Surprisingly the most unpredictable regular season has been followed by the most predictable finals series. Maybe not in margins but every single game has so far been won by the home side. Will that continue this weekend?
Catchup with what happened in the Semi Finals with the DrivingMaul Semi Finals Review.
Here is my video with my Super Rugby 2019 Semi Final Predictions:
Crusaders v Jaguares – Crusaders by 7
First up congratulations to the Jaguares on reaching their first ever Super Rugby final. With the loss of their pivot and a new coach there was some uncertainty coming into this season. They didn’t start great but they certainly have finished that way. First topping the Africa conference and then hosting and winning their first quarter and semi finals.
The battle for the Jaguares is considerable. As you can see below they have lost their previous 2 games against the Crusaders. Also the Crusaders have never lost a finals game at home. The number of records that would be broken this weekend with an away victory is high.
With all that you have to back the Crusaders to win this one. Even though they are missing Crotty and Barrett to hand injuries. The depth that both these sides have in their squads is impressive. There has been the noise from 1 Australian commentator that the Jaguares are not a provincial side but the Argentinian national team. Well the Crusaders have plenty of internationals in their side too with 11 being selected for the All Blacks yesterday and that doesn’t include their injured players.
The Jaguares are going to need a big performance and like they did in the semifinal against the Brumbies, not let the Crusaders play their own game. The Crusaders miss the fewest tackles in the competition so finding defenders who aren’t set is important. The Crusaders also lead on clean breaks so first up tackling and kick chase are going to be key. Especially as the Jaguares kick from hand more than another team.
The Crusaders are going to have to commit to the breakdown more than they normally do. They got it wrong for periods against the Hurricanes last week and the Jaguares are number 2 for winning turnovers, so keep an eye on the breakdown.
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