Rebels vs Crusaders
This match is a home game for the Rebels but once again they will be playing in Sydney as Melbourne is on lock-down restrictions. The Crusaders will be wondering how they let the bonus point slip away in their match against the Force. Losing that bonus point now means that they need to win by a huge margin to try and secure their place in the finals. Last match showed that without their talisman Richie Mo’unga they are not the same side. The good news for them is that his back and this spells danger for the home team. The Rebels to their credit have been much better in their last two games and have started scoring tries. This has much to do with Matt Toomua moving into the centre position. New flyhalf Carter Gordon looks like he got loads of potential and has great natural attacking instincts. The improvement of form from the Rebels has seen Wallabies like Marika Koroibete and Isi Naisarani return to form. When these players are on song the Rebels are a different team so the Crusaders must not take them lightly. The Crusaders know that a victory alone will not be enough as they will need a large points victory to overtake the Highlanders into second spot. All this means is that the Crusaders will be at their most dangerous as they will be chasing the game from the first whistle. There is no better team to win a match by a huge margin than the Crusaders. They have a miserly defence coupled with attacking threats like Mo’unga, Sevu Reece and Will Jordan. The Rebels will need their defence to be at their very best but they will also need to attack as no team can defend against the champions for 80 minutes.
TIP: This match has all the making of a high scoring try fest but the Rebels will be careful not to get sucked into running the play from anywhere. This could play into the Crusaders hands as they are masters with turnover ball. The Crusaders are the complete team and we all know their attacking abilities but it’s their forwards that set up the platform. The Rebels have struggled at scrum time and this is an area that the Crusaders will have a big advantage. Penalties won at scrum will definitely be kicked to touch as the Crusaders will be searching for 7 pointers. The bookies have the Crusaders as favourites and there is no argument about that. The best odds on the Crusaders victory are: Worldsportsbetting 1.04, Playabets 1.01 and Sunbet 1.03
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Rebels vs Crusaders
- The Crusaders have won four of the last five meeting between these sides.
- The Rebels have lost their last three home games against the Crusaders.
- The last time the Rebels beat the Crusaders was in 2015
Latest results for both teams
The Crusaders won their last match against the Force 36-26 while the Rebels lost their last match against the Chiefs 29-21.
The Rebels will be playing for pride and would want to get their first victory in the competition while the Crusaders have everything to play for. The Rebels will need to match the Crusaders in the forwards otherwise this match could be over very soon. The Crusaders have all their big guns back for this encounter and they will be in deadly form chasing a victory by a huge margin. The return of Mo’unga can’t be emphasized enough as he is not only dangerous myself but puts players through in space. The Rebels kicking game will need to be near perfect as the Crusaders will run from anywhere and Will Jordan has been in great form from full back. The Rebels will once again look to mobile prop Cabous Eloff to get them over the advantage line as he has been their best ball carrier this season. The Crusaders will win this match and make the finals therefore I predict a Crusaders win by 30 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 George Worth, 14 Lachie Anderson, 13 Stacy Ili, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Carter Gordon, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Michael Wells, 5 Trevor Hosea, 4 Rob Leota, 3 Cabous Eloff, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Cameron Orr.
15 Will Jordan, 14 Manasa Mataele, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Tamaiti Williams.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Crusaders win are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Crusaders handicap:
The complete odds on the Crusaders handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (-26.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-26.5) 1.81
Predictions and Odds in details
The Rebels have the personnel but every season they flatter to deceive and this season again it’s the same old story. The Crusaders seem to unearth new talent that is why they been champions five years on the trot. This season we saw Ethan Blackadder and Will Jordan come to the fore and they have been excellent for the Crusaders. The Crusaders are dangerous under normal circumstances but in a match that is literally a semi-final for them they will be near unbeatable. I see the Crusaders starting this match at a blistering pace and continuing like that for the full 80 minutes. Their bench is very strong and will keep that tempo up when they come on. The bookies are offering nothing on the Crusaders win therefore I suggest taking the Crusaders on the handicap. The best odds on the Crusaders handicap is as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-26.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-26.5) 1.81 and Playabets (-25.5)1.89
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.