Super Rugby Predictions 2018: The Final

Canterbury, New Zealand

After 126 matches, we are left with just two teams; the same two teams that contested last year’s final. The Crusaders have been the best side in the competition for the last two years, and the Lions have been the best non-Kiwi side, and with the way the tournament is set up, both sides deserve to be there.

Last year’s final took place in Johannesburg, where Kwagga Smith was sent off in the first half and the Lions left themselves too much to do to come back into it in the second half as the effects of travel and altitude kicked in.

Super Rugby predictionsThis time, they’ll have no such advantage and there can only be one winner. It’s a shame that the showpiece event of what used to be the best club rugby tournament in the world ends up like this, with a stadium that isn’t full to see a match that is not expected to be very competitive. The bookies are giving the Crusaders a 17-point handicap, which seems ridiculous for a final.

Looking at the two teams, there are a few Lions forwards that you might pick over their Kiwi counterparts, although it’s close: Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Kwagga Smith.

The Crusaders pack has been outstanding all season, but the Lions are strong up front too, and perhaps they are one of the few teams that can take the Crusaders on in the forwards. But they’d need a monumental effort just to gain parity, and the quality and experience of the home side will tell in the end.

Then in the backs, I’d take all of the Crusaders every time. I’m struggling to see how the Lions can possibly win this match, even as a man that likes backing an underdog against the odds.

Crusaders by 21

6 thoughts on “Super Rugby Predictions 2018: The Final

  1. “and with the way the tournament is set up, both sides deserve to be there.”

    That’s one hell of a caveat. Had the teams been seeded based on their finishing in a combined table rather than giving a higher seeding for topping their conference we would be watching a Crusaders vs Hurricanes final

    1. Yup! Heard a few people comment that the real final was last week.

      Still, looking forward to seeing the likes of Marx and Smith giving it a good go.

  2. Good on Leon. Presumably the only English commentator here. Anyway, on with the show which ‘used to be the best club tourney in the world’. As the Crusaders have 7 AB’s in their pack, a sprinkling in their back line, an effective all round game & record, it’s hard to see past them chalking the final up @ home… by c.17 as indicated. The Lions also have around 1/2 a Springbok side out & with these in mind, they will seek to get stuck in early & knock Canterbury off balance. Who knows if the unexpected will happen, like a card, to tip the scales? Or if the Lions get the bounce of the ball a couple of times? Happens sometimes. However, things being equal, the result should go with home advantage… again. Even if all the seats aren’t sold yet & S Rugby ain’t what it used to be, according to the author at least, it doesn’t seem to have affected the NZ franchises too much… does it? Perhaps he can’t help the dig? And if S rugger isn’t the best anymore, then which is? Surely not the country’s whose national side has just lost 6 on the bounce?!

  3. Crusaders hot favourites,but perhaps the Lions
    leaving the franchise for the betterment of English rugby,will give their all for the franchise one last time and surprise us all.


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