The first of the Super Rugby Round 4 matches taking place on Saturday sees the Rebels clash with the Sharks at Wendouree and the betting suggests we could be in for a close contest.
Rebels v Sharks, Saturday 22nd February, Wendouree, KO 05:45 (South African time)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Refs: Damon Murphy , James Quinn
TMO: George Ayoub
Weather Forecast – Wendouree
The Rebels first log points of the season came in Round 3 when they got the better of the Waratahs (24-10) in an Australian derby in Melbourne. They covered the pre-match handicap in that game but in the first 2 rounds the Rebels had been expensive to follow. Their season began away to the Sunwolves and although they were chalked up as 16.5 point favourites they lost the game 36-27. In Round 2 the Rebels lost a derby clash away to the Brumbies (39-26) as the Canberra side covered a 5.5 point handicap.
In 2019 the Rebels lost all 4 matches against South African sides including home defeats to the Bulls and the Stormers and a 28-14 loss to the Sharks in Durban.
As far as the Australian Conference is concerned the Rebels are 5 points behind the Brumbies who set the early pace.
In contrast to the Rebels the Sharks won their first 2 matches of the season but then came unstuck in Round 3 away to the Hurricanes in Wellington. At half time in that game it was level at 17 a piece but the Canes dominated the second period to come through as winners 38-22, wiping out the 6.5 point start the Sharks had been given by the bookmakers.
After starting their season with a 23-15 home win in a local derby against the Bulls the Sharks began their tour against the Highlanders in Dunedin. They were given a 7.5 point start on the handicap and they didn't need any of it as they came through with a 42-20 victory.
The Sharks are currently third best in the South African Conference, 2 points behind Jaguares and 5 behind the Stormers who will meet at Newlands later in the day.
In Australia in 2019 the Sharks won away to the Waratahs in the regular season but were soundly beaten by the Brumbies in Canberra in the play offs.
The Sharks have won 5 of 7 head to heads against the Rebels with the sole defeat coming in their last visit to Melbourne in 2018 whilst a 2017 clash in Durban ended in a low scoring draw.
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Campbell Magnay, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Andrew Deegan, 9 Ryan Louwrens, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Ross Haylett-Petty, 3 Jermaine Ainsley, 2 Steven Misa, 1 Matt Gibbon
Substitutes: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Cameron Orr, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Rob Leota, 22 Frank Lomani, 23 Tom English
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Andre Esterhuizen (captain), 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Sikumbuzo Notshe, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 James Venter, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Lwazi Mvovo
Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2019 Durban Sharks 28-14 Rebels (Tries 3-2)
2018 Melbourne Rebels 46-14 Sharks (Tries 6-2 )
2017 Durban Sharks 9-9 Rebels (Tries 0-0)
2015 Durban Sharks 25-21 Rebels (Tries 3-3)
2014 Melbourne Rebels 16-22 Sharks (Tries 1-1 )
2013 Durban Sharks 64-7 Rebels (Tries 10-1)
2014 Melbourne Rebels 32-34 Sharks (Tries 4-4 )
Rebels +5.5 at 19/20 at Sunbet
Sharks -2.5 at 9/10 at WSB
Note: Odds quoted are subject to change
I set this handicap at Rebels +2.5 during my weekly Sunday handicapping exercise and the Rebels actually opened slight favourites but there has been a massive shift towards the Sharks with -5.5 now generally available.
There are no points lines as yet but conditions look to be good and this could well be a high scoring encounter and I will post any additional bets in the Goodforthegame Forum Thread
BET: 4 units Sharks -2.5 at 9/10 at WSB
Update 08h25 20 Feb: The handicap at WSB was suspended shortly after this preview was posted - we suggest the -3.5 at Hollywood while it lasts
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