Sharks

The MONEY MAN, in his Independent Media Friday column, is backing the Sharks to defeat the Lions by four or more points in Durban on Saturday.

Once again, the only consistent thing about Vodacom Super Rugby has been the inconsistency of team performances and results. Last weekend produced some good games and I thought the Stormers certainly deserved to get reward for their effort against the Crusaders.

The Stormers pack continues to impress, but I can’t say the same thing about their backs. I think it is the pack that will have too much firepower for the Highlanders. The Kiwis have some good individuals, but as a collective pack they can’t match the Stormers.

I am going to put down R3 000 that the Stormers will win by more than two points, and this will win me back R5 700.

For the first time this season I am putting down R10 000 on one weekend. This is across several matches. Usually I would limit my bets to two matches, but I like the look of many match-ups. If successful in all of my bets I’ll get back R19 000.

The Crusaders are a champion team, and while not necessarily as consistent or dominant as last year, I still think it would be a brave or foolish punt to go against them winning the title.

They play the Blues in Christchurch and I think the bookies may have got this one wrong. The bookies, in their odds, haven’t given the Blues much chance. They have the Blues on a plus 12.5 handicap. I am putting down R2 000 to win back R3 800 that the Blues will cover the handicap and not lose by 13 or more.

The Jaguares have won me some good returns this season. They remain on course to win the South African conference. They were very good by convincingly beating the Hurricanes in Wellington a week ago.

It was their third win in their last four matches in New Zealand. That’s a fine effort. The last time the Hurricanes lost to a team outside of New Zealand at home was in 2015, so this gives you an idea of the Jaguares’ achievement.

I am putting down R2 000 to win back R3 800 that the Jaguares will cover the plus 3.5 handicap against the Waratahs, which means they won’t lose by four points or more. For my Superbru I am picking them to win outright.

The Vodacom Bulls earlier in the week had me thinking about the prospects of their visit to Canberra to play the Brumbies. Then Handre Pollard got sent home with injury and my mind was made up: Go with the Brumbies to beat the handicap of plus 6.5 to the Bulls and beat the Bulls by more than seven points. The Brumbies are unbeaten at home this season. I am putting down R2000 to win back R3800.

The big South African home derby is the Lions’ visit to Durban. I believe the Sharks will win comfortably. There is no Malcolm Marx or Warren Whiteley and that reduces the Lions’ potency.

The bookies have it as a one-score game, with the Lions at plus 3.5, but I am putting down R1 000 to win back R1 900 that the Sharks will beat the handicap and beat them by four points or more.

* Kevin Ferguson is the chief executive of Highbury Media and a leading sports betting specialist in South Africa.

Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

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