Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels Prediction: Rebels can continue winning streak

 | 25th April | 

2 mins read

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The Crusaders have struggled to turn some promising performances into victories of late and things could get worse before they get better for the New Zealanders when they host a Rebels side on a three-game winning streak.

Kevin Foote’s visitors from Melbourne are fourth in the fledgling Super Rugby table and victory over the basement boys on Friday morning could see them climb into the top three.

Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels Prediction

  • Melbourne Rebels to win @ 7/2

Match Odds

Despite propping up the Super Rugby Pacific table, the Crusaders are 1/4 favourites - or a 80% chance - to beat the Rebels on home soil and are asked to give up a 12-point start on the handicap.

The visitors, meanwhile, are 7/2 to take the points back to Australia and the draw is a 25/1 chance.

Team News

Rob Penney has rung the changes to his Crusaders starting XV after their 37-14 defeat to the Western Force last time out.

The big news for the Christchurch outfit is that veteran captain Scott Barrett returns to partner Quinten Strange in the second row with Jamie Hannah dropping to the bench as a result.

In the front row, props George Bower and Fletcher Newell come in for the benched duo of Joe Moody and Owen Franks while Cullen Grace is named at blindside flanker. Tom Christie has been omitted from the matchday squad despite captaining the side against the Force last week.

There are three new faces in the hosts' backline with Heremaia Murray and Johnny McNicholl coming into the back three while Rivez Reihana starts at fly-half in place of the dropped Riley Hohepa.

The Rebels, meanwhile, mostly stick with the same starting side who beat the Highlanders 47-31, with just two changes in the scrum.

Alex Mafi is in for Jordan Uelese at hooker and Josh Canham replaces Lukhan Salakaia-Loto in the second row.

Melbourne Rebels to win @ 7/2

The Crusaders have home advantage on Friday and have won their last seven meetings with the Melbourne Rebels, but their poor start to the Super Rugby season points to a rare Rebels success in Christchurch.

The hosts have won only one of their opening eight games and have lost two of their three home fixtures at the Apollo Projects Stadium this season.

Melbourne, meanwhile, have won two of their three away games, including a 27-21 victory over the Waratahs, who were 37-24 victors away to the Crusaders earlier in the campaign.

Friday's contest could be settled by fine margins but the Rebels boast the fourth-strongest attack in Super Rugby this season and that could help them land a famous victory in Christchurch.

Melbourne Rebels to win at 7-2

Find more Rugby Union Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights

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