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Best Bets for Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 4 & AU Round 5

Best Bets for Super Rugby Aotearoa & Australia. So much rugby this weekend, we provide the best bets across the various competitions.

Our punter Neal Hoogwerf is back this weekend and has his eyes set on a full house. We preview every match from Super Rugby Aotearoa and AU.

Melbourne Rebels v Waratahs

Friday 19 March – 10:45

The Rebels return home to AAMI Park for the first time since February 2020. It’s been a solid start to the campaign from Melbourne after securing their first victory over the Western Force last weekend. The Rebels have relied on the consistency of pivot Matt Toomua in keeping them in the game and will be looking to forward to welcoming an under-fire Waratahs outfit.

The winless Waratahs will be looking to turn their season knowing that it’s their last chance saloon if they have any hope of staying in the title hunt. It’s been a calamitous season from the Sydney side with the exodus of talent forcing coach Rob Penny into experimenting across the team. They still possess dangerous players such as Wallaby Jack Maddocks and will look to his one-on-one ability to kickstart their attack.

The Rebels have covered all three fixtures against the spread and are handed a generous 10 point headstart this weekend. History suggests that the underdog is undervalued in this fixture having covered 5 of the last 6 matches. The Waratahs will know that they required a massive improvement and I can see them staying within the double-digit spread.

Best Bet: Waratahs +12.5 at 1.78

Value Bet: Rebels 1-12 at 2.75

Hurricanes v Chiefs

Saturday 13 March – 8:05

The Hurricanes enter the round off a bye week following two losses to kick off the 2021 campaign. It’s been a tricky start to the competition, with player departures having forced coach Jason Holland into testing player combinations. Saturday will be the true test for the Hurricanes depth, with Holland having no fit flyhalf for the occasion.

The Chiefs enter their third fixture of the season in similar fashion to their 2020 struggles. An encouraging first-half display followed by a second-half calamity has been the theme over the last 12 months for the Chiefs. The Chiefs generally perform well when they are underdogs by less than 5 points, having covered the spread in seven of the last 10 fixtures.

History certainly favours the ‘Canes at the Cake Tin in this fixture. The Hurricanes are unbeaten in their last 6 fixtures against the Chiefs and have covered in 4 of those 6 matches. I always believe a return to normal is on the horizon and judging the myriad of talent available for Waikato, it seems only fitting that the Chiefs put in a performance sooner rather than later.

Best Bet: Chiefs +4.5

Reds v Western Force

Saturday 20 March – 10:45

The Reds continued their rise to the summit of the conference having outplayed the Brumbies in a 78-point thriller in Canberra last round. The Reds were superb in their game management, having come down from a 17-0 first-half deficit to ultimately record the winning try in the 79th minute. Brad Thorn has managed to extract the perfect balance between composure under pressure and game-breaking attacking impetus.

The Western Force recorded their second loss of the campaign as they narrowly went down to the Melbourne Rebels by three points. The Force will be ruing their missed opportunities, as unforced errors ultimately led to their downfall. Their attacking problems continue, having scored on average 13 points across their opening three fixtures.

The Reds are the talk of the town and will be rightfully searching for a bonus point victory in front of their home crowd this weekend. The Reds will want to widen the gap between the Brumbies and know that this fixture presents the perfect opportunity to do so. I can’t look past anything other than a resounding Queensland victory.

Best Bet: Reds -14.5

Blues v Crusaders

Sunday 21 March – 04:35

The Blues continued their impressive start to 2021 after recording a comprehensive 22 point victory over the Highlanders. It would have sound a title warming to Canterbury as the Blues have now covered 10 of their last 13 games. Consistency has been a question mark over past Blues sides, however, the class of 2021 are proving a different prospect with the Patrick Tuipolutu inspired forward pack being intelligently commanded by All Black hopeful Otere Black.

The Crusaders maintained their domestic dominance as they turned on a second-half spectacle to down the win-less Chiefs in Christchurch. It’s been business as usual for the Crusaders as teams are only able to keep up the pace in the first half before falling away in the second 40. The Crusaders will have the mental edge against the Blues this weekend, having not tasted defeat against the Auckland outfit in the last 13 fixtures.

The Crusaders are the pinnacle of rugby in New Zealand and fans will be treated to a treat of a spectacle on Sunday. The heart would love the Blues to win, however whenever there is a close to evens fixture when the Crusaders are involved, it seems the only move to play. Couple that with the fact that the Crusaders have covered their last 5 out of 6 on the road, I’ll be taking the Crusaders to edge a thriller.

Best Bet: Crusaders to win at 1.64

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