Crusaders vs Chiefs

It’s the Grand final with the two most consistent teams deservedly in the big match. It would have been easy to predict the winner if this was any other season but this year the matches involving the Chiefs in particular have come down to the final hooter and in most matches beyond the final hooter. There are dangerous runners in both teams but the player that has caught the eye with superb line breaks every match has been Will Jordan. The Chiefs need to be very weary that they don’t kick away possession against the Crusaders back three of Jordan, Sevu Reece and George Bridge as they are the most potent back three in the competition. This season is the first time in many years that the Crusaders pack has not dominated all the opposition teams and therefore it leaves the defending champions slightly vulnerable in this department. The Chiefs scrum has been brilliant and All Black prop Angus Ta’avao has been the main reason they have been so good and will no doubt look to attack the Crusaders at scrum time. The man with ice in his veins at the moment is Damian Mckenzie who has unbelievably scored the winning points in the Chiefs last four victories. Mckenzie has always been known to produce that special piece of magic in a game but this season he has matured and created opportunities for players around him plus his game management has been awesome. The Crusaders certainly have the edge when it comes to finals rugby as they have won the last four tournaments but finally we are starting to see some chinks in their armour and the Chiefs will be keen to exploit any weaknesses.

TIP: The home side have arguably the best flyhalf in world rugby in Richie Mo’unga but recent matches has shown that he is human after all and when put under pressure he doesn’t always handle it well. Chiefs need to be dominant up front to have any chance of causing a massive upset and they are capable of it especially with having the form backrow of the competition. Luke Jacobson and Lachlan Boshier have been fantastic at the breakdown and will need to be in top form to stop the Crusaders from getting front foot ball to play with. The Crusaders are heavily favoured to win this match while I agree that they will win in the end I expect a very tight match. The best odds on the Crusaders victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.28, Playabets 1.20 and Sunbet 1.26

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Crusaders vs Chiefs

  • In the last six meeting between the teams there have been three wins apiece.
  • The last seven matches have seen just 1 away victory.
  • The last time the Chiefs beat the Crusaders at home was in 2016.

Latest results for both teams

The Crusaders won their last match against the Blues 29-6 while the Chiefs lost their last game against the Blues 19-39.

PREDICTION

This game will be incredible close as the Crusaders have lost key players to injury and although they have worthy replacements, there is a drop in the quality. The Chiefs on the other hand have been bolstered by the return of master poacher Lachlan Boshier who always wins turnovers in the match. All finals are decided by the forwards and these teams are very evenly matched up front but the difference will be the experience of the Crusaders and that they have more potential game breakers. I predict a narrow victory for the Crusaders by less than 6 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13, Leicester Fainga’anuku 12, David Havili 11, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 George Bower

Chiefs

15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Jonah Lowe, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankiville, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Bryn Gatland, 9 Brad Weber (co-captain), 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Pita Gus Sowakula , 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Mitchell Brown, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Aidan Ross

Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Crusaders victory are:

Worldsportsbetting 1.28

Playabets 1.20

Sunbet 1.26

Odds comparison on a Chiefs handicaps

The complete odds on the Chiefs handicaps are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (+10.5) 1.80

Sunbet (+10.5) 1.85

Playabets (+10.5) 1.81

Predictions and Odds in details

The battle at flyhalf will see the kicking skills of Bryn Gatland against the brilliance of Richie Mo’unga and the Chiefs flyhalf will need to shut down the space to keep Mo’unga quiet. If he has space he will dictate the game and the Crusaders will win easily. The Crusaders have lost their first choice midfield pairing to injury and the replacements are great attacking players but their defence isn’t great while the Chiefs will look to All Black centre Anton Lienert-Brown to exploit any weaknesses. The Chiefs must find a way to bring Mckenzie more into the game because he has that X Factor and can make something out of nothing. The bookies have been generous in the handicap betting on the Chiefs and this offers great value for punters. The best odds on the Chiefs handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+10.5) 1.80, Sunbet (+10.5) 1.85 and Playabets (+10.5) 1.81

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