Reds vs Blues

The Reds will come into this match buoyed by their win over the Chiefs while the Blues are top of the log with three bonus point wins. The Reds were certainly assisted by bias refereeing from Nic Berry and of course the red card to Chiefs star man Damien Mckenzie. The Blues didn’t need any outside help as they impressively brushed aside the Brumbies. They have a simple formula of letting their forwards dominate the opposition and then letting the backline players score the points. The biggest improvement for the Blues in SR Trans-Tasman has been the form of scrumhalf Finlay Christie. He was brilliant against the Brumbies and scored an individual try that will be contender for try of the season. The Blues have always had a great team on paper but have struggled to play as a team but Finlay and Otere Black are finally getting the best out of this team. The Reds also seem to be getting back to their best after two heavy defeats. The win over the Chiefs was great but they will be concerned as they allowed Chiefs to come back from 40-8 down to come within six points of snatching an unlikely victory. The Blues have the strongest bench in the competition and will no doubt target the Reds in the last quarter. The battle between the Reds halfback pairing of James O’Connor and Tate McDermott and the Blues Christie and Black will go a long way to deciding this match and we will need to see which pair can fire up their impressive backlines. This match promises to have lots of tries as both these sides love to run with the ball and the side who is better defensively will win this match.

TIP: The Blues seem to be finally learning to play as a team and this spells danger for their opposition. We know they have the players and talent but now we are seeing how good they really are. The Reds will be excited by the form of new recruit Suliasi Vunivalu who has both pace and extreme aerial skills. The most impressive Reds player was surprisingly debutant Isaac Henry as his pace and power rewarded him with two tries on debut. He is definitely a star of the future. This match may be tight but the bench of the Blues will be too strong for the Reds in the last quarter. They can call on All Blacks from the bench and no team will be able to handle them in the last twenty minutes. The bookies have the Blues as favourites and rightly so I feel. The best odds on the Blues victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.36, Playabets 1.29 and Sunbet 1.36

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Reds vs Blues

  • In the last five meetings between the sides there have been three wins for the Blues and one for the Reds with one draw.
  • The Reds are unbeaten at home against the Blues in the last four matches.
  • The last time the Blues beat the Reds at home was in 2010.

Latest results for both teams

The Reds won their last match against the Chiefs 40-34 while the Blues beat the Brumbies 38-10 in their last match.

PREDICTION

The Blues will be looking to consolidate their position at the top of the log while the Reds will be playing for pride as the last time they played at this venue they were thrashed by the Crusaders. The home team will be fired up and I expect an onslaught from them early on so the Blues defence will need to be at their best. Both teams have strong scrums so the battle in the front row will be intense and titanic. Taniela Tupou has been the stand out player for the Reds and they once again look to him in the scrum and for his powerful runs. Rieko Ioane showed in the last game that he is returning to his best form and he will be a danger man for the Blues. The match will be close but the Blues will win it with their replacements therefore I predict a Blues win by 5 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Reds

15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Suliasi Vunivalu, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Isaac Henry, 11 Filipo Daugunu, 10 James O’Connor (co-captain), 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Liam Wright (co-captain), 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 4 Ryan Smith, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Feao Fotuaika.

Blues

15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Blues victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting 1.36

Playabets 1.29

Sunbet 1.36

Odds comparison on the Reds handicap:

The complete odds on the Reds handicap:

Worldsportsbetting (+8.5) 1.90

Sunbet (+8.5) 1.90

Playabets (+8.5) 1.90

Predictions and Odds in details

Confidence is a strange thing as the Blues after a few wins look like they are possible title contenders. They are playing like a team especially on defence they have been miserly and the return of forgotten winger Bryce Heem has made a huge impact. He was brought in as a backup winger after Caleb Clarke was unavailable but has turned into the form winger of the competition. The wing battles will be mouth-watering as all four wingers in this match are on form. We have noticed that throughout SR AU the Reds team have been slow starters in matches but have used their power game to subdue teams in the second half. This is impossible to against the NZ teams who pride themselves on high fitness levels and are at their strongest in the latter stages of games therefore to have a chance of winning this match they need a good start. The Blues offer a decent return on the outright victory but the value bet for punters is the Reds on the handicap. The best odds on the Reds handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+8.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+8.5) 1.90 and Playabets (+8.5) 1.90

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