Brumbies vs Rebels Tips, Odds and Betting – Super Rugby Australia 2021


AAMI Park will play host to Saturday”s
Round 3 Super Rugby game between Brumbies and
Rebels. The game kicks off at 7:45 pm with Brumbies heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Brumbies vs.
Rebels
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Saturday March 6, 2021 at 7:45 pm

Where: AAMI Park

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Brumbies vs Rebels Odds

Brumbies vs Rebels Preview

The Brumbies have flown through the first two weeks dispatching the Force and Waratahs to sit on top of the Super Rugby AU table.

They can kick clear of the Reds if they take care of business against the Rebels on Saturday night however the Rebels acquitted themselves quite well in their season debut last Friday night.

In tough conditions they ran the Reds right to the wire and had a chance to win the game, only to miss a late penalty.

Being back in Melbourne for the first time in almost exactly a year should give the Rebels a real boost and help spur them on.

I’m not quite sure they can get over the top of the Brumbies outright but with a line of almost two converted tries, it seems like a number far too high for this fixture.

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Brumbies vs Rebels Tip

We’re tipping Brumbies to win at $1.19 odds.





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Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand to be postponed until 2022


“The recommendation is based on the evolution of the uncertain and challenging global COVID-19 situation.

“It has become clear in recent discussions with key partners… that, given the scale of the event and the COVID-19-related uncertainties, it is just not possible to deliver the environment for all teams to be the best that they can be on the sport’s greatest stage.”

The tournament will be the first women’s Rugby World Cup to be held in the southern hemisphere, and is due to feature New Zealand, England, Canada, France, Australia, United States, Wales, South Africa, Fiji and three qualifiers.

The hosts are hoping to break the record for attendance at a women’s Rugby World Cup, with the 44,000-capacity Eden Park in Auckland scheduled to host the opening match, a semi-final and the final.

“World Rugby can assure teams, New Zealanders and the global rugby family that the recommendation to postpone the tournament will help to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2021 will be all it can be next year for players, fans and the rugby family – one of the great Rugby World Cups,” World Rugby said.

Rugby Australia’s general manager of women’s rugby, Jilly Collins, said: “It’s disappointing news for both our team and the wider rugby community.

“Ultimately, safety must be the number one priority. Furthermore, a tournament needs to be delivered that is fitting of the pinnacle event in the women’s rugby XVs calendar with all teams as best prepared as possible.

“We will regroup as a team at our training camp next week and our priority now is to work out our revised Test schedule for 2021.

“It goes without saying that the Wallaroos cannot wait to pull on the gold jersey as soon as possible.”

Irish Rugby’s director of women’s rugby, Anthony Eddy, said the news comes as a devastating blow for his team, who were due to play in a qualifying tournament in the coming weeks.

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“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Eddy. “We want to play rugby. The Rugby World Cup deserves every opportunity to showcase the best that our sport has to offer and that’s not possible in the COVID-19 environment.”

With 5 million people, New Zealand has recorded just over 2000 infections since the start of the pandemic, and 26 deaths.

Fresh cases have emerged in the country more recently, however, with Auckland entering lockdown for the second time in a month last weekend.

“We are naturally disappointed but understanding of the decision,” said Nicky Ponsford, the head of women’s performance at England’s Rugby Football Union.

“Player welfare has to be prioritised and ensuring teams both qualify on the pitch and can perform to their best at the tournament is also vitally important for the game.”

New Zealand are the current holders, having defeated England 41-32 in the final in Belfast in 2017.

Reuters

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NRL 2021: French rugby star Frederic Michalak helping Sydney Roosters halfback Luke Keary


Frederic Michalak – the silky French magician, who played at four World Cups and helped knock the All Blacks out of one in 2007 – is the Roosters’ secret weapon in 2021 and has been tasked with helping Luke Keary make the transition to halfback.

The French great, who played 77 Tests for Les Bleus in the playmaking position, has returned to the club after a brief coaching development stint at Moore Park in 2020.

But with COVID continuing to run rampant throughout Europe, Michalak decided to return to Sydney late last year where his wife, Cindy, is from.

He has spent the past five weeks working with the Tricolours since touching down ahead of Christmas and will remain at the club for much of the year.

And already the rugby great has won over his students.



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England tour in 2022 with Lions v South Africa visit proposed for 2021


Sources with knowledge of the situation have told the Herald the inbound series is also a significant part of why Rugby Australia offered to host the British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa in July and August this year.

