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Crusaders vs Blues Predictions & Tips - Blues to give Crusaders a tough 80 minutes
- Crusaders vs Blues predictions for Sunday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash
- Match is being played at 05:35 SAST at the Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch
- Crusaders have lost 2 of their last 3 outings
- I'm tipping the Blues to lose by less than 8 points
- Betting tips, predictions and team news for Crusaders vs Blues
Crusaders vs Blues Predictions
The Blues need to try and get something out of this match to set up what will be a play-off of sorts against the Chiefs next weekend. While the Auckland outfit have a rotten record in Christchurch, they are facing a Crusaders team low on confidence after recent defeats. My best bet is for the Blues to lose by less than eight points, but an upset should not be ruled out and is worth a punt.
- Crusaders have won their last 13 matches against the Blues.
- Crusaders have lost 2 of their last 3 matches.
- Blues have lost 2 of their last 3 matches.
- Blues have lost 4 of their last 6 away matches.
Head to Head
The Crusaders have dominated this fixture having won their last 13 encounters against the Blues.
When they met in Auckland in round four this season the Crusaders won 43-27.
The Crusaders come into this fixture in poor form by their standards. They are still top of the Super Rugby Aotearoa table on 23 points, three points ahead of the Chiefs. Defeat on Sunday could however mean they end second come next week.
The defending champions cruised through the first half of the tournament but have lost two of their last three matches. After holding a 12 point advantage at one point, the Crusaders will want to find some form again.
In round six the Crusaders suffered a humiliating 33-12 home defeat to the Highlanders. They then struggled to beat bottom of the table Hurricanes, needing extra time to secure a 30-27 victory.
Last week was an opportunity to secure top spot but they went down 26-25 at the Chiefs. The scoreline did the Crusaders some favours as the Chiefs were dominant for much of the 80 minutes.
Crusaders Injuries & Team News
The Crusaders backline remains intact from last weekend but there are plenty of changes in the forward pack. Cullen Grace, Sione Havili Talitui, Sam Whitelock and Codie Taylor all return to the starting lineup.
The Blues have endured a disappointing season after a decent start. Last year they were the closest challenger to the Crusaders but they’ve gone off the boil a bit in recent weeks.
This is the Blues penultimate match and they will need at least a point from it ahead of their crucial clash against the Chiefs next weekend. That match will basically become a semi-final to decide who plays the Crusaders.
In round five the Blues lost 15-12 to the Chiefs in Hamilton before bouncing back to beat the Hurricanes 27-17 at home. Last week the Blues suffered a surprising 35-29 loss to the Highlanders which allowed the Chiefs to overtake them into second place.
Blues Injuries & Team News
The Blues have dropped inside centre TJ Faiane and Otere Black which sees Tanielu Tele’a and Harry Plummer start.
Up front, Blake Gibson gets a start at flank while Nepo Laulala and Kurt Eklunk start in the front-row.
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Both sides are going through a bit of a slump in form, with the Crusaders struggling to hit their usual levels. I'm tipping the Blues to lose by less than eight points and perhaps cause an upset, should the Crusaders of late show up.
Best Bet: Blues +8 Handicap Handicap @1.95 at BetMGM - 4 Units
Value Bet: Blues Win Full Time Result @3.25 at PlaySugarhouse Sport - 1 Unit