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Highlanders vs Crusaders Predictions & Tips - Classy Crusaders to win Super Rugby Aotearoa opener

  • Highlanders vs Crusaders predictions for Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa opener
  • Clash is being played at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin (08:05 SAST)
  • Crusaders have beaten the Highlanders by 20+ points in 5 of their last 6 meetings
  • I am tipping the Crusaders to win by more than 5 points
  • Betting tips, predictions and team news for Highlanders vs Crusaders
Crusaders

Highlanders vs Crusaders Predictions


As this is the season opener, there is no form guide on which to really judge this clash, but the Crusaders have had the better of encounters with the Highlanders in recent history. In fact, five of their last six meetings have ended with the Crusaders running out victors by more than 20 points. The value for this fixture sits with the Saders covering the -5 handicap.

  • Crusaders have beaten the Highlanders by 10+ points in their last 6 matches.
  • Crusaders have won 6 of their last 7 Super Rugby Aotearoa matches.
  • Highlanders finished 5th in Super Rugby Aotearoa last season
  • Highlanders had the worst defensive record in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa. 

Head to Head


The Crusaders have tasted success in their last six clashes with the Highlanders.

The last meeting of the sides came during the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign. The Crusaders won 32-22 in Christchurch. 

Highlanders Form


The Highlanders limped to fifth on the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa log and will know a drastic improvement is needed if they are to push the other sides this campaign.

There has not been much activity in the market from the Highlanders, or indeed any of the franchises. 

Last season the Highlanders put in some impressive displays but came up just short on a few occasions. Against the Crusaders they do however tend to struggle.

Over their last six encounters against the Crusaders, the Highlanders have only once lost by less than 20 points.

Highlanders Injuries & Team News


The Highlanders have gained the services of flank, Billy Harmon and utility back, Fetuli Paea this season. Bryn Gatland and Dillon Hunt have departed the Otago-based outfit.

Crusaders Form


The Crusaders go into the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign as defending champions. As is always the case, the side from Christchurch are favourites to lift the trophy, but the Blues and Hurricanes will not take that lying down.

The Crusaders won six of their seven round robin matches to win the completion by six points in 2020. They were completely dominant throughout in all facets of play.

Over the course of the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Crusaders scored the most points, conceded the least, scored the most tries and conceded the least. It will take some effort for the Highlanders to stop them this weekend.

Crusaders Injuries & Team News


The Crusaders have not signed anyone in the off season. That is mainly due to their squad size already being so big and stacked with quality.

They did offload Billy Harmon and Fetuli Paea in order to ensure they get time on the field over the course of the season.

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Verdict

The Crusaders have had the number of the Highlanders for many years. Five of their last six meetings have seen the Saders win by 20+ points, while the other clash was by 10 points. I'm tipping the Crusaders to cover the -5 handicap and get their campaign off to a solid start.

Best Bet: Crusaders -5 Handicap Handicap @1.93 at BetMGM - 4 Units

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