The play off bound Waratahs take on the Brumbies in Round 19 of Super Rugby and the home side are still looking to strengthen their hand for the knockout rounds.
Waratahs v Brumbies, Saturday 14th July, Sydney, KO 11:45 (South African time)
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Will Houston, James Leckie
TMO: George Ayoub
The Waratahs sealed top spot in the Australian Conference with a 12 try demolition of the Sunwolves last week. They romped to a 77-25 win in Round 18 but the work doesn’t stop as they will be looking to make sure they finish ahead of the Lions which would be beneficial in terms of a home advantage later in the play offs should they get through the first round.
The Tahs have now won 4 of their last 5 and their overall record comprises of 9 wins, 5 defeats and 1 draw. At home they have won 5 of 7 with the Blues and the Lions the teams to have lowered their colours in Sydney.
In terms of Australian derby matches the Waratahs have won 5 from 5 by an average margin of 14 points and that includes 2 home wins over the Rebels (51-27) and the Reds (37-16).
The Brumbies went down 24-19 to the Chiefs in Hamilton last week and their own play off ambitions are very slender with a bonus point win needed here in addition to other results going their way before and after this game takes place. They have been in good form, winning their 3 previous matches before the visit to the Chiefs but in the end 5 successive defeats from Round 9 to Round 14 could prove costly.
The Brumbies Australian derby record of 1 win and 4 defeats will also be of concern and that includes a 24-17 loss to the Tahs in Canberra in Round 7.
Waratahs – 15 Israel Folau, 14 Cam Clark, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Bernard Foley (c), 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Will Miller, 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Jed Holloway, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson.
Subs: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Tom Staniforth, 20 Brad Wilkin, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome.
Brumbies – 15 Tom Banks, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Andy Muirhead, 10 Christian Lealiifano (c), 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 David Pocock, 6 Blake Enever, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Faingaa, 1 Scott Sio.
Subs: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Les Leulua’iali’i-Makin, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Matt Lucas, 22 Wharenui Hawera, 23 Lausii Taliauli.
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 Canberra Brumbies 17–24 Waratahs (Tries 1-2 )
2017 Sydney Waratahs 12-28 Brumbies (Tries 2-4)
2016 Sydney Waratahs 20-26 Brumbies (Tries 2-4)
2016 Canberra Brumbies 32–15 Waratahs (Tries 4-2 )
2015 Canberra Brumbies 10–13 Waratahs (Tries 1-1 )
2015 Sydney Waratahs 28–13 Brumbies (Tries 3-1)
2014 Sydney Waratahs 26–8 Brumbies (Tries 3-1) (semi final)
2014 Sydney Waratahs 39–8 Brumbies (Tries 5-1)
2014 Canberra Brumbies 28–23 Waratahs (Tries 3-2 )
Waratahs -4.5 points 9/10 Hollywood
Brumbies +7.5 points 9/10 BetXchange
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
The Tahs are unchanged from last week, a sign they want to keep the hammer down for the best possible play off route but this Brumbies side have looked good in recent weeks and I still see them putting in a good shift regardless of whether they are in the play off picture.
The plus handicap is my call although I would have hoped for a point or 2 more in all honesty.
Bet: 4 units Brumbies +7.5 points 9/10 BetXchange
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