Super XV Rugby Week 14 Review
Who can challenge the undefeated and indomitable Hurricanes? Ma’a Nonu was the embodiment of the Hurricanes 2015 performance during his match on Saturday. Most rugby betting odds pointed toward the Hurricanes win, but in reality the Chiefs were likely to be a tough challenge. Both teams utilise the pace of their backs, and while brute strength is not emphasised in the ruck and scrums, it is underlined in the calculated runs by key players in both squads. Nonu’s adamantine runs undermined a Chiefs defence which helped the Hurricanes score three tries to Chiefs’ two. Chiefs were lucky to lead at half time after Ngatai crossed the line, but even after Sam Cane scored another in the second half the Hurricanes propelled to action when Savea snatched Hurricanes’ second and Nonu made it a double after he scored in the first half.
Hurricanes 22 – 18 Chiefs
The weekend started with a shocker when pundits were baffled by the Bulls loss to the Blues in Auckland on Friday. The Bulls were the stronger team by a country mile but without the killer instinct, which is so necessary in the modern game, they were punished by an obstinate Blues who took their chances when they were presented. While Bulls laboured for minutes with possession before scoring two breaking tries by means of Jan Serfontein, the Blues also scored two but markedly different tries that came from counter-attacks off the back foot. The first came via a tremendous solo effort by Lolagi Visinia before the second was scored after repeated late-match harassment against the Bulls before George Moala toppled over.
Blues 23 – 18 Bulls
Friday’s second match was played in Brisbane where a lousy Reds faced the progressing and surprisingly strong Rebels. The Rebels were taught a lesson in rugby though, and as they pushed themselves to, what looked like, thrash the Reds, they seem to have expanded their play a little too much. Two early Naivalu tries for the Rebels procured a ferocious response form the Reds. Simmons, McIntyre, Feauai-Sautia and Gill all scored tries, while Lachie Turner scored a double and James O’Connor kicked well for the Brisbane boys. The romp seemed to make the Reds tired though, allowing the Rebels to slip in two more tries through Shipperley and Jones.
Reds 46 – 29 Rebels
South African teams were punished this weekend and Sharks merely chimed the Saturday South African death-knell when they were buried by Waratahs in an otherwise scrappy exchange. Both teams were in similar fettle but decisions seemed to fall into the Waratahs favour as they scored three tries to Sharks’ two. Ashley-Cooper’s opening try was followed by one from Naiyaravoro and Ben Foley scored right at the match’s death. Ndungane and Steyn scored for the Sharks. Unfortunately the game was framed by the referee decision making that some felt was bias and gave Waratahs an unfair advantage. Read here: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/waratahs/referee-rohan-hoffmann-demoted-over-officiating-in-nsw-waratahs-win-over-sharks-20150518-gh4h25.html
Waratahs 33 – 18 Sharks
The Brumbies bounced back with an away win in Johannesburg on Saturday. Lions were unfortunate to be downed by a travelling Australian team as they have shown a promising ascension of late. Their loss to Brumbies was owed to the Brumbies exertion in picking and driving toward the Lions try-line before going wide in the Lions twenty-two. Lions’ two tries by Kriel and Coetzee were shadowed by Brumbies’ tries by Kuridrani, Vaea, Lealiifano and Tomane.
Lions 20 – 30 Brumbies
The Cheetahs were thoroughly beaten by the Highlanders at their home ground in Bloemfontein on Saturday night. The Cheetahs have been weakened by recent injuries, but there was little to excuse the often feeble attempts at defending by the Free State outfit. The Highlanders were free to run at the fragile Cheetahs line and managed to score six tries before the Cheetahs responded. A brace of tries for Ryan Tongia and Aaron Smith were supplemented by tries for Osborne, Evans and Ben Smith. Cheetahs only realised their predicament after the 60th minute and did well to score three tries through Benjamin, Wegner and Francois Venter.
Cheetahs 24 – Highlanders 45
The weekend leaves Hurricanes at the top of the Super Rugby table with a huge stretch between them and fourth placed Chiefs. Brumbies top the Australian conference in second while Bulls sit in third. Bulls must remain the better of the South African teams because Chiefs, Highlanders and Waratahs all have more points on the board than the Pretorians. Make sure to place all your rugby betting picks with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier rugby betting and sports betting company.
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 14:57 12.05-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 13 Review
With the Hurricanes further cementing their place at the top of the Super Rugby tables, Stormers ensuring that they remain at the top of the South African Conference and Bulls becoming a wild-card team in the top 6 because of their bye, this last weekend was likely a good one for those betting on the Super Rugby.
Crusaders welcomed the disconcerting Reds to New Zealand on Friday and comprehensively thumped them. Although Reds looked wiling in a first-half that ended 15-10 to Crusaders, the final outcome was an eight-try thriller from the Kiwis. Tries by Andy Ellis and Colin Slade in the first half were added to with tries by Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd, Jone Macilai, Dominic Bird and a brace by Namani Nadolo who showed fine form on the wing. Slade kicked the points which concluded the romp in spite of Kerevi and Feauai-Sautia’s Reds tries. Crusaders looked their old selves on the field in a game with few handling errors and strong runs.
Crusaders 58 – 17 Reds
The robust Rebels again proved why they have a place in the Super Rugby tournament by earning a hard-fought victory over the Blues in Melbourne on Friday. With a strong forward pack embodied in players like Jordy Reid and Scott Higginbotham the Rebels have been able to battle with the best. The fleet-footed Colby Fainga’a scored the opening try for Rebels, but Blues soon answered with Melani Nanai. Rebels again scored with Toby Smith before the half, but Blues came back into the game with a vengeance and scored two tries, by Jamison Gibson-Park and George Moala, separated by a Scott Higginbotham try for Rebels. The slim Rebels lead was contested but they seemed to gain the upper hand in late-game strength and scored two match-ending tries courtesy of Dom Shipperley and Jack Debreczeni. Mike Harris kicked well for the home team.
Rebels 42 – 22 Blues
Sharks, sadly, were not strong enough to overcome the Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday. Pundits who knew that the Hurricanes had the better odds of winning would have been surprised at the Sharks fight, inspired by the returning Francois Steyn. A Bismarck try in the opening minutes was quashed by Cory Jane and Conrad Smith’s tries for Hurricanes, but Sharks were looking for the lead. Sithole’s try in the second half was answered by a try from Hurricanes’ Reggie Goodes before the lead was wrestled back through Ndungane’s try. With just minutes to go the Sharks took a blow when Jeremy Thrush scored a try that took victory away from the hurting Durbanites. Sharks are now five games without a win and will next face the defending champions the Waratahs.
Hurricanes 32 – 24 Sharks
There was a surprise on the cards on Saturday when the Force overcame the odds and beat the Waratahs. With hindsight, though, the Force has always done well against the team from Sydney. Waratahs were the stronger team, but simple mistakes while handling the ball meant that there were regular turnovers in Rebels’ favour who capitalized with a first half try by Ryan Louwrens and a second half try by Matt Hodgson. A superb try by Taqele Naiyaravoro was Waratahs finest moment in a match that showed little of the title-holders’ shine.
Force 18 – 11 Waratahs
The Lions staged a glorious comeback in Johannesburg on Saturday in a match with very equal rugby betting odds. Highlanders looked like they were going to run away with a victory by the end of the first half where they led 20-3 thanks to tries by Gareth Evans and Malakai Fekitoa. Lions returned to the field reinvigorated though, and scored three tries through Courtnall Skosan, Jaco Kriel and Harold Vorster. The difference was made when Jantjies was introduced to the field through substitution and the Lions knew what they had to do to wrestle the lead back. They played responsibly and confidently in the second half.
Lions 28 – 23 Highlanders
Stormers managed to just edge past the Brumbies on Saturday in a match that resembled the Lions game earlier. Brumbies took the lead early on through Joe Tomane but Catrakilis managed to kick some points on the board for Stormers and kept them within reach of victory. That moment came from a Schalk Burger try in the second half, and again coupled with Catrakilis’ kicking it proved too much for the Dave Pocock try for Brumbies. The Stormers had just managed the win by the slightest of margins which puts them at the top of the South African conference before their bye this coming weekend.
Stormers 25 – 24 Brumbies
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 14:53 23.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 11 Preview
The Waikato Chiefs will be reeling after their loss of Aaron Cruden to injury in their last game against the Crusaders. The young man was looking a promising prospect to the All Blacks squad come this year’s World Cup, but he will unfortunately not be considered because of his injury. His replacement in the Chiefs squad is Marty McKenzie, who will make his first start when Chiefs welcome Western Force to Hamilton on Friday. Other starts include prop Tokolahi and winger Heem. The Chiefs should take the win against the weak Force that sees the return of their captain Matt Hodgson as well as scrumhalf Prior. Force is essentially playing the Chiefs with their strongest squad, but it may not be enough in Hamilton. For this reason Chiefs’ betting odds are as high as 1/9 to Force’s 15/2.
