SUPER RUGBY WEEK 12
Highlanders v Crusaders
The Crusaders last week gave the Reds a thrashing winning 38-5, while the Highlanders shocked the Chiefs away from home with a comfortable victory 26-13.
This is the grudge match of the South Island in New Zealand and is always a fiery clash. I expect nothing less this week.
The Crusaders have had the better of the Highlanders over the last few years winning five of the last six, the only loss a 25-20 victory to the Highlanders last year in Christchurch. The Highlanders of course went onto win the title last year.
The Crusaders are on a massive hot streak winning the last eight games and sit at the top of the Super Rugby table, while the Highlanders sit third winning their last two games. Both teams will see this as a must win to solidify their spot in the NZ Conference.
I have to go with the Crusaders this week, they are looking like champion winning side once again. Their defence is a huge strength and I think that will be the difference in this game.
Hurricanes v Reds
Its clear as day that the NZ Super Rugby teams are far superior to the Australian sides with the NZ sides occupying the top 4 spots on the table. This game looks like a mismatch as well. The Hurricanes had a mixed bag in South Africa beating the Lions but losing to the Sharks. The Reds as mentioned above were dealt to by the Crusaders last week.
The Hurricanes have won 4 of the last 5 games against the Reds, last losing to the Reds in 2013 by 6 points. Typically a high scoring game between the two sides around the 50-60 point region. The Hurricanes have unfortunately lost the services of 4 key players in Julian Savea, Ardie Savea, Cory Jane and Victor Vito who thought it was a good idea to break curfew a few days out from last weekend's Sharks game.
The market has since moved from -17.5 into around -13.5, which I think is justified. It may continue to move more but I'd still be confident in the Hurricanes covering the line as it stands.
RESULTS STAKES ROI Final