Both teams currently sit within the bottom half of the overall points table and would love to move up on the log. The Crusaders have won 2 lost 2 and would be desperate to keep on the winning ways after the bye last week. The Hurricanes are coming off a loss to the Highlanders – a match that was dominated by penalties in the first half.
With 11 matches remaining and a maximum of 55 points still up for grabs, the Hurricanes are looking to continue where they left off at the end of the Highlanders fixture, and ignite their season with a convincing performance against the Crusaders. Both sides will be looking for greater accuracy on attack. The Crusaders have scored just six tries in four matches and their outside backs have yet to click into gear, while the Hurricanes have run in 16 so far, but have also missed several opportunities.
2013: Crusaders won 25-17, Christchurch
2013: Hurricanes won 28-29, Wellington
2012: Hurricanes won 22-23, Christchurch
2012: Crusaders won 42-14, Wellington
2011: Crusaders won 16-9, Wellington
2010: Crusaders and Hurricanes drew 26-26, Wellington
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Nafi Tuitavake, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Tom Taylor, 11 Johnny McNicholl, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Luke Whitelock, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Ben Funnell, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Nemani Nadolo.
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben Franks.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Chris Eves, 18 John Schwalger, 19 Mark Reddish, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt Proctor, 23 Marty Banks.
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand), Kane McBride (New Zealand)
TMO: Chris Watt (New Zealand)