The Brumbies face the Highlanders at their home stadium in Canberra, and they will be hoping to cover their embarrassing loss to the Rebels last week. In order to do this they will use the services of two SA born brothers in the front row; JP and Ruan Smith, as well as a new fullback Jesse Mogg. Look out for Ita Vaea after he won the number 8 jersey for the coming match. The in-form Highlanders will have a difficult game ahead of them because of national team obligations and a long injury list that means starts for those usually resigned to the reserve bench. Scrumhalf Tanaka makes his debut start as well as fullback Renata. Man to watch will be Tom Franklin as lock who seeks to cement his place in the squad. Super rugby betting odds favour the Brumbies at 4/10 to Highlanders’ 23/10
The first game on Saturday is between the Crusaders and Blues in Christchurch. One more loss for the Crusaders would likely see them drop to the bottom five in the tournament tables, so there are a few important changes on the cards. Mitchell Drummond makes a start as fly-half while Ryan Crotty will start at centre. All Black Crotty has yet to make a huge impact in Crusaders’ game, so he will need to play well in the coming match. Blues have one of the strongest forward packs in the New Zealand conference, but a few of the All Blacks will be rested this week. However this leaves a few older All Blacks like Mealamu and Woodcock enforcing the Blues game come Saturday. Rugby bettors will favour a Crusaders win at 1/3 to Blues’ 28/10.
It would be harsh to call the Waratahs a shadow of their squad last year, but they don’t seem to have quite the viciousness that they displayed in the 2014 season. They need to be wary of the strong rebels who managed to defeat the Brumbies last week. With captain Dave Dennis playing as eight man and Mitchell Chapman starting as lock, the Waratahs are looking at boosting the forward pack to better reflect their excellent backs. Rebels make a change by adding Cadeyrn Neville as lock. Dom Shipperley will be sure to make his presence known on the Rebels wing after he has played excellently consecutively. Chance favours the Waratahs at 1/5 to Rebels’ 9/2.
The first match in South Africa this weekend is being played in Ellis Park where the Cheetahs travel to do battle with the enlivened Lions. Lions will be without a seriously injured Minnie, but Armand v.d. Merwe and Ruan Dreyer will start in the forward pack while Courtnall Skosan comes back to add pace to the Lions wing. They may be able to beat the Cheetahs who have neither their Bokke prop Oosthuizen nor full-back van Wyk after Cheetahs lost them both to injury. This means Pietersen will play as fullback, and prop Maks van Dyk and fly-half Willie du plessis make their starts. Rugby pundits will put their money behind the Lions at 1/3 to Cheetahs’ 28/10.
The Stormers return to SA off the back of a win, but they already have a tough challenge when they face the Bulls in Cape Town on Saturday. After losing van Wyk to injury in Perth, and having Dillyn Leyds remain injured, Stormers will have to rely on the likes of Carr and Carizza to carry the team. Duane Vermeulen also makes his return to the squad, while Huw Jones, Johnny Kotze and Pat Howard are all likely to start too. Bulls, however, are likely to start the young Piet van Zyl as a replacement for the injured Rudy Paige. This is good news for those who believe Hougaard makes an excellent winger. Serfontein also comes back into the squad on Saturday. Odds favour a Stormers win as they remain at 7/10 to Bulls’ 27/20.
There is a Sunday fixture this weekend in Brisbane where the Reds welcome the Hurricanes. The Reds, who did well to earn their second victory of the season last week, have a tough task against the Hurricanes. They will need to take a note from the Waratahs book when they managed to counter the pacey Hurricanes. Adam Korczyk will again start for the Reds while Anthony Fainga’a comes in at centre. They may miss the presence of Karmichael at fullback. Hurricanes though are without Milner-Skudder, but have replaced him with James Marshall at full-back. The rest of the squad is made up of the Hurricanes faithful. Beauden Barrett stands to make a Hurricanes record if he scores points on Sunday. Reds are predicted to be the weaker of the two teams at 26/10 to Hurricanes’ 7/20
Sharks are on bye this weekend and should use the time to rethink strategy and reformulate the team after their recent losses. Make sure to place your bets with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier sports betting company and bookmaker.
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 13:53 20.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 10 Review
The Chiefs made their intentions known on Friday when they beat the Crusaders in Christchurch. Their dominance was not matched by the Crusaders who made plenty of mistakes which were eagerly pounced upon by the Chiefs players. A McCaw mistake led to a Mike Leitch try, while an Andy Ellis error led to a James Lowe breakaway try too. Chiefs then made matters worse for the Crusaders in the second half when Liam Squire scored a third. The game did not end perfectly for the Chiefs though, as Aaron Cruden walked off the field injured in the first half. The game leaves Chiefs second in the New Zealand conference after the Hurricanes, while Crusaders are lagging behind mid-table.
Crusaders 9 – 26 Chiefs
It was a high scoring game on Saturday when the Waratahs travelled to Wellington to face the Hurricanes. This was no surprise as both teams are attacking enterprises, but the result was a shock as it was the first loss that the Hurricanes have experienced all season. It was unfortunate that Hurricanes were not the first to score as they came close twice, but it was Tah’s Peter Betham that crossed the line first. Conrad Smith pulled one back for the Hurricanes before Beauden Barrett scored a cracking try off his own chip giving Hurricanes the lead. The strong Waratahs forwards contributed with a try before Brad Shields immediately answered again for Hurricanes. Waratahs drew level with Hurricanes just before the half off another Betham try. Isreal Folau scored a brilliant try in the second half for Tahs, and Hurricanes a five-pointer thanks to TJ Perenara, but Ben Foley’s kicking for the Australians was marginally better than Barrett’s, which saw Waratahs taking maximum points.
Hurricanes 24 – 29 Waratahs
Highlanders have been surprising a few people recently, and they have again quelled critics after they beat the Blues on Saturday. The Highlanders forward pack played much better than the Blues’, and Waisake Naholo showed his creative attacking presence after he created the first try and scored the second for Highlanders. The last Highlanders try was scored before the half and it was the second for Malakai Fekitoa. Blues were a different team in the second half though, and after they replaced the existing forwards with a few All Blacks they started setting themselves up for a few tries. George Moala was the first, followed by Patrick Tuipulotu and then Kevin Mealamu. Mealamu scored his second toward the end, but it was a little too late for the Blues as Lima Sopoaga had been consistently kicking penalties for the Highlanders.
Highlanders 30 – 24 Blues
The rebels shocked the Brumbies and pundits in Canberra from the moment that the excellent Nic Stirzaker broke from a scrum in the first half to set up Sefanaia Naivalu for a try. The rest of the match proved cagey and tricky for both teams on the wet surface. The low scoring game only saw its second try when Brumbies put through Henry Speight to come close to catching the Rebels. Rebels put up a solid defence though, and a kick by Mike Harris had them safely winning the game.
Brumbies 8 – 13 Rebels
Another low scoring game was played in Perth between Western Force and the Stormers where the Capetonians took the honours of the winning points. The Stormers were not at their best, but they were awarded with a penalty try after ten minutes of play when they constantly harassed Force’s try line. The rest of the game was a show of Force possession, but they were not able to take advantage and score that crucial try.
Western Force 6 – 13 Stormers
Another big game in South Africa took place on Saturday when the Bulls travelled to Kings Park to play the Sharks. The Sharks had previously lost to the Bulls at Loftus and were hoping to seek revenge, but it was not to be. The game was too close to call, and the first try break came courtesy of Francois Hougaard. Marcell Coetzee scored the Sharks try in the second half, but the close game saw Bulls edge the Sharks through the boot of Handre Pollard. The game had its injuries (Ndungane), handling errors and ill-discipline, so it will not be one well remembered by either team.
Sharks 10 – 17 Bulls
It was a nervy ending that saw the Reds win their first game on the road in Bloemfontein to an unfortunate Cheetahs. The Cheetahs suffered a string of important injuries in the first half, but it was the flashy skills of the young O’Connor that set the Reds up for victory. The youngster had a part in both tries by Adam Korczyk and Samu Kerevi and then kicked the Reds to their narrow victory. Cheetahs tries through Ryno Benjamin and Boom Prinsloo were not enough to bring the Free State victory as a last kick at the death was missed by fly-half Pietersen.
Cheetahs 17 – 18 Reds
Place all your Super Rugby betting with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier rugby betting company and bookmaker.
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:07 16.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 10 Preview
Round ten of Super Rugby sees only one game being played on Saturday. The colossal contest is between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch. The Crusaders will be eager to get back to winning ways after their embarrassing defeat at home to the Highlanders last week, which puts the team mid table. Dan Carter starts against the Chiefs tomorrow, but the big changes are in the forward pack where Luke Romano starts as lock. The big Kiwi likes to carry the ball and will do well in reinforcing a forward pack with four other changes. Chiefs however are returning after their bye with a strong line-up. Nanai-Williams and Sonny Williams return to the backs. Man to watch will be Leitch at eighth-man who keeps showing promise. BetXchange rugby betting odds favour the Crusaders at 13/20 to Chiefs’ 14/10.
Hurricanes welcome the titleholders Waratahs to New Zealand on Saturday. Hurricanes remain unbeaten and in first place even with a game in hand. The strong squad will be hoping to reward centenary lock Jeremy Thrush with another win, and they are more than likely going to make the big man happy. Beauden Barrett is in fine fettle in front of the posts, while the rest of the team is a fine model of a winning rugby team. Waratah’s will need to do a lot better if they hope to retain their Super Rugby title. After their loss to Stormers, their team has taken another knock as they will be without Potgieter at the front as well as Naiyaravoro. Adam Ashley-Cooper returns to the squad, and the centre will likely cause the Hurricanes problems. Even with the threat of Ashley-Cooper Hurricanes’ odds remain high at 4/10 to Waratahs 22/10.
