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Two former champions in the Crusaders and the Chiefs will meet in the second New Zealand Super Rugby derby match in the opening round.

The seven time Super Rugby champions haven’t won a title since the 2008 season when they beat the Waratahs in the final and this year will be coach Todd Blackadder’s last in charge of the Christchurch side.

In recent years the Chiefs have been the better of the two sides and won titles in 2012 and 2013. Now in 2016 both sides are in a rebuilding phase following big name departures.

While pre-season form is never reliable the alarm bells started ringing for the Crusaders last week when they were beaten 74-7 by the Hurricanes and before that they drew 19 all with the Highlanders. Their only win was a 31-3 victory over the Reds at Ballymore.

The Chiefs beat the Waratahs in a pre-season match but were beaten by the Blues and in their pre-season matches they lost Mitch Karpik and Nepo Laulala. Dominic Bird who joined from the Crusaders was also injured in the pre-season and will be out for six rounds.

The Crusaders will be learning to live without the likes of Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and Israel Dagg is targeting a return from a dislocated shoulder in April.

In short neither side has had an ideal pre-season and the opening round will be down to who puts last season’s retirements behind them the best.

The Crusaders will have the benefit of playing at home where they have won 67% of their matches against the Chiefs. That is in comparison to the Crussaders record of winning 59% of their matches against the Chiefs regardless of the venue.

The Crusaders will be aware though that on their last two visits the Chiefs have left as the winners.

Five of the Chiefs 23 will be making their team debut and the three of the Crusaders 23 will be making their debut which gives the home side a slight edge in experience.

The Bookies have given the Chiefs a 3 point start for this Match – with an an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. Winning your home games is crucial in Super Rugby and last week’s loss should have given the Christchurch side a big wake up call. The Crusaders should edge this by one.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2/HD.

Average score: Crusaders 26 Chiefs 21

Last five results in Christchurch
17 Apr 2015 Crusaders v Chiefs 9-26 Christchurch
21 Feb 2014 Crusaders v Chiefs 10-18 Christchurch
05 Jul 2013 Crusaders v Chiefs 43-15 Christchurch
14 Feb 2009 Crusaders v Chiefs 19-13 Christchurch
04 May 2007 Crusaders v Chiefs 24-30 Christchurch

Crusaders record against the Chiefs in Christchurch
Played 9, Wins 6 , Losses 3 , Draws 0

Last five results
17 Apr 2015 Crusaders v Chiefs 9-26 Christchurch
28 Feb 2015 Crusaders v Chiefs 16-40 Hamilton
19 Apr 2014 Crusaders v Chiefs 18-17 Hamilton
21 Feb 2014 Crusaders v Chiefs 10-18 Christchurch
27 Jul 2013 (Semi) Crusaders v Chiefs 19-20 Hamilton

Crusaders overall record against the Chiefs
Played 27, Wins 16 , Losses 11, Draws 0

Match No. 5:Crusaders v Chiefs
Date : Saturday 27 February 2016
Venue : AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick Off local: 19:35 local
Referee: Chris Pollock
Assistant Ref 1:Jamie Nutbrown
Assistant Ref 2:Kane McBride
TMO :Glenn Newman

Teams

Crusaders

1. Joe Moody , 2. Codie Taylor , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Scott Barrett , 5. Samuel Whitelock (C) , 6. Jordan Taufua , 7. Tim Boys , 8. Kieran Read , 9. Andy Ellis , 10. Richie Mo’ungan , 11. Nemani Nadolo ,12. Kieron Fonotia , 13. Sean Wainui , 14. Jone Macilai , 15. David Havili

Replacements : Ben Funnell , Wyatt Crockett ,Mike Alaalatoa ,Jimmy Tupou , Reed Prinsep , Leon Fukofuka , Ben Volavola ,Johnny McNicholl

Chiefs

1. Pauliasi Manu , 2. Rhys Marshall , 3. Hiroshi Yamashita** , 4. Michael Allardice , 5. Brodie Retallick , 6. Taleni Seu** , 7. Sam Cane co-captain , 8. Tom Sanders** , 9. Tawera Kerr-Barlow , 10. Aaron Cruden co-captain , 11. James Lowe , 12. Charlie Ngatai , 13. Seta Tamanivalu , 14. Shaun Stevenson** , 15. Damian McKenzie

Replacements : 16. Nathan Harris , 17. Mitchell Graham , 18. Siate Tokolahi , 19. Maama Vaipulu , 20. Johan Bardoul , 21. Brad Weber , 22. Anton Lienert-Brown , 23. Latu Vaeno**

**denotes Super Rugby debutant

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