The Brumbies go into their weekend Super Rugby game against the Hurricanes on the back of two tough losses. Last time out, they were completely outclassed by a Chiefs side who went onto be 28-10 victors in a game that made the Brumbies’ Australian Conference win seem like a distant memory.
Prior to that loss, the Brumbies suffered a devastating one point loss against the Reds. They will feel as though they completely left that game behind them and it left spectators wondering whether this side has what it takes to compete with the tournament favorites. It also left questions over their mental toughness.
“We all know the Brumbies can play rugby, but do they have the mental bottle to compete with the best?” was the question on many rugby fan’s lips.
On the other hand, the Hurricanes are coming off a 31-22 win against the Crusaders and a 31-31 draw against the Chiefs. They look a really solid side who are able to hurt the opposition with devastating back-play, strong set-pieces and a great pack. In attack, they are up there with the best sides in all of Super Rugby.
It’s not only physical brilliance that this side have demonstrated – Crusaders were unbeaten until they faced them. That win demonstrates that Hurricanes don’t fear any side and nor should they. With 586, they also take the award of being this season’s top scorers – which is an amazing feat in itself.
Thus, it is fair that Hurricanes go into this game as heavy favorites, priced at 1/5 with Ladbrokes. It’s a short price, but if you put on a lot of money, you can make a decent return.
Their counterparts, the Brumbies are 7/2 to get the victory and the draw is priced at 28/1.
The Brumbies did win the Australian conference, so should not be completely overlooked though. However, the fact that Australian teams have really struggled against New Zealand sides this season cannot be ignored.
The stats are plain to see – Aussie teams have played New Zealand teams 25 times in this year’s Super Rugby. They don’t have a single victory. That is a record that makes for poor reading – Australian’s domestic sides have rarely, if ever, been outclassed in this sort of fashion.
Thus, our money is going on the handicap of the Hurricanes -12. This is priced at 11/10 with William Hill and gives punters a great opportunity to back the New Zealand side at odds that aren’t completely prohibitive.
One thing is for definite; it won’t be boring – Super Rugby rarely is.