Rebels vs Blues

This match pits the teams that most people thought would challenge the top teams in their respective competitions but they have severely disappointed. The Blues in particular boast arguably the strongest team on paper but unfortunately their results don’t show their potential. The biggest problem with the Blues is that they don’t play as a team but rather as individuals. The halfback pairing never link up to the potent runners like Rieko Ioane and Caleb Clarke and until they fix their number 10 and 9 issues I see them continuing to struggle. The Rebels have not been much better themselves and will be angry that they didn’t even make the playoffs in SR AU. Their skipper and talisman Matt Toomua needs to have a better attacking mindset and stop kicking away possession. The biggest surprise has been that Marika Koroibete went the entire tournament without scoring a try. The problem is that the ball almost never goes out to the wing therefore he is constantly getting involved like a forward in the rucks. I feel as a winger he needs to stay out wide because scoring tries is his job. The Blues will be desperate to start this campaign off with a win while the Rebels know that winning their home games is priority number one. Coach Dave Wessels has resigned from the Rebels and this may be a blessing in disguise because he wants his team to play with structure which deprives them of creativity and hopefully this will free up Toomua to play his running game which will give them a chance in this match.

TIP: The Rebels have an excellent half back pairing in Toomua and Joe Powell and if they can adopt an attacking mindset they will provide problems for a fragile Blues backline. The Blues certainly hold the edge in the scrum and they can call on All Blacks in the first XV and from the bench. They will however have lost the services of Caleb Clarke as he has chosen to play for the Sevens national team. The match will be decided in the forwards and if the Rebels can match up to the Blues pack then we could see a very close game. The bookies have the Blues as favourites to win heavily, while I agree the Blues should win I am predicting a close contest. The best odds on the Blues victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.12, Playabets 1.08 and Sunbet 1.11

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Rebels vs Blues

  • The last five meetings between the teams have seen the Blues lead by three wins to two.
  • The last two matches have seen the away team being victorious.
  • The first five meetings saw the home team winning all the matches.

Latest results for both teams

The Rebels won their last match 36-25 against the Waratahs while the Blues won their last game against the Chiefs 39-19.

PREDICTION

The lack of attacking edge from both sides leads me to believe that this could be a low scoring tight game. When you look at the bench of both sides, the Blues definitely have the advantage. The Rebels have shown that they are the type of team that just hangs on in matches and very seldom are they beaten by a big margin. The Blues have All Blacks on the bench and when they come on they will see the Blues to victory, this is the reason I am going for a Blues win by less than 10 points.  

  • Probable Starting XVs

Rebels

15 Tom Pincus, 14 Frank Lomani, 13 Stacey Ili, 12 Campbell Magnay, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Matt To’omua (captain), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Josh Kemeny, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Robert Leota, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 James Hanson, 1 Cameron Orr

Blues

15 Zarn Sullivan, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane (co-captain), 12 Tanielu Tele’a, 11 AJ Lam, 10 Otere Black, 9 Finlay Christie, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Adrian Choat, 6 Tom Robinson (co-captain), 5 Sam Darry, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Blues victory are:

Worldsportsbetting 1.12

Playabets 1.08

Sunbet 1.11

Odds comparison on a Rebels handicaps

The complete odds on the Rebels handicaps are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (+17.5) 1.80

Sunbet (+16.5) 1.94

Playabets (+16.5) 1.88

Predictions and Odds in details

The halfback combination is the one area that I think the Rebels hold the edge over the Blues. The Rebels will need Toomua and Powell to use their experience to keep the pressure on the Blues. The Blues are an ill disciplined team especially when they are put under pressure.  The Blues have made many changes to their team and I think they will struggle to gel as a team. The Rebels are a much more settled team and they should use this as an advantage by trying to attack the Blues instead of kicking away possession. Hopefully a change of coach will bring about a change in fortunes for the home team. The value for money bet for punters are on the Rebels who have been given generous handicaps. The best odds on the Rebels handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+17.5) 1.80, Sunbet (+16.5) 1.94 and Playabets (+16.5) 1.88

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