Super Rugby AU and Gallagher Premiership Best Bets

By BET Contributor

After landing a full house of Six Nations bets last week, punter Neal Hoogwerf sets his eyes on the opening of Super Rugby AU and Sunday’s intriguing Gallagher Premiership match.

Let’s hope for another full house.

Reds v Waratahs

Friday 19 February – 10:45

Super Rugby AU kicks off with a traditional Queensland v New South Wales derby in the form of the Reds v Waratahs. The Reds enter the tournament as dark horses and will be looking to build on their successful 2020 campaign. Much talk has been around the axis paring of Tate McDermott and James O’Connor as they will look to steer the Reds ship which has promised much in the previous years.

The Waratahs enter the new season with a new line up without stalwart Michael Hooper for the first time since 2012. It’s been a turbulent time for NSW rugby with consistency hard to come by, however, I still believe in the grassroots structure in south-east Australia.

The opening handicap of 8.5 seems well priced and I’ll be surprised to see the home side concede defeat in the opener. The Waratahs have covered the handicap in 12 of the last 13 games between these cross country rivals and it’s tricky to argue against that in a season opener. I’ll be hoping for some rustiness from the home side and Tahs to be up for the challenge.

Best Bet: Waratahs +9.5 at 1.86

Western Force v Brumbies

Friday 19 February – 12:55

It’s no secret that optimism has been brewing in Perth for the coming Super Rugby AU season. The Western Force have strengthened with adding some Argentinian firepower. No less than five ex-Jaguares players joining the east-south franchise in the offseason.

The 2020 Champions head to the Sea of Blue in their first trip to Perth since 2017. The Force went winless in 2020 Super AU however they managed to finish within seven on three separate occasions throughout the competition. As incumbent tournament favourites, the Brumbies will set a high bar and will be looking to the guidance of rookie flyhallf Noah Lolesio.

It’s tricky to separate two indifferent teams in the opening weak of a competition. Form suggests there isn’t much to separate the two sides with the Brumbies covering half of the last 10 matches on the road. I’ll be looking to side with home-team exuberance and the Force edging home in front of the Sea-Of-Blue supporters.

Best Bet: Force +4.5 at 1.86

London Irish v Bristol Bears

Sunday 21 February – 17:00

London Irish return home to the Madejski stadium having succumbed to a 21 point defeat away to the European Champions. It’s been a turbulent campaign with the Irish having converted 6 of their 9n possible fixtures.

The Bristol Bears venture on the road as tournament leaders scraped home to narrow 1 point victory on the road against tournament-strugglers Gloucester last weekend. It’s been a honey moon season for the Bears as they have disregarded international call ups in catapulting to the summit of the English Premiership.

The Bristol Bears venture on the road as tournament leaders scraped home to narrow 1 point victory on the road against tournament-strugglers Gloucester last weekend. It’s been a honey moon season for the Bears as they have disregarded international call ups in catapulting to the summit of the English Premiership.

Premiership rugby poses a tricky predicament for traveling sides in facing a barrage of enthusiasm and would-be home support. The Bears tend to struggle on the road, having covered only four of their last nine fixtures as favourites. I believe Irish will be targeting this fixture and this handicap feels a couple point too heavy.

Best Bet: London Irish +7.5 at 1.88

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