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Chiefs vs Crusaders Rd.15 Super Rugby Preview

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Super Rugby returns from a one month long break on Friday with a historic first ever match in Fiji between the Chiefs and the Crusaders.

The Chiefs and Crusaders have already played each other once this season and that match was won 21-27 by the Chiefs in Christchurch.

That loss to the Chiefs is one of just two losses for the Crusaders this season from 12 matches and their third straight loss to the Chiefs.

The Crusaders and the Chiefs lead the New Zealand Conference in first and second place and the Crusaders lead the Lions on the overall standings by three points.

Unless there is a draw whoever wins the match will lead the New Zealand Conference.

The Chiefs and the Crusaders have played each other 28 times in Super Rugby since 1996 and the Chiefs have won 12 matches and lost 18. That gives them a record of winning 43% of their matches against the Crusaders.

Both teams have named experienced sides filled with All Blacks but the Chiefs have notably Stephen Donald has been named in the starting line up ahead of Aaron Cruden who is on the bench and missed the third All Black test due to injury.

In the forwards Kane Hames, Hika Elliot and Japan prop Hiroshi Yamashita pack down in the front row, with Dominic Bird and Brodie Retallick forming a formidable locking partnership.

The skillset and work ethic of Taleni Seu, Sam Cane and Tom Sanders make for a potent loose forward combination.

In the backs, Brad Weber dons jersey nine, with Donald’s exceptional performance against Wales being rewarded with a start at first five-eighth.

Anton Lienert-Brown and Seta Tamanivalu link up in the mid-field, while James Lowe, Toni Pulu and Damian McKenzie complete the backline in jerseys 11, 14 and 15 respectively.

Meanwhile the Crusaders have named a near full strength side with seven returning All Blacks in the 23, the only omissions are Ryan Crotty and Luke Romano, who are out through injury.

Both Mitchell Hunt and Jed Brown feature in the 23 for the first time, and will potentially make their debuts from the reserves bench.

The Chiefs have lost two out of their last three Super Rugby matches (Waratahs and Highlanders) while the Crusaders have lost one (Highlanders) of their last three.

The Bookies have given the Chiefs a 2 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. We agree with the bookies on this one and think the Crusaders will edge this one by 2.

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

Average score: Chiefs 21 Crusaders 26

Last five results
27 Feb 2016 Chiefs v Crusaders 27-21 Christchurch
17 Apr 2015 Chiefs v Crusaders 26-9 Christchurch
28 Feb 2015 Chiefs v Crusaders 40-16 Hamilton
19 Apr 2014 Chiefs v Crusaders 17-18 Hamilton
21 Feb 2014 Chiefs v Crusaders 18-10 Christchurch

Chiefs overall record against the Crusaders
Played 28 , Wins 12, Losses 16, Draws 0

Teams

Match No.109 :Chiefs vs Crusaders
Date : Friday 1 July 2016
Venue : ANZ National Stadium, Suva
Kick Off local: 19.35
Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1:Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 2:Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO : Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

Teams

Chiefs

1. Kane Hames, 2. Hika Elliot, 3. Hiroshi Yamashita, 4. Dominic Bird, 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Taleni Seu , 7. Sam Cane (cc) 8. Tom Sanders, 9. Brad Weber, 10. Stephen Donald , 11. James Lowe , 12. Anton Lienert-Brown , 13. Seta Tamanivalu , 14. Toni Pulu , 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris, 17. Siegfried Fisi’ihoi , 18. Atu Moli , 19. Mitchell Brown , 20. Lachlan Boshier , 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 22. Aaron Cruden, 23. Sam McNicol

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett ,2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Scott Barrett , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Matt Todd , 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Nemani Nadolo, 12. David Havili, 13. Kieron Fonotia, 14. Jone Macilai, 15. Israel Dagg

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell ,17. Joe Moody,18. Mike Alaalatoa,19. Jimmy Tupou,20. Jed Brown,21. Mitchell Drummond,22. Mitchell Hunt, 23. Sean Wainui

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