Super Rugby Round 16

The Waratahs and Rebels face crucial road trips as the Australian Conference title race heats up, while Super Rugby’s Round 16 schedule features a pair of huge Kiwi blockbusters. The Wolf will continue to ride one team in particular and has made the Sunwolves +29.5 his bet of the round.

Round 16 Preview and Tips

Highlanders V Hurricanes (5:35pm Friday 1st June)
The Hurricanes are smarting from last week’s loss to an under-strength Crusaders side, which brought their 10-match winning streak to an end and put a big dent in their hopes of finishing top of the table. The Highlanders responded to a heavy loss to the Waratahs with a very scratchy 18-15 away win over the Reds. The southerners boast an 8-4 record but appear to be limping towards the finish line. They welcome back All Black trio Ben Smith, Liam Squire and Luke Whitelock for this clash, however. The Hurricanes have won the last two encounters between the sides convincingly – including a 29-12 result in Wellington in Round 6 – but the all-time ledger is square at 7-7 between the teams in Dunedin. The Highlanders are also on an 11-match winning run at Forsyth Barr Stadium. The Wolf is leaning towards the ’Canes in the head-to-head stakes but it should go down to the wire under the roof in Dunedin.
Best Bet: Triple Margin I – Any Other Result (either team under 7.5 or draw) ($2.30)
Value Bet: Hurricanes by 1-5 @ $4.25

Blues V Rebels (3:15pm Saturday 2nd June)
The 3-9 Blues are probably relishing the prospect of their torturous 2018 campaign being over, while the 6-6 Rebels have a historic finals berth within their grasp. The Melbourne outfit have emerged from a horror mid-season run with an away win over the Brumbies and a 40-13 home victory over the in-form Sunwolves in their last two. They sit eighth but are only one point shy of the Australian Conference-leading Waratahs. The Blues are 4-2 against the Rebels all-time, including a 56-18 drubbing early last season – the only match between the sides won by the away team. The Blues put up a good fight in a 32-24 loss to the Crusaders before enjoying the bye last weekend, but it’s the fact Kiwi teams have won 42 of their last 43 against their Australian counterparts – and no Aussie side has won on NZ soil in over three years – that looms large over this encounter. The Rebels look good value with a sizeable start but the Blues should have enough in the tank to keep the hoodoo alive.
Best Bet: Rebels +9.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: Blues 1-12 ($2.70)

Chiefs V Crusaders (5:35pm Saturday 2nd June)
The Crusaders are riding high after winning the battle of the heavyweights against the Hurricanes, a convincing 24-13 result despite missing suspended All Blacks props Joe Moody (who is available again this week) and Owen Franks. They are in the box seat to claim the all-important top finals seed, but a loss here would throw it wide open again. The Chiefs emerged from a tough trip to South Africa – including a loss to the Sharks – by putting the Waratahs away late, 39-27. The Chiefs are 8-5 in their last 13 against the Crusaders, but the Crusaders are on a three-game winning streak in the rivalry, including a fast-finishing 45-23 success in Christchurch earlier this season. The Chiefs are an unpredictable opponent with the likes of Damian McKenzie and Charlie Ngatai in the backline, but the Crusaders have made an art form of grinding good teams into submission and they should be a safe option against the start here.
Best Bet: Crusaders -6 ($1.90)
Value Bet: Crusaders 13+ ($2.85)

Reds V Waratahs (7:45pm Saturday 2nd June)
Coming off their momentous thrashing of the Highlanders, the Waratahs lost few admirers in a 39-27 away loss to the Chiefs but they will rue giving up an early 14-0 lead. They lead the Australian Conference with a 6-1-5 record but have the Rebels breathing down their necks. The 4-8 Reds are effectively out of contention though they are in decent form, pushing the Hurricanes (38-34) and Highlanders (18-15) in honourable losses in the past fortnight. The Waratahs have won their last eight against the Reds and cruised to a 37-16 win at the SCG in Round 9. The Reds are 1-6 at Suncorp Stadium this season while the Waratahs have picked up two wins and a draw from six away games in 2018. The ’Tahs’ attack is in good nick and with so much riding on this result, the Wolf expects their bevy of world-class performers to get them over the line against the unreliable Reds.
Best Bet: HT/NT – Waratahs/Waratahs ($1.95)
Value Bet: Waratahs by 11-15 ($6.00)

Brumbies V Sunwolves (4:05pm Sunday 3rd June)
After freefalling down the ladder with five straight losses, the Brumbies improved to a 4-8 record courtesy of an unlikely 38-28 comeback win over the Bulls – achieved despite the second-half send-off of hooker Folau Fainga’a. The 2-10 Sunwolves remain in last place, going down 40-13 to the Rebels in Melbourne last week after beating the Reds and Stormers back-to-back at home. The Tokyo-based outfit are chasing their maiden Super Rugby road victory in 21 attempts. The sides met at the start of the season, with the Brumbies squeaking in 32-25. The Sunwolves were caned 66-5 during their only Canberra assignment back in 2016. While last week’s result was encouraging, the fact the Brumbies are averaging just 22 points per game makes it impossible to back them against a huge line with any confidence. The Sunwolves are 6-3 against the start in their last nine games and that shapes as the only viable option in this one.
Best Bet: Sunwolves +29.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: First Half Margin Brumbies 8-14 ($4.00)