Chiefs vs Crusaders

The Chiefs come into this encounter in red hot form having won three in a row after their horror run of 12 defeats. The Crusaders seem to be off their game as they lost at home to the Highlanders and last week needed a golden point to beat the Hurricanes in extra time. They don’t seem to be that well-oiled that machine that has dominated Super Rugby and the last two matches has shown that when they are put under pressure they don’t handle it well. Their forwards once so dominant have been bullied and no doubt the Chiefs will look to do the same. The Chiefs have been bolstered by the return of Lachlan Boshier who their player of the season last year and also the return of Chase Tiatia who takes up his position at fullback. This means that dynamo Damian McKenzie finally starts in the flyhalf role, something everybody was looking forward to as he can change a game in a minute. Crusaders have also been further hit with injuries as Jack Goodhue and Tom Moody picked up injuries. This Chiefs pack is young but they have the power and fitness to meet the Crusaders pack head on and ultimately this will decide the contest. Richie Mo’unga is simply superb when his forwards lay a platform for him to attack but he is not the same player when he doesn’t get front foot ball and that is what the Chiefs forwards will have to do. Chiefs will look to record their fourth straight victory and if they achieve this, it will throw the competition wide open.

TIP: The Crusaders have two superb players in Leicester Fainga’anuku and David Havili playing in the midfield but this is just makeshift as they have been hit with a crisis in midfield. Chiefs have All Black Anton Lienert-Brown at 13 and he will look to exploit any potential defensive fragilities of the makeshift partnership.  The Chiefs will be buoyed by the home support and the Crusaders seem ripe for the picking. This encounter could be decided by one score and I’m tipping the Chiefs to sneak the victory here. There is great value on a Chiefs victory and these are the best odds, Worldsportsbetting 3.25, Playabets 3.05 and Sunbet 3.00

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Chiefs vs Crusaders

  • In the last 5 meetings there have been 3 Crusaders victories while the Chiefs have won 2 matches.
  • Those two victories are the only wins for the Chiefs in the last 10 matches against the Crusaders.
  • The Chiefs have won 2 of the last 3 home matches against the Crusaders.

Latest results for both teams

The Chiefs beat the Highlanders 23-26 while the Crusaders beat the Hurricanes 27-30. Both their wins were achieved in extra time.

PREDICTION

The difference a victory can make as the Chiefs when they were on their losing run lost matches were they were well in front but their last 3 wins have seen them come from behind to snatch it at the death. These brilliant second half performances have happened when Damian Mckenzie moved from fullback to flyhalf and it is great to see him starting in the number 10 jersey this week. The more McKenzie gets the ball the more chance of him creating some magic and this positional change along with the Crusaders injury woes make me feel that the Chiefs will win this match by less than 5 points.

  • Probable Starting XVs

Chiefs

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

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

Odds for this bet

There are great odds on the upset Chiefs win and these are the bookies offering the best odds.

Worldsportsbetting 3.25

Playabets 3.05

Sunbet 3.00

Odds comparison on Chiefs handicaps

The complete odds on the Chiefs handicaps are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (+7.5) 1.80

Sunbet (+6.5) 1.90

Playabets (+5.5) 1.81

Predictions and Odds in details

Just a few weeks ago this match wouldn’t have been a contest as the Crusaders looked unbeatable and the Chiefs had forgotten how to win, alas how all has changed. The Highlanders showed when they beat the Crusaders in their own backyard that kicking ball to the defending champions is suicide so they ran everything back at them and last week the Hurricanes did the same and came so close to the victory. We know that the Chiefs love running the ball and with Damian Mckenzie and Chase Tiatia in the side you can expect them to test the Crusaders defence all day. This is one of the reasons that I see a upset victory in this match but what the Chiefs will have to do is frustrate the Crusaders pack and not allow fast ball to Richie Mo’unga and if they nullify his threat they will be well on the way to victory. The safe money bet is the Chiefs on the handicap and these are the best odds: Worldsportsbetting (+7.5) 1.80 Sunbet (+6.5) 1.90 Playabets (+5.5) 1.81

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