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Crusaders vs Highlanders Predictions & Tips - Big win tipped for Crusaders

  • Crusaders vs Highlanders predictions for Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa match
  • Fixture is being played at 07:05 BST at the Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch
  • Crusaders have won 39 of their last 40 home matches
  • I am backing the Crusaders to cover the -19 handicap at home
  • Preview, predictions, stats & team news
Crusaders vs Highlanders Super Rugby Aotearoa
Crusaders have won 39 of their last 40 home matches (Getty Images)
Ralph Staniforth 01 Apr 2021
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Crusaders vs Highlanders Predictions


The Crusaders won all four of their matches thus far this season and are cruising at the top of the table. They should be far too strong for the Highlanders who have lost five of their last seven against the Crusaders by 20+ points. The best bet is for the Saders’ to cover the -19 handicap.

  • Crusaders have won 39 of their last 40 home matches.
  • Crusaders have won 10 of their last 11 matches.
  • Crusaders have covered the -19 handicap in 5 of their last 7 matches against the Highlanders.
  • Crusaders have a +68 points difference in their last 4 matches.
  • Highlanders have a -30 points difference in their last 4 matches.
  • Highlanders are missing 6 regular first choice players this week.

Head to Head


Crusaders have won their last seven matches against the Highlanders. Their last match was in round one of the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa competition where the Crusaders won 26-13 away.

Crusaders Form


The Crusaders are cruising at the top of the Super Rugby Aotearoa table on 18 points, eight clear of second place. They look to be cruising to a second successive title.

We are now exactly halfway through the season with all teams having played four matches. Last week the Crusaders had a bye.

On the opening weekend the Saders’ beat the Highlanders 26-13 away. That was followed by a 33-16 victory over the Hurricanes and a 39-17 win over the Chiefs.

In their last match the Crusaders won 43-27 in a tight contest against the Blues in Auckland. It is rather ominous for the rest of the field that the Crusaders have not even been at the top of their game this season. 

Crusaders Injuries & Team News


The Crusaders go into this match with a full strength lineup. Leicester Fainga’anuku retains his place on the left wing ahead of Sevu Reece.

Most of the Crusaders lineup are full internationals, none more so than the second-row of Scott Barrett and Sam Whitelock. Those two will look to dominate the tight exchanges against a Highlanders side who have been brittle at set piece.

Highlanders Form


The Highlanders sit bottom of the Super Rugby Aotearoa table on five points. Those five points came in their only win of the season when they beat the Chiefs 39-23 in round two.

That victory was followed by a 39-17 defeat to the Blues and a narrow 35-29 loss to the Chiefs. Last week the Highlanders lost 30-19 at home to the Hurricanes. 

The result was particularly disappointing for the Highlanders after they dominated much of the match. They carried more than double the meters of the Canes and forced their opponents to make 139 tackles compared to their 69.

Highlanders Injuries & Team News


The Highlanders have dropped six players this week after breaching team protocols during the week. This has added further stress to head coach, Tony Brown who already has a huge job of getting a result here.

The six players include All Black Josh Ioane, Sione Misiloi, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Mariono Mikaele-Tu'u, Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Patelesio Tomkinson.

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Verdict

The Crusaders have been comfortably better than any other side this season and should be too strong for bottom side, Highlanders. I am backing the Crusaders to cover the -19 handicap.

Best Bet: Crusaders -19 Handicap Handicap @-111.11 at BetMGM - 3 Units

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Crusaders v Highlanders