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Chiefs vs Highlanders Predictions & Tips - Value on away win in Super Rugby Aotearoa
- Chiefs vs Highlanders predictions for Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa match
- Fixture is being played at 06:05 GMT at the FMG Stadium in Waikato
- The Highlanders have won their last 2 encounters against the Chiefs
- I am backing the Highlanders to win by 12 or less points
- Preview, predictions, stats & team news
Highlanders can bounce back after defeat to the Crusaders (Getty Images)
Chiefs vs Highlanders Predictions
The Chiefs were atrocious in 2020, losing all eight of their Super Rugby Aotearoa matches. They are expected to perform better this time around, but with this being their first match of the season, my best bet in a narrow Highlanders win.
- Chiefs have lost their last 8 Super Rugby Aotearoa matches.
- Chiefs had the worst attack (14 tries) in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa.
- Highlanders have won their last 2 matches against the Chiefs by 1 & 2 points.
Head to Head
The Highlanders hold a 12-9 advantage over the Chiefs in their last 22 matches. There was one draw during that time.
During the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season, the Highlanders won both matches against the Chiefs. The last one ended in a 33-31 away victory to the Highlanders.
The Chiefs will be looking to bounce back after having a torrid time of it in 2020. Warren Gatland has retained his position as head coach and will surely want to show early improvement.
The Waikato-based outfit had a bye in week one of Super Rugby Aotearoa so this will be their first fixture. In 2020, they last all eight matches to finish bottom of the table.
That position belies the quality they possess in terms of personal, so this season is unlikely to follow the same pattern.
Gatland’s first priority during the off season would have been to sort out the Chiefs attack. Normally one of the best in Super Rugby, they only managed 155 points and 14 tries in their eight matches. To put that in perspective, it was nine tries less that the next lowest.
Chiefs Injuries & Team News
The Chiefs have made a few signings during the off season. Flyhalf, Bryn Gatland has joined from the Highlanders while utility backs, Chase Tiatia and Jonah Lowe have also come in.
The usual stalwarts are still at the Chiefs. Sam Cane and Damian McKenzie will be crucial to the Chiefs once again this season. There are plenty of internationals within the Chiefs squads so expect them to be competitive this season.
The Highlanders had an inconsistent 2020 which led them to a fifth place finish. Two of their three victories however came against the Chiefs last season.
Last weekend, the Highlanders got their 2021 season off to a losing start, going down 26-13 at home to the Crusaders. Defeat to the champions was expected but for large periods the Highlanders will feel that they could have caused an upset.
Handling errors cost them as well as their poor decision making. Should the goal kicking opportunities arise this week, surely the Highlanders will take the points on offer.
Highlanders Injuries & Team News
The Highlanders won’t be looking to change things up too much after just one week.
Liam Squire could however come into the second-row to add some quality and a lineout option.
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The Chiefs lost all eight matches in 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa, including two against the Highlanders by one and two points. I'm backing a Highlanders win and by a margin of 12 or less.
Best Bet: Highlanders Win Full Time Result @120.00 at BetMGM - 3 Units
Value Bet: Highlanders by 1-12 Winning Margin @210.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 1 Unit