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Crusaders go into Super 14 final as favourites over Waratahs

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The odds will clearly be in favour of the Crusaders when they host the Waratahs in the 2008 Super 14 final in Christchurch on Saturday (09h35 SA time).


The six-times champions qualified for their ninth final in 12 years with a 33-22 win over the Hurricanes, whilst the Waratahs booked their place in the showpiece match with a 28-13 win over the Sharks.


The Crusaders have much in their favour ‘ home advantage, experience of playing in finals, superiority over the Waratahs in previous Super Rugby encounters and a reputation as the most successful team in the competition’s history.


The Waratahs, who will be making only their second appearance in the final, will have to rely on the element of surprise, the bounce of the ball, and making optimum use of the sparse chances that generally present themselves in a final.


In their previous 14 encounters, the Crusaders have won 10 and the Waratahs 4.


The Waratahs last won in Christchurch in 2004, which was also their last win to date over the men in red and black.


The two met in the 2005 final that was won 35-25 by the Crusaders. In that season, they ended up first and second in the standings as they did in 2008.


The Crusaders biggest win over the Waratahs was a 96-17 thrashing in 2002. That game was described ‘the perfect match’ in the year in which the Crusaders won all 13 of their Super Rugby matches.


When they met earlier in the 2008 campaign, the Crusaders triumphed 34-7 at home.


Previous Super Rugby meetings since 1996


Crusaders have won 10, Waratahs have won 4


2008 Crusaders 34 Waratahs 7 in Christchurch
2007 Waratahs 33 Crusaders 34 in Sydney
2006 Crusaders 17 Waratahs 11 in Christchurch
2005 Waratahs 27 Crusaders 33 in Sydney
2005 (Final) Crusaders 35 Waratahs 25 in Christchurch
2004 Crusaders 19 Waratahs 43 in Christchurch
2003 Waratahs 34 Crusaders 31 in Sydney
2002 Crusaders 96 Waratahs 19 in Christchurch
2001 Waratahs 25 Crusaders 22 in Sydney
2000 Crusaders 22 Waratahs 13 in Christchurch
1999 Waratahs 22 Crusaders 38 in Sydney
1998 Crusaders 33 Waratahs 12 in Christchurch
1997 Waratahs 25 Crusaders 8 in Sydney
1998 Crusaders 21 Waratahs 16 in Christchurch


Previous Super Rugby Finals


Crusaders ‘ 8, six wins


1998 beat the Blues 20-13 in Auckland
1999 beat the Highlanders 24-19 in Dunedin
2000 beat the Brumbies 20-19 in Canberra
2002 beat the Brumbies 31-13 in Christchurch
2003 lost to the Blues 21-17 in Auckland
2004 lost to the Brumbies 47-38 in Canberra
2005 beat the Waratahs 35-25 – in Christchurch
2006 beat the Hurricanes 19-12 in Christchurch


Waratahs ‘ 1, no wins


2005 lost to the Crusaders 25-25

 

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