Brumbies vs Highlanders
The Brumbies were handed the toughest draw in the competition starting with three away games which they lost. They won their first home game last week but it doesn’t get any easier as they welcome the title chasing Highlanders. The Highlanders have won their four games and sit in second position and will be looking to get a bonus point victory but that won’t be easy against the best Aussie side. The Highlanders have shown that teams don’t need to have big name players to do well, as long as they play as a team. The major reason for the Highlanders success has been the excellent leadership of co-captains Aaron Smith and Ash Dixon. They have built this team of players into a tight knit unit who fight for each other. The Brumbies on the other hand have had some good showings but have also had some big losses. They seem to rely on individuals to fire in the day and this has been their Achilles Heel. The team has many Wallaby players but haven’t clicked together but the player who has shone in every game is Rob Valetini. He has a tireless work rate and he always beats the first defender. This season performances have surely nailed down a Wallaby place for him. The Brumbies are renowned for their rolling mauls as this is their biggest weapon. This season opposition teams seem to have worked out a plan to stop it therefore the Brumbies have struggled to score tries. The Highlanders have no such issues and use their line-outs to score most of their tries. They have many variations of the lineout maul which keeps the opposition guessing.
TIP: The possibility of a finals spot looms large for the Highlanders and no doubt they will be the more motivated team for this match. They will be looking for tries to gain that crucial bonus point win. The Brumbies are also a team that doesn’t kick for posts but rather goes for the lineout maul. This will be an intriguing contest at the line outs as both teams score many tries from the lineout source. The Brumbies will be disappointed with the performance of their halfbacks especially Noah Lolesio. Last season he was picked for the Wallabies but unfortunately he has not shown that form this season. The bookies have the Highlanders as favourites and I agree with this although it will be a tight match. The best odds on the Highlanders victory are: Worldsportsbetting 1.35, Playabets 1.36 and Sunbet 1.46
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Brumbies vs Highlanders
- The Highlanders have won the last five meetings between these sides.
- The Brumbies have lost their last three homes games against the Highlanders.
- The last time the Brumbies beat the Highlanders was in 2015.
Latest results for both teams
The Brumbies won their last match against the Hurricanes 12-10 while the Highlanders beat the Waratahs 59-23.
Both these teams rely on their forwards to dominate so we can expect a titanic battle up front. There is no doubt the Highlanders have the better backline with Jona Nareki the man setting the tournament alight. He has been electric with ball in hand using his speed and side step to score tries. The Brumbies kicking will have to be accurate as the away team also has Josh Ioane who is deadly on counter attack. The Highlanders have a super strong bench and this is where they have a huge advantage over the Brumbies. The Brumbies have struggled in the last quarter of games as their bench is poor and inexperienced. The match should be a close affair but the Highlanders will pull away to victory in the second half. The Highlanders to win by more than 10 points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Tom Banks, 14 Solomone Kata, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Bayley Kuenzle, 11 Mack Hansen, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Ryan Lonergan, 8 Henry Stowers, 7 Luke Reimer, 6 Rob Valetini, 5 Nick Frost, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa (captain), 2 Lachlan Lonergan, 1 Scott Sio.
15 Josh Ioane, 14 Sio Tomkinson, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 James Lentjes, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Ethan de Groot.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Highlanders victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Highlanders handicap:
The complete odds on the Highlanders handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (-8.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-5.5) 1.90
Playabets (-6.5) 1.83
Predictions and Odds in details
The Brumbies have had major disruptions in their front row as the scrum for so long their strength is now being targeted by opposition teams. The Highlanders have a great scrum and their scrum replacements are just as good. This is where they earn a lot of penalties from which they kick to touch and launch their rolling maul. The player that has seemed to galvanize the Highlanders in both attack and defence is Michael Collins. He has for many seasons been shifted around the backline but finally seem to have found his home in the 13 jersey. His marshaling of the younger players like Scott Gregory has been brilliant and once again the Highlanders will look to him to steer them to victory. There are decent odds on the Highlanders victory but I suggest the value bet on the Highlanders handicap. The best odds on the Highlanders handicap is as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-8.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-5.5) 1.90 and Playabets (-6.5) 1.83
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.