Highlanders face the Blues in Dunedin and after their famous victory over the Crusaders they will be looking for Blues scalps all the same. Highlanders, often considered the weakest outfit in New Zealand, have now won five out of seven games, and they have a game in hand. Watch out for fullback Richard Buckman who makes aggressive forward romps. Blues will also be looking for a win after they won their first game when they played Brumbies last week. Momentum is important in rugby, and Blues will be hoping that a squad rotation is key. Although the squad will be lacking their most experienced players, the presence of youth may invigorate the Blues game. Akira Ioane is the man to watch at flank. Pundits will consider Highlanders the stronger team as their odds are at 9/20 to Blues’ 21/10.
Brumbies, nursing themselves after the Blues loss, will have to do without their best players when they play the Rebels at home. Matt Toomua’s injury will be the most concerning, but Lealiifano should cover Toomua’s position well. New players like Michael Dowsett, Nigel Ah Wong and JP Smith have important duties on Saturday. Rebels keep the squad which played so well against Reds two weeks ago, and they will be looking to give the Brumbies a headache. While centre Tamati Ellison will enjoy his hundredth cap, it is Mitch Inman who poses the greatest threat to Brumbies. The centre, who plays for Australian Sevens, has shown promising form. Odds still favour the Brumbies though. Their 1/6 odds overshadow the Rebels’ 11/2.
Western Force has the tough task of holding back a powerful Stormers squad. The Force has not been the surprise package that we were expecting this year. Rather the Rebels have been those to claim that banner. Force has just not been as stern in their defence and as defiant in their attack as they were last year. Inspiration from well-loved players like Cummins, Alcock and Cowan is needed in order for Force to step on time. Stormers will turn on the heat, a certainty only proven by the new faces on the starting line-up. Mbonambi, Botha, Kolisi will want to make an impact, while the likes of de Jongh will likely punish Force’s mistakes. Odds favour the away team Stormers as they sit on 5/10 to Force’s 19/10.
Sharks and Bulls play in the great South African derby in Durban this Saturday, and Sharks surely believe that they need to place emphasis on strengthening their forward pack which was unable to halt the Lions advance last week. Beast and Jannie du Plessis are there this week to fix the holes, but they will need to find general commitment from players in order to beat the Bulls. Bulls will be welcome back Pollard from rest, as well as Strauss who will fill in as hooker. Strauss will be between two replacement props Marcel van der Merwe and Dean Greyling as they also seek to take advantage of the weak-looking Sharks scrum. Odds marginally favour Sharks at home on 9/10 to Bulls’ 21/20.
Cheetahs will enjoy the prospect of beating Reds in Bloemfontein. Their effectiveness this season has been due to their effectiveness in the air and most set-pieces. Their ability to tear off rucks, mauls and scrums with flanks like Prinsloo and Brussow will be most beneficial against the weak Reds squad. Reds will pray that O’Connor and Horwill will make the difference come Saturday. They will actually be playing against the Cheetahs with their strongest squad to date, so they will have little excuse if the team does fall once again. Odds favour the Cheetahs at 4/10 to Reds’ 22/10.
The Lions are on bye for this week. Make sure to place all your rugby bets with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier sports betting company and bookmaker!
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 16:12 13.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 9 Review
On Friday, the first match of the weekend between Blues and Brumbies, we were rewarded with a surprise by the Blues. Playing from home, the odds were still stacked against the Blues because of their terrible form this season, but they played with intensity against the Brumbies, and pulled off a try, conversion and two penalties in the first half all by Dan Bowden. Brumbies answered the Blues’ first half dominance with the same, a try by Lausii Taliauli and kicking by Lealiifano. Blues managed to put up a stoic defence though, and in the last five minutes they were rewarded with a penalty that was converted by Ihaia West.
Blues 16 – 14 Brumbies
Another shocker was on the cards when Highlanders travelled to Christchurch to face the Crusaders on Saturday. After their thumping of the Sharks the week before, many believed that Crusaders would severely punish the Highlanders, but it was not to be. Crusaders made a strong start with tries by flankers Matt Todd and Jordan Taufua, but Highlanders countered with tries by Captain Ben Smith and Waisake Naholo. A second Naholo try signalled the death knell, and while Colin Slade’s kicking clawed the Crusaders’ score forward, it fell short of the Highlanders total. It must be mentioned that Crusaders were conceding many penalties, and Lima Sopoaga made good work on his kicking for the Highlanders.
Crusaders 20 – 25 Highlanders
There was a third rarity this weekend when the Stormers gave the Waratahs a lesson in rugby in Sydney. Stormers were looking weak while on tour before Saturday, but against the Waratahs they showed Australasia the kind of rugby that South Africans need to emulate; a heavily fortified defence, where forwards crash forward with the ball and the backs are a figure of movement and creativity. Waratahs first scored through Naiyaravoro before Stormers replied with Damian de Allende’s try. Another ‘Tahs try by Horne had them winning at the half, but Stormers were ruthless after the break. Tries by van Wyk, a second by de Allende and another through Cheslin Kolbe helped the Stormers to victory. Catrakilis’ kicking kept Stormers in touch with the Waratahs in the first half, but Ben Foley was unable to do the same for the ‘Tahs in the second because of some great Stormers discipline.
Waratahs 18 – 32 Stormers
A second South African side to get in the points this weekend was the Cheetahs when they played Western Force in Perth. Joe Pietersen showed his international fly-half rugby intentions by kicking the Cheetahs to victory with three penalties, a conversion and one drop kick. The Force was leading when they went over the line with Chris Alcock and Luke Morahan, but Raymond Rhule and Heinrich Brussow also scored for Cheetahs in the second half. Coupled with Pietersen’s kicking Cheetahs finally left their mark in Australia after a short losing streak.
Western Force 15 – 24 Cheetahs
In a weekend of surprises it was perhaps no surprise that the Sharks lost to the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday night. All that separated the Lions from the Sharks was a single penalty kick by Elton Jantjies. In an open, counter-attacking game, both Lions and Sharks scored three tries. Sharks went ahead with two tries, one by Renaldo Bothma and the other by Lwazi Mvovo before Howard Mnisi crashed over for Lions. Two more tries by Lions through Faf de Klerk and Harold Vorster saw Lions leap the Sharks for the lead, but they had to hold on tight as a Sharks try via Thomas du Toit meant that Lions won by only two points.
Lions 23 – 21 Sharks
Bulls did well to thrash the Reds on Saturday in a game that resembled the Lions-Sharks match in terms of open attacking. But it was Reds who had more infringements which allowed the Bulls to score three tries before the half. A double by Hougaard and one by Spies meant that Bulls went into the break 24-5 in front. Lachie Turner’s initial try for Reds was joined by tries from Will Genia and Nick Frisby in the second half, and it was looking like turning into a cracker. However Reds was given a yellow card and Bulls used the chance to cross the line with Marcel van der Merwe, Burger Odendaal and Piet van Zyl. A Reds consolation try by Marco Kotze was not enough to overcome a dominant Bulls squad. Watch here: https://youtu.be/fj2T-3t85Zk
Bulls 43 – 22 Reds
In a weekend of shockers there were some big pay-outs for a few individuals that placed their bets with BetXchange. Make sure to place your bets on your favourites with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier rugby betting company and bookmaker.
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:05 09.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Round 9 Preview
We’re already into round 9 of this year’s Super Rugby tournament, but this doesn’t mean that the table is incapable of changing. Hurricanes and Chiefs have been indomitable forces so far in the season, but the Highlanders will be looking to catch them in the coming weeks. In the meantime the Brumbies are by far the strongest Australian outfit, while Bulls and Sharks make up the most capable African squads.
This Friday’s first game is between the Blues and Brumbies in New Zealand. Blues, who are playing their first game in their traditional home ground at Eden Park which was out of action due to the Cricket World Cup, will hope that the change in venue will inspire a change in performance. With a few changes in the forward pack that removes veterans Keven Mealamu and Hayden Triggs, Jerome Kaino must ensure that Blues take the points in the coming game. Brumbies will be a tough team to face. Their pacey display against a heavy Cheetahs squad last week will be attempted again with the exact same squad this Friday. The battle will be up front where the likes of Brumbies’ Scott Sio and Stephen Moore will come up against James Parsons and Charlie Faumaina. BetXchange odds favour the Brumbies at 7/10 to Blues’ 27/20.
Crusaders came alive during their last game when they thrashed the Sharks in Durban, and they will carry that impetus with them back home where they host the Highlanders. With a few changes up front to relieve the forwards, the backline will remain the same. Colin Slade will be the man to watch after his creativity last week. This will be a tough game, though, as Highlanders have proven themselves in their last game where they beat the Stormers. Highlanders’ star man is Waisake Naholo whose speed and pace may find his team some points in the corners. Winning odds are clearly with Crusaders at 2/7 to Highlanders’ 33/10.
Waratahs welcome the Stormers to Sydney on Saturday, and their starting line-up also remains the same after they beat the Blues two weeks ago. They also show promise of finding their winning form that they showed last season and with Adam Ashley-Cooper returning to the bench Waratahs are on the way up. Look out for forwards Will Skelton and Jacques Potgieter who enjoy crashing forward with the ball. Stormers have not had a good road trip so far, and losses against Highlanders and Hurricanes need to be rectified. With Bok Frans Malherbe starting as prop, and a returning Nizaam Carr and Juan de Jongh, the Stormers may have the much needed belief. Waratahs are to win with odds of 2/7 to Stormers’ 33/10.
