08 July 2020, by: Carl Lewis
Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 5 Preview and Predictions
The Crusaders welcome the Blues to the Orangetheory Stadium in a top-of-the-table Super Rugby Aotearoa clash on Saturday. The final match of the weekend sees the Hurricanes host the HIglanders with both sides on identical records in the competition.
We preview and provide predictions and best bets for Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 5.
Saturday 11 June
09:05 – Crusaders v Blues
The Crusaders have been their usual selves this year and have only tasted defeat once in their six Super Rugby fixtures before it was halted. In Super Rugby Aotearoa it’s been more of the same with three wins from their three matches. First, they beat the Hurricanes 39-25 away before seeing off the Chiefs 19-13 at home. The Crusaders made light work of the Highlanders winning 40-20 last week in Dunedin. So the Crusaders will be tough to beat once again.
The Blues are thriving this season and are also unbeaten in their opening three matches. They began Super Rugby Aotearoa with a 30-20 victory at home against the Hurricanes home before beating the Chiefs 24-12 away.
A narrow and attritional 27-24 win over the Highlanders at Eden Park followed that. The Crusaders will offer the Blues the ultimate test but in Christchurch, the Auckland-based outfit could struggle.
The Crusaders have won their last 11 consecutive Super Rugby games against the Blues; their last defeat by the Auckland club came in Round 3, 2014.
Prediction: Crusaders by 9
Best Bet: Crusaders -7.5 at 1.83
Sunday 12 June
05:35 – Hurricanes v Highlanders
The Hurricanes have lost two and won one so far in Super Rugby Aotearoa. Jordie Barrett’s return from a shoulder injury helped inspire them to their first win last week, against the Chiefs (25-18) in Hamilton. Before that, they lost to both the Blues (30-20) and the Crusaders (39-25) Having defended a man short for 25 minutes of the second half, the Canes will take plenty of confidence into this one, in what is essentially another must-win match, with both sides sporting 1-2 records.
The Highlanders were beaten by Crusaders side in Dunedin after a strong finish from the champions so Aaron Mauger’s will be desperate to add to their only win of the competition which was a late win against the Chiefs in Round 1. The Hurricanes won the last two matches between the two sides from last year, both by three points, while 18 of the last 22 head to heads have been decided by seven or less, so expect another tight and attritional affair is to be expected with the Canes having enough quality at home to edge the Highlanders.
Prediction: Hurricanes by 5.
Best Bet: Hurricanes to win by 1-12 points at 2.75