With South Africa ruled out as a venue due to COVID-19, Lions and SARU bosses are weighing up whether to play the series behind closed doors – or with limited crowds – in the UK, or to take up Australia’s offer of a series played in front of full stadiums.

Wrapped up: England’s Mike Brown is tackled at AAMI Park in 2016.

Wrapped up: England’s Mike Brown is tackled at AAMI Park in 2016.Credit:Scott Barbour

There is a push among some media and ex-players, however, for the series to be postponed until July 2022, where it could likely be played in South Africa. But if changes are made and the Lions tour played next year, England’s stars would be in South Africa and they would bring what is essentially a ‘B’ team to Australia.

That, in turn, would significantly devalue England’s tour of Australia, which could impact ticket sales and the potential audience for a three-Test series.

Rugby Australia, therefore, is highly motivated for the Lions series to be played in 2021. While he has a different reason, Jones is in firm agreement.

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England are believed to be the nation most in favour of taking the Lions tour to Australia and that’s partly due to Jones not wanting to lose his best players for an important tour that falls just 12 months out from the 2023 World Cup.

With France arriving in Australia in four months for a blockbuster series, England locked in for 2022, the World Cup in France in 2023, a Lions tour in 2025 and what RA hopes will be a home World Cup in 2027, recently departed chief executive Rob Clarke believes the game is in a strong position.

“The opportunity is there to work on a plan to happen and maximise and leverage a successful Lions tour in 2025 which is one of the largest single events that happens in the sporting calendar globally,” Clarke said.

“Then, fingers crossed, we win the bid for the 2027 World Cup. Two years after the Lions are here, we host the third largest sporting event in the sporting calendar, that’s the World Cup.

“The two tentpole events, and if you add in three Tests against England next year when they come and tour and a World Cup in France in 2023, there is an enormous amount to look forward to and that’s a lot of commercial leverage opportunities to set up a legacy for decades to come.

“I really am optimistic about the future. I think with partners like Stan and Nine, who are bringing such a fresh look and an energy and expertise to the game, there is no reason rugby cannot build itself back into that pinnacle position that it used to own and enjoy a couple of decades ago.”

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Hurricanes vs Blues Tips, Odds and Betting – Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021


Sky Stadium will play host to Saturday”s
Round 1 Super Rugby game between Hurricanes and
Blues. The game kicks off at 5:05 pm with Blues heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Hurricanes vs.
Blues
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Saturday February 27, 2021 at 5:05 pm

Where: Sky Stadium

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match
HERE

Hurricanes vs Blues Odds

Hurricanes vs Blues Preview

The Blues were the story of the 2020 Super Rugby competition, shaking off years of mediocrity to finish as runners up to the Crusaders.

The Hurricanes on the other hand finished a close run third and this should be an excellent way to start the Saturday double header.

Last season the Blues won two of the three matches between the teams and I’ll back them to start their season off on a winning note.

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Hurricanes vs Blues Tip

We’re tipping Blues to win at $1.79 odds.





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Waratahs coach Rob Penney safe but NSWRU board to examine all options


“Now is the time for actually working very closely together. We are looking for improvement. But we have to come together. Now is not the time to be singling anyone out.

“It’s a young squad, it’s a developing squad and you have to chalk [the loss to the Brumbies] up, unfortunately, when you look at the [difference] in experience, we’re on the negative.”

The Waratahs may look at installing a director of coaching after a disastrous start to the Super Rugby AU season.

The Waratahs may look at installing a director of coaching after a disastrous start to the Super Rugby AU season.Credit:Getty

Penney’s job may be safe for the short term but Doorn concedes the NSWRU board will examine all potential steps to reverse the Waratahs’ calamitous trajectory.

That includes the possibility of a coaching director or any other sort of additional support.

“We are always interested in better ways of doing things. The board will look at all sorts of different options,” he said.

“But at the moment, we are quite comfortable. We changed our structure last year. We have three assistant coaches that are very capable working alongside Rob.

“I think what we have at the moment is a combination of the inexperience and the youth of the squad.

“Ultimately, every week you sit down, you examine, you assess and think about how we need to do things differently. Nothing is off the table.

“But it’s not something we are acutely focused on at this stage.”

Doorn has only been at the helm of the Waratahs organisation for just over a year. He replaced Andrew Hore, who appointed Penney but quit suddenly soon after to take up the CEO role at the Auckland Blues.