Western Force is also looking for some much needed points, and they will be eyeing an injured Cheetahs squad. Force, who come back from South Africa bleeding, are happy to welcome back Chris Alcock who was injured. Man to watch will be Dane Haylett-Petty at fullback as he shows pace and craftiness. Cheetahs are also anxious to return star players to their line-up, in particular Sarel Pretorius. Pretorius is an intelligent scrum-half who is crucial to Cheetahs phase and driving rugby style. Rugby betting odds favour Force at 5/10 to Cheetahs’ 19/10.
The first game in South Africa is being played at Ellis Park between the Lions and the Sharks. Lions have been in excellent form lately, and players like Tecklenburg and Jantjies have been champions of that form. With Faf de Klerk starting as fly-half after his excellent display last week, Lions will be looking for another hard-fought victory. Sharks in their darkest of moments have been known to play some of their best rugby, and Lions might just be the punching bag after their Crusaders match. With Fred Zeilinga replacing an injured Lambie, and Alberts and Sithole returning to the team, they will look for a solid victory in Johannesburg. Lions remain with the stronger of the odds between the two sides at 9/10 to Sharks’ 21/20.
Bulls will need to bounce back after their loss to the Lions last week, and they may believe that Reds are an easily beaten adversary. Without Handre Pollard, Jan Serfontein and Adriaan Strauss, the Bulls should still win the coming game. Look out for Pierre Spies and the other Bulls forwards as they will be running at the Reds’ line directly. Reds will have to do something special in order to win a game in South Africa, and they will start Karmichael Hunt and Nick Frisby in the coming match. Keep a lookout for Hunt’s explosive runs. Bulls should easily win as their odds are 1/12 to Reds’ 9/1.
Chiefs, Hurricanes and Rebels are on bye this week which allows the other teams to catch the top two. Make sure you place your bets with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier sports betting and rugby betting company and bookmaker.
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 13:30 07.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Round 8 Review
Week 8 of Super Rugby saw some amazing tries, and the weekend kicked off well when the Stormers gave the Hurricanes a run for their money when they met in Wellington. Although the Hurricanes beat the Stormers on the day, making it seven wins in a row, Stormers were the stronger team during periods of play. Hurricanes scored three tries in the first half, Nehe Milner-Skudder scoring the first after his own break through the Stormers line, followed by tries from Julian Savea and Beauden Barrett. Stormers attacked the Hurricanes relentlessly in the second half, and were rewarded with a penalty try before Huw Jones went over in the corner toward the end of the match. Milner-Skudder was definitely most deserving of man-of-the-match after his terrific pace and attacking talent.
Hurricanes 25 – 20 Stormers
Reds were beaten again this weekend in Melbourne to the Rebels. The loss makes them the weakest team in the Australian conference. The Queenslanders were looking the better team at the beginning of the match though, as James Horwill and Jake Schatz crashed over the try-line, but Horwill was sent off after punching a Rebels player. From that moment onward the Rebels had the Reds pushed up into their own half, and Lopeti Timani and Tom English scored before the half time whistle. Nic Stirzaker’s brilliant performance encouraged the Rebels’ comeback as he offloaded well and ran at the Reds defence, and he assisted in setting up Sefanaia Naivalu to score the game’s final try.
Rebels 23 – 15 Reds
The first match on Saturday was played at the Waikato where Chiefs displayed their capabilities again by rallying and beating a strong Blues squad. James Lowe’s first half try was contested by the Blues in the second-half, and their heavy dominance ensured that Jerome Kaino toppled over the try-line. But an error strewn game was far from conclusion as Chiefs eventually scored a second try through Tom Marshall. Aaron Cruden was outstanding in front of the posts, but Chiefs, as well as Blues, will need to improve on their handling which cost them both penalties and turnovers.
Chiefs 23 – 16 Blues
It was an edgy game in Canberra where Brumbies looked to outstretch the Cheetahs, while Cheetahs showed some defiant defending. It was not good enough from the Cheetahs though. An early try by Christian Lealiifano before the Cheetahs developed their defensive composure was only buttressed by a Blake Enever try in the second half. Brumbies had a few more efforts dismissed by the referee. The stalwart Cheetahs defending will need to be substituted by some heavier attacking when they face the Force next week, while Brumbies will expect another win when they travel to the Blues.
Brumbies 20 – 3 Cheetahs
The Sharks were utterly brutalised on Saturday by the travelling Crusaders. The Crusaders scored eight tries to Sharks’ one when Odwa Ndungane was sent over for a try that cannot even be called a consolation. Crusaders were clinical with their passing, strong at the front, and dissecting when it came to moving the ball and breaking through the Sharks line. The match was a tense affair that was illustrated by the players’ emotional responses as three Crusaders players were yellow carded and Sharks’ Jean Deysel was red carded as he kneed a Crusaders player in the head. Variations of tries were scored by Andy Ellis, Israel Dagg, Kieron Fonotia, Ryan Crotty, Colin Slade, David Havili, Matt Todd and Tom Taylor.
Sharks 10 – 52 Crusaders
The exciting Lions-Bulls encounter ended when Lions just sneaked ahead at the end. The game was continuously close, and both teams swapped the lead for much of the match as Jacques Potgieter and Elton Jantjies both kicked well. Both sides seemed to sway back and forth and the crashing tide of forwards must have punished the players. But it was the Bulls who will be most hurt after they allowed Armand van der Merwe to cross their try-line after a quick tap-and-go from Faf de Klerk right at the last.
Lions 22 – 18 Bulls
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 12:23 02.04-2015
Super XV Rugby Round 8 Preview
Easter weekend rugby action is primed and ready to entertain. Will the tables be turned or will the current table toppers further instil their rugby dominance?
The first game of the weekend is being played in Wellington where Stormers travel to clash with the tournaments strongest squad, the Hurricanes. Hurricanes’ dominance comes down to their terrific discipline on the field as they have shown the least number of infringes this season. This, coupled with ferocious defence has allowed the Hurricanes to clock points while opposition has struggled to do the same against them. Players like Nehe Milner-Skudder and Beauden Barrett have ensured Hurricanes’ attacking impetus, while stalwarts like Ma’a Nonu (playing his 150th game this weekend) and forwards like Ben Franks ensure responsible rucking and phase play. Stormers will be looking to come back from their loss to the Highlanders last weekend and take back points to Cape Town. The return of a few Boks will hopefully reinforce the squad and bring back winning ways. Stormers’ strong maul will be supplemented by the Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth return. Rugby betting odds favour the Hurricanes at 1/3 to Stormers’ 28/10.
Melbourne Rebels welcome the Reds who are in dire straits following their string of losses, and Rebels will be hoping to add to the Reds woes. After their loss to the Hurricanes last week, Rebels will be thankful for the return of Lopeti Timani. Although they are still without their talented winger Dom Shipperley, Rebels will look to Tom English and Tamati Ellison for movement on the wings. Reds, however, make a few important changes in flanker Liam Gill and winger Feauai-Sautia returning to the line-up. Reds have gone as far as welcoming Karmichael Hunt back into the fold. Quade Cooper will need to turn his bad form onto its head if he plans on being the team’s most valued player. Rebels’ odds are better going into this game at 7/10 to Reds’ 13/10.
Chiefs are back at home and their second game in Hamilton is this week against the struggling Blues. Chiefs will be eying victory as Blues have shown defensive weakness when they open up to attempt to score against opposition, and when it comes to scoring tries, Chiefs are relentless. Brodie Retallick, Kiwi lock, returns to the team while Augustine Pulu is at scrumhalf. Man to watch will be Andrew Horrell at centre. Blues will be without an important forward in Tony Woodcock as he is out with concussion, but their secret weapon this weekend comes in the form of Pita Ahki in centre. Chiefs are favourites at 1/5 to Blues’ 9/2.
Brumbies are expecting to beat the Cheetahs in Canberra as they challenge the Waratahs for the position at the top of the Australian conference. Without their pacey Kuridrani they will instead use Henry Speight as outside centre, while Wallabies flank David Pocock will make his presence felt. Cheetahs are not ready to lose though. The Brumbies clash may be Cheetahs’ opportunity for resurgence as Boks Willie le Roux and Coenie Oosthuizen are back on the field, and they will look to punch that Brumbies defence over and over and over again in order to score crucial tries, but that will require them to hold onto the ball; no small task. Brumbies should win the game with odds of 1/7 to Cheetahs’ 13/2.
First game in South Africa for the weekend is at the Shark Tank in Durban. Pat Lambie has the huge task of denying the Crusaders a victory in South Africa as he captains a side which stands a chance of beating the New Zealanders. With Cobus Reinach at scrumhalf and Marcell Coetzee at flank, there is enough variation in the Sharks squad to leave Crusaders flat footed. Crusaders, though, expect this to be a demanding challenge and Matt Todd is expected to reinforce the Crusaders in the battle of the forwards while Colin Slade takes the place of the dangerous Dan Carter. This is no reprieve for the Sharks, though, because Slade has shown himself to be more than capable at flyhalf. Sharks are the close favourites for the match as they go in at 8/10 to Crusaders’ 23/20.
The last game for the weekend is being played at Ellis Park where Bulls leave their Loftus bastion to face the Lions. Lions come back from a very successful tour of Australasia, and the pack of forwards are offered respite as rested Jacques van Rooyen and Andries Ferreira fall in. Man to watch will be Harold Vorster as he will run at the Bulls line in front of a large home crowd. Bulls will also be without Handre Pollard this weekend, but Jacques-Louis Potgieter will take his place at flyhalf. Bulls have become increasingly powerful this season, and this is reflected in their winning odds of 7/10 to Lions’ 27/20.
