Bank on Canes to beat Sharks

THE MONEY MAN is putting R2,500 on the Hurricanes to win by three or more points at Kings Park.

Last week my banker came in again and if you are to take any of my Super Rugby bets this year, take my banker. It has a 70% overall success rate. All my Super Rugby bets were break-even last week, which still leaves us with a 20% gain.

This week offers some good opportunities and some stay-away games. And the first match of the round is a stay-away one.

Crusaders vs Reds
The bookies have the Crusaders to win by 19 or more points because they are one of the form teams in the tournament. But they are not the Crusaders of old. I reckon 19 points are too much and here's why: this is a team that only managed to squeak past the Force by a point, beat the Sharks by five, won by six against the Lions, beat the Jaguares by 17 and the Bulls by 15. They rarely blow out teams and the Reds, under interim coaches, look a much improved side. The Reds will lose but not by a big margin. I'll be putting down R1,000 on the Reds to not lose by 19 or more.

Brumbies vs Bulls
The Bulls were hugely impressive in their annihilation of the Force, but who are we kidding, the Force are the worst team in rugby. Their ineptitude is only matched by that of the Kings. Myself and 14 mates could in all probability give the Force a good game, if not beat them. The Bulls take on a Brumbies side that has been embarrassed for the past month. The bookies favour the hosts to win by six or more and I expect them to deliver for once this year. The Brumbies have too much class to not turn it around this week. I'm taking a R1,000 bet, to win back R800 and my stake, on the Brumbies to beat the Bulls by six or more points.

Sunwolves vs Force
No decent loving fan should be subjected to this type of rugby and with a 7:30am kick-off (SA time), you may be advised to hit the snooze button and sleep through the rugby on offer from Tokyo. If this was a first-round game, the Force would have been favoured to win by at least 15 points, but such is their poor form that they are favoured by 3.5 points – a margin that has many pundits shaking their heads as to why the Force are favourites at all. What the Sunwolves lack in skill and ability, they make up for in enthusiasm and passion, characteristics the Force have shown little of. The Sunwolves will really fancy their chances in this game and anybody will be forgiven for thinking they should win. If the Sunwolves play like they did against the Jaguares, they will win easily. I'm placing a R1,000 bet on the Sunwolves to not lose by four or more. It pays R900 and the stake back.

Chiefs vs Highlanders
The Chiefs have barely put a foot wrong this year, but they looked less than convincing against the Sharks last weekend. However, one must remember the Highlanders lost to the Sharks by one point. This is going to be a titanic struggle and I'd be lying if I told you I had any clue which way the result will go. The bookies back the Chiefs to win by at least six, but I think that might be a bridge too far. This match will be extremely tight and the Highlanders just might pip the Chiefs. I'm playing it safe and placing a R1,000 bet on the Highlanders to either win or not lose by six or more.

Waratahs vs Cheetahs
This is one of the games to steer clear of. The bookies are favouring the Waratahs to win by 15 or more, but I won't be putting any money down on those odds. For those who feel obliged to bet on every game, I picked the Waratahs to win by 10 on SuperBru.

Sharks vs Hurricanes
The bookies have the Hurricanes to by win by three or more points in Durban and although I was incredibly impressed by the Sharks' performance overseas, the 2.5-point handicap is justified by the Sharks' hectic travel schedule, combined with the loss of Cobus Reinach to injury and the Hurricanes' dismantling of the Lions. I agree with the bookies and will make this my banker for the week. I'm placing a R2,500 bet to win back my stake and R2,250 on the Hurricanes to beat the Sharks by three or more points.

Kings vs Blues
The Kings could well be singing the blues this Saturday, especially after their poor 73-point defensive effort against the Jaguares, who have also flattered to deceive this season. The Kings will be the tonic that the Blues need to continue their winning ways. Their 36-point showing against a decent Rebels team was very impressive and they will score 50-plus this week in Port Elizabeth. The bookies believe the Blues will defeat the Kings by 27 or more and I have no reason to doubt that they will double that number. Look for the Kings to be incredibly competitive until kick-off and then prepare yourself for a steady procession of Blues tries. I predict the Blues to win by at least 30 to 40 points, but will take a R1,500 bet on them to defeat the Kings by 27 or more. It pays out R1,350 plus the stake.

R100 will win you R4,356 but all six bet placings have to win in order for you to collect the payout.

– 9/10 on the Reds to not lose by 19 or more against the Crusaders 

– 8/10 on the Brumbies to beat the Bulls by six or more

– 9/10 on the Sunwolves to not lose by four or more against the Force

– 9/10 on the Highlanders to win outright or not lose by six or more

– 9/10 on the Hurricanes to defeat the Sharks by at least three points

– 9/10 on the Blues to thump the Kings by 27 or more points

Photo: Anesh Debiky/AFP Photo