Crusaders vs Highlanders
The Crusaders were in sublime form in their last match as they brushed aside last season’s runners up the Chiefs. It was sweet revenge for the champions as they were beaten two weeks earlier by the Chiefs. The Highlanders woeful season went from bad to worse when they lost their fifth match in a row. They are bottom of the table and are the only team without a win this season. They play well for periods in a match then seem to lose concentration at crucial moments in the match. They will need to be focused against the Crusaders otherwise we could end up with a cricket score in this match.
TIP: The facts for the Highlanders are simple, when Aaron Smith plays well the Highlanders play well. He has not been his dominant best and a couple of his errors led to tries for the Blues last week. The Crusaders had no such problems last week when they dismantled the Chiefs. The Highlanders forwards will need to face up to the Crusaders pack otherwise the match will be over as a contest very early on. The bookies have the Crusaders as favourites and I also tip them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.10, Playabets 1.10 and Sunbet 1.13.
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Crusaders vs Highlanders
- The Crusaders have won seven of the last eight matches between these sides.
- The Crusaders lost their last home match against the Highlanders.
Latest results for both teams
The Crusaders won their last match 34-19 against the Chiefs while the Highlanders lost 32-25 against the Blues in their last match.
The Highlanders look their best when they keep the ball in hand and play running rugby but far too often this season they kick away possession and allow the opponents to counter attack. It will be suicidal if they do this against the Crusaders as they have the most deadly back three with Will Jordan in particular the most devastating of runners. The Crusaders will again look to their forwards to lay the platform for their backs to attack the Highlanders defence. Richie Mo’unga will again be a key man as everything starts with him and if given space he will make the Highlanders pay. I predict a Crusaders win by under 15 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitch Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Scott Barrett (c), 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
15 Connor Garden-Bachop, 14 Sam Gilbert, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Scott Gregory, 11 Mosese Dawai, 10 Mitch Hunt, 9 Aaron Smith (c), 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 James Lentjes, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Josh Dickson, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Crusaders victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Highlanders handicap :
The complete odds on the Highlanders handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+15.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+15.5) 1.92
Playabets (+15.5) 1.92
Predictions and Odds in details
In recent seasons the Highlanders used their driving maul as their biggest attacking threat but have not gained any momentum this season with it. The Crusaders on the other hand are using their maul expertly and score many tries originating from the maul. The battle between the halfbacks will decide this match and this is where the Crusaders have the distinct advantage. There are poor odds on the Crusaders win therefore we suggest the away team on the handicap for better returns. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+15.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+15.5) 1.92 and Playabets (+15.5) 1.92
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.