Western Force, Waratahs and Highlanders are on bye this weekend. Make sure to place your rugby bets with BetXchange, South Africa’s premier sports betting company and bookmaker.
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 12:23 31.03-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 7 Review
Week 7 of Super Rugby has seen few changes on the Super Rugby tables, as Hurricanes still sit on top as they have won all their fixtures so far. Brumbies are at the top of the Australian conference while Sharks still dominate in South Africa.
The first match on Friday between the Hurricanes and Rebels was not one sided, but neither was it much of a challenge for the unbeaten Hurricanes at their home ground in Wellington. Hurricanes could have gone into the break concerned that they were losing, but they were a much better team in the second half. Hurricanes took control of the loose-ball to score two tries early in the second half, while Nehe Milner-Skudder was inspirational for Hurricanes as he scored two tries in the last five minutes. Rebels had no answer to the Hurricanes threat.
Hurricanes 36 – 12 Rebels
Lions have won three out of four during their tour of Australasia, and they punished the Reds who show little attacking impetus this Super Rugby season. The Lions scored two tries, by Harold Vorster and Warwick Tecklenburg, before the Reds answered with their own. A penalty try and a Samu Kerevi dive were not enough to catch up to the Lions though. The Lions showed how capable their defence is at the best of times, and the Reds have to seriously consider their options going into the next match.
Reds 17 – 18 Lions
Chiefs were lucky to hold onto a win against the Cheetahs after a messy display of rugby by both teams. Chiefs conceded too many penalties, a fact that allowed the Cheetahs to keep in touch with the Chiefs scoring. Tries by Leitch and Messam was answered by a Boom Prinsloo try off a Cheetahs drive from a line-out. Two more Chiefs tries (Cane and Horrell) were challenged by Cheetahs’ heavy driving which resulted in two tries by Heinrich Brussow. Although Cheetahs were brave to take the game to the Chiefs following the lacklustre Chiefs discipline they fell short of the Chiefs score.
Chiefs 37 – 27 Cheetahs
Highlanders outscored the Stormers on Saturday in Dunedin where they regularly found gaps in the Stormers line. An early de Jongh try was made obsolete when the Highlanders let rip with their explosive pace and scored three tries courtesy of Aaron Smith and Waisake Naholo before the half. They were as tenacious in the second half, scoring early through Osborne and again through Pryor. A Rhodes try for the Stormers was little consolation as Highlanders eclipsed their Stormers curse.
Highlanders 39 – 21 Stormers
Waratahs was the better of two clumsy teams when they played the Blues in Sydney. It wasn’t an overly impressive match, but the ‘Tahs managed to score an early try via Nick Phipps, and a follow up toward the match’s end which had them take the winning points. The Blues did well to fight back, but that fight proved altogether too costly as there were many penalties conceded, and well taken by Bernard Foley for the Waratahs.
Waratahs 23 – 11 Blues
Western Force was very unlucky not to bag some away points in Durban as they lost at the end to a Lwazi Mvovo try. Force were the better team on the day, and Sharks had to constantly defend against powerful Force pick-and-drives which resulted in two tries before they were disall0owed by the referee. Sharks were fortunate to land a try early in the second half with SP Marais the scorer, while Mvovo scored his at the end of the match. Although Force was constantly within winning distance via the boot of Ebersohn, they lost it at the end.
Sharks 15 – 9 Force
Bulls managed to overcome the Crusaders threat in Pretoria on Saturday resoundingly. Three tries by the Bulls, and brilliant kicking by fly-half Handre Pollard ensured their victory. A thrilling first half where Francois Hougaard and Burger Odendaal scored for Bulls and Nemani Nadolo for Crusaders was tight and edgy because Dan Carter kept the visitors in the race. But a second half try by Grant Hattingh and slip ups from Crusaders helped Pollard line up a number of goal attempts which he took with ease.
Bulls 31 – 19 Crusaders
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 18.03-2015
Super XV Rugby Round 7 Preview
Super Rugby Round 7 beckons. Last week was pretty good for South African teams, apart from a bullied Cheetahs. Lions was composed and strong when they beat a Rebels side in Melbourne, while Sharks and Chiefs left a messy wake after their game in Durban where the locals hung on to a win with a point. Bulls also struggled to contain Western Force, and wins by Highlanders and Waratahs concluded a weekend of messy rugby.
This Friday Hurricanes are playing at home in Wellington as they face a threatened Rebels who suffered at the hands of a strong Lions pack last week. Rebels looked weak in front of the forwards onslaught, but now they will need to be both resolute to similar attacking rugby and even better runs by centres like Ma’a Nonu and Matt Proctor. Without winger Dom Shipperley, Rebels may lack the attacking impetus to beat Hurricanes.
Hurricanes’ rugby betting odds are at 1/6 to Rebels’ 6/1
The weak Reds side welcome the resurgent Lions to Brisbane on Friday, but they will be expecting a victory against what many consider the weakest South African side. Wallabies return to the Reds roster in the form of Cooper, O’Connor and Turner. Man to watch will be Kerevi on the wing. Lions make a few changes in the back, but they leave their forward pack almost untouched. Powerhouses like Robbie Coetzee, Warren Whiteley and Warwick Tecklenburg will be of the utmost importance if Lions want to win.
Reds winning odds are at 7/20 to Lions’ 27/10
Chiefs play back at home after a brief South African tour and they will be playing a strong side that sees a return for a few injured players. Williams will be the biggest addition to the Chiefs side, but a new front row of forwards will hopefully give the high-flying Chiefs the added impetus when facing the Cheetahs. Cheetahs will be looking to make good after a terrible game against the Crusaders last week, but a host of rotations and injuries mean that the squad looks weak. Brussouw, Sykes and van Dyk will need to ensure that they retain normal Cheetahs composure within the forward pack.
Pundits will find Chiefs odds at 1/12 to Cheetahs’ 10/1
Highlanders were unlucky to lose to the Hurricanes last week, so Stormers must be wary of a vengeful comeback. A start for flanker Lentjes and hooker Dixon will reinforce the forward pack, but as usual their creative impetus will come from the likes of Shaun Treeby and Waisake Naholo. Stormers must try and return to winning ways as De Jongh captains the side and Schalk Burger makes a hundredth start for the team. Man to watch will be Steven Kitshoff who has done nothing but impress in the rucks.
Highlanders’ winning odds are 13/20 to Stormers’ 14/10
Waratahs will need to be thick-skinned when they host the Blues in Australia on Saturday, but they should be able to craft more try scoring opportunities than the New Zealanders. Waratahs will rely on their pace with players like Carraro and Naiyaravoro on the wings. Blues debut Dan Bowden will likely impress in place of Ihaia West, but even All Blacks like fullback Charles Piutau may not be enough to thwart a ‘Tahs win.
Waratahs have winning rugby betting odds of 2/11 to Blues’ 5/1
First game in South Africa this weekend is between the Sharks and the Western Force in Durban. Sharks also have a changed squad due to resting rotations, and Western Force offers them the greatest opportunity to throw in a few less common faces. Kyle Cooper at hooker and Andre Esterhuizen at centre are some of those changes. They should beat a brave Force squad though, which seems to get better every year. Nick Cummins and Marcel Brache are their main attacking avenues.
Odds favour the Sharks at 2/11 to Force’s 5/1
The last game of the weekend will most likely prove to be a cracker. Bulls face Crusaders in Pretoria and they need to be in top form if they expect a win after they were barely victorious against Force last week. Nyakane and Mellet make it into the pack, but fans will expect to see more from centres like Hougaard if they want to threaten the Crusaders’ try-line. Richie McCaw makes it back to the squad, and Dan Carter makes it back to fly-half.
Bulls have slightly less chance of winning at 21/20 to Crusaders’ better 9/10
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 18.03-2015
Super XV Rugby Round 6 Preview
A Super Rugby weekend filled with the thrills and spills of the world’s greatest rugby union tournament is upon us again! The weekend also promises big wins in terms of bets, and BetXchange hosts the most competitive odds for all you pundits. The first game of the weekend is between the Highlanders and the Hurricanes in Dunedin. The Highlanders have shown real quality of late, and their attacking display against Waratahs was exemplary. With a pacey backline that likes running with the ball, Hurricanes must tread carefully when playing the Highlanders. Their forwards will need to be disciplined so that they can turnover balls in the rucks. All eyes will be on lock Jeremy Thrush and winger Cory Jane, while Highlanders will be hoping that their wingers like Waisake Naholo are as impressive as usual.
Rugby betting odds favour a Highlanders victory at 17/20 to Hurricanes’ 11/10
Mid-table Melbourne Rebels welcome the travelling Lions and they will be hoping to climb the tables ever higher. Lions present an opportunity for Rebels after they beat Force in their last outing. Although Tomani will be out of the Lions clash they look strong enough to pip the Lions. Man to watch will be eighth-man Scott Higginbotham who will face heavy Lions forwards like Tecklenburg. Lions will also be looking to take home points, and Boshoff and Jantjies will prove crucial to Lions’ outing.
Rebels winning odds are strongest at 4/10 to Lions’ 23/10
Cheetahs are still reeling after the Sharks loss in Bloemfontein, but they have even heavier odds against them when they face the Crusaders in Christchurch. The Cheetahs had the weaker of the two packs of forwards in the Sharks game, so they will need to reassess their strategies, especially that concerning defence. Uys and Oosthuizen need to impress on Saturday when they come against McCaw and Read at the front, because Crusaders will outplay the Cheetahs from the back with players like Carter and Slade.
