Blues vs Waratahs

This match is the classic David vs Goliath contest as the star studded Blues team take on the young inexperienced Waratahs team. The Blues were superb against the Rebels in round one and will look to carry that impressive form into this match. The Waratahs will be wondering how they scored 48 points and still lost the match. The simple answer is that they have the most porous defence in the competition. This match could end up with a cricket score unless the Waratahs find a way to combat the Blues powerful ball carriers. The Blues will look to once again dominate the forward exchanges thereby laying the platform for their backs to express themselves. The Blues have All Black players on the bench therefore they are so devastating in the second half of games. The Waratahs for all their problems actually looked good in attack but their defence kept conceding. The man that is a shining light for them is Jake Gordon. He has been outstanding all season in a very weak team. In a competition that is highly congested, bonus point victories are at a premium in order to qualify for the finals and the Blues will be hugely disappointed if they don’t get all five points. The Blues looked flat in SR Aotearoa but the return of TJ Faiane seems to have revitalized them and their attack was excellent against the Rebels but they will be especially pleased about the fact that they did not concede a try. The man that still needs to find his best form is Rieko Ioane and this match will provide him the opportunity to notch up a few tries and gain some confidence.

TIP: The Blues have for many seasons been struggling to find a halfback pairing of real quality but Otere Black and Finlay Christie looked good in the first match. The Blues will be serious title contenders if they can fire up the backline as their forwards are probably the strongest in the competition. The home crowd will be expecting a landslide victory and only the most patriotic Waratahs supporter will expect anything different. The Blues are most dangerous in the last quarter when their All Black laden bench comes on to devastating effect. They have followed this pattern in the last two matches and seems to be working, so I don’t expect this to change. The bookies have the Blues as overwhelming favourites which is correct and these are the odds on the Blues victory: Worldsportsbetting 1.02, Playabets 1.01 and Sunbet 1.01

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Blues vs Waratahs

  • The last five encounters between the two have been won by the Blues.
  • The Blues last lost a home match against the Waratahs in 2009.
  • The last time the Blues lost any match to the Waratahs was in 2015.

Latest results for both teams

The Blues won their last match against the Rebels 50-3 and the Waratahs lost against the Hurricanes 64-48.

PREDICTION

The Blues are often touted as favourites at the start of any tournament due to them having a fantastic squad of players. Their problem in the past is that they play as individuals and not as a team. The good news is that after a long time last weekend we saw them play as a team and the result speaks for itself. The Waratahs have received news that Wallaby skipper Michael Hooper is due to return and this can’t happen soon enough to aid this poor side. Until this happens I see them continuing to be the competitions whipping boys and therefore I predict a Blues victory by more than 37 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

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 Adran Choat, 6 Tom Robinson (captain), 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuoti, 3 Marcel Renata, 2 Kurt Eklund, 1 Karl Tu’inukuaf

Waratahs

15 Jack Maddocks, 14 Alex Newsome, 13 Izaia Perese, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 10 Ben Donaldson, 9 Jake Gordon (captain), 8 Will Harris, 7 Charlie Gamble, 6 Lachie Swinton, 5 Max Douglas, 4 Hugh Sinclair, 3 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Blues victory are as follows.

Worldsportsbetting 1.02

Playabets 1.01

Sunbet 1.01

Odds comparison on a Blues handicap victory

The complete odds on the Blues handicap victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (-34.5) 1.90

Playabets (-33.5) 1.82

Sunbet (-35.5) 1.95

Predictions and Odds in details

The Auckland faithful have always been loyal to an under performing Blues outfit and I think it’s about time they were repaid for that loyalty. The team certainly has the personnel to win the competition but they seem to lack leadership in the big games. The return of Captain Patrick Tuipulotu albeit from the bench will certainly aid in the decision making process. The Blues scrum will definitely hold a massive advantage over the Waratahs and they will be looking for tries from those penalties and not the three points. The bookies are offering basically no return on the Blues outright victory therefore I am backing the Blues to comfortably cover the handicap. The best odds on the Blues handicap victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-34.5) 1.90, Playabets (-33.5) 1.82 and Sunbet (-35.5) 1.95

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