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Super Rugby Preview – Chiefs v Crusaders


As if it is not bad enough for the Chiefs at the moment with six losses from six matches, they will have to overcome the Crusaders this weekend if they do not want to make it seven out of seven.

The Crusaders suffered their first defeat of the revamp Super Rugby competition last week when the Hurricanes beat them.

As always the Chiefs, Crusaders clash is a big one and we expect a massive clash between these two side. The Chiefs has been much better than what their log position suggest and have as good a change to win the game as the Crusaders.

The Chiefs is the one side that have beaten the Crusaders more than any other team in the last 10 years, but it will take a massive effort from Gatland men to hand the Crusaders their second defeat in so many weeks.

It will be a special match for All Black Aaron Cruden, as he will pull the number 10 jersey for the 100th time over his head for the Chiefs this weekend.

Gatland made a few changes to his side for this match in the backs and on the bench but left his pack unchanged.
Cruden will start at ten with Kaleb Trask moving to the bench. Shaun Stevenson returns to the wing with Sean Wainui shifting to the left wing.
On the bench Gatland has picked Angus Ta’avao as replacement prop and he will be joined by Naitoa Ah Kuoi who will cover lock this weekend.
Simon Parker will also get his chance later in the game as he was named on the bench as well.
For the Crusaders, All Black star Sam Whitelock will also reach a milestone for his franchise when he will run on for his 150th game for the Crusaders.
He will also take the vice-captain armband for this match.
There are two more changes in the pack this week. George Bower will get a start with Isileli Tu’ungafasi providing cover at loosehead from the bench.

Sione Havili will start the game in the number six jumper with Tom Sanders moving to number eight.

There is just one change in the backline with Dummond getting a start and Hall named on the bench.

This is definitely not one to miss, so tune in on Super Sport for this massive New Zealand derby.

Prediction: Want to say Chiefs, but brain say Crusaders by 6


Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Lachlan Boshier, 5 Mitchell Brown, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Bradley Slater, 1 Reuben O’Neill

Replacements:16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Ollie Norris, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 20 Simon Parker, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Quinn Tupaea

Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Fetuli Paea, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Tom Sanders, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Sione Havili, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 George Bower

Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Billy Harmon, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga’anuku


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