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Super 15 Rugby Semi Finals Preview and Guide 69 views 5 Comments
25 June 2015 by The Swede Eaters
 

Here is a guide for Super Rugby semi-finals.


For Super Rugby fans, it is make or break time with only one round left. Now is the time to make a move in that tipping conference and that is where we can help.
It seems like only yesterday that Super 15 Rugby Round 1 2015 left a lot of people red faced with most tipsters picking between two and three winners out of seven games. Things have got more predictable since then with Round 11 and 15 featuring no upsets, just when some people desperate to make up points got sick of losing out when picking the favourites and went for the upsets!
The overall average winning margin in the regular season was 12.5 points.
In Super Rugby Qualifiers last week, we saw the Brumbies win convincingly against the Stormers in South Africa, while the Highlanders beat the Chiefs by 10 points.
It is difficult for teams to win away during Super Rugby finals, with the Brumbies win last week replicating their 2013 win in South Africa. The travel factor cannot be taken lightly when you consider that they will have flown from Canberra, Australia to Cape Town, South Africa and returned home before flying to Wellington, New Zealand. The players will be tired and this will play into the Hurricanes’ hands.
Super Rugby Semi-Finals will both be exciting games. Obviously both home teams have a slight advantage, but they are anything but a forgone conclusion. There are also more points up for grabs in most tipping competitions.

We have two trans-tasman battles with the Hurricanes hosting the Brumbies and the Waratahs hosting the Highlanders. This means that there is now an opportunity for an all Australian or New Zealand final. It was obvious last week that the international stars need to stand up for their teams. For the Highlanders it was Ben and Aaron Smith, while the Brumbies beat the Stormers thanks to their Wallabies, including Joe Tomane, Christian Lealiifano, David Pocock and Stephen Moore.

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Interestingly in the knockout stages in the last three Super Rugby seasons there have been at least two really close games, but also at least one really lopsided match. Travel seems to really affect finals’ results, with no away wins in the knockout stages since the Brumbies in 2013, while the Sharks picked up two away wins in the 2012 finals. The average winning margins in the knockout stages are similar to the regular season with the 2012 season the highest with the average winning margin of 13.8 points while in 2013 the average winning margin was only 8 points.


This is an excerpt from The Ultimate Rugby Tipping Guide 2015 ebook.

For those playing fantasy rugby game www.testrugby.com, we are also naming players to watch. You can also join the Super Rugby Tips conference at SuperBru. It is difficult to afford a team if playing salary cap fantasy rugby, so you may have to buy bargains, but there are enough new players in Super Rugby 2015 to give you some options. 2015 seems tough to fill a squad without going over budget.
There will be plenty of emotion, with so many players leaving their current teams at the end of Super Rugby 2015. Because of the Rugby World Cup there will be players going overseas, retiring or changing teams before the 2016 season.

For Super Rugby Semi-Finals team lists click here

It is also worth checking the Super 15 Rugby Team of the Competition so far here
And the Super Rugby Statistical leaders here
Hurricanes vs Brumbies
It will be interesting to see if the week off helped the top seeded Hurricanes as they host the Brumbies. Some teams find coming off the bye takes a while to adjust to and in semi-finals footy it could all be too late by then.
These two teams have plenty of international test players in them and so this will be a classic.
The Brumbies are away for the second week in a row, but they will be confident after winning so convincingly away from home. David Pocock has really breathed new life into this team after being a slow starter this injury plagued season.
They will also be confident since they have a superior head to head record against the Hurricanes in New Zealand, although the Hurricanes of 2015 have a more durable tight five than in previous seasons. Plenty will depend on how the Hurricanes deal with the Brumbies driving maul which has caused problems for opponents. The refereeing of this is also important. Finally, these are the best two defensive teams in Super Rugby 2015, although whether this makes for a low scoring game is yet to be seen as these two teams are usually involved in relatively high scoring matches.
The Brumbies have won their last two matches in Wellington and the last four against the Hurricanes overall, but the Brumbies’ travel schedule and the Hurricanes’ impressive 2015 suggest that the home team will break that losing streak.

Players to watch:
Hurricanes (yet to be named) Dane Coles, James Broadhurst, James Marshall (bargain), Ma’a Nonu, Victor Vito, Julian Savea, Nehe Milner-Skudder (bargain)
Brumbies (yet to be named) - David Pocock, Christian Lealiifano, Ita Vaea, Stephen Moore.
My pick: Hurricanes
Waratahs vs Highlanders
While having the Highlanders play their semi-final in Sydney is great for the New Zealand rugby purist who wants an All New Zealand Super Rugby final, statistically speaking, they would have more chance of winning in Wellington.
Sydney hasn’t be good to the Highlanders over the years and since they have only won there twice, it will be tough going to win there this weekend. The things in the Highlanders favour is that they have good form leading into this game and they finally have a backline up there with the best of them in Super Rugby 2015 (third best), and the Highlanders actually finished on more competition points than the Waratahs, yet were only the fourth qualifiers because of the format of the system. The Highlanders also beat the Waratahs in Dunedin earlier this year, and in Waisake Naholo, have the top try scorer in the competition at the moment. Plenty will depend on how the Highlanders forward pack can cope with the Waratahs. The Highlanders forward pack hasn’t got the big names, but after being dominated early on in Super Rugby 2015, has found their feet to hold their own against most opposition.
These things show me that the Highlanders will improve of previous recent showings in Sydney where they have been easily beaten.
It will be interesting to see how the Waratahs play without Kurtley Beale.
Players to watch:
Waratahs: Israel Folau, Micheal Hooper, Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper
Highlanders: Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith, Elliot Dixon, Richard Buckman, Lima Sopoaga, Malakai Fekitoa.
My pick: Waratahs.

Who are you picking to win Super Rugby Semi-Finals 2015?

http://www.superrugbytips.com/2015/06/super-15-rugby-round-semi-finals.html

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Tags: Super Rugby,



comment Comments (5)
Rating:

5 . johnx 25 Jun 2015 05:52 PM
Final canes /highlanders

4 . johnx 25 Jun 2015 05:52 PM
Final canes /highlanders

3 . johnx 25 Jun 2015 05:51 PM
Final canes /highlanders

2 . johnx 25 Jun 2015 05:51 PM
Final canes /highlanders

1 . johnx 25 Jun 2015 05:50 PM
Final canes /highlanders

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