Crusaders Rugby
Crusaders' captain Sam Whitelock celebrates with the trophy after victory in the Super Rugby final between the Canterbury Crusaders of New Zealand and the Golden Lions of South Africa at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on August 4, 2018. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Crusaders continue to be favourites to win the Super Rugby 2019 competition, despite two rounds that produced only two points toward their title quest.

Super Rugby 2019 favourites

Competition leaders

The game between the Crusaders and the Highlanders on 16 March was canceled after the terror attacks in Christchurch. The teams shared the points [recording two points each]. The following weekend though, the Crusaders lost unexpectedly to the Waratahs in Sydney – crucially, not recording a losing bonus point.

Like the champion team that they are, they easily saw off their nearest rivals, the Hurricanes, away in Wellington. They followed this up by easily seeing off the Brumbies in Canberra. This ensured they moved to the top of the combined table. They lead the Rebels by six points but have played an extra game.

Despite the two low points scoring weekends they have experienced, bookmakers continue to regard the Crusaders as the favourites to win yet another Super Rugby title. Recent history makes it difficult to prove them wrong.

Away game results

Every successful Super Rugby campaign is based on winning all or most of your home games, along with a rich haul of points in away games, be those from winning the game or taking the try scoring or losing bonus points. Their remaining away games are against the Bulls, Stormers and the Chiefs. In terms of the competition, they have already played a number of away games and this works in their favour as home ground advantage is significant in Super Rugby

‘Saders fan experience

Many rugby fans supplement their experience or involvement with the competition by competing in score prediction competitions or managing their own teams in fantasy league competitions. There are a number of fans who are braver or more knowledgeable and are prepared to put their money where their mouth is. After taking all the variables and form into account, they will make the decision to place a bet on the outcome of a game or competition with an organisation, such as bet365.

The betting odds would determine how attractive the bet would be. The simplest explanation of how these odds are translated, would be to read the equation in its most simple form. If the bookmakers have them at 4/1; with the Crusaders favourites to win Super Rugby 2019, you would win 4 of whatever currency you are using for every one dollar you bet. Using this equation, you can see that the bookmaker is giving the Crusaders a 20% chance of winning — 1/(4 + 1) = 0.20

If you could find those odds in this example you would have fantastic value.

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Why the Crusaders are favourites in 2019?

There are two reasons why the Crusaders are regarded as favourites to win the Super Rugby title in 2019. They have quality players in their squad and know how to compete at the sharp edge of the competition.

The playing resources they have at their disposal are the envy of most other Super Rugby teams. In their forwards they have the likes of Kieran Reid; the All Blacks captain. He is supported by players such as Scott Barrett, Joe Moody, Owen Franks, franchise captain Sam Whitelock (see main picture), and Matt Todd.

Their backline is also richly stocked. Players who stand out include Ryan Crotty, Richie Moúnga, Jack Goodhue and David Havili. Until this week, this also included Israel Dagg. Sadly Dagg had to retire from the game due to injury.

Regular title contenders are ‘odds on Favourites’ again in 2019

Since 1996, the Crusaders have won the title nine times. This is the most of any of the competing teams. As well, they were losing finalists four times over the same period. That regular finals experience is one aspect that gives them such underlying confidence.

Their ability to get themselves into the Final is outstanding. Their ability to convert those Finals appearances into a competition wins, is particularly impressive.

Judging by their current form, and the odds given by bookmakers, the big question is ‘will 2019 be the year that the Crusaders make it ten competition wins?’

 

“Main Photo:”
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