Blues vs Crusaders

This is a top of the table clash featuring the two best teams in the competition. Crusaders almost seem invincible and have found the perfect blend of defense and attack that can change gears at will. The Blues had their first match of the season at home and convincingly beat the Highlanders. Their forward pack was monstrous in that game and the match up with the Crusaders pack will decide the result. The Blues have great depth in the front row and can call on All Blacks from the bench. This will be a litmus test for the Crusaders who are on a long winning streak and this Blues team is capable of pushing them to the limits. The one area that the Crusaders have an advantage is definitely at flyhalf with the magician Richie Mounga pulling the strings. The duel between Caleb Clarke and Sevu Reece will be worth the price of the ticket alone as each would be keen to show he deserves the All Black wing position. Rieko Ioane has transformed himself from a great winger into a midfielder and is enjoying a prolific season and will test Jack Goodhue defense capabilities. There are many head to head duels that will delight die hard and neutral fans alike.

TIP: There aren’t too many better scenes than a full house at Eden Park and I’m expecting a bumper crowd to come out and support the Blues. This could give the Blues the tonic they need to finally get one over the men from Christchurch. I know it will take a brave man to bet against the all-conquering Crusaders but I believe this All Black laden Blues team have the necessary firepower to overcome the 3 time defending champions. This can only happen if the Blues can stop Richie Mounga from dictating play and the only way to do that is to dominate in the forwards which I believe the Blues are capable of. Sunbet has a Blues win at 2.14 while Supabets and Worldsportsbetting have them at 2.17 and 2.35 respectively.

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

 Blues vs Crusaders

  • The Crusaders have won the last 12 matches against the Blues.
  • The Blues last home win against Crusaders was in 2014.
  • In the previous 15 encounters there have just been 2 Blues victories.

Latest results for both teams

Blues and Crusaders recorded exact 39-17 victories over the Highlanders and Chiefs respectively

PREDICTION

The Blues last victory over the Crusaders was in 2014 but this is the best Blues team we have seen in many years. The bumper crowd and the powerful forwards pack can take the Blues over the line. This game will come down to the wire and will be decided by less than 5 points but the stronger bench of the Blues will give them the close fought victory.

  • Probable  Starting XVs

Blues

15 Stephen Perofeta, 14 Bryce Heem, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Harry Plummer, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Jonathan Ruru, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Luteru Tolai, 1 Alex Hodgman

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Sione Havili Talitui, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (c), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Odds for this bet

The Blues have waited 7 years since their last win against the Crusaders and this is the time to break their drought. The odds on a Blues victory are:

Worldsportsbetting 2.35

Supabets 2.17

Sunbet 2.14

Odds comparison

A Blues win is priced as follows:

Worldsportsbetting 2.35

Supabets 2.17

Sunbet 2.14

Predictions  and Odds in details

The Crusaders pattern for victory is simple, dominate in the forwards and then unleash their deadly backline. No team has been able to stop the Crusaders and quite simply they are the full package. Leon MacDonald the Blues coach has shown that he is an astute tactician and will match wits with Scott Robertson (the brain) but this time MacDonald will have the team to execute the game plan therefore I predict the Blues to narrowly shade this contest. We can never underestimate the impact the Auckland crowd will have and I’m sure the likes of Akira Ioane and Hoskins Sotutu will want to prove to their fans that this Blues team is the real deal. Sunbet has a Blues win at 2.14 while Supabets and Worldsportsbetting have them at 2.17 and 2.35 respectively.

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