Out of the last five Super Rugby matches between the current champions the Chiefs and the Crusaders the Chiefs have won four and the Crusaders have won one.
The teams have already met once this season and that match was won 10-18 by the Chiefs in Christchurch in the second round.
The Chiefs have played the Crusaders 24 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and the Chiefs have won 9 times and lost 15 times. There have been no draws.
That record gives the Chiefs a record of winning just 38% of their matches across all venues against the Crusaders.The average score when the Chiefs play the Crusaders is : Chiefs 20 Crusaders 27
The match this weekend will be played in Hamilton which is home for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have had home advantage over the Crusaders in 13 of the 24 Super Rugby matches and they have won 6 matches and lost 7 matches. That gives the Chiefs a record of winning 46% of their home matches.
Two of those matches were played away from Hamilton as in 2011 they played in Tauranga and then in 1998 they played in Albany. The match in Albany was won by the Chiefs and the Tauranga match was won by the Crusaders.
The teams have therefore met in Hamilton 11 times and the Chiefs have won 5 matches and lost 6 matches. This gives the Chiefs an overall record in Hamilton of winning 46% of their matches. The average score when the Chiefs play the Crusaders in Hamilton is : Chiefs 22 Crusaders 24
Looking closer in the current version of Super Rugby (Super15) the teams have played each other four times in Hamilton and the Chiefs have only only lost on match so in the current form of Super Rugby they have a record of winning 75% of their home matches against the Crusaders.
The Chiefs top the New Zealand Conference on 24 points while the Crusaders are in third place on 18 points. The Chiefs went through their tour of South Africa without a win - they were also unbeaten - but they have only won one match in their last four outings.
The Crusaders went through their tour of South Africa unbeaten as well but they won both matches whereas the Chiefs drew theirs. Out of the Crusaders last four matches they have won three and lost one.
In terms of selection the Crusaders have made three changes to the team that beat the Cheetahs last week. Jordan Taufua gets his first start this season, having been promoted from the reserves to number 6. Tom Taylor also moves into the starting fifteen, playing at centre this week.
Owen Franks and Nepo Laulala have switched places again so that Franks takes the number 3 jersey this week and Laulala takes a place on the bench.
The Chiefs have kept to their rotational policy and have made six changes to the starting team. Pauliasi Manu starts at prop with Brodie Retallick cleared to play. Retallick was initially in doubt this week with suspected concussion but has passed all of the required tests.
Liam Messam returns and will be joined by Tanerau Latimer and Liam Squire in the No 8 jersey.
Tawera Kerr-Barlow starts at halfback and winger Asaeli Tikoirotuma will take the field after two weeks out with a knee injury.
Tanerau Latimer will become only the second person in the Chiefs 18 year history to become a centurion and will join his captain Liam Messam in the elite club.
While the Chiefs underlined their title credentials with their two victories in South Africa and last week's victory over the Rebels their form has been a little patchy. In South Africa they started slowly in both matches while last week they went off the boil in the second half and allowed the Rebels to come back at them.
The second half drop off could be put down to the travel factor as they had returned from South Africa in the week prior to the match. If the trip back from South Africa is the reason for the Chiefs drop off last week then the Crusaders too can be expected to suffer the same symptoms as they followed the Chiefs back from Bloemfontein by a week.
The crucial factor in this match could then turn out to be how the Crusaders handle their fatigue in the second half. In fairness any team who visits Hamilton to face the home of the double champions is going to be considered the underdog and that makes the Crusaders dangerous as they will have little to lose.
The Bookies have given the Crusaders a 5 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $250.00 Bet. The travel factor coupled with home advantage makes the Chiefs favourites this week. The Chiefs should win by 6.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD on the Red Button.
Average score: Chiefs 20 Crusaders 27
Last five results
21 Feb 2014 Chiefs v Crusaders 18-10 Christchurch
27 Jul 2013 (Semi-final) Chiefs v Crusaders 20-19 Hamilton
05 Jul 2013 Chiefs v Crusaders 15-43 Christchurch
24 May 2013 Chiefs v Crusaders 28-19 Hamilton
27 Jul 2012 (Semi-final) Chiefs v Crusaders 20-17 Hamilton
Chiefs overall record against the Crusaders
Played 24, Wins 9 , Losses 15, Draws 0
Match No. 58: Chiefs v Crusaders
Date :Saturday 19 April
Venue : Waikato Stadium
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Garratt Williamson
Assistant Ref 1: Glen Jackson
Assistant Ref 2: Kane McBride
TMO: Glenn Newman
1. Pauliasi Manu , 2. Rhys Marshall , 3. Ben Tameifuna , 4. Michael Fitzgerald , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Liam Messam © , 7. Tanerau Latimer 100th Chiefs Match , 8. Liam Squire , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Gareth Anscombe , 11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma , 12. Bundee Aki , 13. Andrew Horrell , 14. Tim Nanai-Williams , 15. Tom Marshall
Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Jamie Mackintosh , 18. Josh Hohneck , 19. Matt Symons , 20. Sam Cane , 21. Augustine Pulu , 22. Anton Lienert-Brown , 23. Jordan Payne
1. Wyatt Crockett,2. Corey Flynn,3. Owen Franks,4. Dominic Bird,5. Samuel Whitelock,6. Jordan Taufua,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (C),9. Willi Heinz,10.Colin Slade,11.Nemani Nadolo,12.Ryan Crotty (VC),13.Tom Taylor,14.Johnny McNicholl,15.Israel Dagg
Replacements :16. Ben Funnell,17. Tim Perry,18. Nepo Laulala,19. Jimmy Tupou,20. Luke Whitelock,21. Andy Ellis,22. Tyler Bleyendaal,23. Adam Whitelock