The Chiefs will be in familiar territory when they host the ACT Brumbies in the Final of the Super XV this Saturday in Hamilton. As was the case in their maiden Super Rugby title last season, they will be hosting a final against a side that has had to travel across continents in the week preceding the big game. Last year, it was the Sharks who proved that three cross-continental trips in as many weeks is too much if a stress on a rugby team. Although the Brumbies haven’t had as much travelling to do in recent weeks, it will certainly play a part in the game and will be felt in the final twenty minutes of the game, at least. Having said that, it is a major final, and with everything up for grabs, anything is possible.
Super XV Final Odds
The Chiefs (3/10) understandably head into the game as clear favourites – not only for the home ground advantage, but most importantly owing to the fact that, in essence, they have proven to be the best team in the competition this season yet again. They scraped through a very tough semi against a very in form Crusaders outfit last week in what many saw as the real final, and are odds on to add to their trophy cabinet on Saturday.
Jake White has overseen an incredible transformation of this Brumbies (13/5) side. Taking over when the side was underachieving and obtaining mid-table mediocrity, he has molded a competitive side that can play, although doesn’t always exercise this option, an exciting brand of rugby.
An eight-point handicap seems to be a bit high at first glance, especially considering the tight scores that characterized the two semis, but then again the Chiefs blew apart the notion that finals should be closely contested affairs just last year. The Brumbies with an eight-point advantage is being offered at Evens, with the same points handicap for the Chiefs at 5/6. Given the fact that the points handicap is fairly high, meaning that a sizable win for the Chiefs is predicted, it is strange that the total Over/Under prices are fixed at 41.5 points in the game. The Over at 91/100 is one to look at and consider strongly.
It has been a long and arduous tournament, and we have perhaps an unexpected final on the cards. The Chiefs may not have been expected to repeat their impressive run of last season, whereas the Brumbies, although tipped to impress this season, have surprised everyone in reaching the final. It is perhaps indicative of where the power in Southern hemisphere lies that the participants in the final both come from Australasia, pointing a finger towards the progress and sustainability of South African rugby in the face of a wave of European teams luring the country’s best players to their northern shores. The tournament has been at times criticized for being too long and losing focus in the middle of the season, but one thing remains undisputable: the tournament continues to produce the most exciting rugby in the world, and remains a major draw for fans and, of course, us punters.