Round 1 of the 2019 Super Rugby season was full of surprises and there were some close and exciting games. That sets us up with a thrilling Super Rugby Round 2 where there are seven games to be played.
Action kicks off on Friday night with the Highlanders hosting the Reds, which had a bye in the first round.
We have form and tips for every game this week, where the Crusaders vs. Hurricanes features as the game of the week.
5:35pm Highlanders vs. Reds @ Forsyth Barr Stadium
We’re not sure how they did it but the Highlanders came away with the 30-27 win over the Chiefs in Round 1 after being behind for most of the game.
They were down late in the game and with a man in the bin, but two late tries sealed the narrow win for the Highlanders, who are only going to grow with confidence from that result.
The Reds kick off their season and it’s not an easy start. Not much is expected of the struggling franchise this season and we’re not surprised to see bookmakers open the line at 20.5.
That’s a big line to cover but the Highlanders are the class side.
Betting tip: Highlanders –20.5 @ $1.92 – BET NOW
Highlanders by 29
3:15pm Sunwolves vs. Waratahs @ Chichibunomiya Stadium
Having lost to the Sharks 45-10 in Singapore last week, but the Sunwolves will be looking to bounce-back somewhat against the Waratahs.
That might be easier said than done as the Waratahs will be out to notch their first win of the season after pushing the heavily-fancied Hurricanes to within one-point last week. That loss was gut wrenching for the ‘Tahs but they shouldn’t’ be losing this game.
Bookies have the line at 20.5 and that seems a little high. Sunwolves are the clear second-best team in this contest but being at home helps and the Waratahs never travel well.
Betting tip: Sunwolves +20.5 @ $1.90 – BET NOW
Waratahs by 10
5:35pm Crusaders vs. Hurricanes @ Rugby League Park
Both teams had wins in Round 1 but it’s tough to say which team was more impressive. The Crusaders held off a late challenge from the Blues and were behind at one stage in the second half.
Hurricanes got the job done against a marginally stronger opponent in the Waratahs but it wasn’t the result many punters had predicted. Many expected the Hurricanes to come out with fire but perhaps it was just clearing off the rust.
The Crusaders are short favourites to win, which is a little surprising but we saw enough from the southerners to suggest they could cover the 7.5 spread, but the 1-12 spread worked last week and we’re sticking with it.
Betting tip: Crusaders 1-12 @ $2.30 – BET NOW
Crusaders by 9
7:45pm Brumbies vs. Chiefs @ GIO Stadium
We expected the Brumbies to lose against the Rebels last week and they duly obliged, but we didn’t see the choke coming from the Chiefs.
The Waikato men were controlling the game throughout and looked the much stronger team, but a late choke saw them lose by three points to the Highlanders. The crowd was shocked and so were we.
To keep in touch in the NZ conference, they will need to put away the Brumbies this week and given the record of New Zealand teams against the Australian conference, we’re confident that will happen.
Brumbies aren’t the worst team in the world and scoring 27 points in Week 1 was a positive but it won’t be enough here.
Betting tip: Chiefs –7.5 @ $1.87 – BET NOW
Chiefs by 18
12:05am Sharks vs. Blues @ Kings Park Stadium
This should be a close game between two sides which looked impressive last week, albeit with difference results.
Sharks were dominant winners over the Sunwolves and the Blues produced a solid effort against the Crusaders (they arguably should have won), so it’s a tough call to make for this game.
Is a team that puts up 45 points on a poor team better than a team that pushed last year’s champions to within two points? We’re not sure but the Blues do have to make the long trip to South Africa and that’s never easy.
Because of that, we will lean towards the Sharks in a close one and the odds are appealing also.
Betting tip: Sharks to win @ $2.18 – BET NOW
Sharks by 5
2:15am Stormers vs. Lions @ Newlands Stadium
The Stormers were downright awful last week, losing to the Bulls 40-3 in a one-sided affair that didn’t give punters much confidence in the Stormers.
We are surprised to see them paying $3.30 for this game against the Lions, considering they are now facing a stronger team which made the final last year and looked good late against the Jaguares last week.
The South African conference is going to be a lottery this season but we know, from past results, that the Lions are a solid team year in, year out. That’s good enough for us and we are expecting to see them come away with a relatively easy win this Sunday morning.
Betting tip: Lions –7.5 @ $1.92 – BET NOW
Lions by 15
8:40am Jaguares vs. Bulls @ Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Another close game is expected here and the bookmakers have only a half-point between them in the points spread market.
Jaguares were losers to the Lions last week but they looked good in patches and they typically improve with more time to gel. The Bulls, who don’t travel well, were outstanding winners over the Stormers and they would have gained a great deal of confidence.
The last game of the week should be a close affair but the Jaguares could score the narrow win.
Betting tip: Jaguares to win @ $2.02 – BET NOW
Jaguares by 3