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Crusaders v Sharks Super Rugby Preview

Israel Dagg scores for the Crusaders at Twickenham in 2011

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Article Published: Thursday 15 May 2014|

This weekend's Super Rugby match between the Crusaders and the Sharks is our match of the weekend and is one you don't want to miss.

The Crusaders are the current form team in Super Rugby while the Sharks lead the overall Super Rugby standings - albeit by a point.

The Crusaders have played the Sharks 17 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and the Crusaders have won an incredible 14 times.

That gives the Crusaders a record of winning 82% of their matches against the Sharks across all venues.

The average score when the Crusaders play the Sharks is : Crusaders 32 Sharks 22.

This weekend the Crusaders will have home advantage as they have done over the Sharks in 10 of the 17 matches. The match will be played in Christchurch where the teams have met 7 times.

In 2006 the Crusaders moved a match to Timaru, in 2011 a match was played at Twickenham and in 2011 the Crusaders played an Elimination play off against the Sharks in Nelson.

In every match played between the teams where the Sharks were the away team the Crusaders won. That makes the Crusaders unbeaten by the Sharks outside of Durban with a 100% win record.

The average score when the Crusaders play the Sharks at home is Crusaders 36 Sharks 21.

As mentioned earlier the Sharks lead the Super Rugby standings on 36 points. The Crusaders are in fourth place on 31 points not far behind.

The Crusaders need a bonus point victory by 12 points (whilst keeping the Sharks from scoring four tries) to overtake the Sharks. Last week the Crusaders beat the Reds 29-57 but allowed the Reds to score four tries.

The Sharks lost to the Brumbies 16-9 in Canberra last week and failed to score a try.

The Crusaders have made three changes for this week with Tom Taylor taking over from Israel Dagg as one of the three changes. Kieran Read is still missing but the Crusaders are doing fine without him for the time being as they have won their last four matches.

Dominic Bird will partner up with Samuel Whitelock at lock this week, with Luke Romano out of contention after breaking his ankle in last week's match.

Halfbacks Willi Heinz and Andy Ellis have rotated again so that Heinz takes the starting spot for his fiftieth Crusaders game.

Willem Alberts reverts back to No.8, having been selected in the second row last week, while Tera Mtembu gets a start at flank, which means Ryan Kankowski and Keegan Daniel will play off the bench.

Etienne Oosthuizen will get a start in the second row, while a vastly experienced front row remains unchanged.

SP Marais reverts back to the starting line-up, which means Lwazi Mvovo moves to the wing in the only change to the backline

The Crusaders have played four matches in 2014 at home and have won two. The Sharks have played four matches away from home and have also won two. Outside of South Africa they have played two and won one.

The Bookies have given the Sharks a 9 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $250.00 Bet. The Sharks looked more impressive when they were playing at home and haven't looked as good in recent weeks. In contrast the Crusaders have gone from strength to strength. The Crusaders should win this comfortably by 11.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 4/HD

Average score: Crusaders 32 Sharks 22

Last five results
05 Apr 2013 Crusaders v Sharks 17-21 Durban
25 Jun 2011 (Play off) Crusaders v Sharks 36-8 Nelson
27 Mar 2011 Crusaders v Sharks 44-28 Twickenham
26 Feb 2010 Crusaders v Sharks 35-6 Christchurch
18 Apr 2009 Crusaders v Sharks 13-10 Durban

Crusaders overall record against the Sharks
Played 17 , Wins 14 , Losses 3, Draws 0

Match No. 83: Crusaders v Sharks
Date :Saturday 17 May
Venue : AMI Stadium
Kick Off local: 19:35
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann
Assistant Ref 1: Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2: Mike Lash
TMO: Chris Wratt



1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Corey Flynn ,3. Owen Franks ,4. Dominic Bird,5. Samuel Whitelock ,6. Jordan Taufua ,7. Richie McCaw (VC) ,8. Luke Whitelock,9. Willi Heinz ,10.Colin Slade ,11.Nemani Nadolo ,12.Ryan Crotty (C) ,13.Rey Lee-Lo ,14.Johnny McNicholl ,15.Tom Taylor

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell ,17. Tim Perry , 18. Nepo Laulala ,19. Jimmy Tupou ,20. George Whitelock ,21. Andy Ellis / Willi Heinz , 22. Tyler Bleyendaal , 23. Nafi Tuitavake


15. SP Marais 14. JP Pietersen 13. S'bura Sithole 12. Paul Jordaan 11. Lwazi Mvovo 10. Francois Steyn 9. Cobus Reinach 8. Willem Alberts 7. Jean Deysel 6. Tera Mtembu 5. Stephan Lewies 4. Etienne Oosthuizen 3. Jannie du Plessis 2. Bismarck du Plessis (Captain) 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements 16. Kyle Cooper 17. Dale Chadwick 18. Lourens Adriaanse 19. Ryan Kankowski 20. Keegan Daniel 21. Charl McLeod 22. Tim Swiel 23. Heimar Williams

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