6 February 2019, by: Brenton Chelin
SUPER RUGBY BETTING: SA CONFERENCE LOOKS WIDE OPEN
The 2019 Super Rugby season is just around the corner and with the SA conference looking wide open, we reckon this could be a good year to turn your back on the Lions…
The Lions have flown the South African flag in Super Rugby in recent years but despite making a third consecutive final in 2018, Swys de Bruyn’s team regressed during his first year in charge. Their shortcomings were all too apparent in the final against the Crusaders, but losses against the Blues and Reds, along with a narrow escape against the Sunwolves suggests they weren’t the same outfit as year’s gone by.
Quite simply the Lions at 0.50 are way too short to take the South African conference title for a fourth consecutive year. They finished last season with the same number of wins as the Jaguares and the Waratahs. Hardly convincing stuff.
The Bulls 6.00 have strengthened well, although question marks over their coaching staff remain. Elsewhere the Sharks 8.25 showed their mettle with a Currie Cup victory at Newlands but have struggled to string enough good performances together to really challenge. That leaves the Stormers and Jaguares. The Stormers 5.25 certainly have a squad capable of challenging for a first conference title since 2015, while the Jaguares 7.00 have improved with every passing season.
It’s no surprise that a repeat of the 2017 and 2018 finals tops the list at 6.00. The Crusaders have well and truly returned to the glory days with two consecutive titles under Scott Robertson. Take the Lions out of the equation and there are some interesting bets to be had. We’re writing off the Aussies completely, leaving a possible all New Zealand final. The pick of the bunch? The Crusaders vs Hurricanes at 18.00.
The Jags, like the French, are one of the most infuriating teams to back. One week they can be world-beaters, the next a hot-headed bunch of delinquents hellbent on receiving as many penalties and cards as possible. Despite this, they managed a creditable 9 wins last season. With that in mind, the 1.05 on offer for over 6.5 wins this year looks a bit of a gift. Similarly, the Sunwolves at 1.05 to notch up four or more wins seems a decent price. With a World Cup on the horizon and home matches against all Australian teams, they should improve on last year’s performance.
— Planet Rugby (@PlanetRugby) December 31, 2018