Can Anyone Stop the Crusaders in Their Pursuit of Super Rugby Glory?

The Crusaders have been one of Super Rugby’s strongest teams in recent times, winning the title in each of the last two years. On current form, you’d be hard-pressed to back against the Crusaders making it a third win in a row – Scott Robertson’s side have won their opening four games of the 2019 campaign with relative ease. Write the Crusaders off at your peril; it is their title to lose at this moment in time.
Looking at the history of Super Rugby, the Crusaders have been the most consistent team since the inaugural 1996 campaign. With 13 Grand Final appearances in 23 seasons, it would be fair to state that Super Rugby is their playground. The Crusaders are the class act at this level and rugby union fans will be expecting another victory for the southern hemisphere’s most successful team.

Here’s one of the most glaring statistics that shows just how incredible the Crusaders are: 17 of their current squad members have played for New Zealand. With so many All Blacks in the squad, they have that big-game experience and you won’t find many teams who can match the Crusaders. Every young Kiwi wants to play for the All Blacks and playing for the Crusaders certainly helps.

Three Crusaders players have notched over 100 All Blacks caps – that wealth of experience is unrivalled at Super Rugby level. Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks have been part of World Cup-winning squads and all three will play integral roles at club level in the coming months. Punters will be backing the Crusaders to go on and retain the title once again – and it would be foolish to back against them.

Super Rugby is maturing into a very competitive division but the Crusaders are still a class above their rivals. In some ways, their position is similar to that of the Sydney Roosters in the NRL. The Roosters, fresh from winning last year’s Grand Final, are red-hot favourites at 2/1 in rugby league betting odds to repeat and the Crusaders are also expected to go close in their pursuit of another title.

The Christchurch Stadium faithful will be expecting big things from the Crusaders in 2019 – and with good reason. With great success comes great expectation and fans will be hoping for another Super Rugby title come the end of the campaign. They’ve started well enough but there is a long road ahead. And with the 2019 Rugby World Cup edging closer, a few of the All Blacks might not be quite on the ball when it comes to the domestic game.

If everything goes to plan, it is hard to see anyone toppling the Crusaders this year. Rugby union matches aren’t won on paper but the Crusaders are the strongest team in Super Rugby by some distance and it is their title to lose. Watch this space, we could see another masterclass in the business end of the campaign.

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