This game has been postponed by a day to allow fans into the stadium. Christchurch was on a seven day lockdown. The Hurricanes already had a difficult job having to face the Crusaders in an empty stadium but that got more difficult now. Crusaders were heavily penalized in their opening match but still came away with the victory. Hurricanes lost to the Blues last week although there were some barn storming performances from Ardie Savea and Asafo Aumua. The Crusaders will need to keep these two players quiet to win this match. Last week showed how much the Hurricanes miss their skipper TJ Perenara who is now playing in Japan. Crusaders have a world class flyhalf, Richie Mounga, directing them around the field while the Hurricanes have a weakness in this area.

TIP: The Crusaders being at home should be too strong for the Hurricanes and their All Blacks laden team is clinical on their home patch. The Hurricanes scrum was weak against the Blues and you can expect the Crusaders to target this area. The last time out the Hurricanes upset the Crusaders in their own backyard but I can’t see that happening again. The Crusaders are a heavy favorites and I expect them to cover the 12.5 point handicap. Sunbet has them at 1.90 on -12.5 handicap while Sportingbet has them at 1.91 for the same handicap.

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Crusaders vs Hurricanes

  • The last 5 matches between the sides have seen just one Hurricanes victory and that was in 2020.
  • Hurricanes won the last match between these sides.
  • Crusaders have never lost two consecutive matches to the Hurricanes.
  • Latest results for both teams

Crusaders won their first match in the competition against the Highlanders last week while the Hurricanes lost their first against the Auckland Blues.

PREDICTION

There aren’t many more daunting sights  than playing the Crusaders in front a packed house therefor I predict a comfortable victory for the home team. I see them winning by more than 14 points. The Hurricanes lack quality in key areas and the Crusaders will exploit this especially in the scrum and lineout.  Sam Whitelock is a master in the lineout and will target the Hurricanes in this area.

  • Probable Starting XVs

Crusaders

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Dallas McLeod, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Cullen Grace, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Hurricanes

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Jonathan Taumateine 8 Devan Flanders, 7 Ardie Savea (captain), 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Asafo Aumua, 1 Fraser Armstrong

Odds for this bet

The win for the Crusaders doesn’t offer much value at 1.21 therefore I’m tipping them to cover the -12.5 handicap. The best odds on the handicap are as follows:

Betway 1.93

Sportingbet 1.91

Sunbet 1.90

Odds comparison

The best odds on the handicap(-12.5) is at Betway at 1.93 while on the Crusaders outright victory Sunbet is offering 1.21.The handicap offers value for the punter.

 Predictions  and Odds in details

The overall prediction is a convincing victory for the Crusaders by more than 14 points. The NZ derbies are generally tight games but this Crusaders team has too much class. Their Coach Scott Robertson has taken them to 3 consecutive titles and knows how to be ruthless in these games. The value for money wager is the handicap bet (-12.5) at:

Betway 1.93

Sportingbet 1.91

Sunbet 1.90

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