In the last year Wallabies Ned Hanigan, Tom Robertson, Rob Simmons, Michael Hooper (who may return from Japan later this season), Kurtley Beale and Karmichael Hunt have all left the club.

Under-siege Waratahs coach Rob Penney.

Under-siege Waratahs coach Rob Penney.Credit:Louie Douvis

While the Waratahs wanted to keep one or two of those players, the majority were let go, and their departures exacerbated the problems created by a mass exodus of Wallabies talent the year before, including Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu and Bernard Foley.

The Waratahs backed a talented young group of former Junior Wallabies stars, like Angus Bell and Will Harrison, but the one-way traffic of senior players leaving has left Penney with an incredibly inexperienced squad.

Against the Brumbies, just five players in the matchday 23 had played more than 20 Super Rugby matches. Six of NSW’s eight reserves had played three or fewer Super Rugby games.

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“We don’t like to suggest that we’re in a rebuilding phase but we’re in this position for a whole host of reasons,” Doorn said.

“Not a singular person or entity (is at fault). We have to work out where our strengths lie and then use this season to rebuild and look to next year to rebuild and to get people who will complement the youth and inexperience we currently have.

“It’s 12 months I have been in the job now and we are clearly looking at a long-term strategy here that’s great for players, great for coaching staff and will build us into the dynasty that we should be.

“But it’s not something you can just click your fingers on overnight. Particularly with the financial challenges that we’ve had as a business.

“There are multiple plans in play here to have us improve.

“What you’re seeing on the field right now is clearly the result of a whole heap of things that have happened in the past.”

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Super Rugby 2021 results, scores: Brumbies vs Waratahs, Rob Penney, Mack Hansen, Noah Lolesio, reaction


Winger Mack Hansen bagged a hat-trick as a relentless ACT Brumbies thumped the New South Wales Waratahs 61-10 Saturday — their most points ever scored against the struggling Sydney side.

The defending Super Rugby AU champions were a class above Rob Penney’s inexperienced team at a fortress GIO Stadium in Canberra, powering over for nine tries with Noah Lolesio and Ryan Lonergan sharing eight conversions.

Their trademark lineout setpiece and attacking flair did the damage as they won the physical battle and repeatedly exposed the visitors’ defensive frailties.

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Tepai Moeroa of the Waratahs looks dejected after the loss. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Tepai Moeroa of the Waratahs looks dejected after the loss. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images



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England fume about controversial decisions in defeat to Wales


A furious Farrell remonstrated with the referee but was brushed aside.

Soon afterwards Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit dropped the ball in flight, throwing his head back in dismay, and though Williams collected it to score, everyone on the pitch appeared to assume play would be called back for a knock-on.

However, the TMO ruled that Rees-Zammit had dropped it on to his leg and so, even though it travelled forwards, it did not count as a knock on.

Farrell held his tongue in a tetchy post-match interview with the BBC.

As Referee, Pascal Gauzere gestures towards his hand, an on looking Dan Biggar of Wales kicks into the corner to set up Josh Adams of Wales who claims the high ball and goes over to score their side’s first try during the Guinness Six Nations match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 27, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales.

As Referee, Pascal Gauzere gestures towards his hand, an on looking Dan Biggar of Wales kicks into the corner to set up Josh Adams of Wales who claims the high ball and goes over to score their side’s first try during the Guinness Six Nations match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 27, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales. Credit:Getty Images

“There is no point in talking about it now,” he said. “That is for everyone else to talk about. Maybe there were tough calls but we’ve got to be good enough to overcome that.”

Coach Eddie Jones took a similar approach.

“They’re huge decisions, we can’t debate it – we are not allowed to debate it. All I will end up with is a fine and that won’t help anyone,” he said.

Former England captain and coach Martin Johnson had a different view.

“I’m speechless, that is appalling refereeing,” he said of the first try in his role as a TV analyst.

There was further support for England from a prominent Welshman, former international referee Nigel Owens.

“It was 100% a knock-on,” he said. “Rees-Zammit definitely touches the ball and it travels forward on to his calf, then goes backwards and then comes off an England player. It’s irrelevant that it’s gone backwards off his calf. The fact is it’s gone forward first before that.”

Former England prop David Flatman, also working as a pundit, stirred the pot.

The Wales team celebrate after defeating England and winning the Triple Crown following the Six Nations rugby union match between Wales and England at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Wales win the triple crown for defeating Ireland, Scotland and England. Wales defeated England 40-24.

