Super Rugby Round 3 Predictions & Previews

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Super Rugby round 3 kicks off in less than 30 hours, at the time of writing, after the team at rugby betting has set the bar quite high with our round two performance managing to get 95% of our predictions right, we will hope to carry that form into our Super Rugby round 3 predictions.

When looking at the fixtures for Super Rugby round 3 it looks like a relatively easy round to predict, unlike the previous two rounds which had some real tough predictions. With that being said Super Rugby is renowned for upsets, since the teams are so closely matched in terms of strength. We have come to realise there should be an upset in at least one of the matches of any given round.

When looking at the fixtures, for Super Rugby round 3 we believe it will be best to either take on a handicap or parlay betting approach rather than the straight win single match betting strategy we have used in previous rounds.

 

So without further re-due here is rugby betting’s predictions, tips & previews for super rugby round 3

Lastweek we got 95% correct, can we manage to get 100% correct this time round, unlikely but we will certainly try.

Friday Matches

Blues vs Hurricanes

 round 3 super rugby predictions blues vs hurricanesSuper Rugby round 3 kicks off with the Blues playing the Hurricanes at home. Blues vs Hurricanes is perhaps the match which is arguably the hardest to predict, out of all the matches in round 3. Why? Since both teams have been so inconsistent in their first two matches, it is hard to know what to expect from either team, let’s have a closer look at each team.

Blues

The Blues opened their Super Rugby Campaign for 2016 in spectacular fashion, defeating defending Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders,  in which was one of the most entertaining matches of this year’s tournament thus far.

One thing the Blues have going for them in this fixture is the fact that they will be playing at home, the Blues generally perform well at their home ground.

Blues coach Tana Umaga has made a rather controversial move in selecting Steven Luatua at lock, yes you read that right. We have to question this selection since selecting a flanker (and not a very tall one we might add) at lock for a team which just last week immensely struggled with their lineouts is perhaps not the smartest move. A lot of pressure will be on Josh Bekhuis to perform in the lineout and he will be relentlessly targeted.

With that being said we can certainly understand the logic behind the decision to select Luatua at lock since the Blues loose forwards are such a good group in Akira Ioane, Blake Gibson and Jerome Kaino, all bringing their own individual strengths to the team while being great ballplayers. Steven Luatua is especially a great ball player, and his ability to offload the ball in a tackle is simply superb. You simply can’t afford to leave anyone of those big names out.

So what game plan will the Blues employ for this game? Simple! With Luatua known as an attacking player selected at lock, all indications are that the Blues will continue with their all-out attacking game plan while trying to avoid set pieces as much as possible.

While the above game plan can score you a lot of points, IF executed correctly, it is also rather easy for opposition teams to counter, and the Hurricanes will exactly know what game plan the Blues will employ in their round 3 fixture.

The Hurricanes

There is nothing more dangerous than a team which has nothing to lose, the Hurricanes have been criticised immensely for their opening fixture loss against a very good Brumbies side, they did manage to make a bounce back last week and produced a much better performance against the defending Super Rugby champions, however heartbreakingly for Hurricanes fans they lost that match with 1-point at the end.

Thus, as things currently stand the Hurricanes, which so much were expected from at the start of the season is currently sitting on 0 wins out of 2 matches, unbelievable we know!

So can the Hurricanes finally record their first win of the season against a hot and cold Blues team?

If the Hurricanes want to record their first win in round 3 against the Blues they will have to further improve, last week was a step up, but still not good enough.

Here are some statistics of the Hurricanes Super Rugby campaign of 2016, till thus far:

The Hurricanes, which was such a good attacking team last year, managed to score only 2 tries in their Super Rugby campaign till thus far! Even more concerning for Hurricanes supporters & coaching staff is the fact that they conceded 50 turnovers in 2 matches, that’s 25 turnovers per match!

If they (the Hurricanes) continue to concede that many turnovers in their round 3 fixture, and fail to protect the ball, they will be destroyed by the Blues, a team whose whole game plan is essentially built on counter attack and turnovers.

Worryingly for the Hurricanes, the Blues, as mentioned above, has one of the best loose trios in the tournament which will try to poach Hurricanes ball all match long, so if the Hurricanes want to have any chance of winning their forwards will need to step up and protect the ball.

