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Force v Crusaders Super Rugby Rd.7 Preview

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The second Super Rugby match on Friday is in Perth where the Force host the Crusaders who are on their way back to New Zealand from South Africa.

The Force will go into the match off a loss as they were beaten 32-20 by the Highlanders in Dunedin last weekend while the Crusaders beat the Lions 37-43 in Johannesburg.

The Crusaders victory last week was their fourth in a row and they have now played five matches and lost one.

The Force have played six matches, won one and lost five. For this match the Force have made two changes – one in the starting line up and the other on the bench.

In the only change to the starting XV Sitiveni (Steve) Mafi returns to the run-on side for the first time since Round Two with Ross Haylett-Petty given the week off after suffering a heavy knock to the head in the loss to the Highlanders last week.

Francois van Wyk will make his first appearance of the season after being named on the bench.

The Crusaders have made five changes. The front row remains unchanged, locks Sam Whitelock and Scott Barrett have rotated, with Whitelock back in the starting spot.

Loose forwards Jordan Taufua and Jimmy Tupou, and halfbacks Mitchell Drummond and Andy Ellis, have also rotated this week, with Taufua and Drummond starting at 6 and 9 respectively.

Sean Wainui steps into centre this week, and although Israel Dagg was called into the squad Ben Volavola gets a start at fullback.

Kieron Fonotia and Jone Macilai will be prepared to add some punch to the back line if they come off the bench.

The Force have played the Crusaders 9 times in Super Rugby and the Force have won two matches, drawn two and lost five. That gives the Force a record of winning 22% of their matches against the Crusaders.

In Perth the teams have met on five occasions and the Force have won two, drawn one and lost two. That gives them a record of winning 40% of their home matches.

The average score when the Force play the Crusaders in Perth is Western Force 23 Crusaders 25.

The Crusaders don’t have a great record in Perth as they often stop in Perth on their way back from Africa. The Crusaders last visited Perth in 2013 and they were on their way back from playing Stormers and the Sharks. Last year the Crusaders beat the Force 7-30 in Christchurch.

The Bookies have given the Force a 10 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Crusaders are on a four match winning streak and have gone through South Africa unbeaten which shows they are in top form. The Crusaders should win this by 12 or more.

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

Average score: Western Force 19 Crusaders 30

Last five results
30 May 2014 Force v Crusaders 7-30 Christchurch
13 Apr 2013 Force v Crusaders 16-14 Perth
14 Jul 2012 Force v Crusaders 24-38 Christchurch
30 Apr 2011 Force v Crusaders 30-42 Perth
23 Apr 2010 Force v Crusaders 24-16 Perth

Force overall record against the Crusaders
Played 9 , Wins 2, Losses 5, Draws 2

Match No.50: Force v Crusaders
Date : Friday 8 April 2016
Venue : nib Stadium, Perth
Kick Off local: 19:00 local
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Assistant Ref 1:Mike Fraser
Assistant Ref 2:Graham Cooper
TMO : Ian Smith

Teams

Western Force

1. Pekahou Cowan , 2. Heath Tessmann , 3. Tetera Faulkner , 4. Sitiveni (Steve) Mafi , 5. Adam Coleman , 6. Angus Cottrell , 7. Matt Hodgson (C) , 8. Ben McCalman , 9. Alby Mathewson , 10. Peter Grant , 11. Semisi Masirewa , 12. Solomoni (Junior) Rasolea , 13. Ben Tapuai , 14. Luke Morahan , 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Replacements : 16. Nathan Charles , 17. Francois van Wyk , 18. Jermaine Ainsley , 19. Rory Walton , 20. Richard Hardwick , 21. Ryan Louwrens , 22. Ian Prior , 23. Albert Nikoro

Crusaders

1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Codie Taylor,3. Owen Franks ,4. Luke Romano,5. Sam Whitelock,6. Jordan Taufua,7. Matt Todd,8. Kieran Read (C), 9. Mitchell Drummond, 10. Richie Mo’unga, 11. Nemani Nadolo, 12. Ryan Crotty, 13. Sean Wainui, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 15. Ben Volavola

Replacements : 16. Ged Robinson ,17. Joe Moody,18. Mike Alaalatoa,19. Scott Barrett,20. Jimmy Tupou,21. Andy Ellis,22. Kieron Fonotia,23. Jone Macilai

 

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