Chiefs vs Crusaders Prediction: A must watch league opener

Super Rugby Pacific
Chiefs vs Crusaders
Waikato Stadium
23.02.2024, 09:05



Olakunle Emmanuel
22 Feb 2024
21:21
Statistics of the month:
14
15
0
48.28%
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Chiefs vs Crusaders Prediction, Betting Tips & Odds │23 FEBRUARY, 2024

The Super Rugby competition is making a return, and the opening match features a highly anticipated clash as the Chiefs host the Crusaders at Waikato Stadium. The last encounter between these two teams was in the Super Rugby Final, where the Crusaders surprised the Chiefs. Will the Chiefs seek revenge in this match, or can the Crusaders once again prove their mettle?

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The Chiefs showcased excellence throughout the previous season and would have been rightful champions, yet the Crusaders defied expectations in an intense final. In the round-robin stage, the Chiefs dominated, securing victories in 13 out of 14 matches and accumulating 59 points, 11 points ahead of the second-placed team. During the knockout stage, the Chiefs triumphed over the Reds and Brumbies at home, although signs of fatigue became apparent.

Despite not performing at their peak, the Chiefs gave formidable competition. However, in the final, the Crusaders proved slightly superior over the 80 minutes. Looking ahead to the current season, the Chiefs are expected to be strong contenders once again, boasting a squad rich in All Blacks talent. The dynamic Damian McKenzie is set to play a key role as their primary playmaker in attack.

The Crusaders enter the upcoming season with the aim of securing their third consecutive Super Rugby title. In the previous season, the perennial champions faced challenges for a significant part, performing below their usual high standards. However, true to their form, the Crusaders excelled when it mattered most. They concluded the round-robin stage in second place, trailing the Chiefs by 11 points and losing four out of their 14 fixtures.

The Crusaders displayed their prowess in the quarter and semi-finals, defeating the Fijian Drua and the Blues, respectively. It became evident that they were hitting their peak at the opportune moment, ultimately leading them to victory in the final by overcoming the Chiefs with a 25-20 scoreline in Hamilton. As customary, the Crusaders boast a squad rich in international talent, including players like Scott Barrett, Codie Taylor, Sevu Reece, Joe Moody, and David Havili, among others. The addition of Welsh international Leigh Halfpenny brings valuable experience to the team.

It's indeed an exciting kickoff to the Super Rugby season with a rematch of the 2023 final. Despite the Chiefs' exceptional performance last season, narrowly missing the title, I anticipate a strong start from them, and I'm supporting them to cover the -5 handicap. Given the robust offensive capabilities of both teams, I see no reason why this match shouldn't conclude with a high-scoring affair.

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