Keys to Victory for the Hurricanes over the Blues

The Hurricanes can win the Blues providing they implement the correct game plan. Since we know the Blues set pieces are still struggling, the Hurricanes need to take on a more “traditional South African style of play”.

Meaning they will need to kick a lot keeping the Blues pinned in their own half, the Blues are a lock short in the Lineout so the Hurricanes can contest every lineout on the Blues throw.

Furthermore, the Blues scrum is perhaps their biggest weakness, if the Hurricanes manage to kick and keep the Blues pinned in their own half, the Blues will no doubt try to counter, while counter attacking can be dangerous it also leads to handling errors thus, the Canes can target the Blues scrum all game long.

Super Rugby Predictions Blues vs Hurricanes:

There is an old saying never change a winning bet, and although neither team is a winning bet, the Blues has one more win than the Hurricanes. We believe the Blues will manage to turn over the Hurricanes ball A LOT with their superb loose trio, and Luatua, which will lead to what the Blues thrive on counter attacking, setting up a very dangerous backline, with outstanding rookie flyhalf Ihaia West at pivot and the dangerous Rene Ranger on wing we expect a number of tries from the Blues. Ultimately leading to the Blues winning by 8+ points

What The Bookmakers are saying?

The Bookmakers agree with our prediction for this round 3 fixture, top worldwide bookmaker BetVictor has made the Blues favourites at odds of @1.73, which is certainly our recommended bet, while the Hurricanes are on offer at @2.15 for a straight win. The Line for this match has been set at +/- 2-points.
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Force vs Brumbies

Super Rugby Round 3 preview Force vs BrumbiesWe are not going to bore you by going into depth with this round 3 Super Rugby prediction between the Western Force and Brumbies. So we will rather provide you with a quick summary.

The Brumbies

We know it, you know it, everyone knows it, the Brumbies are the team to beat in Super Rugby 2016. We have yet to see a team come even close to beating them, with the Brumbies sweeping a star-studded Waratahs side aside as if they were a bunch of “mino’s”.

If the Brumbies could do that to the Waratahs and the Hurricanes imagine what they will do with an improved yet, struggling Western Force team.

Ironically the Brumbies have not decided to rest some of their key players for their round 3 fixture against the Force, a decision we question due to Super Rugby being such a long and demanding tournament a rest to some key players can pay dividends towards the latter stages of the tournament.

One thing which is against the Brumbies which we should mention is that all their victories thus far has come on their home ground, round 3 will be their first fixture where they will be playing away from home thus, we will see for the first time if the Brumbies can replicate their dominance away from home.

Super Rugby Predictions Force vs Brumbies:

A full strength Brumbies side playing against a Western Force side which has shown signs of improvement over recent years, yet failed to win against the Rebels (taking nothing away from the Rebels) all indicate that this should be a match dominated by the Brumbies. The Brumbies has a stellar defence while averaging 5 tries per match, thus, we expect this to be a runaway Brumbies victory, with the Brumbies scoring many tries while keeping the Force away from their try line will ultimately lead to a  Brumbies victory by 20 + points

What The Bookies Are Saying:

Bookmaker Marathonbet which is renowned for their generous odds, and acceptance of players from around the world, has the Brumbies at very generous odds of @1.30 for a straight up win (use our short odds big bet strategy for this bet read more about it here) In the highly unlikely event of an upset the Force are on offer at odds, much too short, of @3.75.

Those fancying even odds and want to go the handicap route, the line for this match has been set at +/- 9-points (jump on it, this should be a banker!)

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Saturday Matches

Highlanders vs Lions

Lions vs Highlanders betting prediction Game 3 of Super Rugby, is the first match on Saturday and it should be a thriller between the Highlanders and the Lions. Not too long ago this would have been seen as a walkover now it’s seen as perhaps the hardest match to predict of all the matches in round 3!

 

Lions

The Lions are sitting comfortably on top of the Super Rugby Log, can you believe that!? (Tied with a few other teams.) They (the Lions) have managed to provide the biggest upset in recent Super Rugby memory when they managed to stunningly outplay and beat the Chiefs at Hamilton.

