Sport Rugby (union)

Super 15 finals fever

Written by James Potter

I must say I haven’t given the Super 15 Rugby season the attention I normally would this year. It has been a strange season with a break in the middle for a Lions tour of Australia and a three match Test series between the All Blacks and France in New Zealand. I can understand why they scheduled the season like this but it has led to a Super 15 season that has been disjointed to say the least.

The Rugby hierarchy must be very careful if they want to maintain the Super 15 as a serious competition attracting big crowds and endorsements. Having said this, we are now down to the final six teams and the long awaited finals series. The rugby over the next three weeks will be great and expect to see plenty of points and hopefully plenty of tries. There are two teams from all three countries – Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – in this year’s finals which is great for the game.

But enough of that – time for some tips. I like both of the favourites to progress through the first week in the New Zealand’s Crusaders and Australia’s ACT Brumbies. They play the Reds and Cheetahs respectively and match up well against them. That should leave us with a top 4 with the Brumbies travelling to play the Bulls and the Crusaders facing off against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

I think the Bulls at $3.50 (5/2) should cruise into the final but I expect them to struggle after that. The Chiefs are paying around $3.50 (5/2) and I think this is good value. They will host a semi-final and will host the final if they are successful in the semis. I think their hardest game will be against the Crusaders in the semi-final, who are more than capable of winning the whole thing at around $4.00 (3/1) even though they will have to play a semi-final and a final on the road if they are to go all the way.

So my advice is work around the top three. I tend to think the Kiwi teams are a little stronger than the Bulls but the Bulls have an easy path to the final and could easily host it against the Crusaders. If pushed I would put my money on the Chiefs due to their home field advantage but as I said there are strong cases for the top three in the betting.

Good luck and good punting.