Super Rugby 2019: Crusaders vs Hurricanes
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Date: Saturday, 29th June 2019
Super Rugby Draw
The top-two sides in the New Zealand Conference always looked likely to play each other at this stage and the purists have been given their dream draw in the semi-finals. The Crusaders topped the Hurricanes by 5 points during the regular season – with bonus point wins proving to be the significant difference between the two sides and both will fancy their chances of progressing to the final.
The Crusaders came into the play-offs as the number one ranked side after dominating the New Zealand Conference and they lived up to their favourites tag with a comprehensive win over the Highlanders last time out. The Hurricanes meanwhile overcame the Blue Bulls in their quarter final and their entertaining style of rugby is winning them fans the world over.
With a points difference of +240, Crusaders dominated the New Zealand Conference for all 18 regular season games and despite dropping some points towards the end of the campaign, their place in the play-offs has never been under any serious threat. They have been tagged as the ‘best club side in World Rugby’ and their performance against the Highlanders in the last 8 was testament to that. Crusaders are the favourites at 0.40 with BetXChange to go all the way and be Super Rugby champions this year.
A huge part of the Crusaders’ success has been their ability to nullify attacking threats as well as score early points to apply pressure on their opposition. They are a side full of confidence and they dominated the Hurricanes in the last meeting between the sides (winning 32-8).
Betting Tip: Race to 10 points – Crusaders – 0.55
Not only have Scott Robertson’s Crusaders comfortably beaten the Hurricanes twice as part of the regular season, the Crusaders are seeking a third consecutive Championship under his stewardship and with home advantage, could put the Hurricanes to the sword. With the likes of Ryan Crotty and Jack Goodhue in their ranks, the Crusaders have plenty of point scoring options in their ranks and they should dominate proceedings here.
Betting Tip: Most Tries – Crusaders – 0.35
Despite being the underdogs here, the Hurricanes have won 9 of their last 11 games in all competitions and overcame a resilient Bulls side last time out. They will be bemoaning having to play Crusaders at this stage and will look back on their failure to pick up more bonus points during the regular season as costly. They will be hoping to avenge last seasons’ semi-final defeat to the Crusaders and should they cause an upset here are 5.00 with BetXChange to go on and win the final against either the Brumbies or Jaguares.
Point scoring hasn’t been a problem for the Hurricanes who have scored 20 points or more in their last 10 Super Rugby fixtures and they certainly won’t be going down without a fight in Christchurch and they could get close to the Crusaders.
Betting Tip: Point Spread – Hurricanes +7.5 – 1.30
Hurricanes have suffered an injury laden season and have only just welcomed back New Zealand international Beauden Barrett into the fold and he performed well against the Bulls last time out. Fellow All-Black Matt Proctor has also been absent for the best part of a month but he looks fit for this one and his experience could prove vital here. John Plumtree will be desperate to see his side show character, having suffered a few heavy defeats at the expense of the Crusaders in recent seasons and he has spoken this week of the enormity of the challenge facing his team. The Hurricanes can play without fear here and if they keep things tight in the first half, could well exploit tired legs in the second period.
Betting Tip: Highest Scoring Half – 2nd – 0.85
BetXChange Best Bet:-