Highlanders vs Chiefs
The Highlanders will be on cloud number 9 after they caused the biggest upset in years when they beat the defending champion Crusaders away from home. Nobody saw that coming as the Highlanders dropped 6 players before the match for disciplinary reasons. The Chiefs will be fresh after having a bye last week but have suffered a massive loss with All Blacks skipper Sam Cane out with a season ending injury. The hardest part for the Highlanders will be lifting themselves up 2 weeks in a row after such a Herculean effort against the Crusaders. The Highlanders changed their tactics against the Crusaders and kept ball in hand and I’m sure the Chiefs took notice of this tactical change and will be ready. Of course losing Sam Cane is a major blow for the Chiefs but they are on a 2 game winning streak and will look to make it three wins on the trot. The Chiefs resisted the temptation to move Damian Mckenzie to flyhalf and credit to them as he scored the winning try in the dying moments against the Blues. The Highlanders have the two best scrumhalves in the country and when teams are tiring they unleash magician Folau Fakatava. This guy is electric around the rucks and for a small guy he surprisingly wins turnover penalties at the breakdown. It remains to be seen if Tony Brown sticks with the same team that defeated the Crusaders or he makes changes trying to keep his players fresh. The Chiefs are a great second half team and after their bye they will want a fast start so they don”t leave themselves too much to do in the second half.
TIP: This could turn into a try fest as both these teams would look to keep ball in hand and as always the conditions are perfect in Dunedin under the closed roof. Both sides have All Blacks at scrumhalf but the performance of flyhalf Mitch Hunt last weekend was undoubtedly the best of the competition. If he can replicate that showing then the Highlanders will win but I think they will struggle to match that intensity for the full 80 minutes. I am tipping the Chiefs to sneak the victory at the death especially after having the bye they will be fully refreshed. The bookies have the Highlanders as favourites but I fancy the Chiefs to bring them back to earth with a bang. The best odds on a Chiefs victory are Worldsportsbetting 2.60, Playabets 2.41 and Sunbet 2.32
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Highlanders vs Chiefs
- In the last 5 meetings there have been 4 Highlanders wins and a draw.
- There has just been 1 home victory in the last 6 matches between these teams.
- The Chiefs last won this fixture in 2018.
Latest results for both teams
The Highlanders beat the Crusaders 33-12 in their last match while the Chiefs won their last match against the Blues 15-12.
The Chiefs have looked good for their 2 wins after their horror run of 12 defeats while the Highlanders did the impossible and beat the Crusaders in Christchurch. Mitch Hunt had the game of his life and there were outstanding performances throughout the team but after that high I feel the Highlanders will struggle this week while the Chiefs will be re- energized after the bye and will clinch it at the death. I’m going for a Chiefs win by 3 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Connor Garden-Bachop, 14 Scott Gregory, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Paripari Parkinson, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), 1 Ethan De Groot
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Kaleb Trask, 9 Brad Weber (co-captain), 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Kaylum Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Samipeni Finau, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross
Odds for this bet
There are great odds on the upset Chiefs win and these are the bookies offering the best odds.
Odds comparison on Chiefs handicaps
The complete odds on the Chiefs handicaps are as follows:
Worldsportsbetting (+4.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+4.5) 1.83
Playabets (+3.5) 1.85
Predictions and Odds in details
I know after the performance last week it’s difficult to see past a Highlanders victory but the Chiefs would be quietly confident of causing their own mini upset. The Chiefs will hope All Black centre Anton Lienert-Brown can find some form as he has been outshone by his midfield partner Quinn Tupaea, if both of them can fire then that will propel to victory as I feel in midfield the Highlanders do have a weakness. Chief’s flyhalf Caleb Trask will need to show that he belongs at this level and this could be the match that he finally shows the form he displays for Bay of Plenty in the Mitre Cup. The Highlanders will need to keep a close eye on Damian Mckenzie as he is the most dangerous player if he gets any space to attack and will be the player the Chiefs will look to for tries. The big money earner at the bookies is on a Chiefs victory and less than 54.5 points total. This bet is available at Playabets at 3.60. The safe bet is the Chiefs handicap (+4.5) at Worldsportsbetting at 1.90`
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.