RUGBY betting analyst Christian Murray (@wncomwncobutt) returns with his best bet from Friday morning's Super Rugby action.
Rebels v Stormers | Friday 12th April 2019, 10:45 | Sky Sports
The Stormers have lost all four on this current Anzac tour and have now lost 12 of their last 13 on the road; indeed, you have to go as far back as 25th March 2017 to find a Stormers win outside of South Africa. They are bottom of the Super Rugby charts in tries scored (averaging a measly 1.50 per-game), meters made, defenders beaten and clean breaks.
The South African franchise are topping the charts in kicks made (145), mind. Against the Reds last week they seemed happy to continue the trend of kick away possession at every opportunity. When they do keep ball in hand and get through a few phases, the back line are prone to handling errors and poor decision-making.
The Stormers sit very flat and offer little in the way of effective running lines, making them one of the most predictable three-quarters in Super Rugby. The one shining light has been the form of the pack but the loss of key forwards like Eben Etzebeth, Chris Van Zyl,, Dan Du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit and now captain Siya Kolisi due to South African international rest protocols means they are now seriously short of experience and firepower.
Add to that, an under-fire coach in Robbie Fleck, frustrated fans and lack of leadership on and off the field, and you can’t see past a comfortable home win in Melbourne on Friday morning.
The Rebels, in comparison, are enjoying one of their best starts to a campaign for some time. Sitting comfortably on top of the Australian conference, they have won five out of seven starts and find themselves unbeaten at home W3-D0-L3. They are a well-balanced team, who are playing an efficient and effective brand of rugby.
Experienced heads like Quade Cooper, Will Genia and Dane Haylett-Petty have found renewed vigour and confidence since returning, whilst helping to get the best out of forgotten players like Marika Korobiete and Tom English.
The Rebels boast a very strong forward pack, who can make yards and stand up defensively. The set-piece is going well, particularly the line-out. They may have scored the second highest amount of tries, but that’s more to do with them being very conservative, patient and clinical rather than the risky, fast paced, offloading game you associate with Super Rugby.
The hosts will miss leading try scorer Jack Maddocks and hooking sensation Anaru Rangi, but regardless they’ll still have too much for an inexperienced Stormers team and worth siding with a -8 start at 3/4 with BlackType.
Rebels v Stormers – Rebels -8 handicap (3/4 BlackType)