It is a very brave man to put a prediction on the outcome of any Super Rugby Final and more so between a Crusaders team facing the high flying Waratahs this Saturday. Benedict Chanakira has decided to do just that on his take for this upcomming final in Sydney this weekend.
Its slowly losing its touch of being Super. With a Singapore or Japan side set to join. This will weaken the tournament. The strength vs Strength factor has left. Could this be the last of amazing clashes?
From fifteen contenders we are down to two sides. We have had surprises, shock results and shocking displays and now we have one game left! For the second year in a row we have an Australian and New Zealand flavored final. It promises to be a cracker and with the way the Crusaders played against early leaders Sharks, their experience, the added bit of more quality and X-factor may see them win the title. However this will be mighty close. The Crusaders have built up enough momentum over the last few weeks and peaked at the right time winning four of their last five matches.
The Waratahs are no different, but have won their last five games and you could say both sides grabbed the key home semis by storm. Waratahs will host their first ever final and could win their maiden title too. Led by the power of Jacques Potgieter and the brilliance of Israel Folau they will have alot to prove considering they are favorites and favorites rightly so. Will they be able to go one step further? The stage will either be too much or one to really put in a performance.
There will be some interesting matchups that could define the game. I have picked out three battles in the war :
Bernard Foley vs Colin Slade
The incumbent for the Australia number 10 has dictated play well and was quality, especially in the semi-final against the Brumbies. The Tahs backline is not short of quality and this has seen him get it kicking. He is up against Slade, who has reignited his career. A shock move to the Crusaders has seen Colin pivotal to their rise once again. Whoever can control the match will lead the side to glory!
Jacques Potgieter vs Kieran Read
While I could have gone for captain Hooper I have picked the big South African loose forward/lock who has been immense. Developing as a player and has led from the front. Jacques added quality to that pack and will need to dominate the final to ensure there is forward ball. While Read isn’t too much of a wrecking ball, He is a link man. By far the best loose forward in the word, possibility of still being the best player in world rugby currently. A game changer and has been a pillar. Should he be at his best expect the usual from a Read-included, dominant side. Can the Captain inspire again?
Israel Folau vs Israel Dagg
Whats with the name? Two exciting fullbacks who can turn a game upside down with a moment of genius. Can they be the difference? Yes! Will be interesting how they combine with Alofa Alofa and Nadolo respectively who have also been threats out wide. Expect magic from the two. It will offer an individual battle and a battle for Super Rugby supremacy.
Saturday will have a new Super Rugby Champion. We hope its a cracker and there can be an advert of an explosive Rugby Championship to come.
Crusaders by 1