In what will be a bumper Saturday of rugby, with both New Zealand and Australia’s domestic Super Rugby incarnations on show, fans are in for a treat.
The Highlanders will host the Crusaders for the first time in two years on Saturday. Last year’s fixture was cancelled in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack.
While the Crusaders are tipped as favourites to win this one, it’s the Highlanders who won the last meeting at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in March 2018, winning 25-17.
Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman said he was excited about the challenge.
“When we are in front of the home crowd, and from what I hear it’s going to be absolute stellar with fans there, it always picks up the boys seeing that sort of thing. It’s just one of those things when you are playing guys that you compete against in your own country, you want to do your best and it brings the best out of you.”
So far, the Highlanders have won one and lost one in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, sitting third on the table.
They’ll be without the services of wing Sam Gilbert, who tore his ACL his ACL early in last weekend’s match against the Blues. He’s been ruled out of action for nine months.
The Crusaders, meanwhile, sitting second on the Super Rugby Aotearoa log with nine points, having played just two games. Intimidating as they might be on paper, the Highlanders will fancy their chances considering the result the last time out and that their hosts only just squeaked past the Chiefs 18-13 last weekend.
Meanwhile, for those very same Chiefs, a win is desperately needed. With no wins from their three fixtures so far, Warren Gatland’s men desperately need a booster. They’re tipped as favourites against fellow strugglers, the Hurricanes, but this competition has been far from predictable so far.
Super Rugby NZ: Fixtures and kick off times Round 4
Times are SAST.
Saturday, 4 July: Highlanders vs Crusaders – 9:05
Sunday, 5 July: Chiefs vs Hurricanes – 5:35
Prediction methodology explained
The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.
The predicted points margin draws on calculations from by a New Zealand statistician.