Australian Action in Super Rugby Round 2
An Australian derby, the Reds versus the Force in Perth on Thursday night, kicks off the second weekend of the Super Rugby 2017. Australian sides, like their South African counterparts, had a mediocre first round, with only two wins coming our way. The Reds beat the Sharks 28-26, and the Waratahs beat the Force 19-13, each leaving the losers with a bonus point at least.
The Brumbies also came away with a bonus point, after their 17-13 loss to the Crusaders, but the Rebels finished their 56-18 drubbing by the Blues with no points at all. Still, theirs wasn’t the most embarrassing score of the weekend: the Hurricanes’ 83-17 dismantling of the Sunwolves outstripped it easily.
Three New Zealand teams currently top the tables with five points each: the Hurricanes, the Blues and the Chiefs, who beat the Highlanders 24-15 in Dunedin. The other first-round winners, namely the Waratahs, the Reds, the Crusaders, the Jaguares, the Stormers and the Lions, are level at four points each. No doubt this weekend’s action will shake things up a bit.
Brumbies, ’Tahs: Saturday Highlights
Friday night’s Round 2 fixture is a New Zealand derby: the Chiefs host the Blues in Hamilton, in what promises to be a hard-fought match between well-matched opponents. Australian betting fans are spoilt for choice on Saturday, however.
The Rebels might need a miracle to make a dent on the Hurricanes in Wellington, but the Brumbies/Sharks match in Canberra and the Lions/Waratahs match in Johannesburg could both turn into epic clashes. All four are strong teams, and the Sharks and Brumbies both have first-round defeats to avenge, while the Lions and ’Tahs are defending unbeaten starts.
Other matches that could be of interest on Saturday, from a betting perspective, are the Highlanders/Crusaders clash in Dunedin, the Cheetahs/Bulls match in Bloemfontein, and the Stormers/Jaguares game in Cape Town.
The Argentinian side beat the weakest of the South African teams, the Kings, in Port Elizabeth last week, so the Jaguares look to be the strongest of the minnows admitted to the tournament last year. They could surprise against the Stormers, if the Cape Town side is feeling a little complacent after seeing off the Bulls 37-24 last week.
Saturday’s Sunwolves/Kings match in Singapore may result in the only win for either team in the entire tournament, but apart from that, its most interesting feature will be the chance to see rugby union played in Singapore’s impressive National Stadium.