Well, the markets were correct, and all five New Zealand sides recorded wins in the first week of the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition.
We’ll be treated to another five intriguing contests in Round 2, and while betting would have you believe that it’s going to be the same result, I’m not at all convinced.
In my opinion, three Australian sides are a chance of winning.
To find out which teams are included in that list, check out my Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 2 Tips below.
The first of two very obvious mismatches in Round 2 comes up first on Friday when the Hurricanes host the Rebels, in what shapes as an absolute bloodbath.
It was an up and down Super Rugby Aotearoa season, but Super Rugby Trans-Tasman is obviously a completely different kettle of fish, and the Hurricanes will start clear favourites against almost every Australian side.
They enter this match off the back of a bizarre win over the Waratahs, which saw them score 64 points, but also leak 48.
The Rebels were the real disappointment of Round 1.
I thought they’d be at least competitive for a period of time against the Blues, but they walked away on the wrong end of a 50-3 score line.
The line for this match is 25.5 points, and while that appears steep on face value, I think that the Hurricanes could have it sorted by the half.
The Western Force will start clear outsiders against the Highlanders on Friday night, but I do not agree with the market at all.
Having won plenty of fans thanks to their terrific finals run as the big surprise packets of Super Rugby Australia.
They picked up in Super Rugby Trans-Tasman where they left off in the domestic competition, with another gutsy effort to only just miss upsetting the Chiefs, who themselves made the final across the ditch.
Staying at home will be a big help as they welcome the Highlanders, who proved far too good for an extremely understrength Reds outfit at home.
While they did charge away late in the picture, it was still a competitive match for 60 minutes, and I really do not think the big trip from Dunedin to Perth can be underestimated.
For those reasons, I’m backing the Force outright.
The Blues have opened unbackable $1.01 favourites to defeat the Waratahs in Auckland on Saturday, and it’s pretty obvious why.
They were generally the second-best side behind the Crusaders throughout the Super Rugby Aotearoa season.
Clearly disappointed by their squandering of a potential berth in the final with the Crusaders, they responded with an utter thrashing of the Rebels last week, and face a worse side in the Waratahs in Round 2.
I’m still not sure how the Waratahs managed to score 48 points last week.
They were comfortably beaten, but didn’t show any of the attack that they did against the Hurricanes during the Super Rugby Australia season.
Regardless, I simply cannot pick them in this contest, even at an enormous line.
One of the better matches of the round looks likely to take place between the Chiefs and the Brumbies on Saturday evening AEST.
The Chiefs were the formed side in New Zealand heading into the decider but perhaps understandably, the Crusaders’ superior experience at the pointy end of the season proved the difference.
They subsequently deserved their favouritism against the Force last week, but they were given a serious scare, and they’ll need to improve to beat a better opponent, even at home.
The Brumbies were another Australian team who were unlucky not be denied by their Kiwi opponents in Round 1 of the Trans-Tasman tournament, and there was a lot to like about the performance against the champion Crusaders.
I give the Brumbies a real chance of winning this match but only because it’s in New Zealand, I’m going to take the safer option.
The match of the round will see the Super Rugby Australia champions hosting the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, and there is a genuine case to be built for both sides.
Contrary to what the New Zealand commentary team would have had you believe last week, the Reds were entirely understrength and clearly tired from their tournament win plus the deserved celebrations when they lost to the Highlanders, in New Zealand.
The Crusaders were given a serious test and scare by the Brumbies in Round 1, but did enough to get the W – ultimately, that’s all they needed to do.
I’m expecting Brad Thorn to name a far stronger Reds side this week, and I’m expecting that the boys will have completed a full week of preparation ahead of this match.
Again, I think that the Reds can win, but I’m going to take the safer option against the Crusaders.