The following is a preview with betting tips for the final of the 2019 Super Rugby season. The match sees the Crusaders aim for the three-peat when they host the Jaguares in Christchurch.
Please note that to take advantage of odds before they possibly shorten, these previews are published before the team sheets are announced. Those who are more risk averse may prefer to wait for the squad lists before wagering.
Saturday, 6 July
Crusaders vs Jaguares
View a detailed form guide for Crusaders vs Jaguares
The Crusaders edged the Hurricanes 30-26 last week to keep their bid for a third straight title alive. Fly-half Richie Mo’unga contributed 20 points as his excellent season continues. The Crusaders also benefited from a poor kicking game by the Hurricanes. The win extended their home playoff record to an imposing 23-0. The Crusaders also boast a 30-game unbeaten streak in Christchurch. They will be aiming to send off captain Kieran Read in the best possible way, with the skipper departing for Japan next season. In team news, All Blacks Ryan Crotty (thumb) and Scott Barrett (finger) are out for this clash. In better news, Joe Moody and Richie Mo’unga are expected to play despite picking up knocks last week.
Las week in Buenos Aires the Jaguares fielded a starting XV that featured 14 Test players and blew the Brumbies away 39-7. The visitors came in on a seven-game winning streak but were blown away by 20-0 in the opening 20 minutes as they failed to keep up with the pace of the game and the intensity of the hosts. The highlight of the Jaguares’ performance was their suffocating defence, which limited the Brumbies to just seven first half points and zero points in the second half. It was a notably more complete performance than what we saw against the Chiefs in the quarter-finals. The Jaguares enter the final having won 11 of their last 12 games.
Betting: this will feel like a Test match with so many international players involved. I can’t pick against the Crusaders in the head-to-head given their imperious home playoff record and the fact that only twice in previous 22 finals has a team won on foreign soil (achieved by the Crusaders in 2000 and 2017). The Jaguares have covered the line in their last nine straight games, however, and only once this season did they lose by more than ten points. I would back both the Crusaders in the head-to-head at 1.19 (TopBetta, Unibet) and the Jaguares +13.5 at 1.91 (Sportsbet). For those looking for more risk I would back the Crusaders 1-12 at 3.25 (Sportsbet).
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