Super Rugby: Aussie Conference battlers out for a rare win

Updated: April 3, 2015


Super XV round 8 featured betting preview: Melbourne Rebels (2-4) v Queensland Reds (1-5), AAMI Park, Melbourne, Vic; Friday, April 3, 7.40pm

With just three wins combined in 12 games so far this year, the Melbourne Rebels host the Reds in Super Rugby tonight. The home side’s opening win of the year over the Crusaders in Christchurch already seems like an eternity ago for the Rebels. It was their first outside Australia and felt like a landmark moment in their development four years after their debut in the competition. Sadly for fans in Melbourne the rest of the campaign hasn’t matched that early high. There have positives such as the impact of players like Lopeti Timani and Scott Higginbotham, but losing at home to the Lions followed up by a demoralising defeat to the Hurricanes leaves them again near the bottom of the table. Normally playing in Melbourne would be an advantage but the Rebels have lost their past seven games at home.

Tony McGahan and the Melbourne coaching staff will have pinpointed this game after watching the Reds limp through a woeful start to the season. However, there is a glimmer of hope for the Queenslanders with the recent return of Quade Cooper and James O’Connor from injury, with that duo and outside centre Samu Kerevi showing that the Reds might become a threat again in the coming weeks. But Cooper also has to find his radar. The Reds have missed eight penalties so far this season and won’t be able to drop any points in Melbourne with former player Mike Harris lining up for the opposition with his sharp boot. One area where Richard Graham will feel confident of some success is at the line-out – the Rebels hold the worst success percentage at 76 with the Reds flying high on 90.

In June last year, the Reds were comfortable winners in this same fixture as they coped without Cooper to score six tries against the Rebels in a 36-20 victory. Nick Frisby grabbed two tries. The Rebels have lost their last two matches while the Reds have lost their last four, including being held scoreless in a 29-0 whitewash at home to the Brumbies. Oddly enough, the teams have conceded roughly the same amount of points, 141 and 143, yet the Rebels have scored exactly double the Reds’ 56 with 112. The Reds have also lost eight of their last nine away matches but are capable of springing a surprise in Melbourne, and that’s way we’ll be playing. The Reds suffered a gut wrenching 17-18 loss to the Lions last week to leave them with just one win for the season and will be keen to right that statistic here.


Confirmed bet

Melbourne Rebels v Queensland Reds +3 (one unit @ $1.91)


Most recent result: 0-1, -1.0 units; overall results: 5-8, -3.85 units

Durban Sharks -2.5 v Waikato Chiefs (one unit @ $1.91) LOSE (12-11)

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Pinnaclebet (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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