CAPE TOWN – The Stormers delivered for me a week ago against the Hurricanes. I played R2 000 to get back R3 800 on them not losing by 15 or more points. I thought it was very generous of the bookies and so it proved. The Stormers lost by six in a game they really should have won.
I had the Sharks to win against the Rebels, but I also had the Rebels to cover the nine and a half point start the bookies gave them. I played R1 000 that the Rebels would not lose by 10 or more.
If the Stormers came good for me, then the Rebels didn’t.
They lost in Durban by 14. Fortunately, my return on the Stormers was more than my loss on the Rebels.
My Superbru was about as shocking as most I have spoken to.
It was a weekend when the competition form book was turned on its head. The Blues won for the first time against New Zealand opposition in 21 games, the Waratahs stunned the Crusaders in Sydney and the Reds hammered the Brumbies in Canberra.
And I don’t know of anyone who could have foreseen the (previously winless) Chiefs putting 56 points past the Bulls in Pretoria.
It has meant the bookies are making the Sharks favourites this weekend. I don’t agree.
The Bulls ripped them apart less than a month ago and the Bulls, on paper and on grass, are the better team.
I think the Sharks pack will struggle, as they did against the Bulls at Loftus.
It is a match in which Handre Pollard’s goalkicking will be significant. But the victory will be because of the effort from the visitors’ pack. Schalk Brits has been immense this season and I am picking the Bulls to bounce back.
I am putting down R1 000 on a Bulls win, which will get me R1 900.
I also think the Stormers handicap of plus 5.5 is generous towards the Blues. Robbie Fleck’s Stormers haven’t won in New Zealand in 11 visits and this is the last time Fleck will be in charge of the Stormers in New Zealand.
I am putting down R1 000 on the Stormers to beat the handicap to get back R1 900.
Eben Etzebeth’s presence always makes the Stormers better and I am pleased to see Damian Willemse getting a start.
The Stormers pack is one of the best in the competition, while the Blues have a very dangerous backline. I have the Stormers forwards to suffocate the Blues, who will rely on individual gamebreakers for their points. Don’t be surprised with a Stormers win.
This weekend’s handicap spreads:
Canes v Saders (Canes are plus 2.5)
Tahs v Sunwolves (Sunwolves are plus 16.5)
Blues v Stormers (Stormers are plus 5.5)
Reds v Rebels (Reds are plus 2.5)
Sharks v Bulls (Bulls are plus 3.5)
Jaguares v Chiefs (Jaguares are plus 1.5)
* Kevin Ferguson is the chief executive of Highbury Media and a leading sports betting authority in South Africa. Follow him on www.moneymansa.co.za