THE MONEY MAN will be putting R2,000 down on the Stormers to beat the Cheetahs by five or more points on Saturday.
It seems many people had a good week in round 11. That’s fantastic and if I’m helping in any way then even better.
My week was ruined by two missed kicks and both my main bets fell by the slightest of margins, but we don’t live in the past and I don’t have back-to-back losing weekends.
I doubt this week will be as easy for SuperBru players as the last, as there are a few potential upsets and far less predictability about round 12.
Highlanders (-6.5) vs Sharks (+6.5)
I can’t guarantee the Sharks won’t lose this week and that’s entirely down to the fact they are playing this week, unlike last week. The Sharks on paper are not a bad side and they have Bismarck back this week, which should have a positive impact as long as he can keep his cool. No doubt the Highlanders will be doing everything to aggravate this volatile player and I hope he can make headlines for the right reasons. Despite his return, I doubt the Sharks will get their tour off to a winning start. The Highlanders have looked a decent outfit with the exception of last week and even that can be forgiven with them resting their three All Blacks. They are back for this game and, with the Sharks kicking away too much possession, I believe the Highlanders will take full advantage and run out comfortable winners. I am not betting on this game, but for anyone who is, I would back the Highlanders to win by seven points or more.
Brumbies (-2.5) vs Waratahs (+2.5)
A crucial game indeed and the last time these two met on 22 March it was the Waratahs who dominated every phase of the game and came away with a comfortable 28-13 victory. So poor were the Brumbies they missed 31 tackles and looked completely outmatched. They have done little since then to convince me they are any better than average – losses to the Blues and Rebels were hardly compensated for with victories against the Cheetahs and a depleted Highlanders side. The Brumbies are favoured in this match but the Waratahs will win a close game. I am not betting on this game either as I'm saving my money for a big banker. If you want to bet I would take the 12/10 outright win for the Waratahs, as they are the better team.
Blues (-7.5) vs Force (+7.5)
Considering the ways the Blues have played this year, I find it a little surprising to find them favoured by more than a converted try. Then again, they are playing a team that was beaten by the Reds. This is a game I’d run a mile from as a punter. I won’t be going anywhere near it and I advise you to do the same. Part of gambling is knowing which games to stay away from. I have taken the Blues in my SuperBru but not with any conviction.
Hurricanes (-3.5) vs Crusaders (+3.5)
The Hurricanes are definitely the team to beat. They have impressed all year, beaten both the Lions and Bulls on the highveld, the Stormers, and blown away the Rebels, Force and Reds. Since John Plumtree came on board their forwards play with more confidence and skill and this ensures their backline is getting go-forward ball. The Canes are averaging the most points per game this year at almost 28 and they will ease past a Crusaders team on the decline and without Big Richie. I will be putting down R500 for the Canes to defeat the Crusaders by four or more points.
Rebels (+5.5) vs Chiefs (-5.5)
The Rebels are the most improved side from last year. They have put in good performances all year with the exception of the match against the Canes. Last week, as I predicted, they ran the Waratahs close and nearly pulled off a major upset. That said the Chiefs are fighting for first place in the New Zealand conference and are a much better team than the Waratahs, having easily done the double over the Crusaders. The Rebels are well organised but they will not be able to withstand the Chiefs' onslaught. The Chiefs will win this game by double digits and I will be putting R500 on them to win by six points or more. I suggest you do the same.
Cheetahs (+4.5) vs Stormers(-4.5)
I don’t think I need to go into too much detail here, folks. The Cheetahs are a gutsy team, but that’s where it ends. They never have the depth to go long into this tournament and they are in the same boat this season. Last week's score flattered them and this weekend they will be tackled, scrummed and run over by a powerful Stormers team. The forward battle will be men against boys and with a home semi to play for, the Stormers will have only themselves to blame if they lose. This is my banker for the week, and I will be putting R2,000 on the Stormers to win by five or more points. I believe they will win by close to 20. Currently you can get 3/1 on the Cape lads to win by 13 or more.
Bulls (-7.5) vs Lions (+7.5)
The Lions are the Rodney Dangerfield of rugby (Google him, youngsters), they just get no respect. They have won five in a row, had a successful tour and have the nucleus of a team that plays for each other. And yet you can still get 5/2 on them upsetting the Bulls this weekend. In a two-horse race those aren't bad odds, but save your money. The Bulls don’t fear the Lions and the Lions don’t believe they can beat the Bulls at Loftus. Bad habits die hard and the Bulls will win this game. I will be putting down R500 for them to beat the Lions by eight points or more.
I have placed R100 on an accumulator, which will pay over R18,000 if it comes off, but please don’t go spending the money as there are seven legs to navigate and I fell at the first hurdle last week.
Highlanders/Sharks combined more than 4.5 tries 5/6
Waratahs to be leading HT/FT 22/10
Blues to win outright 1/3
Hurricanes to win outright 6/10
Chiefs to be leading by three points or more at HT 9/10
Stormers to win by 13 points or more 3/1
Bulls to win by nine points or more 1/1
Good luck, everyone.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix