The Crusaders will want to keep their winning form when they travel to Australia to face the Reds on Saturday.
It was a bit of a let down for Reds fans last week when they lost against the Force in Perth and some experience players in their team had some off the poorest games we have seen. The reality of Super Rugby quickly set in for the Reds after they won their opening katch against the Sharks.
The coach have made three changes from the side that lost against the Force last week and will want his men to stand up and play some descend rugby which they will have to against this Crusaders team.
The Crusaders normally do not loose to many games when they start winning and it will take a massive effort from the Reds to upset the Crusaders progress in week 3.
Rodda and Perese will earn their first run-on place in the side after they have put some descend performances off the bench the last two weeks.
Last year’s Pilecki Medal runner up, Hendrik Tui, has also been promoted to the starting side at blindside flanker for the first time this season. Lock Kane Douglas, flanker Adam Korczyk and wing Chris Kuridrani have been moved from the starting side to the reserves.
The Crusaders on their side sees Bedwell-Curtis earning his first cap at number seven with Todd injured with a calf muscle in training. The other change in the loose forwards is at 6, with Pete Samu starting this week and Jordan Taufua providing cover off the bench.
Prop Oli Jager is also set to make his debut if he comes on for Mike Alaalatoa, who shifts from the reserves to the starting tighthead position this week. Joe Moody starts again at loosehead prop, with Tim Perry coming onto the bench as cover.
Digby Ioane will debut in against his former team when he takes the left wing on Saturday night. Seta Tamanivalu moves to the other wing, and Israel Dagg moves back into the full-back role.
The Crusaders won their first two matches and will have great convidance going into this match even if it is away from home. Traveling have not really upset the Crusaders much in the past and are one of the most successful teams away from home in the competition.
It is all to play for the Reds having won one and lost one. They willnot want to start getting into a habit loosing close games as they did last year. It has been said so often, as much as winning becomes a habit, loosing does as well.
Head to Head
|Games||Reds wins||Draws||Crusaders wins||Reds points||Crusaders points|
|At home: 12||5||0||7||319||314|
|Average points scored per game||52.78|
Previous Results from these two teams:
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Score||Winner|
|2010-02-19||Reds||Crusaders||41 – 20||Reds|
|2011-05-29||Reds||Crusaders||17 – 16||Reds|
|2011-07-09||Reds||Crusaders||18 – 13||Reds|
|2012-05-06||Crusaders||Reds||15 – 11||Crusaders|
|2013-07-20||Crusaders||Reds||38 – 9||Crusaders|
|2014-05-11||Reds||Crusaders||29 – 57||Crusaders|
|2015-05-08||Crusaders||Reds||58 – 17||Crusaders|
|2016-05-06||Crusaders||Reds||38 – 5||Crusaders|
Prediction: Although away from home I believe the Saders will have too much for the Reds and win by 10 +
Crusaders: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 6 Pete Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock(c), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Tim Perry, 18 O
The Reds: 15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 George Smith, 6 Hendrik Tui, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper(c)
Replacements: 16 Andrew Ready, 17 Sef Fa’agase, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Adam Korczyk, 21 James Tuttle, 22 Jake McIntyre, 23 Chris Kuridrani