Hurricanes vs Force

All the talk after the first two rounds of SR Trans-Tasman is that the Australian teams are much weaker than the NZ teams. This round we should see some better performances from the Australian teams as they will be determined to prove that there isn’t a major gulf between the sides. The Hurricanes are playing this fixture in Napier and not Wellington. From the NZ teams I would say the Hurricanes seem to be the least threatening and much of this has to do with Orbyn Ledger at flyhalf. The guy is slow and always looks indecisive in attack, no doubt the Force must look to pressurize him into mistakes. The Force as always has shown in their two losses that they never give up and fight till the last whistle. Their biggest problem is that their attack is too one dimensional and its difficult winning matches by defending for long periods. They need more from their flyhalf and the biggest disappointment in attack has been Rob Kearney. He has certainly lost that speed and eye for the gap that was his strength in his earlier years. The Hurricanes are also going through a phase with new halfbacks and also lack the cutting edge in attack although the return of Salesi Rayasi should help in attack. The Force will need to look to their forwards to try and gain the upper hand against a Hurricanes team that is missing Dane Coles and Ardie Savea. We know that the Force is at their strongest in the last quarter and they need to be within touching if they want to cause a major upset. The player that epitomizes the Force is Tomas Cubelli and he is involved in everything positive for the team from defence to sniping around the rucks and mauls.

TIP: The Hurricanes defence has been leaky in the first two games and the Force will need to look at putting pressure on the defensive line. The Force will welcome back former All Black Jeremy Thrush as he was sorely missed at lineout time against the Highlanders. Thrush brings that experience especially when defending the rolling mauls. When we look at the bench of both teams, the Force seem to hold the edge. The Force could cause a sensational upset if they can get their backline to fire. This will need playmaker Domingo Miotti to step up and control the game as they have lacked a general in their games so far. I am tipping the Hurricanes to win but it will be a much closer game than what the bookies are predicting. The best odds on the Hurricanes victory are at: Worldsportsbetting 1.06, Playabets 1.03 and Sunbet 1.07

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Hurricanes vs Force

  • The last five previous meeting between these sides have been won by the Hurricanes.
  • The Hurricanes have never lost at home to the Force.
  • The average victory margin for the Hurricanes over the Force is 18 points.

Latest results for both teams

The Hurricanes won their last match against the Rebels 35-13 while the Force last their last match against the Highlanders 25-15.

PREDICTION

The forward battle will be the key to the outcome of this match as both these teams seem to be struggling in attack. The Hurricanes problems stem from the fact that Jordie Barrett is finding himself playing in the pivot position far too often and this is depriving him from making those dangerous runs from the fullback position. The scrum of the Hurricanes failed to dominate against two weak teams and will be severely tested against a strong Force scrum. The Force won’t change their tactic of defending stoutly and staying in the game right till the end. They love an arm wrestle and this will frustrate the Hurricanes who have the superior backline and will want to unleash Rayasi and Ngani Laumape. I predict a Hurricanes to win but by a margin less than 14 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Julian Savea, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Wes Goosen, 10 Orbyn Leger, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Xavier Numia.

Force

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Richard Kahui, 13 Kyle Godwin (captain), 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Tim Anstee, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Feleti Kaitu’u, 1 Tom Robertson.

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Hurricanes victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting 1.06

Playabets 1.03

Sunbet 1.07

Odds comparison on a Force handicap :

The complete odds on the Force handicap:

Worldsportsbetting (+22.5) 1.86

Sunbet (+22.5) 1.86

Playabets (+21.5) 1.90

Predictions and Odds in details

The Force can be glad that the Hurricanes are not playing at their traditional home ground and will hope this will assist them. They have shown to be resilient on and off the pitch and I expect to see that same spirit in this match. The Hurricanes must guard against complacency as the Force showed what they are capable of when they were within a conversion of beating the Chiefs. The Hurricanes need to get Barrett back to his attacking best because they are a different team when he is on song. The player that the Force needs to get more in the game is Jordan Olowofela as he is the one player with that out and out pace that can tear any defence apart. The bookies have the Hurricanes as huge favourites and predict a landslide victory, I agree on the home victory but the Force is well worth the value on the handicap. The best odds on the Force handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+22.5) 1.86, Sunbet (+22.5) 1.86 and Playabets (+21.5) 1.90

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