Two things we now know is that the Lions, unlike other South African teams, are a very good touring team, having proved it last year and this year, till thus far. We also know the Lions are no longer a team labelled as underdogs and is now serious contenders, making for one of the toughest fixtures for any team during their regular season fixtures.

As mentioned time and again the Lions, are a team with few big name players, although we expect that to change with the next Springbok selection, yet they play with passion and believe like no other team does in Super Rugby. Again a lot of credit needs to go to their coach “Ackers.” It is clear the Lions enjoy their rugby and play for pride, rather than some of the other big franchises who sees it as a job and an uphill struggle. Which arguably was one of the deciding factors in the Lions victory against the Chiefs, won’t you agree?

Combine a solid attack with a stellar defence and you have a winning recipe and that is exactly what the Lions have. On attack, the Lions are averaging an impressive 4 tries per match, which serves as proof of their dangerous attacking style of play. While on defence they are making 83.5% of their tackles, amongst the best in the tournament.

The Lions weakness? The only weakness we can identify in the Lions play at this stage is their goal kicking. The Lions are averaging a measly 57.1% success rate in their penalty kicks and conversions, which nearly equates to 1 miss out of every 2 kicks. This is definitely an area of concern for the Lions as they approach the Highlanders game since goal kicking can very much be a deciding factor in a closely contested match, which the round 3 Lions vs Highlanders fixture is expected to be!

The Highlanders

The Highlanders will have mixed feelings about their season thus far while they have showed signs of brilliance, they have also been very poor at times.

One standout aspect for the Highlanders thus far is the performance of their back three especially the performance of their captain, Ben Smith. The way Ben Smith manages to break tackles and make extra metres in contact is absolutely superb. Not even to mention the way he fields the high ball, rarely missing a catch.

A slight worrying aspect for the Highlanders is the performance of their superstar scrumhalf Aaron Smith while his performance has not been poor by any means, he has yet to set the tournament alight like he did in previous seasons.

What should the Highlanders do to win the Lions in their round 3 Super Rugby fixture?

The Lions make fewer in play kicks than any other team in the tournament, in fact, the Lions have only made 16 kicks in play till thus far in their entire Super Rugby campaign that is only 8 in play kicks per match.

Like we mentioned above the Highlanders has possibly the best back 3 in the entire Super Rugby tournament in Ben Smith, Matt Faddes and (the superb) Patrick Osborne. The Lions will be all too aware of this and we expect the Lions to kick even less, than their average 8 in play kicks per match, in their round 3 fixture against the Highlanders.

How can the Highlanders exploit this? Easy keep the Lions pinned in their own half, with some good kicking, make use of a rush defence like the Sunwolves did, which the Lions struggled against, and the Lions are bound to make mistakes in their own half, which the Highlanders can capitalise on.

Super Rugby Predictions Lions vs Highlanders:

As superb as the Lions have been till thus far, they have now been away from home for 3 weeks which is a long time for any team. The Lions are bound to drop a game sooner or later, and the Highlanders will not be caught offside like the Chiefs were, meaning the Highlanders will be all too aware of the threat the Lions pose. We expect the Highlanders to be ready for the Lions at home and to win this one by approximately 7 points.

What The Bookmakers Areing: Say

All major Bookmakers agree with our prediction for the Lions and Highlanders.  Worldwide bookmaker Marathonbet has made the odds very short in favour of the Highlanders having them on offer at odds of @1.28 while for those who believe the Lions will continue their winning ways (unlikely, but not impossible) can find great value at odds as long as @3.75 for a straight Lions win.

Surprisingly the bookmakers are showing A LOT of confidence in this Highlanders team while showing little faith in the Lions.  The handicap for this match has been set at +/- 9-points in favour of the Highlanders.
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Reds vs Rebels

reds vs rebels match previewThe Reds are an embarrassment to Australian rugby at the moment. The once powerful franchise has faded into mediocrity, we have written extensively about  the reds downward spiral and the reasons for it, so we won’t go into that again.

