Waratahs vs Crusaders Prediction: Tahs can run Crus close

 | 11th April | 

3 mins read

sydney football stadium allianz scaled

Two teams struggling at the wrong end of the Super Rugby Pacific table go head-to-head on Friday morning as the NSW Waratahs host the Crusaders at Allianz Stadium in Sydney (10:35). The Crusaders beat the Chiefs in the grand final last season, but have endured a torrid start to their title defence in 2024, with just one win in their opening six games of the campaign.

That win came last time out in a repeat of last year’s finale, with the Crusaders beating the Chiefs 37-26 in Christchurch last week. Read on for our Waratahs vs Crusaders prediction and all the latest team news and match odds.

Waratahs vs Crusaders Betting Tips

  • Waratahs +7 handicap @ 11/8

The Crusaders now head to Sydney looking for revenge after losing 37-24 to the Waratahs earlier this season in Melbourne.

Darren Coleman’s Tahs are themselves on a five-game losing streak but are good value to run the reigning champions close in Sydney this week.

Team News

In a surprise move for many, Australia winger Mark Nawaqanitawase has been left out of the Tahs squad after starting the first seven games of the campaign.

The NRL-bound winger failed to score a try in those first seven outings and Triston Reilly has earned his chance in the starting XV in his place.

Friday’s hosts have been boosted by the news Langi Gleeson (concussion) and Ned Hanigan (knee) have recovered from their injuries to earn starting roles at number eight and in the second row respectively.

As for the visitors, the Crusaders have also been handed a boost, with New Zealand blindside flanker Ethan Blackadder set to make his long-awaited return from a calf injury.

Hooker Brodie McAlister and back-rower Christian Lio-Willie have also recovered from knocks, but will start the game at Allianz Stadium on the bench.

The Crusaders are still missing some key personnel, with the likes of Scott Barrett, Tamaiti Williams, David Havili and Fergus Burke all sidelined.

Match Odds

The Waratahs are the 11/4 underdogs going into this one, while the Crusaders are favourites at 2/7 to head back from New South Wales to Christchurch with the victory.

The Tahs are available at 2/1 to be leading at the half-time whistle.

Waratahs +7 handicap @ 11/8

Barring a disappointing 40-16 defeat at the hands of the ACT Brumbies in Canberra last time out, the Waratah’s recent defeats have been by narrow margins.

Losing 23-21 to the Highlanders, the Tahs then lost 12-10 to the Blues and 39-36 to Fijian Drua, before a 27-21 loss at the hands of the Melbourne Rebels.

Coleman’s side have shown they can keep themselves in games, especially on home soil and they will be determined to keep the Crusaders within touching distance on Friday.

In a game that might well be decided in the last 10 minutes of the contest, the Waratahs look to be good value at 11/8 to fall on the right side of a +7 handicap in this one.

You can find all our latest Rugby Union Betting Tips over on our Insights hub.

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