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Highlanders vs Crusaders Predictions & Tips - Crusaders can cruise to opening victory

  • Highlanders vs Crusaders predictions for Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa fixture
  • Match is being played at 06:05 GMT at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin
  • Crusaders have defeated the Highlanders by 20+ points in 5 of their last 6 encounters
  • I am backing the Crusaders to win by more than 5 points
  • Preview, predictions, stats & team news
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Crusaders have beaten the Highlanders by 20+ points in 5 of their last 6 matches (Getty Images)
Ralph Staniforth 25 Feb 2021
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Highlanders vs Crusaders Predictions


The Crusaders have consistently dominated the Highlanders. Five of the last six matches have seen the Crusaders win by more than 20 points. The best bet for this match is for the Crusaders to cover the -5 handicap.

  • Crusaders have won 6 of their last 7 Super Rugby Aotearoa matches
  • Crusaders have won by 10+ points in their last 6 matches against the Highlanders
  • Crusaders have won by 20+ points in 5 of their last 6 matches against the Highlanders
  • Highlanders had the worst defensive record in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa

Head to Head


The Crusaders have won their last six matches against the Highlanders. They last met in 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa where the Crusaders won 32-22 in Christchurch. 

Highlanders Form


The Highlanders finished fifth on the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa table and will need drastic improvement if they are to challenge this season.

There has not been much activity in the market from the Highlanders, or indeed any of the franchises. 

Last season the Highlanders put in some impressive displays but came up just short on a few occasions. Against the Crusaders they do however tend to struggle.

Over their last six encounters against the Crusaders, the Highlanders have only once lost by less than 20 points.

Highlanders Injuries & Team News


The Highlanders have gained the services of flank, Billy Harmon and utility back, Fetuli Paea this season. Bryn Gatland and Dillon Hunt have departed the Otago-based outfit.

Crusaders Form


The Crusaders come into the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa season looking to defend the title they won in 2020. They are once again favourites but the Blues and Hurricanes are breathing down their necks.

The Crusaders won six of their seven round robin matches to win the completion by six points in 2020. They were completely dominant throughout in all facets of play.

Over the course of the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa, the Crusaders scored the most points, conceded the least, scored the most tries and conceded the least. It will take some effort for the Highlanders to stop them this weekend.

Crusaders Injuries & Team News


The Crusaders have not signed anyone in the off season. That is mainly due to their squad size already being so big and stacked with quality.

They did offload Billy Harmon and Fetuli Paea in order to ensure they get time on the field over the course of the season.

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Verdict

The Crusaders have dominated the Highlanders in recent years. Five of their last six matches have seen the Crusaders win by 20+ points while the other was by 10 points. I'm backing the Crusaders to cover the -5 handicap.

Best Bet: Crusaders -5 Handicap Handicap @-107.53 at BetMGM - 4 Units

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