This will be the first Super Rugby Pacific match between the Crusaders and Fijian Drua.
The Crusaders have won their last four matches when facing a team for the first time, as many as they won in all their 15 fixtures prior (W4, D2, L9).
- The Crusaders have lost two of their last three Super Rugby Pacific games at home (W1), as many as they had lost in their last 45 Super Rugby home games (W42, D1).
- The Saders have lost only one of their last 20 Super Rugby games against teams from outside New Zealand (W17, D2), restricting their opposition to fewer than 30 points in every game.
- Fijian Drua will be looking to log back-to-back wins for the first time after a 34-19 win over Moana Pasifika in Round 13; it was their most points scored and fewest conceded in a game in the competition.
- The Fijian Drua was defeated 67-5 by the Hurricanes in their last game in New Zealand (8 May 2022); it was the joint-tenth biggest defeat by any team in Super Rugby history and the biggest since June 2019 (Crusaders def. Melbourne Rebels, 66-0).
- The Crusaders have gained 205 metres from mauls this Super Rugby Pacific season, the most of any team in the competition; the Fijian Drua (37) are ranked last.
- Drua has made 106 offloads, the second-most by any team (Chiefs – 123), and 15 more than the Crusaders (91).
Players to watch
- Will Jordan has gained 1,014 metres, the most of any player in the competition; the Fijian Drua’s best Vinaya Habosi (845) is ranked third in this category (Manasa Mataele – 908 for Western Force).
- Leicester Fainga’anuku (10) is the tournament’s top try-scorer – Will Jordan is tie-second with Brumbies winger Tom Wright (8).
- Apisalome Vota has made seven tackles resulting in a turnover, the most of any player in the competition; no Crusaders player has logged more than two in this category.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
In the meantime, why not have a look at the match preview.
1.00: PEEEP! We are underway in Christchurch, New Zealand.
2.00: TRY! Crusaders win an early penalty in the Drua 22, and kick to the corner. The ball went Fergus Burke, who floated a wide pass to the open Leicester Fainga’anuku. Fainga’anuku (10), who has scored two hat-tricks, extends his lead at the top of the try-scoring stakes. 5-0
4.00: CONVERSION! Burke adds the extras. 7-0
8.00: PENALTY! Teti Tela puts Drua on the board. 7-3
10.00: All Saders so far.
12.00: The first scrum of the game has to be – surprise, surprise – reset. Snoozevilles.
14.00: An infuriating play by Drua. The Fijians wins a free-kick, and go quickly before kicking out with a poor kick to give the hosts an attacking lineout outside the 22.
15.00: TRY! An eight-phase attack ends with Burke combining with Jack Goodhue to put Tom Christie away. 12-3
16.00: CONVERSION! Burke nails that kick. 14-3
19.00: The two teams and the ref are taking forever to set the scrums.
21.00: A lot of needless offside penalties from both teams.
23.00: Crusaders win a penalty on their first feed to clear their 22.
26.00: The home team is beginning to assert their authority, the visitors, out of sorts.
28.00: TRY! Another eight-phase attack ends with Sevu Reece, at first receiver, putting Sam Whitelock through a gap. Whitelock, playing his 170th Super Rugby match, crashed through two defenders to notch a rare ninth Super Rugby try. 19-3
29.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 21-3
32.00: The Fijians keep coming, but they cannot find that last pass or stop making mistakes inside the Saders’ half. A promising sustained attack finished with a forward pass and knock-on. This is very fustrating.
34.00: It’s all Saders.
37.00: TRY! Jack Goodhue sends Sevu Reece in for his 41st Super Rugby try, and seventh of the season. The Crusaders look ominous. 26-3
38.00: CONVERSION! Burke slots the wide kick. 28-3
41.00: Sevu Reece – bizarrely – throws an inside pass to Drua standoff Caleb Muntz instead of putting his down to score in the corner.
The halftime score was Crusaders 28 Fijian Drua 3
41.00: PEEEP! We are back underway at Orangetheory Stadium.
43.00: Drua coming out hot after the break.
45.00: Burke can’t take a high ball, scrum to the tourists.
47.00: TRY! Burke, on the wraparound, finished off an 11-phase attack, beating Ilaisa Droasese on the outside to score. 33-3
49.00: CONVERSION! Burke converts his try. 35-3
53.00: TRY! Burke puts Reece away for his second of the night. Too easy! 40-3
54.00: MISS! The kick is wide. 40-3
56.00: Drua wins a scrum penalty for collapsing by Williams.
63.00: TRY! The ball is sent wide to George Bridge to dive over for another score. 45-3
64.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good. 47-3
67.00: Drua nned to keep this score down, do not fold trying to play sevens.
70.00: YELLOW CARD! Selestino Ravutaumada off for the rest of the game. 47-3
71.00: TRY! Braydon Ennor hit the line with pace to bring up the half-century. 52-3
73.00: CONVERSION! The kick is good! 54-3
74.00: The Fijians are reeling, the red wave keeps coming.
75.00: TRY! Braydon Ennor puts Christie away for the flanker’s brace. 59-3
76.00: CONVERSION! Burke is on fire! 61-3
79.00: Crusaders almost get a 10th, but the hooter will end this mismatch.
81.00: Game over.
To refresh this page, click HERE. Live In-Play Betting.
The final score is Crusaders 61 (28) Drua 3 (3)
Tries – Fainga’anuku, Christie (2), Whitelock, Reece (2), Burke, Bridge, Ennor
Con – Burke (8)
Pen – Tela
Cards – Ravutaumada (Yellow, 70′)
Referee: Angus Mabey
Assistant Ref 1: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Ref 2: Jono Bredin
TMO: Glenn Newman
Crusaders: 15 Chay Fihaki, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Fergus Burke, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Ethan Blackadder, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Scott Barrett (captain), 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Zach Gallagher, 3 Fletcher Newell, 2 Ricky Jackson, 1 Finlay Brewis.
Replacements: 16 Shilo Klein, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Oli Jager, 19 Dominic Gardiner, 20 Corey Kellow, 21 Mitch Drummond, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 George Bridge.
Fijian Drua: 15 Ilaisa Droasese, 14 Selestino Ravutaumada, 13 Kalaveti Ravouvou, 12 Teti Tela, 11 Tuidraki Samusamuvodre, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Peni Matawalu, 8 Nemani Nagusa (captain), 7 Mesulame Dolokoto, 6 Joseva Tamani, 5 Ratu Rotuisolia, 4 Isoa Nasilasila, 3 Samuela Tawake, 2 Zuriel Togiatama, 1 Kaliopasi Uluilakepa.
Replacements: 16 Tevita Ikanivere, 17 Haereiti Hetet, 18 Manasa Saulo, 19 Chris Minimbi, 20 Raikabula Momoedonu, 21 Leone Nawai, 22 Jona Mataiciwa, 23 Kitione Ratu.