We take a look at the two Round 4 Super Rugby AU games that will get underway on Friday the 12th of March.
Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Round 4 of the 2021 Super Rugby AU season throws up an absolute pearler of a game with last season’s finalists, the Brumbies and the Reds, set to square off on Saturday. While this is by miles the choice fixture of the weekend, the clash between the Western Force and Rebels should also make for decent viewing as both sides as the duo are well matched.
Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels
Friday 12 March
To Win (80 Mins)
Force 9/10 (+2.5)
Rebels 9/10 (-2.5)
The Force broke their Super Rugby AU losing streak as they edged the hapless Waratahs 16-20 this past Friday. The Force actually made rather hard work of what should have been a routine win as a red card to hooker Andrew Reidy saw them contest the final 20 odd minutes of the game with just 14 men. They managed to grind out the win, however, and they’ll take a lot of confidence into their clash with the Rebels due to this fact.
The Rebels were also involved in a game that saw a red card produced, but unlike the Force, the Rebels weren’t on the receiving end but rather their opponents the Brumbies who lost captain Allan Allotoa to a red card just before half-time. The Rebels were unable to take advantage of this, however, as a late penalty saw them go down 27-24 to their opponents.
Last year’s meetings between the sides made for rather intriguing viewing with the first match seeing the go down 20-25 at home. The second fixture was also a close run affair with a late try seeing the Rebels to a 34-30 win that would allow them to advance to the knock-out phase of the competition.
Verdict: Force 12/10
While they were far from impressive last weekend, I do think the Force will have taken a hell of a lot of confidence from finally breaking their duck. I expect them to edge the Rebels in what is likely to be an extremely close game.
Brumbies vs RedsSaturday 13 March
To Win (80 Mins)Brumbies 6/10
HandicapBrumbies 9/10 (-3.5)
Reds 9/10 (+3.5)
We’ve got an absolute cracker next up with the Brumbies and Reds set to renew their fierce rivalry. Both sides have enjoyed perfect starts to the campaign with the Brumbies beating the Force 11-27, the Waratahs 61-10 and the Rebels 27-24, while the Reds opened their campaign off with wins over the Waratahs (41-7) and the Rebels (23-21) before enjoying a bye week.
When these two met in the inaugural Super Rugby season we were served up three absolute crackers with the Brumbies winning the first 22-20 before the Reds struck back to win the next game 26-7. It was then onto the all-important Grand Final, which the Brumbies edged 28-23.
In terms of team news, both sides will be missing some big guns with the Brumbies likely to be without captain Allan Alaalatoa who will surely cop a ban for his reckless clear out against the Rebels, while the Reds will be without star flanker Liam Wright, who is still a few weeks away from returning from a serious injury.
Verdict: Reds (+3.5) 9/10I expect another extremely tight game here. As such, I’m all over the Reds on the plus handicap.
Written by Darry Worthington