Blues vs Brumbies Prediction: Blues to power into the Final

 | Thursday 13th June 2024, 14:22pm

Thursday 13th June 2024, 14:22pm

Alex Cox Rugby Union

The first of the two Super Rugby Semi-Finals will take place on Friday morning (08:05) at Eden Park, between the Blues and Brumbies. The home side are clear favourites, meaning it will be a big upset if the Aussie side can find a win in Auckland.  

The Blues have won all eight of their games at Eden Park this season and I can’t see that unbeaten run being broken... Check out my Blues vs Brumbies Predictions.

Blues vs Brumbies Betting Tips

  • Blues over 29.5 points @ 5/6

The Blues won 12 of their 14 regular season games, with narrow defeats away at the Hurricanes and Crusaders their only losses. They got through their quarter-final against the Drua last week comfortably by 36-5 and didn’t have to get out of fourth gear. Cotter has implemented a clear structure that his players have bought into and it’s centered around physicality and pressure – in both attack and defence. *+++++

The Brumbies finished the regular season in third place and had the same record as the Blues – with 12 wins. Their two losses both came on New Zealand soil, against the Chiefs and also the Blues, in a comprehensive 46-7 defeat. Having to return to Eden Park is a tall ask for the Brumbies and they’ll certainly be focused on producing a better performance than they managed in Auckland in April.

They were bullied up-front and had no answer for the Blues powerful pack, as the forwards punched over five of their seven tries from close range. The Brumbies will have to front up to provide their back-line with some better ball this time and with a final spot at stake and although one can expect a more competitive Brumbies performance on Friday, I’m not sure it will be enough at Eden Park.

Team news

Blues

Vern Cotter received the unfortunate news that his skipper Tuipulotu won’t feature for the remainder of the campaign after picking up a knee injury. Other than that, he has a fit squad to choose from. Tu’ungafasi, Riccitelli and Renata will continue in the front-row, and its Darry and Beehre in the second-row this week. No change to the back-row – it will be Akira Ioane, Papali’I and Sotutu. In the absence of Tuipolutu, it’s Dalton Papali’i that will wear the arm band.

Christie and Plummer will partner up again in half-back and will be responsible for moving the Blues side around the Eden Park field. Cotter’s experiment of AJ Lam at 12 continues, with Rieko Ioane remaining at 13. Also no change to the back-three trio of Clarke, Tele’a and Perofeta.

Brumbies

The Brumbies are given a boost by the return of veteran Wallaby James Slipper, otherwise the Australian side are as expected. It will be Slipper, Pollard and skipper Alaalatoa in the front-row, with Swain and Hooper in the Locks. Valentini and Scott will be on the flanks, with youngster Cale remaining at no.8. The Brumbies pack really struggled against the Blues earlier in the season and its no wonder they’ve opted for a 6-2 split on the bench to attempt to match the Blues physicality deep into the game.

It’s a familiar back-line for the Brumbies – starting with Lonergan and Lolesio as half-backs. Tua and Ikitau remain as the midfield duo, with Toole and Muirhead on the wings, leaving Wright at full-back. Their back-line players have proved too good for a number of sides this season, but a Eden Park earlier this season, they could not penetrate the industrious Blues defence.

Blues vs Brumbies Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Blues vs Brumbies page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Blues over 29.5 points @ 5/6

There is a low points line considering it’s a Semi-Final, plus some wet weather around Auckland on Friday. However the rain does not phase me at all, in fact it’s the opposite. The Blues game is built around a strong set-piece and using their powerful forwards in one-out carries to narrow the defense and tire them. The Brumbies had to make over 200 tackles earlier in the season whilst the Blues only had to make 61 and I’m expecting similar numbers this week.

With carriers like Sotutu, Ioane and Papali’i it is borderline impossible to stop them from close range and it’s no surprise that Sotutu has picked up 11 tries so far this season. I cannot see the Brumbies keeping this Blues side under 30 points at home.

Find more Rugby Union Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights.

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