30 July 2020, by: Carl Lewis
Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 8 Preview and Predictions
The Chiefs will host the Crusaders at the FMG Stadium on Saturday. On Sunday, the Highlanders welcome the Blues to Forsyth Barr Stadium for their Round 8 Super Rugby Aotearoa clash.
We preview each match of Round 8 Super Rugby Aotearoa.
Saturday 1 August
09:05 – Chiefs v Crusaders
The Chiefs are still in search of that elusive first win in Super Rugby Aotearoa after losing their opening six. In fairness to them, they have not been thumped and but they have all been relatively tight matches with narrow margins. If they had some luck on their side and some better decisions they conceivably would have been off the mark with a win or two in their most recent matches.
Two weeks ago the Chiefs held a comfortable advantage but allowed the Highlanders to come back at win 33-31 in Hamilton. A week ago they lost 21-17 to the Blues last weekend.
The Crusaders came flying out of the blocks in Super Rugby Aotearoa winning four in four which started with a 39-25 victory over the Hurricanes. Thereafter they claimed an 18-13 home win over the Chiefs and then a 40-20 win over the Highlanders.
In a much-hyped match against the Blues, the Crusaders secured a champion-like 25-15 win at home. It seemed like it was business as usual for the Crusaders but last week a 36 match home winning streak was halted by the Hurricanes 34-32.
The Crusaders have won six of their last seven matches against the Chiefs. They last met in Round 3 with the Crusaders winning 18-13 in Christchurch.
Prediction: Crusaders by 6.
Best Bet: Crusaders to win by 1-12 at 2.50
Sunday 2 August
05:35 – Highlanders v Blues
The Highlanders came into Super Rugby Aotearoa under a cloud after a horrible start to 2020 but their performances have given reason for optimism for coach Aaron Mauger. They have only won two of their five matches, both against the Chiefs, the Highlanders narrowly lost out to the Blues and Hurricanes. Their only poor display was a 40-20 loss at home to the Crusaders.
The Highlanders did beat the Chiefs 33-31 in their last match two weeks. It was one of the finest comebacks in Super Rugby history after the Highlanders trailed by 20 at one stage. The performance definitely earned them a bye last week.
The Blues have been excellent for the most part of 2020 but recently their form has taken a dip. They were on a seven-match winning run before that was abruptly stopped in their ‘big-match’ loss against the Crusaders.
That result was followed up with another away defeat as the Hurricanes beat the Blues 29-27. The Blues did hit back last week at Eden Park beating the Chiefs 21-17. The performance was far from convincing so the Highlanders could well pull off an upset here. The two last met in Round 3 with the Blues winning 27-24 at Eden Park.
Best Bet: Highlanders by 3.
Prediction: Highlanders to win at 2.50