Betting on Crusaders will give you strong winning odds at 1/16 to Cheetahs’ 11/1
Bulls have made some fine rugby displays against South African teams so far this Super Rugby tournament, but will Force surprise Bulls with their quick transfer of the ball to wingers like Cummins, Brache and Holmes. Without Ndungane due to a broken hand, they will still believe they can beat the Force comfortably by punching forward with forwards like Strauss, Spies and Stegmann.
A Bulls victory is on the cards with favourable odds 1/10 to Force’s 8/1
Nanai-Williams and Sonny Bill Williams are likely not to feature against Sharks on Saturday, which will give Sharks the perfect opportunity to beat one of the tournament’s most threatening opponents in their back-yard. But any team with players like Aaron Cruden and Bryce Heem is still dangerous. The star-studded Sharks will emphasise their efforts from the front where the weight of forwards like Mtawarira, du Plessis, Kankowski and Marcel Coetzee will win them the game if they remain united and disciplined.
Odds are marginally stronger for a Sharks win at 1/1 to Chiefs’ 19/20
It’s a big Australian derby on Sunday when Waratahs host the Brumbies in Sydney, and they will be hoping for a rugby display not unlike their game against the Reds. Their last match playing Highlanders showed a slow Waratahs start, so they need to rush off the blocks when playing a quick Brumbies that boasts players like Kuridrani and Tomane. The battle between those Brumbies backs, and Waratah staples like Beale and Foley will be the tipping point in this close match.
A Waratahs victory has the slightly better winning odds at 8/10 to Brumbies’ 23/20
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 17.03-2015
Super XV Rugby Week 5 Preview
Round 5 of Super Rugby looks set to be a cracker. Not a single match looks to be a cake-walk for any of the Super Rugby teams. The in-form Hurricanes, who had a bye last week, will host their first Super Rugby game of 2015 by welcoming the Blues to their FMG Stadium. Hurricanes are supplementing their strong squad with fullback Nehe Milner-Skudder who returns from injury. TJ Perenara is also back in the Hurricanes starting line-up, and the scrum-half will definitely be the man to watch in a yellow shirt. The Hurricanes should be able to outmanoeuvre the Blues, who have had a horrid start to their season. The Blues have an outstanding pack of forwards that will perform well even without Kaino and Mealamu this weekend, but their backs are less than impressive and worries over the injured Jimmy Cowan are also cause for concern.
BetXchange favours a Hurricanes win with odds of 2/7 to Blues’ 7/2
Western Force will be keeping their squad relatively unchanged against Melbourne Rebels when they play their second game at home this weekend. The only change will be a start for Luke Burton as fullback. Force are a well-rounded team that only lacks the natural talent that a lot of the other Super Rugby teams have. That generalisation does not include Force’s winger Nick Cummins and lock Steve Mafi, the two players upon which this team often relies. They will ensure that the clash with Rebels will be entertaining. Rebels themselves, who look a much stronger team this year, will hope that Wallabies lock Luke Jones will make the crucial difference when playing next to the ever-impressive Lopeti Timani.
Odds favour a Western Force win at 6/10 to Rebels’ 31/20
Lions are the first South African team on Australasian tour, and coach Ackermann has rewarded the Lions victory last week with an unchanged squad. What made the difference against the Blues was Lions’ ability to fearlessly defend on their own line and plug any gaps, counter-attacking viciously when given the chance. Marnitz Boshoff makes it back to the bench, but Lions will have to rely on Mastriet and Combrinck for pacey counters. They may prove too weak for the strong Crusaders though whom have so much depth in their 2015 squad that they are making ten changes since their loss to Chiefs two weeks ago. Kieran Reed is back in the starting, as well as Dan Carter. The man to watch will be newbie Nemani Nadolo on the Crusaders wing.
BetXchange favours a Crusaders win with odds of 1/7 to Lions’ 15/2
A big game on Saturday between Highlanders and Waratahs will give the winner a real morale boost going into the middle of the tournament. Highlanders made a strong fight back against Chiefs last week, and only forced changes are made to the squad. Flanker Elliot Dixon is given the nod to help reinforce the forward heavy highlanders. Man to watch will be Patrick Osborne. Waratahs also look strong, but their error-strewn victory over Reds last week showed signs of weakness. No changes to the Waratahs means that the squad will need to address discipline and ball handling. Man to look for will be Bernard Foley at fly-half.
Odds favour a Waratahs win at 6/10 to Highlanders’ 15/10
Reds are desperate for a second Super Rugby win and Brumbies will be eyed with hunger by a damaged Reds squad. Reds have suffered many injuries of late but will welcome back James Horwill in the forward pack. James O’Connor’s injury means that Nick Frisby fills in as fly-half, and his relations with Will Genia on-field will be crucial for Reds’ performance. Anthony Fainga’a will be the man to watch as he is under pressure to step up his game. Brumbies, though, are a solid side that remains unchanged. The Brumbies pace has been exemplary this season, and stalwarts like Kuridrani, Tomane and Toomua are always in fine form.
BetXchange favours a Brumbies win with odds of 3/10 to Reds’ 29/10
Stormers welcome the touring Chiefs to South Africa. Chiefs will be playing what seems to be the strongest South African team, yet Stormers will be without three crucial players as Catrakilis, Etzebeth and Kotze are all rested. Kurt Coleman will have to do well to fill Catrakilis’ boots as the regular fly-half has performed splendidly so far in the tournament. Kobus van Wyk will be the man to watch as he replaces winger Kotze, and Damian de Allende as centre. Chiefs, having lost unceremoniously to the Highlanders last week, are hoping to reignite their fast and powerful game with the help of Sonny Bill Williams. Aaron Cruden and Liam Messam are also brilliant performers.
Odds favour a Stormers victory at 8/10 to Chiefs’ 23/20
A loss to the Bulls in Bloemfontein was a hard pill to swallow for the Cheetahs who had played so well up until that point last week, but they will be intending to do to the Sharks what they hoped they would do to the Bulls on Saturday. Having to rest Mohoje due to SARU regulations, Tienie Burger takes his place, and Sadie gets the nod for playing centre. Raymond Rhule will be the man to watch on the wing. Sharks will have to make desperate changes to their line-up after having lost three games so far this season. Jannie du Plessis joins Bismarck at prop, and Bothma at flank, changed that ensure that the pack of forwards will be vastly different to the pack that lost last week. Francois Steyn, after an edgy performance last week, will be the man to watch.
BetXchange favours a Sharks win at 7/10 to Cheetahs’ 27/20
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 05.03-2015
Super 15 Rugby: Week 4 Preview
Week 4 of Super XV Rugby is coming to us this weekend and the current tables show Hurricanes at the top after their impressive display against Western Force last week. The Stormers also look like likely contenders for the title, while Brumbies, Cheetahs and Chiefs look equally impressive.
The first game this weekend is between the Waikato Chiefs and the Highlanders at Chiefs’ home ground in Hamilton. Chiefs could be considered the most in-form side after they thumped Crusaders last week. Brodie Retallick, who injured himself in that game, will be replaced by Fitzgerald. Chiefs must ensure that they beat the Highlanders, who has a new set of front row for the up-and-coming game, and a Lima Sopoaga who is eager to get onto the ball. Man to watch for the game will be Chiefs’ Hosea Gear.
Chiefs’ winning odds are 2/9 to Highlanders’ 4/1
Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham believes that the team which only just broke the Rebels last week will be the perfect line-up against the Western Force this weekend. The Brumbies need to make sure that they are conclusive against the Force who suffered a major setback last week at the hands of the Hurricanes. Force are hoping for an upset though, as many of their star players return from injury. Nick Cummins, a fan favourite, will be looking to spice up Force’s attack, but as ever, the man on form for this game will be the talented Tevita Kuridrani.
Odds favour the Brumbies at 1/6 to Force’s 11/2
Blues welcome a visiting Emirates Lions this Saturday and they are hoping that their change to their forward pack will instil a winning mentality after they have lost three in a row, making it their worst start in Super Rugby history. The weak Lions squad could be a fantastic opportunity for a Blues turnaround, though Lions will be thinking the same. Blues welcome back Kevin Mealamu who will be the most capped Super Rugby player, while Lions’ Ross Cronje will hopefully enliven the Lions. The player to watch will be Elton Jantjies, who’s time on the ball will be crucial to the Lions attack.
Blues’ winning odds are 1/6 to Lions’ 11/2
Reds need to make sure that they don’t concede penalties against a strong Waratah’s side in Brisbane this weekend as the two sides represent Australia’s biggest domestic derby. They will also have a reinforced pack of forwards as James Horwill makes it back into the mix. A grave injury for Waratahs’ Ashley-Cooper means that Reds may have a chance at home. It is crucial that Reds forwards like Horwill and Schatz are disciplined in the ruck, while Waratahs centreMatt Carraro will be studied fiercely by the Waratahs coach.
Odds favour the Waratahs at 5/10 to Reds’ 25/1
The first game in South Africa this weekend is being played in Bloemfontein where Cheetahs face the Bulls, and Cheetahs are looking in wonderful form. With as little as a single change for the Cheetahs since their last game (Jean Cook at eighth man), the team from the Free State will be looking for attacking freedom on the wing courtesy of Cornal Hendricks. Bulls will be encouraged by the performance last week, and their unchanged side will hopefully kick-forward-and-push like the Bulls of old. It seems that Bulls performance is reliant on the form of their Springbok veterans, so the men to look out for are Spies, Matfield and Strauss.
