It’s the final weekend of Super Rugby Aotearoa, as the curtain comes down on the post-coronavirus lockdown competition in New Zealand.
Round ten represents a victory lap for champions the Crusaders, who wrapped up the domestic Super Rugby title last weekend. They might have to do so in front of an empty stadium, though.
After 102 days without any new COVID-19 cases, Auckland went into a three-day lockdown on Tuesday after four new cases were detected from an “unidentified source”. Gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited during the three-day lockdown. At the time of writing, there was no indication that the lockdown will be extended, but as with most things in these crazy times, we don’t know anything for sure.
Scott Robertson’s men eased past the Highlanders 32-22 in Christchurch last Sunday to seal the crown with a week to spare.
They hit the road for their final fixture, taking on the Blues at Auckland’s Eden Park on Sunday (kick off 5.35 SAST).
While top spot is sorted, it’s an opportunity for the home side to secure second place on the final Super Rugby log following their bye last week.
They will know exactly what’s needed, with their rivals for the runners-up place playing out their final match on Saturday.
The Hurricanes start the weekend a point behind the Blues, ahead of their visit to the Highlanders at the Forsyth Barr Stadium (kick off 9.05 SAST).
Second place remains within their grasp thanks to last weekend’s 31-18 success at home to the Chiefs in Wellington.
Dunedin’s franchise are nailed on for a fourth-placed finish in the standings whatever the result, with the aim to snatch a third win of the campaign.
No such ambition for the Chiefs, who take the bye following last weekend’s loss to make it a miserable run of eight defeats from eight.
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. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
The predicted points margin draws on calculations from by a New Zealand statistician.
Super Rugby Aotearoa: Fixtures and kick off times ? Round 10
Times are SAST.
Saturday, 15 August: Highlanders vs Hurricanes ? 9:05
Sunday, 16 August: Blues vs Crusaders ? 5:35