CRUSADERSThe first action in Round 15 of Super Rugby Pacific comes from Christchurch on Friday where the Crusaders host the Reds in their final matches before the play offs




Crusaders v Reds, Friday 27th May, Christchurch, KO 09:35 (South African time)


Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistants: James Doleman, Stu Curran
TMO: Shane McDermott


Weather Forecast – Christchurch




The Crusaders thrashed Fijian Drua 61-3 in Christchurch last week but it wasn't enough to keep the Blues in range at the top of the standings and the Saders now need something from this final match to be sure of finishing in second spot before the play offs commence.


In earlier results against Australian opposition the Crusaders came away from a trip to Canberra with a 37-26 win over the Brumbies. They also hammered the Force 53-15 in Perth and the Rebels 42-17 in Melbourne but they suffered a shock 24-21 defeat to the Waratahs. Their other defeats came in home fixtures against the Chiefs and the Blues.


With a record of 10 wins and 3 defeats the Saders come into the weekend 4 points better off than the third placed Brumbies but 6 points behind the Blues.




After suffering 4 successive defeats to New Zealand sides the Reds returned to the winners enclosure last week with a 34-22 home victory over Moana Pasifika.

The Reds were in New Zealand in Round 13 and they crashed to a 53-26 to the Blues in Auckland. They also went down 29-17 defeat to the Highlanders at Suncorp, they were edged out 27-25 by the Chiefs in another home fixture and they went down 30-17 to the Canes in the Super Round in Melbourne.


Overall this season the Reds have won 8 and lost 5 and they finished the previous round in seventh place in the standings with 35 points, 2 points behind the Waratahs and 3 shy of the Hurricanes. They will be travelling in the play offs with another visit to the Saders or a clash with the Brumbies both possibilities.


Team News (subject to change)


Crusaders: George Bower, Brodie McAlister, Oli Jager, Scott Barrett (c), Sam Whitelock, Pablo Matera, Ethan Blackadder, Cullen Grace, Bryn Hall, Fergus Burke, Leicester Faninga'anuku, David Havili, Braydon Ennor, Sevu Reece, Will Jordan


Reserves: Ricky Jackson, Finlay Brewis, Tamaiti Williams, Zach Gallagher, Tom Christie, Mitch Drummond, Chay Fihaki, George Bridge


Reds: Dane Zander, Matt Faessler, Feao Fotuaika, Seru Uru, Ryan Smith, Angus Scott-Young, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott (co-c), Lawson Creighton, Filipo Daugunu, Hamish Stewart, Jordan Petaua, Suliasi Vunivalu, Jock Campbell


Reserves: Richie Asiata, Harry Hoopert, Sef Fa’agase, Angus Blyth, Connor Vest, Liam Wright (co-c), Kalani Thomas, Mac Grealy



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Crusaders -20.5 points at 9/10

Reds +21.5 points at 9/10


Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.


Betting Angle


If pushed I would back the Crusaders on the handicap (they have been backed from -18.5 to -21.5 in places) but my main fancy is the points lines and I reckon we will get a high scoring game in what looks like being excellent conditions in Christchurch.


Click here for the video preview for Crusaders v Reds to see what @TheConductor and @TheCroweTips are betting on

For bets from other punters keep an eye on our forum


Bet: 4 units over 60.5 points at 10/11 at WSB


Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change.


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