The Crusaders is playing their last pool game of the season and need to end on a good note taking it into the playoffs.
They need 1 point to end on top of the log with only really the Hurricanes able to catch them, but that is not going to happen.
They will be playing a desperate Rebels side who is still fighting in the Aussie conference. This may be just what we needed to make this game a great match on Saturday.
It will be a special game for Crotty who will run out in his 150th Super Rugby match.
The franchise are also showing respect to the player naming the West Stand Ryan Crotty Stand for this match. They also invited Ryans New Brighton Rugby club and former school, Shirley Boys High to the attend the match.
- The Crusaders have won five of their last six Super Rugby matches against the Rebels (L1), including their last three on the bounce across which they’ve scored an average of 60 points per game.
- Each of the previous nine games between the Crusaders and Rebels in Super Rugby has been won by the team to score the opening try of the game on the day, the Christchurch side winning seven games in that span (L2).
- The Crusaders will be out to avoid back-to-back Super Rugby defeats for the first time since Round 5, 2018 after succumbing to a 40-27 defeat at the hands of the Chiefs in Round 16.
- The Crusaders have won 16 of their last 17 Super Rugby games against Australian opposition, with two of those last three wins coming after having trailed at half-time.
- The Rebels have picked up three wins away from home thus far in Super Rugby 2019; only once in their history in the competition have they earned more in a single season (W4 in 2016).
- The Rebels have led at half-time in three of their last four games against New Zealand opposition, going on to secure two wins in that span (L2).
- The Crusaders have conceded just 11 first-half tries in Super Rugby 2019, six fewer than any other team in the competition.
- The Rebels have stolen a total of 20 lineouts against the throw this Super Rugby campaign, the most of any team in the competition and seven more than the Crusaders.
- Crusaders’ duo Sevu Reece (27) and George Bridge (22) have made the most and joint third-most clean breaks respectively of all players this Super Rugby campaign.
- Quade Cooper (Rebels) has made a competition-high 12 try assists in Super Rugby 2019 and has provided three try assists in his last two games against the Crusaders.
Prediction: Too many changes for me in Rebels side and without Genia they loose so much, Saders by 19
Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Braydon Ennor, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 George Bower, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jordan Taufua, 21 Ere Enari, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Ngane Punivai
Rebels: 15 Dane Haylett-Petty (captain), 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Billy Meakes, 11 Tom English, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Richard Hardwick, 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Matt Philip, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Jordan Uelese, 1 Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: 16 Anaru Rangi, 17 Matt Gibbon, 18 Jermaine Ainsley, 19 Luke Jones, 20 Ross Haylett-Petty, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Marika Koroibete