The Crusaders are at home this weekend taking on a Chiefs side on Sunday who are desperate for a win.
It is almost a fight for survival for the Chiefs this weekend and this makes for a great match to look forward to on Sunday.
It may have taken the Crusaders the better part off 50 minutes to show their class in their first match last weekend, but at the end they showed yet again that they are the team to beat. It was not perfect but impressive at the end.
At home not many teams over the years could get one over the Crusaders which means the Chiefs will have to put together a magical 80 minutes to stay alive in the competition and get a win on Sunday.
The one thing that counts for them is the fact that they have been the one team that have been able to beat the Crusaders more than any other team over the past few years.
They have also won their last two Super Rugby matches against the Crusaders coming from behind in both but they are playing the Crusaders in their own back yard.
The Crusaders have beaten the Chiefs in their last three home games which just shown how difficult it is to get one over them in their in front off their fans in Christchurch.
For the Chiefs in their two matches it was more a case not taking their opportunities than anything else. Their error rate on attack has been their biggest problem and if they can sort that out they have a great chance to upset the Crusaders at home.
With two great packs we can not wait to see the battle upfront in the set pieces as well on the ground.
With Cullen Grace up against Lachlan Boshier we expect a huge battle at the breakdowns. Both have huge work rates with Boshier who has made the most turnovers in Super Rugby before the break.
The Chiefs will welcome back their captain Sam Cane after being sidelined for the first two rounds which is a huge boost for the visitors in this match.
With Cane back in the team, Mitchell Karpik will move to the blindside for this weekend clash.
The home side will push the same starting XV in the field which beat the Hurricanes last weekend.
This is certainly one to get up early for this weekend.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Chiefs have won each of their last two Super Rugby matches against the Crusaders, despite trailing at half-time in each of those games.
- The Crusaders have won their last three Super Rugby home matches in succession against the Chiefs, as many as they had won the previous eight times they had hosted them (L5).
- The Chiefs have lost each of their last three Super Rugby matches, as many as they lost in their 12 games prior (W8, D1).
- The Crusaders have won 17 of their last 19 completed Super Rugby matches against other New Zealand teams (L2); although, the Chiefs handed them each of their two defeats in that time.
- The Chiefs have averaged 43 points scored per game in their last five regular season away matches in Super Rugby, winning four of the games in that span (L1).
- The Crusaders have lost only two of their last 45 Super Rugby home matches (W42, D1); however, the Chiefs (Rd 1, 2016) were responsible for one of those two defeats.
- The Chiefs have made fewer than 10 clean breaks in three of their last four Super Rugby matches against New Zealand opposition, as many times as they did in their previous 22 games prior.
- The Crusaders had a tackle success rate of 91% in their last Super Rugby meeting with the Chiefs, the only time in their last 18 matches the Christchurch-based squad has had a tackle success rate above 90%.
- Chiefs’ pair Lachlan Boshier (57) and Aidan Ross (47) have hit the most and second most effective rucks respectively of all players in the 2020 Super Rugby Aotearoa campaign.
- Sevu Reece (Crusaders) has scored five tries in his last five Super Rugby games against New Zealand opposition, including two braces in that time.
Prediction: We are gambling with a Chiefs win by 5 for this clash
Crusaders: 1. Joe Moody 2. Codie Taylor © 3. Michael Alaalatoa 4. Samuel Whitelock 5. Mitchell Dunshea 6. Cullen Grace 7. Billy Harmon 8. Whetukamokamo Douglas 9. Bryn Hall 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. George Bridge 12. Jack Goodhue 13. Braydon Ennor 14. Sevu Reece 15. Will Jordan
Replacements: 16. Brodie McAlister 17. George Bower 18. Oliver Jager 19. Luke Romano 20. Ethan Blackadder 21. Mitchell Drummond 22. David Havili (vc) 23. Leicester Faingaanuku
Chiefs: 1. Aidan Ross 2. Bradley Slater 3. Nepo Laulala 4. Mitchell Brown 5. Naitoa Ah Kuoi 6. Lachlan Boshier 7. Sam Cane © 8. Pita Gus Sowakula 9. Brad Weber 10. Aaron Cruden 11. Sean Wainui 12. Anton Lienert-Brown 13. Quinn Tupaea 14. Solomon Alaimalo 15. Damian McKenzie
Replacements: 16. Samisoni Taukei’aho 17. Reuben O’Neill 18. Ross Geldenhuys 19. Adam Thompson 20. Mitchell Karpik 21. Lisati Milo-Harris 22. Kaleb Trask 23. Tumua Manu