Bulls winning odds are 8/10 to Cheetahs’ 23/20
Although narrowly beating Lions last weekend, Stormers must be whirring with positivity as they remain unbeaten thus far in 2015. They welcome a Sharks side which will have felt cheated in the Bulls game, and they will be hoping that the negative Sharks energy will further drain their play when they travel to Cape Town. Many players return from injury and overseas for the Stormers, but none are as important as Eben Etzebeth, the Springbok lock. Sharks’ biggest changes are the additions of JP Pieterson and Francois Steyn at centre, and they will be of utmost importance if Sharks are to register points. Man to watch will be Stormers’ Siya Kolisi who seems to be so important in both attack and defence.
Odds favour Stormers at 6/10 to Sharks’ 31/20
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 04.03-2015
Super 15 Rugby: Week 3 Review
The third week of Super Rugby was as entertaining as ever as many of the week’s favourites ended the weekend with a win. The weekend’s opening fixture saw the Reds travel from sunny Queensland to cold Dunedin where they conceded more penalties than they should have. A Jake Schatz try was made redundant to the penalties converted by Marty Banks, and the Highlanders try by Waisaki Naholo meant that Reds went home the losers. They can be happy with the good performance by their new signing James O’Connor, though, after the controversial arrest of Karmichael Hunt.
Highlanders 20 – 13 Reds
Hurricanes are still looking an incredibly powerful side after this weekend’s victory against Western Force in Perth. Force tried to contend with Hurricanes at the front, but Hurricanes were by far the stronger team in all departments. Both All Black wingers, Cory Jane and Julian Savea, managed to squeeze in tries alongside two tries by the Hurricanes forwards. A last try by full back James Marshall put the game well out of reach from a lost looking Force side.
Western Force 13 – 42 Hurricanes
The first game in South Africa between Cheetahs and Blues ended in the slightest of victories when Cheetahs late penalty put them a point in front of the travelling Blues. Blues took advantage of their fast paced Kiwi rugby, and the big South African side needed to sit back and plug gaps that were eventually found by Blues forwards Braid and Faumuina, but not without fantastic tries by winger Cornal Hendricks and Sarel Pretorius spoiling the Blues party. A try by centurion Blues Captain Jerome Kaino and kicking by West looked to have given Blues a victory, until Cheetahs’ fullback Joe Pieterson quietened the visitors at the end.
Cheetahs 25 – 24 Blues
A big match took place in Hamilton on the weekend as Chiefs dominated against local rivals Crusaders who could not answer Chiefs’ immaculate attacking form. Chiefs almost looked like the losing side in the early stages due to a couple of penalties against them, but thanks to some great Sonny Bill Williams movement Chiefs were able to crush a panicked Crusaders defence with tries by Williams, Pulu, Ngatai, Marshall and Lowe. Crusaders need to use their bye time this weekend to start asking questions of the squad, which is without Dan Carter.
Chiefs 40 – 16 Crusaders
A try by the rising talent Tevita Kuridrani was the only difference between the Rebels and the Brumbies on Saturday. The Rebels, who have improved drastically since last season, had Mike Harris to thank for kicking some wonderful penalties every time they foraged in Brumbies’ half. A Jarrad Butler try, and Lealiffano conversion toward the end of the game meant that the Rebels’ late comeback fell short.
Rebels 15 – 20 Brumbies
The big South African face-off between Bulls and Sharks at Loftus in Pretoria ended in a close Bulls win after a Ndungane mistake in the last minute allowed Bulls to score a try. The first half was fraught with controversy after a Jesse Kriel forward pass found Hougaard for a try, but Bulls were the more attacking team overall and were awarded at the end after Ndungane knocked on and Jan Serfontein scored the match’s last try. Sharks will feel cheated after the controversial first Bulls try, but their only saving grace on the field was the fact that Bulls regularly conceded penalties, and that Pat Lambie was in the finest of kicking forms.
Bulls 43 – 35 Sharks
Lions will feel that they had let go of a crucial victory against Stormers on Saturday as they led for the vast majority of the game. Brilliant movement of the ball by Jantjies ensured that Tecklenburg found Lions the match’s first try. Jantjies and Catrakilis kept points for both Lions and Stormers before Siya Kolisi broke through the Lions for a try in the last five. The slight Stormers lead was challenged by Lions, who came close in spite of some terrible ball fumbling by Howard Mnisi once he crossed the line. Movement with the ball by centres like Damian de Allende ensured that Stormers were in the Lions half when penalties were conceded.
Lions 19 – 22 Stormers
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 26.02-2015
Super 15 Rugby: Week 3 Preview
Week 3 shows signs of where teams might see themselves in the tournament as squads develop character and form. The current tables show Stormers and Hurricanes dominance, but teams like Waratahs, Crusaders, Chiefs and Sharks are only just finding their feet.
The first game this Friday is held in Highlanders’ hometown Dunedin. Highlanders will be looking to shift the ball to try scoring winger Malakai Fekitoa while Sopoaga will be benched in favour of Marty Banks as fly-half and kick taker. Reds will be hoping for another strong game as they bring on much-praised James O’Connor as fly-half while Anthony Fainga’a makes it back to the squad, with Kuridrani as ever the target man.
Highlanders’ winning odds are 4/10 to Reds’ 24/10
The first of the weekend’s Australian games is between Western Force and Hurricanes in Perth. Western Force was in weak display against Reds last week, and they will be hoping to turn that performance around against Hurricanes. Hurricanes still looks as strong as ever even without Captain Conrad Smith who makes way for Ray Lee-Lo. Man to watch is Julian Savea.
Odds favour Hurricanes at 7/10 to Force’s 27/20
The first game in South Africa is between Cheetahs and Blues in Bloemfontein. Cheetahs will be looking for two wins in two and have therefore made as few changes to the squad as possible. Men in form are Pretorius and Petersen who will hopefully link up well for the boys in Orange. Blues’ Captain Jerome Kaino will win his 100th cap for Blues when they play Cheetahs, and he will be looking for team discipline so as to not concede penalties. Blues will target Lolagi Visinia for tries, while Ihaia West will be their primary kicker.
Cheetahs’ winning odds are 6/10 to Blues’ 15/10
Chiefs welcome Crusaders to Hamilton in the New Zealand derby of the weekend, and it proves to be a spectacle as both squads are lined with All-Blacks. Man to watch will be the young Johnny McNicholl.
Odds favour Chiefs at 11/20 to Crusaders’ 17/10
Melbourne Rebels host Brumbies on Saturday, and although they lost to the Waratahs last week, they will be happy with their strong performance as they have a neat pack of forwards in the form of Captain Scott Higginbotham and Lopeti Timani, while scrum-half Nic Stirzaker enters back into the mix. Brumbies, who should not have lost to the Chiefs last week, will be hoping that the Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore will help the forwards push back the Rebels. Matt Toomua will be the man to watch in the Brumbies shirt.
Brumbies’ winning odds are 4/10 to Rebels’ 22/10
Bulls and Sharks have their showdown in Pretoria, and the Bulls need to get their act together if they intend on winning this important game. The star-studded Sharks will look for a win in Pretoria, and Odwa Ndungane will be the man to watch when near the try-line.
Odds are equal with Bulls and Sharks at 1/1
Lions welcome Stormers to Joburg on Saturday, and a full squad change is on the cards. Most importantly is the choice to drop Marnitz Boshoff in favour of Elton Jantjies and Jaco van der Walt also starts at fly-half. This seems to be the most important place on the field for the Lions as they will attempt to hold back a powerful Stormers squad. Stormers must maintain their form even amongst the changes made to their forward pack following Elstadt’s injury. Mbonambi and Carr reinforce the forwards, while Stormers will pray that Catrakilis maintains his form in front of the posts.
Stormers’ winning odds are 11/20 to Lions’ 17/10
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 24.02-2015
Super Rugby Week 2 Review
Week 2 of Super Rugby has concluded and there were no major surprises other than the Bulls loss on Friday night. The weekend excitement began, though, in New Plymouth where Chiefs hosted Brumbies. The game was close with one try apiece, Chiefs’ Charlie Ngatai and Brumbies’ Ita Vaea the try-scorers. It came down to Aaron Cruden’s ability to convert tries that put Chiefs ahead at last minute.
Chiefs 19 – 17 Brumbies matching BetXchange odds!
The second game on Friday was also a thriller that saw the heavily underrated Melbourne Rebels take on the reigning champions Waratahs. Again the Rebels forward pack was strong, and it saw them over the try line four times, the skilful Lopeti Tomani making a mark again. However some great kicking by the fly-half Bernard Foley and attacking play by centre Kurtley Beale helped Waratahs overcome the Rebel threat.
Rebels 28 – 38 Waratahs matching BetXchange odds!
The first game in South Africa this weekend ended with Bulls’ second defeat in as many games. The Bulls showed spirit much of the game but made some crucial errors that allowed Hurricanes fly-half Beauden Barrett to kick crucial points even after chasing Bulls most of the game courtesy of a Handre Pollard try. Hurricanes leapfrogged Bulls 13 minutes from time when Julian Savea scored a try and Barrett converted.
