Double Super Rugby Champions the Chiefs kick off their Super Rugby season for 2014 away from home at Super Rugby's most successful franchise the Crusaders.
The Crusaders have played the Chiefs 23 times since 1996 and they have won 15 times and lost 8 matches. In the 23 matches there have been no draws.
The Crusaders 15 victories over the Chiefs give them a record of winning 65% of their matches between the teams.
The average score when the Crusaders play the Chiefs is : Crusaders 28 Chiefs 20.
This weekend the Crusaders will have home advantage over the Chiefs as they have done in 10 of the 23 matches between the teams.
When the Crusaders have had home advantage over the Chiefs they have won eight times and lost twice which gives them a record of winning 80% of their home matches against the Hamilton men with an average score of Crusaders 33 Chiefs 18.
It should be noted that even though the Crusaders have had home advantage against the Chiefs on 10 occasions they have only held 7 matches in Christchurch. Two matches were played in Napier and one was in Timaru in 1997.
Out of the 7 matches played between the teams in Christchurch the Crusaders have won 6 times and lost once. That gives the Crusaders a record of winning 86% of their home matches in Christchurch against the Chiefs.
The average score when the Crusaders Crusaders 37 Chiefs 17 and the last two matches between the teams in Christchurch have been won by the Crusaders.
Overall across all venues in the last five matches between the teams the Chiefs have won three times and the Crusaders two.
The last time the teams met was in Hamilton (July 2013) and the Chiefs won 19-20 in the Semi-finals.
The Crusaders have named a team with three debutantes in the starting line up and a a fourth in the replacements. Dan Carter is on sabbatical so Tyler Bleyendaal gets the chance to control the back line.
The Chiefs have named Mils Muliaina in their starting line up for the first time since 2011 as well as a number of players who will be making their debut for the franchise.
Both teams therefore have a number of new players in their teams which is of course usual practice for this time of year.
The Crusaders have a habit of starting their Super Rugby seasons slowly but coach Todd Blackadder has said that he wants them to make a faster start this season so that they don't have a survival fight on their hand at the end of the season.
In the pre-season the Crusaders beat the Highlanders and the Hurricanes as well as an internal match. The Chiefs on the other hand beat the Blues but lost to the Reds.
Whilst pre-season results can mean little in relation to the real tournament but in the pre-season the Chiefs lost a number of key players which has weakened the team.
The Bookies have given the Crusaders a 5 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Crusaders win 86% of their home matches in Christchurch against the Chiefs so we are going against the bookies and predicting a Crusaders victory. Crusaders should edge it by three.
This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports HD.
Average score: Crusaders 28 Chiefs 20
Last five results
27 Jul 2013 Crusaders v Chiefs 19-20 Hamilton (Semi-final)
05 Jul 2013 Crusaders v Chiefs 43-15 Christchurch
24 May 2013 Crusaders v Chiefs 19-28 Hamilton
27 Jul 2012 Crusaders v Chiefs 17-20 Hamilton (Semi-final)
06 Jul 2012 Crusaders v Chiefs 28-21 Hamilton
Crusaders overall record against the Chiefs
Played 23 ,Wins 15,Losses 8 ,Draws 0
Match No 3. : Crusaders vs Chiefs
Date :21 February 2014
Venue : AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick Off local: 6.35
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant Ref 1:Nick Briant
Assistant Ref 2:Mike Lash
TMO: Chris Wratt
1 Tim Perry ,2 Corey Flynn ,3 Owen Franks ,4 Samuel Whitelock,5 Dominic Bird,6 George Whitelock ,7 Richie McCaw (c) ,8 Luke Whitelock,9 Andy Ellis ,10 Tyler Bleyendaal ,11 Nafi Tuitavake ,12 Ryan Crotty (vc) ,13 Reynold Lee-Lo ,14 Johnny McNicholl ,15 Israel Dagg
Replacements : 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett , 18 Nepo Laulala , 19 Luke Romano ,20 Matt Todd ,21 Willi Heinz , 22 Tom Taylor,23 Rob Thompson
1. Jamie Mackintosh,2. Rhys Marshall,3. Ben Tameifuna,4. Michael Fitzgerald,5. Brodie Retallick,6. Liam Messam ,7. Tevita Koloamatangi,8. Kane Thompson,9. Augustine Pulu,10. Aaron Cruden (c),11. Asaeli Tikoirotuma,12. Charlie Ngatai,13. Robbie Fruean,14. Tim Nanai-Williams,15. Mils Muliaina,
Replacements :16. Nathan Harris,17. Pauliasi Manu,18. Ben Afeaki,19. Matt Symons/Liam Squire,20. Nick Crosswell,21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow,22. Andrew Horrell/Anton Lienert-Brown,23. James Lowe