Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 3 Tips & Preview

Two weeks down, and an Australian side is still yet to record a win in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman tournament.

As that would suggest, New Zealand sides are 10 from 10, and they enter Round 3 full of confidence, ability and class.

Betting understandably suggests another lean week looms for the five Australian franchises: at publish, all five New Zealand franchises grouped together in a multi is offered at odds of just $1.79.

Read on to the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 3 tips below to find out if we agree.

Hurricanes vs Force
Force (+21.5)

The Hurricanes have opened unbackable $1.02 favourites ahead of their Friday evening match with the Western Force, and understandably so.

Having put 64 on the Waratahs in Week 1 (though conceding 48), the Canes proved far too good for the Rebels in Week 2, and take huge momentum into another very winnable home game.

The Force were unlucky not to get the chocolates in their Week 1 match with the Chiefs, and they were credible again against in the Highlanders at home.

I don’t think they can win, but they are one of the few Australian teams who I think can cover a big line this week.

Waratahs vs Crusaders
Crusaders (-32.5)

The biggest mismatch of the round, perhaps the season looks like materialising between the Waratahs and the Crusaders on Saturday afternoon.

Surprisingly, the Waratahs, who went through the Super Rugby Australia season winless, have actually be the most prolific points scorers of any Australian side in the Trans-Tasman tournament.

They are yet to play a side of the Crusaders’ calibre (obviously) however, and they’d need to find something new to match the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions this week.

The Crusaders returned a typically classy effort to cruise past the Reds in Round 2, and I think they’re good to cover a whopping 32.5 points.

Blues vs Brumbies
Brumbies (+12.5)

I’m going to give the Brumbies the chance to atone as outsiders at the line this week.

They are obviously one of the two better sides that Australia boasts currently, but they returned a flat effort against the Chiefs last week and conceded 40 points.

This is probably something of a small drop in class for them, and with the extra game under their belt, I think they look better placed to compete.

The Blues has so far flogged the Rebels and proved too good for the Waratahs, but this does represent their toughest task in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition so far, and I don’t think that they can afford to be complacent.

Of the Australian sides, I think that the Brumbies stand the best chance of winning in Round 3, but I’m going to take the safer option of a 12.5-point line.

Reds vs Chiefs
Chiefs (-8.5)

The Super Rugby AU champion Reds are yet to live up to expectations in the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman tournament, and they’ll have their hands full again with the Chiefs on Saturday night.

They simply looked like a side who were on a championship hangover and who were missing several stars when they lost to the Highlanders away in Week 1, but they were given a serious lesson by the Crusaders in Brisbane last weekend, conceding 63 points.

This doesn’t represent much of an easier prospect for them, and like all of their Aussie counterparts, the Reds will really need to rally to even compete with the Chiefs.

The Chiefs have so far beaten the Force and the Brumbies, and they can add a third Australian scalp to the mantle in Round 3.

An 8.5 point line seems far too small for me

Highlanders vs Rebels
Highlanders (-21.5)

Round 3 will draw to a close in Queenstown on Sunday when the Highlanders take on, and probably beat, the Rebels.

The Highlanders have looked good in their first two Super Rugby Trans-Tasman matches, and enter this fixture as clear and justifiable $1.07 favourites.

The Rebels were just awful in Round 1, but they were a little better against the Hurricanes last week, albeit still a losing effort.

I’m happy to stick with the Highlanders to cover the line as home favourites.