The Blues host the Crusaders at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday in the final of the Super Rugby Pacific competition and we take a look at the game from a betting angle.
The Blues were given a stern test by the Brumbies in the semi-final last week eventually holding on to win 20-19 at home having led by 13 points at one stage. They had a far more comfortable passage in their quarter-final when they started slowly, but eventually ran away 35-6 victors over the Highlanders. The Blues go into this game looking for their 16th successive victory.
The Crusaders put in one of the greatest defensive performances I have ever seen last week in beating the Chiefs 20-7 in Christchurch. The score line suggests an easy victory, but it was anything just and much of the game was spent in their own 22, throwing their bodies at tackles to keep the Chiefs out. The defence proved effective and the Crusaders once again showed that they have the ability to lift their game on the big occasion.
The Crusaders had played the Reds in the quarter-finals and it was a competitive match early on before the Crusaders drew clear to win by 22 points beating the handicap which had been set at 20 points. The Crusaders suffered 3 defeats in their campaign and only one of those was on the road and that was in Sydney going down 24-21 to the Waratahs.
These sides met in Christchurch earlier in the season and the Blues won a tight encounter 27-23.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: Blues -0.5
Suggested Bet: Tribet Any Other Result at 15/10
I think we are in for an extremely tight New Zealand Derby and for this bet to arrive we need either team to win the game by 6 points or less alternatively the match can be drawn. The other options are the Blues to win by 7 or more points at 19/10 and the Crusaders to win by 7 or more points at 2/1.
This is not a bet I usually take, but in a game where I am battling to find a winner it offers me a nice interest.
There are a number of other markets already priced up and look out for more including Points Lines and Player Try Scorer bets closer to kick-off.
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change