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Super Rugby Preview: Crusaders v Chiefs (09/03/19)

The Crusaders have played the Chiefs 33 times in Super rugby since 1996 and the Crusaders have won 20 matches or 61% of the clashes.

There have been no draws between the sides and Crusaders have lost 13 of the 33 matches.

This weekend the match will be played in Christchurch where the teams have met on 12 occasions. In those 12 matches the Crusaders have won 8 and lost

That gives the Crusaders a record of winning 67% of their home matches in Christchurch against the Chiefs. The average score when these teams meet in Christchurch is : Crusaders 31 Chiefs 19.

The Crusaders have won the last two matches against the Chiefs at home and the last time the Chiefs won in the city was in 2016.

Solid scrummaging form has made the Crusaders strong contenders for another Investec Super Rugby title and the Chiefs face a daunting task in containing them in Christchurch.

Crusaders scrum coach Jason Ryan has been pleased with the way the scrum has been performing through the opening rounds of the competition and he felt Owen Franks had one of his best Crusaders games at the weekend against the Reds.

“He’s got his body right and feeling good and it’s great. He’s so professional. I compare him to Muhammad Ali. If Muhammad Ali was a tighthead prop he’d be Owen Franks, and vice versa. He just does everything right, on and off the field to get his body the best he can and he’s in great shape, it’s awesome,” he said.

Reflecting on the weekend’s game in Brisbane he said humidity had been a factor in the side’s performance.

“We were pushing passes and we lost a little bit of rhythm making so many changes with the minutes and so forth with the All Blacks boys. But we’ve had the last couple of weeks to be fair so we’ve addressed that with how we can be better when we make our changes so the boys coming on can do a job an finish,” he said.

The Chiefs might be having their issues in getting their first win but they would come to Christchurch determined to put things right, and the Crusaders had never had an easy game against them.

“Any forward pack that’s got Brodie Retallick and Nepo Laulala probably coming back, they’re real enforcers for them so we’re expecting from them this week and it’ll be a ding-dong battle like all New Zealand derbies are.

“I would say they’re working pretty hard behind the scenes and pretty determined,” he said.

Hooker Codie Taylor will be available for the side this weekend but they were still uncertain of when Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock would return. They were both training with the side and it was just a case of managing their return, he said.

Prop Tim Perry is expected to miss most of the season after surgery on his broken arm. Wing Manasa Mataele will be out for the remainder of the season as has an ACL injury and will require surgery while five-eighths Mitch Hunt is going through concussion protocols.

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However, Harry Allan was making the most of his opportunity, doing his job at scrum time and going against the best in the world at training was also a help, Ryan said.

Average score: Crusaders 26 Chiefs 21

Last five results
Sat, 02 Jun 2018 Chiefs 20 – 34 Crusaders @Hamilton
Sat, 24 Feb 2018 Crusaders 45-23 Chiefs @Christchurch
Sat, 29 Jul 2017 Semi-final Crusaders 27-13 Chiefs @Christchurch
Fri, 19 May 2017 Crusaders 31-24 Chiefs @Suva
Fri, 01 Jul 2016 Crusaders 13-23 Chiefs @Suva

Crusaders overall record against the Chiefs
Played 33 ,Wins 20 , Losses 13 ,Draws 0

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty (c), 11 Braydon Ennor, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Ere Enari, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Mitchell Dunshea, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements : 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Harry Allan, 18 George Bower, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 David Havili

15 Solomon Alaimalo, 14 Sean Wainui, 13 Tumua Manu, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Etene Nanai-Seturo, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Taleni Seu, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Brodie Retallick (c), 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Nathan Harris, 1 Aidan Ross
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tevita Mafileo, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jesse Parete, 20 Mitchell Karpik, 21 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, 22 Jack Debreczeni, 23 Alex Nankivell

Match Officials and details
Date : Saturday 9 March
Venue : AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick Off local: 17:15
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 1:Damon Murphy
Assistant Ref 2:Nick Hogan
TMO :Shane McDermott

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