Round 6 of Super Rugby AU reverses the fixtures of Round 1 with the Rebels facing the Brumbies and the Waratahs taking on the Rebels. Both of these games will be taking place in Sydney – albeit in different venues – with the Covid-19 pandemic severely restricting travel for the teams in Australia. The Western Force get a well-deserved break after their four week run of games and a heartbreaking defeat last weekend.
Here is a look at the two games:
Rebels vs. Brumbies
Friday, August 7 – Leichardt Oval, Sydney
The Brumbies opened up a gap at the top of the Super Rugby AU table last week with a win against the Reds in a game that both teams seemed determined to lose. They sit on 18 points from four games, seven points ahead of the Reds, and eight ahead of their opponents this weekend.
Since 2011 these two have met 18 times with the Brumbies winning 10 and the Rebels winning eight times. The Rebels will be on an emotional high after their Super Time win over the Western Force last time out, something to consider when betting on this contest.
The Rebels will have a new halves partnership for this contest after Ryan Louwrens was ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a bicep problem. This means that Fiji international Frank Lomani will get the start after bringing excitement off of the bench so far this season. Andrew Deegan is also in the team at No. 10, with the influential Matt Toomua moving to 12 in an attempt to get more playmaking into the team.
Andy Muirhead is back on the right-wing for the Brumbies and their other change sees a swap of flankers with Tom Cusack starting and Will Miller on the bench.
This is a must-win match for the Rebels. I don’t think they will do quite enough to upset the Brumbies but I do like them to cover at +6.5 with BetXChange paying 0.90.
Waratahs vs. Reds
Saturday, August 8 – SCG, Sydney
The Reds need to pick themselves up after their devastating defeat by the Brumbies last time out that saw them slip seven points behind the competition’s top squad. They simply can’t afford to drop any more points before their rematch if they want a chance at the top spot on the ladder before the playoffs begin. This is almost a must-win game for the Waratahs too as they sit four points behind the Rebels in the race for the third and final playoff spot. Six points after four games is not what the Waratahs would have expected out of this season and this is their chance to start the back half of their campaign with a big win.
Coming off of their bye the Waratahs need to have a new attitude here. Their 291- defeat by the Rebels last time out simply wasn’t good enough, so look for an attitude adjustment here with the ‘Tahs coming out firing from the off.
The Reds will be out to prove that they are good enough to win the comp after their defeat by the Brumbies. Their set-piece will need to be improved this weekend. One big addition for the Reds is the return to the starting lineup of Jordan Petaia on the right-wing.
The Waratahs know that their season is close to being on the brink. I am not sure they have enough to win straight up – though it wouldn’t be the biggest shock of all time if they did. They are the play on the spread at +5.5 with BetXChange at 0.90.