Crusaders vs Force

Last week saw the first Aussie win in SR Trans-Tasman but this certainly isn’t going to be the second. The Crusaders have been ruthless in their games so far except in their first match where they were run close by the Brumbies. The Force is the one Aus. team that you can be assured will play to the last minute therefore they will be disappointed in their performance against the Hurricanes. They allowed too many soft tries and their attack was nonexistence as they failed to score a try in 80 minutes. The Crusaders have no such attacking problems and have scored 117 points in their last two matches. This tournament has shown that home teams are being favoured by the referees and the sooner this trend is rectified the better for the game. The Force looked blunt on attack and their defence so often their strength was porous. They will need to shore up their defence or there could be a cricket score against them. The catalyst for the Crusaders was once again Richie Mo’unga and his form has been a revelation this season. He seems to have ended any debate as to who the All Blacks number 10 will be. The Force has major problems at flyhalf as Domingo Miotti lacks the creativity to spark the backline and too much pressure is then place on the shoulders of the excellent Tomas Cubelli. The best attacking threat for the Force was Toni Pulu and he made quite a few line breaks but couldn’t find support when it was needed the most. The biggest disappointment for the Force has been Irish star Rob Kearney who has he has looked like a passenger watching the game go by. He offers nothing on attack as he is too slow and even in defence he looks like the shadow of his former self. They would certainly hope for an improved performance from him against the champions.

TIP: The Crusaders are sublime in attack and feel comfortable attacking even from their own 22m line. The Force should be aware of kicking aimlessly as this is when the Crusaders are at their most dangerous. The likes of Will Jordan and Sevu Reece are the best in the game when to comes to counter attacking. The Force is renowned for their dogged resistance and slowing the game down tactics. This will be the best possible plan against the Crusaders as a fast open game will see the Crusaders tear them apart. The Crusaders seem to have so much time on the ball and this is made possible by Mo’unga always finds space to put his runners through. The bookies obviously have the Crusaders as huge favourites and nobody can dispute that. The best odds on the Crusaders victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.02, Playabets 1.01 and Sunbet 1.01

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Crusaders vs Force

  • The last five matches between these two teams has seen four Crusader wins and just the lone victory for the Force.
  • The Crusaders have never lost at home to the Force.
  • The last time the Force beat the Crusaders was in 2013.

Latest results for both teams

The Crusaders won their last match against the Waratahs 54-28 while the Force lost their last match against the Hurricanes 43-6.

PREDICTION

The Crusaders after two convincing wins away from home will want to entertain the home fans and this spells danger for the Force. The Force will need their team to work as a unit to keep the Crusaders attackers out. The likes of Rob Kearney and Jeremy Thrush need to use their experience to help the younger players in this David vs Goliath contest. The Crusaders while scoring plenty of points have allowed the opposition to also score many tries. This is usually an area of strength but their defence has not been that miserly. The Force will look to exploit any gaps in defence but will need their halfbacks to provide fluency in attack. The Crusaders will comfortable win this match by a victory margin of 27 points.

  • Probable Starting XVs

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Scott Barrett (captain), 4 Quinten Strange, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower.

Force

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Richard Kahui, 12 Kyle Godwin (captain), 11 Jordan Olowofela, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Tomás Cubelli, 8 Tim Anstee, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Fergus Lee-Warner, 5 Sitaleki Timani, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Santiago Medrano, 2 Andrew Ready, 1 Tom Robertson.

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Crusaders victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting 1.02

Playabets 1.01

Sunbet 1.01

Odds comparison on the Force handicap:

The complete odds on the Sharks handicap:

Worldsportsbetting (+34.5) 1.90

Sunbet (+34.5) 1.90

Playabets (+33.5) 1.86

Predictions and Odds in details

The Crusaders biggest enemy in this match will be complacency. Their steamrolled the Aus. champions the Reds and they can be forgiven for thinking that this match will be a walk in the park. The Force to their credit raises their game when they play the top teams. They will need to use their speedy wingers Pulu and Jordan Olowofela to try and break down the Crusaders defence. For this to happen they need their midfield to get the ball out to the dangerous wingers. This will again show the gulf between the NZ and Aus. teams but this Force team will keep fighting therefore I feel the bookies have been very generous in offering excellent handicaps on the Force. There is no money on a Crusaders outright victory but there are great odds on the Force handicap. The best odds on the Force handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+34.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+34.5) 1.90 and Playabets (+33.5) 1.86

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