Wins 4 , Losses 9, Draws 0
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1:Nicholas Berry (Australia),
Assistant Ref 2:Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO : Ian Smith (Australia)
1. Tetera Faulkner 2. Jordan Uelese 3. Jermaine Ainsley 4. Matt Philip 5. Adam Coleman (c) 6. Lopeti Timani 7. Angus Cottrell 8. Amanaki Mafi 9. Will Genia 10. Jack Debreczeni 11. Sefa Naivalu 12. Reece Hodge 13. Tom English 14. Jack Maddocks 15. Dane Haylett-Petty
Replacements :16. Anaru Rangi 17. Fereti Sa’aga 18. Sam Talakai 19. Sam Jeffries 20. Ross Haylett-Petty 21. Michael Ruru 22. Semisi Tupou 23. Billy Meakes
1. James Slipper , 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 3. Taniela Tupou, 4. Izack Rodda, 5. Lukhan Tui , 6. Caleb Timu , 7. Adam Korczyk , 8. Scott Higginbotham (C), 9. James Tuttle, 10. Jono Lance, 11. Eto Nabuli, 12. Duncan Paia’aua , 13. Samu Kerevi , 14. Chris Feauai-Sautia , 15. Aidan Toua
Replacements : 16. Alex Mafi, 17. JP Smith, 18. Sef Fa’agase, 19. Kane Douglas , 20. Liam Wright, 21. Tate McDermott , 22. Hamish Stewart, 23. Filipo Daugunu
Sunwolves v Brumbies Super Rugby Preview
The Sunwolves and the Brumbies have only met once in Super Rugby before and that match ended in a convincing victory for Canberra’s Brumbies who won the match 5-66 away from home.
The Brumbies will be away from home again in this match but last season they were the top Australian side while the Sunwolves were the last placed team.
The Bookies have given the Sunwolves an 18 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The Brumbies should cruise to victory by at least 15 points in this match.
Average score: Sunwolves 5 Brumbies 66
28 May 2016 Sunwolves v Brumbies 5-66 Canberra
Sunwolves overall record against the Brumbies
Played 1,Wins 0,Losses 1 , Draws 0
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1:Egon Seconds (South Africa),
Assistant Ref 2:Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO :Minoru Fuji (Japan)
15. Jason Emery, 14. Lomano Lemeki, 13. Timothy Lafaele, 12. Ryoto Nakamura, 11. Hosea Saumaki, 10. Robbie Robinson, 9. Yutaka Nagare, 8. Willie Britz, 7. Pieter Lappies Labuschagne, 6. Kazuki Himeno, 5. Grant Hattingh, 4. Sam Wykes, 3. Jiwon Koo, 2. Shota Horie, 1. Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: Java Bregvadze, 17. Craig Miller, 18. Asaeli Ai Valu, 19. James Moore, 20. Ed Quirk, 21. Fumiaki Tanaka, 22. Hayden Parker, 23. Sione Teaupa.
15. Tom Banks, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Chance Peni, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Isi Naisarani, 7. Tom Cusack, 6. Rob Valetini, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Richie Arnold, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Josh Mann-Rea, 1. Ben Alexander.
Replacements: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Faalelei Sione, 18. Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19. Rory Arnold, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Matt Lucas, 22. Wharenui Hawera, 23. Lausii Taliauli.
Crusaders v Chiefs Super Rugby Preview
Last season’s Super Rugby champions the Crusaders get a tough start to their title defence as they face a team that have won four out of the last six matches between the sides.
Overall the Crusaders and Chiefs have met 31 times and thee Crusaders have won 18 times and the Chiefs have won 13 times. That gives the Crusaders a record of winning 58% of their matches against the Chiefs.
As mentioned earlier the Chiefs have won four out of the last six matches but crucially the Crusaders won the last two. Scott Robertson has yet to lose against the Chiefs.
In Christchurch the teams have met 14 times and the Crusaders have won 9 times and lost 5 matches. This gives them a record of winning 64% of their home matches with an average score of Crusaders 28 Chiefs 19.
The Bookies have given the Chiefs an 8 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The defending champion Crusaders should edge this by 5 points.
Average score: Crusaders 26 Chiefs 21
Last five results
29 Jul 2017 Semi Crusaders v Chiefs 27-13 Christchurch
19 May 2017 Crusaders v Chiefs 31-24 Suva
01 Jul 2016 Crusaders v Chiefs 13-23 Suva
27 Feb 2016 Crusaders v Chiefs 21-27 Christchurch
17 Apr 2015 Crusaders v Chiefs 9-26 Christchurch
Crusaders overall record against the Chiefs
Played 31, Wins 18, Losses 13 , Draws 0
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1: Nick Briant (New Zealand),
Assistant Ref 2:James Doleman (New Zealand)
TMO : Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)
15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Chris King, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Manasa Mataele.
1. Aidan Ross , 2. Nathan Harris , 3. Nepo Laulala , 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Dominic Bird , 6. Mitchell Brown , 7. Sam Cane – Captain , 8. Taleni Seu , 9. Brad Weber , 10. Damian McKenzie , 11. Solomon Alaimalo , 12. Johnny Faauli , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Shaun Stevenson , 15. Charlie Ngatai (c)
Replacements : 16. Liam Polwart , 17. Atunaisa Moli , 18. Angus Ta’avao , 19. Liam Messam , 20. Lachlan Boshier , 21. Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi , 22. Marty McKenzie , 23. Sean Wainui
Waratahs v Stormers Super Rugby Preview
The Waratahs host South Africa’s Stormers in their opening match and although they will have home advantage they host a team who have already played a match and will not be as rusty.
