In Super Rugby Aotearoa RD10, we have the Highlanders clashing against the Hurricanes, on Saturday, at Forsyth Barr Stadium. The Highlanders last RD went down to the Crusaders, 32-22, in what was a tightly contested affair. But one that also saw the Crusaders win an insane 10th Super Rugby Title. At Orangetheory Stadium, they managed to score 3 tries, to the opposition’s 4. The possession was split at 50% each. Whilst it was also an intense affair, the Highlanders made 127 tackles and CRU, 125. This match is nothing but pride for the Highlanders. As for the Hurricanes, they still have a strong chance to finish 2nd. As currently they are on 21 competition points, 1 of the Blues. They have an impressive 5 wins from 7 games so far. Last time out, they overcame the Chiefs, 31-18, at Sky Stadium. They scored 5 tries to 2, whilst owning 58% of the ball. And they got the scoring started in just the 7th minute. This bound to be a good clash despite the positional differences of the two sides.
Then on Sunday, we have the Blues and the Crusaders facing off in the final game of the regular season. The Blues currently have 5 wins from 7 games and are on 22 competition points. They want 2nd spot secured. Whilst the Crusaders are 1st and just clinched yet another trophy. They are simply unstoppable! The Blues latest match was in RD8, where they easily beat the Highlanders 32-21, in what was a high-scoring affair. They started the scoring in just the 6th minute via a Loane try. And the Crusaders last RD beat the Highlanders by 10 points. They conceded a try within the 1st min, but struck back only 12 minutes later via Mo’unga. 1st vs 2nd, what a fitting way to cap of the season!
The Title may have already been won. But there’s still plenty left to play for here. Tune into what should be two great games of NZ Rugby!
Super Rugby Tipping – Saturday August 15
Highlanders vs Hurricanes
Forsyth Barr Stadium | 5:05PM (AEST)
Highlanders – The Highlanders last RD did it tough, as they went down to the Crusaders 32-22 at Orangetheory Stadium. This was the match in which CRU clinched an insane 10th Super Rugby Title! The Highlanders tried to make it difficult for them and they did exactly that, when Frizell scored a try within the games first 60 seconds. But ultimately, they were outscored 4 tries to 3. That whilst the possession was split evenly at 50% each. From 132 carries of the ball, they ran for an impressive 561m’s. They also beat 32 defenders and had 15 clean breaks. And while they made 11 turnovers, they also won the ball back 12 times. 25 Missed tackles was a big amount, but CRU missed 32. They also had 27 kicks in play, as they were victorious on 86 rucks, 2 mauls, 10 lineouts and 4 scrums. They’ve only won 2 of 7 match’s so far this season, so this match presents the perfect opportunity for them to end their season on a high.
Hurricanes – Meanwhile the Hurricanes still have a lot left to play for, such as finishing 2nd for example. With 5 wins from 7 games and on 22 points, they’re just a point of 2nd place. So winning this game would mean a hell of a lot to them! Last time out they disposed of the Chiefs with relative ease, as they won 31-18, at Sky Stadium. They scored the games first try through Umage-Jensen in the 7th minute and overall 5 tries to 2. This came as they owned 58% of the ball and ran for 352m’s. They also beat 25 defenders and had 10 clean breaks. + While they might have had 12 turnovers, they won it back 7 times anyway. They also had 36 kicks in play and won 62 rucks, 2 mauls, 17 lineouts and 10 scrums. While they gave away just 9 penalties during the course of the game. This is a must win for them!
The Hurricanes have won 6 of the past 7 clashes between these two sides. And that history should show no signs of slowing down in this clash. Their winning score-lines, from newest to oldest have been, 17-11, 31-28, 25-22, 29-12, 41-15 and 27-20. Quite often they’ll contest a close match. And the latest of those affairs came back earlier in the year at Sky Stadium. They kept the Highlanders to the solitary try, as they led 17-0 at one stage during the game. The Hurricanes owned 63% possession of the ball and ran for 523m’s in that one. Ultimately, while the Highlanders should keep it close, the Hurricanes have to much on the line to lose this clash. They’ll desperately be fighting for the W and you should be able to see that out on the field.
Super Rugby Tipping – Sunday August 16
Blues vs Crusaders
Eden Park | 1:35PM (AEST)
Blues – The Blues had the bye last round, so their last match came in RD8, where they fought hard to beat the Highlanders, 32-21, at Forsyth Barr Stadium. They scored the game’s opening try through Loane in just the 6th minute and then again 4 minutes later through Christie. That sent them on the right path during the game. Ultimately, they scored 5 tries to 2, despite only having 44% of the ball. They ran for 315m’s, beat 6 defenders and had 17 clean breaks. And while they might have had 11 turnovers, they won 6 turnovers themselves. They did miss a significant chunk of attempted tackles though at 19! HIG missed only 6. And in total, they were forced into making 118 tackles. They also had 20 kicks in play, as they won 54 rucks, 2 mauls, 5 lineouts and 9 scrums. They’re 2nd at the moment and no doubt they want it to stay that way! So a win is crucial here to maintain their standing!
Crusaders – THE CRUSADERS!!! What more can you say about one of the most successful clubs in World Rugby? Not a hell of a lot, that’s for sure. They won their 10th Super Rugby Title after beating the Highlanders by 10 points at Orangetheory Stadium last RD, 32-22. Frizell scored within the 1st minute and from there the blows were back and forth. But overall, the Crusaders had that killer, winning edge to them. With the possession split evenly at 50% all, they still scored 4 tries to 3. Whilst they beat 25 defenders and had 21 clean breaks. They also made a massive 125 tackles + they won 6 turnovers. And they made 168 passes, 16 of which were offloads. They’ve won 6 of 7 match’s so far this season. But, they’ll still be in a bit of a party-mode and the Blues will be the more desperate of the two sides. Look for them to spring the upset here!
The Crusaders have won the past 12 clashes between these two sides! Yep 12! Those score-lines have been, 26-15, 25-8, 19-11, 24-22, 54-17, 32-24, 33-24, 26-21, 28-13, 34-11, 29-15 and 21-13. But this is where the streak ends. The Crusaders are playing bloody brilliant Rugby at the moment. But they also already have the Championship all wrapped up and have nothing left to play for really. As for the Blues, it’s a completely different story. If they lose and the other result goes against them, they’ll drop out of 2nd place. So they’ll doing everything they can in their power to get a W here. Blues to claim the upset win! You heard it here first!