The Rugby Championship has retained the same schedule for this year as it did for previous versions, and the results on the opening day of the weekend weren’t too difficult to predict- New Zealand beating Australia in Sydney and South Africa downing Argentina in Durban. Kings Park however saw only 27 000 in attendance– a far cry from the days one would’ve seen 40 or 50 000 at the venue comfortably.
New Zealand had a tough first half and so did South Africa- both teams trailed at the break to their opponents, but found their mojo in the second half to race to a comfortable win.
New Zealand will be without Ryan Crotty and Rieko Ioane this weekend, with Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett coming into the XV as replacements.
South Africa have effectively kept a similar squad, with the introduction of Franco Mostert for Pieter-Steph du Toit the only change in their XV. The likes of Ross Cronje, Lwazi Mvovo and Jean-luc du Preez, the last of whom was named in the Super Rugby Team of the Year for 2018, have not travelled to Argentina.
Odds for New Zealand v Australia
All Blacks: 1/14
Odds for Argentina v South Africa
Los Pumas: 23/10
South Africa: 1/2
The mighty Crusaders are being favoured to retain their Super Rugby title when they host the Lions from Johannesburg in Christchurch on Saturday.
The game is a repeat of last year’s final, which the Saders won at Emirates Airline Park, aided by Jaco Peyper’s decision to red card Kwagga Smith for his collision with opposition full back David Havilli.
There is no room for sentiment for the Crusaders, who have chosen not to included the record setting Wyatt Crockett in their 23. Nobody would’ve really criticised Scott Robertson had Crockett being included, but the 200 cap veteran will have to watch from the stands, with Tim Perry and Joe Moody preferred to do duty at loosehead. Continue reading “Super Rugby Final 2018 Odds- Crusaders favourite to retain crown”
On paper it’s a David v Goliath clash. The table topping Crusaders, who have lost only two games all season vs an inconsistent Sharks outfit who only sneaked into the playoffs because the Melbourne Rebels absolutely bottled their chances at the business end of the tournament.
The Sharks have been dreadful travellers this season, but their solitary win on the road was against a New Zealand team (the Blues). They also ran the Canes close in Napier (albeit a Canes side without TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett), and lost by one point after the hooter.
The Durban based outfit are also without star blindside flanker Jean-Luc du Preez, who leads the competition this season for offloads- the Sharks are the competition’s top offloaders, but have struggled to score tries.
All stats seem to point to a Crusaders win, and few expect the Sharks to do an encore of their famous 2014 win in Chch.
94% of those on SuperBru have predicted a Crusaders win, at the time of writing.
Best odds on the Crusaders- 1/10 (BetVictor)
Best odds on the Sharks- 16/1 (SkyBet)