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Chiefs vs Crusaders Predictions & Tips - Chiefs can cause major upset in Hamilton

  • Chiefs vs Crusaders predictions for Saturday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa match
  • Fixture is being played at 08:05 GMT at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton
  • The Chiefs have won their last 3 matches in Super Rugby Aotearoa
  • I am backing the Chiefs to finish within 5 points of the Crusaders
  • Preview, predictions, stats & team news
Crusaders vs Chiefs
Chiefs have won two of their last three home matches against the Crusaders (Getty images)
Ralph Staniforth 16 Apr 2021
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Chiefs vs Crusaders Predictions

The Crusaders form has been wobbly of late with a narrow win and defeat in their last two matches. On the other than the Chiefs are full of confidence with three wins in a row. My best bet is for the Chiefs to finish within five points of the Crusaders.

  • Chiefs have won their last 3 matches.
  • Chiefs have won 2 of their last 3 home matches against the Crusaders.
  • Crusaders have failed to cover the -5 handicap in their last 2 matches.
  • Crusaders have failed to win in their last 2 matches (in 80 minutes).

Head to Head

The Crusaders have won eight of their last 10 matches against the Chiefs. When they met in Christchurch earlier this season, the Saders won 39-17.

Chiefs Form

The Chiefs are currently third on the Super Rugby Aotearoa table. With the season well into the back half, they will need to get results to stay in the hunt for a place in the final.

In 2020 the Chiefs lost all eight matches and started 2021 with two straight defeats. Their form started to turn around in round four when they beat the Hurricanes 35-29 away. That was followed by a narrow 15-12 victory at home to the Blues before beating the Highlanders 26-23 away last weekend.

With three wins on the bounce the Chiefs are the form team of the tournament. They will fancy their chances against a Crusaders side that have started showing some cracks over the last two weeks.

The Chiefs remain the lowest scoring side in the competition but they have improved defensively which has gotten them into winning positions.

Chiefs Injuries & Team News

Chase Tiatia comes in at fullback this week with Damian McKenzie shifting to flyhalf. Kaleb Trask misses out.

There is another change in the backline as Alex Nankivell starts at inside centre as Quinn Tupaea misses out on selection.

There are no changes among the forwards.

Crusaders Form

The Crusaders have topped the Super Rugby Aotearoa table since the first week and still find themselves eight points clear of the Blues. Defeat this weekend will however put them under some pressure going into the final weeks.

Over the last couple of weeks the Crusaders' form has tailed off. After winning their first four matches with reasonable ease, they suffered a heavy 33-12 home defeat to the Highlanders. It was only their second defeat in 40 home matches.

Last week the Saders’ returned to winning ways against the Hurricanes who are bottom of the table. The victory was a narrow one after ending 27-27 at full time the Crusaders hit the winning drop goal in extra time to take the game 30-27.

Crusaders Injuries & Team News

Leicester Fainga’anuku comes in at outside centre for the injured Jack Goodhue while Bryn Hall misses out at scrumhalf in favour of Mitchell Drummond.

In a surprising move, the Crusaders have opted for an all new forward pack. Ethan Blackadder, Tom Sanders and Scott Barrett form the loose-trio.

Quinten Strange and Mitchell Dunshea are the locks while Michael Alaatoa, Brodie McAlister and George Bower form an all-new frontrow.

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The Chiefs have won their last three matches and are tipped to take advantage of the Crusaders iffy form. I'm backing the Chiefs to lose by less than five points and perhaps get an upset win.

Best Bet: Chiefs +5 Handicap Handicap @100.00 at BetMGM - 3 Units
Value Bet: Chiefs Win Full Time Result @185.00 at bet365 Sport NJ - 1 Unit

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Chiefs v Crusaders