It is time for Round 2 of Super Rugby AU this weekend as an old rival reenters the fray. The Western Force were the bye team in Round 1, but the Western Australia team – the only team not in the regular Super Rugby rotation in this competition – will make their Super Rugby AU bow away at the Waratahs on Saturday. That follows the clash between the Rebels and the Reds on Friday night that will also be held in Sydney after the border with Victoria was closed due to a Covid-19 spike in the state.
Here is a look at the two games:
Rebels vs. Reds
Friday, July 10 – Brookvale Oval, Sydney
The homeless Rebels will be hosting the Reds at a ground far more historically associated with rugby league than rugby union. Brookvale Oval – opened in 1911 and home of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – is a historic old venue and it will be interesting to see it as the backdrop of a game from a rival code with no Sydney team actually on the pitch.
The Reds will have logistical problems of their own here too as they are flying from Brisbane to Sydney on Friday morning for a Friday night game. Queensland will be ready for this one after taking down the Waratahs for the first time in seven years last time out and they know that a win here will cement them as one of the teams to beat in Super Rugby AU.
The Rebels will be looking to their set-piece as a key to winning this “home” game. They have a physical and well-disiplined pack and the threat of Matt Toomua at No. 10 will be something that the Reds have to find a way to slow down if they are to win.
This is a hard game to pick. If it were in Melbourne then the Rebels would be the obvious choice, but with the Reds winning last weekend and having the nastier pack on display I think they will nick it. Take them straight up at 0.87 with BetXChange or pick them to win by 1-5 (4.00) or 6-10 (5.00) for more value.
Waratahs vs. Force
Saturday, July 11 – SCG, Sydney
The Force are back. After being kicked out of Super Rugby prior to the 2018 season, the Perth based team have played in both the National Rugby Championship (third in 2018, first in 2019) and in Global Rapid Rugby (an undefeated 10-0 in winning the comp last season).
Their squad might not be full of household names after their best players jumped to other Super Rugby franchises after they were pushed out of the competition, but this is a team with a point to prove and the biggest chip on their shoulder imaginable.
Look for the likes of Jono Lance, Nick Frisby and Greg Holmes to keep the Force in this game against the more talented Waratahs for longer than most people expect. This won’t be a blowout though, but that game under their belt playing with the new rules will be enough for the ‘Tahs to pick up the win. Back them with BetXChange to win by 11-15 (5.00) or 16-20 (5.50).