1 July 2020, by: Carl Lewis
Super Rugby AU: Round 1 Predictions
It’s Round 1 of Super Rugby AU, the Australian version of Super Rugby with the Brumbies, Waratahs, Reds and Rebels welcoming back the returning Western Force for this special competition.
We preview Round 1 of the competition providing predictions and best bets.
Friday 3 July
11:05 Reds v Waratahs
The Reds host the Waratahs in the opening fixture of the Super Rugby AU
at Suncorp Stadium on Friday. During Super Rugby, the Reds provided reasons for optimism while the Waratahs were well below the required level.
Before Covid-19 enforced break, the Reds two victories were both achieved on home soil. In the run-up to the break they lost at home to the impressive Sharks 33-23 and then lost a close one away to the Crusaders 24-20, a match the Reds could have won. Their last match before the break saw them claim a fantastic 41-17 win against the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium. After going 17-0 down in the match, the Reds rallied and scored 41 unanswered points for a bonus-point win.
The Waratahs were second bottom on the combined log before to the break. They had lost a whopping six of their seven matches in Super Rugby a very disappointing 2020 so far. They also got thrashed 51-14 at home to the Chiefs before getting a 29-17 win at home over an average Lions side. Their final saw them get a 47-14 hiding from the Brumbies.
Their previous clash saw the Reds lose 40-32 at Suncorp Stadium. Despite both teams struggling this season, it is the Reds who have been putting in promising performances, most notably against the Crusaders. The Waratahs have however struggled for any cohesion and a three-month break might not have fixed that. The Waratahs hold a 15-4 advantage over the Reds in their last 19 matches.
Prediction: Reds by 12.
Best Bet: Reds -7.5 at 1. 94
Saturday 4 July
11:15 – Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels
The Brumbies entertain the Rebels with this being the first match for both in the new Super Rugby AU competition. The Brumbies made an excellent start to the 2020 Super Rugby campaign before the enforced break. They won five of their six matches, with their final match before the break on 15 March, they whipped the Waratahs 47-14 in a quality performance. They also picked up a huge win in South Africa against the Stormers.
The Rebels had a mixed bag of results from their six matches in Super Rugby earlier in the year. picking up three wins but it could have been won. The last time they took to the field was on 7 March 2020 against the Lions, it was a solid performance and won 37-17 winners. The previous week, the Rebels travelled to New Zealand where they beat the Highlanders 28-22 in a gutsy display for the Aussies.
The last match between the two in February this year saw Brumbies win comfortable 39-26 in Canberra. Both the Brumbies and Rebels are very good attacking sides but the Brumbies pack that give them the edge, especially at set-pieces.
Predictions: Brumbies to win 8
Best Bet: TBC