The Stormers opened their Super Rugby campaign against the Jaguares in Cape Town but have now had to travel to Sydney where they have not won since 2015.
The Waratahs have played the Stormers 19 times in Super rugby and they have won 8 matches, drawn 1 and lost 10. In Sydney though the Tahs have hosted the Cape Town side 8 times and won four and lost four.
The last time the Stormers visited Sydney they won 18-32.
The Bookies have given the Stormers a 9 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The Waratahs should win this by six points.
Average score: Waratahs 20 Stormers 22
Last five results
30 Apr 2016 Waratahs v Stormers 32-30 Cape Town
11 Apr 2015 Waratahs v Stormers 18-32 Sydney
05 Apr 2014 Waratahs v Stormers 22-11 Cape Town
11 May 2013 Waratahs v Stormers 21-15 Sydney
19 May 2012 Waratahs v Stormers 13-19 Cape Town
Waratahs overall record against the Stormers
Played 19 , Wins 8, Losses 10, Draws 1
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser (New Zealand),
Assistant Ref 2:William Houston (Australia)
TMO : George Ayoub (Australia)
15 Israel Folau, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Mitch Short, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome.
15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse ven Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 George Whitehead, 23 EW Viljoen.
Lions v Jaguares Super Rugby Preview
Last year’s Super Rugby finalists the Lions kicked off their Super Rugby campaign last week at home against the Sharks.
The Lions delivered a solid performance while the Jaguares made a slow start but then in the second half started to put pressure on the Stormers. At altitude a second half comeback will be tough for the Jaguares.
The Lions have played the Jaguares four times and they have won 2 and lost 2. Interestingly in the four matches played whoever was at home was the match winner so the Lions have never lost to the Jaguares at home.
The Bookies have given the Jaguares a 16 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The Lions – at home – should win this comfortably by 14 points or more.
Average score: Lions 30 Jaguares 29
Last four results
21 Apr 2017 Lions v Jaguares 24-21 Johannesburg
11 Mar 2017 Lions v Jaguares 24-36 Buenos Aires
16 Jul 2016 Lions v Jaguares 22-34 Buenos Aires
21 May 2016 Lions v Jaguares 52-24 Johannesburg
Lions overall record against the Jaguares
Played 4 , Wins 2, Losses 2, Draws 0
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1:AJ Jacobs (South Africa),
Assistant Ref 2:Jaco Pretorius (South Africa)
TMO :Willie Vos (South Africa)
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (c), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Dylan Smith, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 22 Howard Mnisi, 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Orlando, 12 Bautista Ezcurra, 11 Emiliano Boffelli, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Tomas Lezana, 7 Javier Ortega, 6 Pablo Matera (captain), 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Felipe Arregui
Replacements: 16 Julian Montoya, 17 Javier Manuel, 18 Juan Pablo Zeiss, 19 Matias Alemanno, 20 Marcos Kremer, 21 Martin Landajo, 22 Leonardo Senatore, 23 Ramiro Moyano
Bulls v Hurricanes Super Rugby Preview
The Bulls play in the final match of the second round of Super Rugby and they host Wellington’s Hurricanes who in recent years have been a threat to all sides.
The Bulls have played the Hurricanes 18 times in Super Rugby and have won 8 matches and lost 10. In Pretoria the Bulls have hosted the Hurricanes 10 and they have won four and lost six.
That gives the Hurricanes a record of winning 60% of their matches against the Bulls in one of Super Rugby’s toughest fortresses. The Hurricanes have also won their last three matches against the Bulls.
The Bulls have not beaten the Hurricanes since 2013.
The Bookies have given the Bulls a 14 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $100 in Bonus bets. The Hurricanes usually start well so should edge this by 6 points.
Average score: Bulls 25 Hurricanes 26
Last five results
27 May 2017 Bulls v Hurricanes 20-34 Pretoria
20 Feb 2015 Bulls v Hurricanes 13-17 Pretoria
05 Apr 2014 Bulls v Hurricanes 20-25 Wellington
04 May 2013 Bulls v Hurricanes 48-14 Pretoria
02 Apr 2011 Bulls v Hurricanes 26-14 Napier
Bulls overall record against the Hurricanes
Played 18 , Wins 8, Losses 10 , Draws 0
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Assistant Ref 1:Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa),
Assistant Ref 2: Stephen Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO : Marius Jonker (South Africa)
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Johnny Kotze, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Replacements 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Nic de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Divan Rossouw
15 Matt Proctor , 14 Julian Savea , 13 Vince Aso , 12 Ngani Laumape , 11 Wes Goosen , 10 Ihaia West , 9 TJ Perenara , 8 Gareth Evans , 7 Ardie Savea , 6 Brad Shields (c) , 5 Sam Lousi , 4 Vaea Fifita , 3 Ben May , 2 Ricky Riccitelli , 1 Toby Smith
Replacements : 16 James O’Rielly , 17 Chris Eves , 18 Alex Fidow , 19 Murray Douglas , 20 Blade Thomson , 21 Jamie Booth , 22 Beauden Barrett , 23 Ben Lam