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Blues v Crusaders Rd.14 Super Rugby Preview

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Super Rugby kicks off on Saturday in Round 14 with a match in Auckland between the Blues and the Crusaders.

Last week the Blues beat the Western Force 13-17 on their way back from South Africa while the Crusaders beat the Waratahs in Christchurch.

The Blues are last in the New Zealand Super Rugby Conference but they are in 11th place overall and are still in with a chance of reaching the play offs.

The Crusaders are now second in the New Zealand Super Rugby Conference and have a strong chance of reaching the play offs.

After 13 Rounds both teams have played 11 matches but the Blues have won 6 and drawn one while the Crusaders have won 9.

The Blues and Crusaders have played each other 28 times in Super Rugby and the Blues have won 11 matches and lost 17. This gives them a record of winning 39% of their matches against the Christchurch side.

The Blues have enjoyed home advantage over the Crusaders in 14 of the 28 matches between the sides and they have won 8 matches and lost six. This gives them a record of winning 57% of their home matches against the Crusaders.

The average score when the Blues play the Crusaders at home is : Blues 21 Crusaders 25.

The Blues have made one change to the side that beat the Western Force last week. Northland’s Kara Pryor comes off the reserves’ bench to make his first start.

Pryor has played in nine of the 11 Blues matches but this will be his first start and he replaces Tanerau Latimer. Japan international Male Sa’u is bracketed at centre with George Moala who is nursing some bumps and bruises after a typically physical clash last weekend. If Moala is ruled out then Michael Little will come on to the bench.

The Crusaders have made three changes to the side that beat the Waratahs last week and most notably is the return of Nemani Nadolo from suspension. Lock Sam Whitelock has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, which sees Scott Barrett enter the starting line-up and Jimmy Tupou take a place in the reserves.

Halfbacks Andy Ellis and Mitchell Drummond have rotated so that Drummond takes the starting spot this weekend.

The Crusaders won the first match 28-13 between the sides earlier this year. That victory was the fourth in a row for the Crusaders against the Blues.

The Bookies have given the Blues a 9 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Crusaders should win this match by 8.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ (Sky), Aus (Fox Sports), SA (SuperSport) and in the UK on Sky Sports 1/HD.

Average score: Blues 21 Crusaders 25

Last five results
04 Mar 2016 Blues v Crusaders 13-28 Christchurch
06 Jun 2015 Blues v Crusaders 11-34 Auckland
25 Apr 2015 Blues v Crusaders 15-29 Christchurch
05 Jul 2014 Blues v Crusaders 13-21 Christchurch
28 Feb 2014 Blues v Crusaders 35-24 Auckland

Blues overall record against the Crusaders
Played 28 , Wins 11, Losses 17 , Draws 0

Match No.104: Blues v Crusaders
Date : Saturday 28 May 2016
Venue : Eden Park, Auckland
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Ref 1:Paul Williams
Assistant Ref 2:Brendon Pickerill
TMO : Glenn Newman

Teams

Blues

Sam Prattley, James Parsons (c), Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Bekhuis, Jerome Kaino, Kara Pryor, Steven Luatua; Billy Guyton, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, George Moala/Male Sa’u, Matt Duffie, Melani Nanai.

Replacements : Quentin MacDonald, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Sione Mafileo, Hoani Matenga, Jack Ram; Bryn Hall, Male Sa/u/Michael Little, Lolagi Visinia.

Crusaders

1. Joe Moody, 2. Codie Taylor, 3. Owen Franks , 4. Luke Romano, 5. Scott Barrett, 6. Jordan Taufua, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (C), 9. Mitchell Drummond, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 23. Marty McKenzie, 11. Nemani Nadolo ,12. Ryan Crotty,13. Kieron Fonotia,14. Johnny McNicholl,15. Israel Dagg,

Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Mike Alaalatoa, 19. Jimmy Tupou,20. Tim Boys, 21. Andy Ellis,22. David Havili

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