Round 12 of Super Rugby Pacific marks the start of the home stretch of the inaugural season for the competition. Just four rounds remain to be played before the playoffs, playoffs that should be much more interesting in 2022 given the sudden resurgence of the Australian teams in the comp. Last weekend was an outstanding round for competitive play, lets’s see if we get the same over the next few days.
Here is a look at some of the matches on tap this weekend with BetXchange.
Reds VS Highlanders – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Reds are fifth on the log with 31 points from seven wins and three defeats. The Highlanders have had a miserable campaign and are sitting outside the playoff spots (barely) with just two wins and eight losses in their 10 games to date.
The Highlanders squeaked past the lowly Drua with a 27-24 win last time out while the Red were desperately unlucky in losing 27-35 to the Chiefs. The Reds need this win after losing two on the bounce. The line is set at 4.5 and I like the Reds to do enough to cover as they fight for a home quarter-final berth.
Moana Pasifika VS Waratahs – Mt. Smart Stadium, Auckland
Playing the Crusaders has been a nightmare for Aussie sides but the ‘Tahs stunned the Super Rugby Pacific community with their 24-21 win over the most dominant team in the game over the last few years back on Saturday. They are sixth on the log and know they must win most of their remaining games to have a home final in Sydney.
Moama Pasifika went down 26-22 to the Rebels in Melbourne last weekend. Their issue is always the same. They have the attack craft in the backing to hurt teams, but they aren’t good enough in the set-piece. The ‘Tahs will exploit this for a win, but I wouldn’t bet against Moama covering the 10.5 points they are laying here.
Chiefs VS Brumbies – FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton
The only reasons that the Chiefs are heavy favorites here is a combination of New Zealand bias and the fact that they are dominant in Hamilton against Aussie opposition. The fourth-placed Chiefs almost got upset by the Reds in Round 11, the same weekend that the Brumbies battered the Hurricanes 42-25 in Canberra. This will be a huge test for the second-placed team from the ACT.
Thie Chiefs welcome back to the bench All Black prop Atu Moli, a player who will make his 50th appearance for the club when he hits the pitch. They are still without inspirational lock Brodie Retallick and halves pairing Brad Weber and Josh Ioane. Those players are huge misses and I like the Brumbies to cover the 7.5 and maybe even snatch a win on foreign soil.
Western Force VS Crusaders – HBF Park, Perth
When will the Crusaders have the big bounce-back performance that everyone is expecting?
It could be here against a Western Force side that is right down near the bottom of the log. The 17.5-point line is a huge one given how the Crusaders have been playing, but I actually like them to cover here. Richie Mo’unga is due a massive game, as is the mercurial Will Jordan at fullback. The Force won’t have enough firepower to stick with the Crusaders and I like the New Zealand team to win by 20 or so on the road.