The Wales team celebrate after defeating England and winning the Triple Crown following the Six Nations rugby union match between Wales and England at the Millennium stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Wales win the triple crown for defeating Ireland, Scotland and England. Wales defeated England 40-24. Credit:PA

“The first half was an oval-shaped omnishambles,” he said.

“If Louis Rees-Zammit didn’t knock that on, then the game I’ve been watching for 40 years isn’t rugby.”

The final comment was a reference to the 14 penalties England conceded, three of which were turned into nine points in the final 15 minutes by replacement flyhalf Callum Sheedy to take the game out of the visitors’ reach after they had battled back to 24-all.

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“There were times we gave away penalties we shouldn’t have, it was just from the effort and sometimes you get in situations where emotionally you struggle because of the circumstances and you try too hard,” Jones said.

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Highlanders vs Crusaders Tips, Odds and Betting – Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021


Forsyth Barr Stadium will play host to Friday”s
Round 1 Super Rugby game between Highlanders and
Crusaders. The game kicks off at 5:05 pm with Crusaders heading into the game as favourites with the bookmakers. Continue reading for our in-depth preview of the Highlanders vs.
Crusaders
game and give you our free tips and bets.

When: Friday February 26, 2021 at 5:05 pm

Where: Forsyth Barr Stadium

Bet 💰: Bet On This Match
HERE

Highlanders vs Crusaders Odds

Highlanders vs Crusaders Preview

There are no certainties in world sport but the Crusaders in Super Rugby are about as close to one as you can find.

They won the inaugural edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa in a canter and open up their 2021 campaign against the Highlanders.

History points to one outcome here and it is not a pretty picture for the Highlanders.

The Crusaders have won the last six meetings between these teams by an average of 20.5 points with the smallest margin of victory being 10 points.

With the line as less than a converted try, I’ll happily back the Crusaders to cover.

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Highlanders vs Crusaders Tip

We’re tipping Crusaders to win at $1.37 odds.





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Alex Mafi match winner, Matt To’omua miss after final siren overshadow Suliasi Vunivalu debut


Powell’s boot just beat Vunivalu’s outstretched hand to the ball, earning the Reds a drop-out which eventually proved pivotal.

Vunivalu had a handful of other touches in a frenetic final 15 minutes but he overshadowed by a teammate.

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Alex Mafi – who had scored an earlier try at the back of a rolling maul – also almost scored the try of the season after an O’Connor chip kick created space for Hunter Paisami.

But after a Hodge trysaver – his second of the night – Mafi fumbled the ball a metre from the line.

A few minutes later, Mafi threw a perfect lineout ball to Seru Uru, received a pop pass from Fraser McReight, double pumped, burst through a gap and scored the eventual match-winner.

It was only the match-winner after Matt To’omua missed a shot at goal from just over 40 metres out after the final siren had sounded.

“I’ll be up for a little bit tonight, staring at the wall,” To’omua said post match.

Mafi’s match-winner was particularly remarkable given the Reds played the final 20 minutes with just 14 men.

Referee Jordan Way – who blew an eye-watering 32 penalties – showed Feao Fotuaika a red card for a clean-out on Richard Hardwick which made contact with the openside’s head.

But the one-man advantage did not aid the Rebels.

The visitors hardly troubled the Reds with ball in hand all night. But they were the smarter of the two sides.

While Queensland only conceded seven of the 18 first-half penalties, several were well within To’omua’s range.

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The star Wallabies playmaker duly slotted four penalty goals in the first 40 minutes, giving his side a 12-6 lead.

The Rebels took points whenever they were on offer. The Reds did not. Queensland had a strange fascination with taking quick taps from penalties where pointing to the posts or kicking for touch would have been far greater percentage plays.

“They won despite their tactics tonight,” Stan Sport analyst Morgan Turinui said post-match.

The tactics left the home side with a six-point half-time deficit despite playing the better rugby with ball in hand.

Jordan Petaia was at his powerful, tackle-busting best. Hunter Paisami’s bell-ringer on To’omua will be part of the highlight reels for the rest of the year. Hamish Stewart was at his creative best in midfield. Up front, Harry Wilson and Fraser McReight led the engine room on both sides of the ball.

But poor game management gave the smarter side opportunities. Queensland blew several opportunities but few would argue the better side lost the match.

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