The final Round of the Super Rugby 2017 group stages is upon us and we take a look at the 3 matches taking place on Friday and suggest a bet in each.
Highlanders v Reds– click here to bet
The Highlanders look set to finish 7th on the log but they will need to beat the Reds here to guarantee that the Sharks cannot leap above them. The Highlanders play their first match since the beginning of June when they went down by 3 points away to the Crusaders. That loss broke a run of 9 successive victories and they have won their last 5 home matches including a 39 point win over the Rebels and a 16 point victory over the Waratahs.
The Reds were in action last week when they came from behind to beat the Brumbies 16-15 in Brisbane for only their 4th victory of the season. They have lost 6 out of 7 games on the road this season and on New Zealand soil they went down to the Blues by 5 points and the Chiefs by 29.
The last time the Highlanders hosted the Reds they won 20-13 in 2015 and they have won 8 out of 9 home games against the Reds.
Highlanders -22.5 at 9/10
Reds +22.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Half-time result, handicap Highlanders -10.5 points at 19/20.
I expect the Highlanders to be all business at the start of this match as they look to ensure the victory they need to stay ahead of the Sharks and I am backing them to be ahead by 11 or more at the half-time whistle.
Rebels v Jaguares – click here to bet
The Rebels lost to the Force 22-31 in Perth last week and it was their 7th successive loss and 8th successive match without a victory. Their lone win this season came at home against the Brumbies in Round 8 but 4 of their 6 home defeats have been by 13 points or more.
The Jaguares bounced back from 3 successive home losses to beat the Waratahs 40-27 in Sydney last week. It was their second away win of the season but their first since beating the Kings 39-26 back in Round 1.
The Rebels and the Jaguares have never met in Super Rugby.
Rebels +8.5 at 9/10
Jaguares -8.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Handicap, Rebels +8.5 at 9/10.
The Jaguares have been a very tough team to bet on this season and have put in some very inconsistent performances. Based on last week’s win over the Waratahs you would expect them to win this game quite comfortably but there is no guarantee that they will reproduce that performance and the Rebels will be motivated to end the season on a strong note in front of their home fans.
Kings v Cheetahs – click here to bet
The Kings scored their second successive 31- 30 victory last week when they beat the Bulls at Loftus. The week before that they achieved exactly the same result against the Jaguares in Argentina. The Kings have now won a record 6 matches this season and as has been well publicised this will be their Super Ruby swansong. They have only won 2 out of their 6 home matches and against South African opposition they were well beaten by the Stormers and Lions but beat the Sharks by 3 points in Round 12.
The Cheetahs have only had 3 victories all season and two weeks ago went down 40-34 to the Stormers in Bloemfontein. They have lost 5 of their 6 matches on the road this season, 4 of those by 13 points or more and their only victory came in their last away match which was against the Sunwolves where they won 47-7 in Round 14. Like the Kings this will also be their last Super Rugby match.
The Cheetahs have won all 3 matches they have played against the Kings in Super Rugby.
Kings -2.5 at 9/10
Cheetahs +2.5 at 9/10
Suggested bet: Full-time result, Kings win at 15/20.
The Kings have punched above their weight all season and I must admit to have been guilty of under-estimating them. There is bound to be a massive crowd in Port Elizabeth this weekend and the way they have been playing I think they will beat a Cheetahs side that has been at odds with itself all season.
Note: Prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change