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Sharks v Crusaders Super Rugby Rd.5 Preview

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The fifth Super Rugby match on Saturday in Round five is in Durban where the unbeaten Sharks host the Crusaders.

The Sharks are the only unbeaten team this season after four rounds. They have played four matches, won three and drawn one.

The Crusaders have played just three matches and have won two and lost one. None of their matches so far have been away from home.

The Sharks have played the Crusaders 20 times in Super Rugby since 1998 and they have won just four matches. That gives them a record of winning 20% of their matches against the Christchurch side.

The Sharks have played the Crusaders 8 times at home and in those eight home matches they have won three and lost five. That gives them a record of winning 38% of their home matches.

The average score when the Sharks play the Crusaders in Durban is Sharks 22 Crusaders 29.

The Sharks have made four changes to the side that drew with the Bulls last week. Cobus Reinach returns to the starting team in the only change to the Sharks backline.

In the forwards Philip van der Walt gets his second consecutive start and shifting to the eighthman position to give Daniel du Preez a much-needed break and he moves to the bench.

Jean-Luc du Preez who missed last week’s match with the Bulls due to a minor foot injury he sustained against the Stormers has recovered and starts this week.

The final changes come in the front row, Coenie Oosthuizen and Franco Marais back in the starting XV after rotational changes had the duo playing off the bench last week.

The Crusaders have named arguably their strongest side for this clash. Kieran Read comes in to captain the side at number 8.

In the forwards Joe Moody and Codie Taylor return to the front row alongside Owen Franks with Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett and Mike Alaalatoa providing cover from the bench.

Scott Barrett and Sam Whitelock are the starting locks, with Luke Romano in the reserves and Jimmy Tupou also covering lock or loose forward.

Experienced halfback Andy Ellis starts the match while Ryan Crotty also returns at second five and David Havili moves back to fullback.

Interestingly the Sharks are unbeaten in their last seven fixtures (W6, D1), a win or draw against the Crusaders would equal the team’s longest unbeaten run in Super Rugby history.

Last year when these teams met in Durban the Crusaders ran riot and won the match 10-52. As mentioned earlier that was their fifth win in eight matches in Durban. The referee is Jaco Peyper.

The Bookies have given the Crusaders a 3 point start for this Match – with an offer of up to $200 in Bonus bets. The Sharks will have home advantage and will be hungry to win this but this Crusaders side has a lot of class and history shows they enjoy visits to Durban. We are going against the bookies by saying the Crusaders should edge this by 2.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 5.

Average score: Sharks 21 Crusaders 33

Last five results
04 Apr 2015 Sharks v Crusaders 10-52 Durban
26 Jul 2014 Semi Sharks v Crusaders 6-38 Christchurch
17 May 2014 Sharks v Crusaders 30-25 Christchurch
05 Apr 2013 Sharks v Crusaders 21-17 Durban
25 Jun 2011 Elim Sharks v Crusaders 8-36 Nelson

Sharks overall record against the Crusaders
Played 20, Wins 4, Losses 16, Draws 0

Match No.39:Sharks v Crusaders
Date : Saturday 26 March 2016
Venue : Kings Park, Durban
Kick Off local: 17:15 local
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1:Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 2:Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO :Johan Greeff

Teams

Sharks

15. Willie le Roux , 14. JP Pietersen , 13. Paul Jordaan , 12. Andre Esterhuizen , 11. Lwazi Mvovo , 10. Joe Pietersen , 9. Cobus Reinach , 8. Philip van der Walt , 7. Jean-Luc du Preez , 6. Marcell Coetzee , 5. Stephan Lewies , 4. Etienne Oosthuizen , 3. Coenie Oosthuizen , 2. Franco Marais , 1. Tendai Mtawarira (C)

Replacements , 16. Kyle Cooper , 17. Juan Schoeman , 18. Lourens Adriaanse , 19. Hyron Andrews , 20. Daniel du Preez , 21. Michael Claassens , 22. Garth April , 23. Odwa Ndungane

Crusaders

1. Joe Moody,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. Ryan Crotty,13. Kieron Fonotia,14. Johnny McNicholl,15. David Havili

Replacements : 16. Ben Funnell ,17. Wyatt Crockett,18. Mike Alaalatoa,19. Luke Romano,20. Jimmy Tupou,21. Tim Boys,22. Mitchell Drummond,23. Ben Volavola

 

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