It has been 20 weeks of rugby in this years Super Rugby and we left with only two, Crusaders and the Jaguares.
It has maybe not been the best seasons if you really look at it with so many top players being rested throughout the conferences due to the World Cup later this year, but it sure as hell made it a bit more congested in the final games to see who will make the playoffs.
The Crusaders showed form week one that they will be one to beat again this year and they surely showed it throughout the season.
They are hosting it again after ending on top of the overall log and it was really just the Hurricanes and the Jaguares in the later stages of the season showing that they may be able to upset the apple cart.
It is also the two top teams playing in the final which makes this a final to look forward too.
Hoping for clear sky’s and some good running rugby but if we are honest the Crusaders are going into this final a clear favourites.
Traveling has always been difficult for the away side and the Jaguares will just have to deal with it. If you look at the two teams they match up pretty nice in the way they are playing.
The only concern for those who supports the Jaguares, will be the scrums. This has been the one area where they have not been great this year and the one aspect of the Crusaders game which they have been brilliant.
On attack both these sides have been absolutely brilliant this season with the ability to create space from absolutely nothing and deadly on the counter attack from turnovers.
Defensively they have also shown to be one of the the best two teams in the competition.
The concept of super-subs have been a reality in both side having quality on the bench who can come on and continue with the quality those that have started the game have produce in the match.
For this weekend the Crusaders was forced to make some changes from the side that beat the Hurricanes last weekend in the semi-final.
Both Scott Barrett and Ryan Crotty have been ruled out due to injury and they will be replaced by Mitchell Dunshea at lock and Braydon Ennor in the midfield.
That is the only two changes to the starting team for the champions.
The Jaguares shows three changes to their side that thumped the Brumbies last weekend.
On the wing Ramiro Moyano comes in as well as flanker Marcos Kremer and prop Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.
Their bench have also been given a boost with Juan Maneul Leguizamon who has played 85 test for Argentina.
Whateven you do make sure you are in front of you TV this Saturday at 09:30 to witness what we believe will be a final to remember and just maybe the Jaguares will show all our SA Teams that travel is just a trip in a plane and come away with the title.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Crusaders and Jaguares will clash for just the third time in Super Rugby, the Crusaders picking up a win in each of their last two meetings by an average margin of 22 points per game.
- Only twice in Super Rugby history has the Grand Final been won by a team playing outside their home country (Crusaders def. Brumbies in 2000 & Crusaders def. Lions in 2017).
- Nine of the last 13 Super Rugby Grand Finals have been decided by a margin of fewer than 10 points; though, only one of the last three fits that bill.
- The Crusaders are undefeated in their last 30 Super Rugby games played on home soil (W29, D1); the last time they lost at home to a team from outside New Zealand was in Round 1, 2015 against the Rebels.
- This will be the Crusaders’ 14th appearance in a Super Rugby Grand Final, more than twice as many as any other team (Brumbies – 6); they’ve won nine of their previous 13 including their last two on the bounce.
- This will be the Jaguares’ first foray into a Super Rugby Grand Final; only four teams in Super Rugby history have won the Grand Final on their first attempt (Blues in 1996, Crusaders in 1998, Bulls in 2007, Reds in 2011).
- The Jaguares have won five of their last six Super Rugby games away from home, including their last three on the bounce.
- The Crusaders (33.2) and Jaguares (28.9) have scored more points per game than any other teams in Super Rugby 2019.
- Sevu Reece (Crusaders) bagged a brace of tries against the Hurricanes in the semi-final to take his season tally to 15, just one shy of the Super Rugby record set by Ben Lam last season (16).
- Guido Petti Pagadizaval (Jaguares) stole a brace of lineouts against the Brumbies in the semi-final to take his season tally to 13, three more than any other player in the competition and more than three times the Crusaders’ best (Scott Barrett, Kieran Read, Sam Whitelock – 4 each).
Predictions: Lets face it, the Crusaders should take this by 10 points after being at home for the past three weeks, but we are taking the Kenny Rogers gambler single out and give it to the Jaguares by 8
CRUSADERS: David Havili, Sevu Reece, Brayden Ennor, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall, Kieran Read, Matt Todd, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Sam Whitelock (c), Mitchell Dunshea, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody
Replacements: Will Jordan, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Luke Romano, Michael Alaalatoa, George Bower, Andrew Makalio
JAGUARES: Emiliano Boffelli, Matias Moroni, Matias Orlando, Jeronimo de la Fuente (c), Ramiro Moyano, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Tomas Cubelli, Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Santiago Medrano, Agustin Creevy, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Replacements: Julian Montoya, Mayco Vivas, Enrique Pieretto, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Tomas Lezana, Felipe Ezcurra, Domingo Miotti, Sebastian Cancelliere