S15 odds preview - Week 4
Cape Town - It's Week 4 of the 2012 Super Rugby tournament and it's the first round of 'big' byes, with three teams, the Bulls, the Crusaders and the Lions, all taking a break and earning four points for their efforts. But what about the remaining 12 teams?
Well, those 12 teams will be involved in six fixtures over three days this weekend, with matches taking place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Friday, two surprise packages go head-to-head in the shape of the Chiefs and the Brumbies, before the high-riding Blues - victors over the Bulls last weekend - look to make it two from two on their African safari.
Saturday begins with two derbies - in the NZ and Australian Conferences - with arguably the game of the weekend taking place during the afternoon as the Sharks host the reigning Super Rugby champions, the Reds.
Sunday's lone match takes place in Melbourne as the winless Rebels and Cheetahs - with five losses between them - going head to head; both having suffered narrow defeats last week.
A closer look at Super Rugby, Week 4 action with Bet.co.za:
(All kick-off's SA time)
Chiefs v Brumbies (Hamilton) - 08:35
Odds: Chiefs 9/50 and Brumbies 4/1
Despite enticing odds from Bet.co.za for a Brumbies win, the Men from Canberra will be up against it in Hamilton against the unbeaten Chiefs. The Brumbies actually have a good record in Hamilton, winning three out of six, but with form men like Robbie Robinson, Brodie Retallick, Ben Tameifuna and Arizona Taumalolo - most of whom are new to this level - in the Chiefs side, it is hard to bet against the home side. The Brumbies are a typical Jake White-coached side - strong on their basics (especially defence) - and they will be looking to play the game in the Chiefs' half and benefit from any errors...
Stormers v Blues (Cape Town) - 19:10
Odds: Stormers 3/5 and Blues 13/10
Despite their heroics at Loftus Versfeld last weekend, Bet.co.za still has the Stormers as favourites. Oddly, the Stormers have a poor record in Cape Town against the Blues - losing four games and winning just two since 1998. (The last Blues win over the Stormers came in Cape Town in 2009.) The Stormers have a settled team, despite being without captain Schalk Burger, and they will be wary of the Blues after their win over the Bulls. Piri Weepu and Ma'a Nonu add plenty to this Blues team - just ask Gareth Anscombe - but being without Jerome Kaino (for the rest of the season) could cost them.
Hurricanes v Highlanders (Wellington) - 08:35
Odds: Hurricanes 1/1 and Highlanders 4/5
The Highlanders have made an excellent start to their 2012 campaign - beating the Chiefs (away), the Crusaders and the Waratahs (both at home) and Bet.co.za has rightly instilled them as favourites ahead of this all-NZ Conference clash. The 'Canes will be confident after their big win over the Force - in Perth - and seem to be playing as a team; unlike last year...
Waratahs v Force (Sydney) - 10:40
Odds: Waratahs 4/25 and Force 9/2
Bet.co.za are offering very appetising odds for a Force win, but can they really bounce back from last week's heavy 19-46 home loss to the 'Canes? One would have to assume no - aside from David Pocock's performance there was very little on offer from the Men from Perth.
Sharks v Reds (Durban) - 17:05
Odds: Sharks 7/10 and Reds 11/10
According to Bet.co.za the Sharks are the favourites - as one would assume in Durban - plus the Reds have not hit their straps thus far in 2012. Durban and Brisbane climates are about as similar as one could get, but jet-lag could be an issue for the visitors, who were not impressive at all in their 11-6 win over the Rebels last weekend.
Rebels v Cheetahs (Melbourne) - 07:10
Odds: Rebels 9/20 and Cheetahs 9/5
The Cheetahs will still be pretty gutted with last weekend's gutting - and unfair - 23-24 reversal in Canberra. Can they raise themselves - even without Coenie Oosthuizen who is under an injury could. Bet.co.za's odds are appealing for a Cheetahs win... but with ball-players like James O'Connor, Mark Gerrard and Kurtley Beale can you really afford to write the home side off?
Visit www.bet.co.za for updated odds ahead of the weekend!