Darry Worthington takes a look at the two Super Rugby AU fixtures which are taking place this coming weekend.
Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports
The Super Rugby AU action continues this weekend with two rather intriguing fixtures set to take place. Our first Round 3 game pits a struggling Waratahs side up against a Western Force who are yet to win a Super Rugby AU fixture, while the second fixture will see the reigning champions take on a Rebels outfit who promised so much last weekend but failed to deliver.
Waratahs v Western ForceFriday 5 March
To Win (80 Mins)
Western Force 15/20
Waratahs 8/10 (+2.5)
Western Force 1/1 (-2.5)
The tournament’s two real strugglers will square off on Friday evening in what could actually be a rather exciting game of rugby considering these sides have rather poor defensive records.
The hosts have endured a horrific start to the season losing their opening two games to the Reds (41-7) and the Brumbies (61-10). Those are monster defeats and leave the Waratahs averaging 51 points concession rate per game while only boasting a 8.5 points for per game average.
Like the ‘Tahs, the Force are also winless this term but they have only played one fixture as they enjoyed their bye week last week. Their only outing thus far saw them go down 11-27 to the Brumbies.
Verdict: Western Force 15/20While I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt prior to last week’s massacre, I have completely changed my mind and reckon the ‘Tahs are in for a nightmare season. My money is on the Western Force registering their first Super Rugby AU win this weekend.
Brumbies v Melbourne Rebels
Saturday 6 March
To Win (80 Mins)Brumbies 1/6
HandicapBrumbies 9/10 (-13.5)
Rebels 9/10 (+13.5)
We move onto the headline game of the weekend now which will pit the Brumbies up against the Rebels at the GIO.
The hosts have got their title defence off to a solid start registering a 11-27 win over the Force in Round 1 before hammering the Waratahs 61-10 this past weekend. The Rebels, on the other hand, have played one game and lost one going down 23-21 to the Reds in an absolute thriller this past Friday.
In terms of last season’s results between the two sides, the honours were split with the Rebels winning their home game – which was against a weakened Brumbies side – 30-12 while the Brumbies won the previous game at the GIO 31-23.
Verdict: Rebels 9/10 (+13.5)I reckon we’re in for a tight old clash here. While I expect to see the Brumbies take this poils, I reckon it will be by a very fine margin. As such, I’m on the plus handicap this Saturday.