Rebels

The Rebels once a walking bonus point for teams, are starting to become a real competitive team. They are improving with each game, and there is certainly reasons to be optimistic for Rebels fans. They had a good win in their opening round against the Force, but then got beaten badly by the Bulls in round 2. With that being said they played some good attacking rugby against the Bulls, and showed some positive signs.

Super Rugby Predictions Rebels vs Force

The Reds have been terrible thus far, team moral is low and there is nothing to be positive about for the Reds fans or squad, they will face a confident Rebels side on their home field and we simply cant see how the Reds can win the Rebels at home. Rebels by 7+ points

What The Bookmakers Are saying:

The Bookmakers agree with our prediction, and made the Rebels favourite at odds as little as @1.35 for a straight win (not a bad strategy to place a large bet on that, see our large bet, small odds strategy) Those fancying an upset can take the Reds at a whopping @3.25, which is tempting but we just can’t see the Reds winning. The line has been set at+/- 7-points

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Cheetahs vs Sunwolves

sunwolves vs cheetahs predictionIn yet another historical Super Rugby match, Singapore will make its Super Rugby debut when the country plays host to the Cheetahs & the Sunwolves.

Cheetahs

It’s always hard to know what to expect from the Cheetahs being a team renowned to produce their best when least is expected of them. The Cheetahs have been unlucky to lose their 1st match with 1-point to Super Rugby new comers the Jaguares. A week later they were imensly competitive against the Stormers making them work for each and every point, although they went on to lose that one by 10-points.

Thus, the Cheetahs are yet to win a match in Super Rugby 2016, and will hope to get back to winning ways in their round 3 fixture against the Sunwolves.

Sunwolves

The Sunwolves were impressive in their opening fixture against the Lions, and will be well rested coming of a bye meaning they would have had the necessary time to make the adjustments which had to be made after the Lions match. With that being said they are Super Rugby newcomers and it is a bit unfair to expect a team, like the Sunwolves to expect to win only their 2nd ever Super Rugby fixture, even if they are playing the Cheetahs who are themselves yet to win in 2016.

Super Rugby Predictions For Cheetahs Vs Sunwolves:

We expect a close game, but experience will close out the game for the Cheetahs in the end. Expect a lot of points to be scored, with perhaps the value bet lying in the over/under points market. Cheetahs to win by 6-points plus

What the Bookies are saying

Worldwide Bookmaker, Williamhill, agrees with our prediction and have set the odds at @1.45 for a straight up Cheetahs win. Those looking to back the Sunwolves can do so at odds of @2.80

The line has been set at +/- 6-points

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Chiefs vs Kings

chiefs vs kings predictionsNothing much to be found here, in what will perhaps be the most one sided match of Super Rugby round 3 the Chiefs will start their South African tour playing Super Rugby whipping boys, the Southern Kings.

Kings & Chiefs

Having lost, all their Super Rugby matches till thus far in 2016, losing each of those matches by a rather large margin we may add. Things have not exactly started to get better for the Kings, as has been published in all major newspapers the team of the South African government, currently finds itself, well….bankrupt! Yes, that’s right the Kings don’t have money to pay their players as has been revealed in a heartbreaking interview with former Kings Fullback, SP Marais and numerous other players.

The Supporters have lost trust in the Kings with the Nelson Mandela stadium, with a seating capacity of 50’000, only taking in about 5000 supporters per game thus far. More worryingly is that the players, who are not getting paid, have also lost trust in the Kings franchise and it is not really a case where they will put their body on the line for the Kings franchise.

All the above spells disaster for the Kings, while the Chiefs will be hungry for revenge over South African teams after their shock defeat to the Lions last week. Chiefs by 35+ points.

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Do you agree with our thoughts and predictions, why not drop us a comment below, to tell us your thoughts!

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  • Lee

    So the Bloody Blues just missed 2 straight penalty kicks and a conversion, That’s 8-points left on the field so far and might very well be difference between win & lose. Score now 7-8 for Blues it could have been 18-7, looks like that first prediction might crumble not due to a poor prediction but a poor Blues flyhalf, although they still leading! Come on the Blues, I put my trust and money on you

  • Timothy Coetzee

    WOW WOW WOW, The Reds are Leading with 1-point 12-minutes to go….can we get an upset @3.75??