Bulls 13 – 17 Hurricanes
The Saturday New Zealand derby between Crusaders and Highlanders was a true display of the Kiwi game as Crusaders made the necessary changes after their first game loss, and Highlanders came prepared for their first game of the tournament. Both teams scored two tries in the thrilling encounter, Highlanders with Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa, and Crusaders with Scott Barrett and Johnny McNicholl. Although Crusaders were in control for most of the game, the Highlanders fight back was only quelled by some excellent conversions from Colin Slade.
Highlanders 20 – 26 Crusaders matching BetXchange odds!
Reds were by far the stronger team on Saturday when they faced Western Force in a rainy Brisbane. After the controversy surrounding Reds’ Karmichael Hunt, the team was quick to divert attention by displaying attractive rugby thanks to Will Genia’s redistribution of the ball. Lachie Turner, Hunt’s replacement, converted penalties well and scored a try. The Reds forwards were the stronger pack, and even managed to force a penalty try in the 55th minute.
Reds 18 – 6 Western Force matching BetXchange odds!
Stormers hosted Blues on Saturday afternoon and were treated to a Blues red card after some ill-discipline by Hayden Triggs. Stormers weren’t quick to capitalise on their advantage but nonetheless scored two tries; the first by Nic Groom quickly followed by Dillyn Leyds’ fantastic effort. A Jimmy Cowan try for Blues could not aid Blues’ chase of Stormers score as both fly-halves Demetri Catrakilis and Ihaia West kicked well for the two teams.
Stormers 27 – 16 Blues matching BetXchange odds!
The last game of the weekend saw Lions travel to the Shark Tank where they were comprehensively beaten by the strong Sharks forwards and Ndungane, Reinach and Coetzee all crossed the try-line. Although Lions kept up with the Sharks points due to Boshoff’s consistently good kicking, a second Coetzee try put the game well out of reach of Lions grasp. Sharks should be concerned about Patrick Lambie’s form though, as he only managed to convert half of his penalties and tries.
Sharks 29 – 12 Lions matching BetXchange odds!
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|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 19.02-2015
Super 15 Rugby Week 2 Preview
Week 2 of Super Rugby starts this weekend and it promises to bring more of the excitement that we have come to expect from all XV teams. Make sure to place your bets with BetXchange, the best in online sports betting.
The first match of the weekend is to be played between Chiefs and Brumbies where Chiefs are favourites going into the confrontation. The Chiefs squad has three All Blacks on the team-sheet for Friday, including star Fly-Half Aaron Cruden. Sonny Bill Williams also makes it back in the mix after his stellar performance last weekend. Brumbies meanwhile, still elated after their whitewashing of Reds, will be hoping to cause an upset in New Plymouth. They are without Flanker David Pocock in the coming match, but Fly-Half Matt Toomua will be the man to look out for in the Brumbies shirt.
Chiefs winning odds are 9/20 to Brumbies’ 21/10
Another Friday game in Melbourne sees Rebels taking on the title-holders Waratahs. The odds are against a Rebels victory, but they will be hoping for more of the same after they beat Crusaders last weekend. With a strong pack of Forwards, personified by Lopeti Timani, and a couple of talented Centres like Mitch Inman, Waratahs will have their work cut out for them. If the Waratah squad has refocused after their weekend loss then players like Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper will have no problem in ensuring a Waratahs victory though.
Odds favour Waratahs victory at 5/10 to Rebels’ 37/20
The first game in South Africa is on Friday night pitting Bulls against New Zealand’s Hurricanes. Having lost to Stormers on the weekend, likely due to their injury woes, Bulls will welcome the return of Pierre Spies as Eighth-Man and Captain. Jesse Kriel will also hopefully make an impact as Bulls’ rising star. Hurricanes won’t have to travel far after they beat Lions last week, and a return to rugby for Outside Centre Ma’a Nonu will mean that they are ready to bring the game to Bulls.
Bulls winning odds are 5/10 to Hurricanes’ 37/20
Worries will plague the Crusaders as they travel to Dunedin to play the Highlanders. After suffering a surprising loss to the Rebels and also an injury setback with regards to Dan Carter, Captain Matt Todd is hoping that the squad will close the cracks in defence and welcome back the talented Fullback Israel Dagg. Being Highlanders’ first game this Super XV they’ll be hoping that players like Jason Emery and Patrick Osborne can break through the Crusaders pack.
Odds favour Crusaders victory at 15/20 to Highlanders’ 12/10
Queensland Reds will be hoping to overcome Western Force in Brisbane on Saturday, but injury concerns over two key Backs (Jamie-Jerry Taulagi and Duncan Paia’aua), the recent loss to the Brumbies, and the lack of discipline by experienced Forwards like James Horwill will mean a tough ask. Western Force, however, have their tails up after beating Waratahs and are likely to challenge the Reds, especially through their proven pack of Forwards like Pek Cowan and Angus Cottrell.
Reds’ winning odds are 7/10 to Force’s 27/20
Stormers will be hoping to make it two in two when New Zealand’s Blues visit them in Cape Town. Their well-rehearsed Forwards, like Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe, will hopefully maintain the Stormers shape while Demetri Catrakilis remains competent in front of the posts. Blues, though, will come with a host of Maori All Blacks as well as their talented Fly-Half Ihaia West and Fullback Lolagi Visinia to try and claim their first win in the tournament.
Odds favour Stormers victory at 4/10 to Blues’ 23/10
The last game of the weekend takes place at Kings Park in Durban where Sharks meet Lions in a South African derby. Odds are favourable for the Sharks even when having lost last weekend to the Cheetahs. Beast Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis should make a strong appearance, while Sharks supporters are hoping for a Ryan Kankowski return. Lions will hope that Marnitz Boshoff will perform better this week, while the Lions Backs really do need to up their game if they intend on fishing a win.
Sharks’ winning odds are ¼ to Lions’ 7/2
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 17.02-2015
Super XV Rugby: Week 1 Review
The first week of highly anticipated Super Rugby has concluded with a few surprises. Waratahs, Crusaders and Sharks, the top three teams in last year’s competition were all surprisingly downed by Western Force, Melbourne Rebels and the Cheetahs respectively. The first game of the tournament was played between Crusaders and Rebels on Crusaders home turf in Christchurch. Rebels seemed undaunted as they bossed the Crusaders and tries by Lopeti Timani and Nic Stirzaker led to them beating Crusaders 10-20.
Crusaders 10 – 20 Melbourne Rebels
Brumbies played host to Reds on Friday 13th, and it seems Reds ran out of luck as Brumbies powered their way into the lead and out of sight of the Reds. Reds conceded too many penalties of which Brumbies took advantage of and scored a multitude of tries, giving them a bonus point advantage. Christian Lealiifano had an excellent kicking game while Wallaby Hooker Stephen Moore made his comeback to professional rugby following injury.
Brumbies 47 – 3 Queensland Reds
Lions went down to Hurricanes on Friday night in Ellis Park thanks in part to Marnitz Boshoff’s inability to convert points and play the passing game that he is so well known for. Tries by TJ Perenara and Matt Proctor meant that Hurricanes left Ellis Park with 4 points and Lions with a weak looking defence.
Lions 8 – 22 Hurricanes
Chiefs managed to overwhelm the Blues threat in Ihaia West as he kicked his way onto the scoreboard. But it was not enough to beat a strong Chiefs who saw the return of Sonny Bill Williams who created tries for Wingers James Lowe and Bryce Heen leaving Chiefs the overall winners.
Blues 18 – 23 Chiefs
Sharks should have overcome the Cheetahs in the Shark Bowl when they overturned Cheetahs’ early lead to make it 13-10, but it seemed as though the match was destined to go Cheetahs way as they retook the lead soon afterward and kept hold of that advantage for the rest of the match. Cheetahs will be pleased with their strong performance, while Sharks will look to come back in their next game with the help of star-man Patrick Lambie
Sharks 29 – 35 Cheetahs
Stormers surprised a strong Bulls side in their Super Rugby opener at the Loftus Versveld fortress where Bulls were undefeated for the whole of 2014. The Capetonians strong line of forwards allowed the likes of Dillyn Leyds and Duane Vermeulen to pierce the Bulls try line, while Demetri Catrakilis cleaned up the conversions.
Bulls 17 – 29 Stormers
Waratahs were shocked by their own defeat to the hands of Western Force in Sydney on Sunday. Force was innovative with the ball, scoring tries through passes to the open side as well as by the strong push of the forwards. The Waratahs, who looked lazy on the day, will have to relook at the squad ahead of their next game.
Waratahs 13 – 25 Western Force
|AUTHOR: Rhyse A Crompton
JOHANNESBURG 15:00 15.01-2015
The Super Rugby or Super 15 takes place in the southern hemisphere.
The countries and team in the Super 15 are:
- Melbourne Rebels
- New South Wales Waratahs
- Queensland Reds
- Western Force
- Central Cheetahs
In 2014 New South Wales Waratahs came out on top and won the Super 15.
This was the Waratahs first championship win. The runner’s up last year,
Crusaders, hold 7 championship titles and missed out on their 8th by only
one point. This was however the closest they have come to victory since
finishing second in 2011 and winning in 2008. Could this be their year to
get back on top?
At BetXchange we pride ourselves on offering the most competitive odds in
the market. Out betting is out days before the competitors, is this your year
to put your money where your mouth is? Will you be backing a local team or
an international one? Do you think an SA team has a chance of taking the
championship? Open an account and place your bets at: https://www.betxchange.co.za/
Don’t miss out on our ever popular exclusive social media specials! Like us on
Facebook or follow us on Twitter and keep your eyes peeled for Super 15
|AUTHOR: Petra Pavlovic