Super 14 Rugby

Hurricanes look to upset Crusaders


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The Hurricanes will be the next in line to see if they can halt the Crusaders’ unbeaten charge in the Vodacom Super 14. The ‘Canes host the former champions in Wellington on Friday (08h35 SA time) as the competition’s league phase reaches its midway point.

The Crusaders have looked unstoppable in racking up six wins in succession and top the table on 29 points out of a possible 30. The Hurricanes, who are eleven points adrift with a game in hand, need to win to keep themselves in contention. They will also do a huge favour to the other chasing teams, amongst them the Sharks, Blues and Western Force.

History will favour the Crusaders, however, despite the Hurricanes having home advantage. The hosts have won just three of the last 10 clashes against their New Zealand rivals, the last victory in Wellington coming in 2004, when they won 37-15. Since then the Crusaders have dominated, winning their last four encounters, which included a 20-11 triumph in Wellington in 2006.

The Hurricanes are the one team in the competition who boast a physical edge to their game that can unsettle their opponents. They also have a solid defence and some strong ball carriers that will be vital to their cause against a side that is bursting with talent and appears to be able to score at will.

The Sharks, who apart from the Crusaders are the only other unbeaten team in the competition to date, host the Reds on Saturday (17h00) in their final match in Durban before they go on tour. The hosts have been in solid form and will start the match as clear favourites against a Reds team that has struggled in the competition so far.

Current form aside, the history books paint a different story with the visitors from Queensland boasting seven victories in their last 10 meetings ‘ including three wins on their last five visits to the Absa Stadium.

However, much of the Reds’ past dominance came during the Sharks’ lean years of the late 90’s and early 00’s and recent results point to a likely win for the home side. In 2006 the Sharks won 36-28 in Durban and they came away from Brisbane with an emphatic 59-16 victory in 2007.

Previous 10 meetings in  Super 14

Hurricanes vs Crusaders

Hurricanes have won 3, Crusaders have won 6, one match drawn

2007 Hurricanes 13 Crusaders 23 in Christchurch
2006 Hurricanes 12 Crusaders 19 in Christchurch (Final)
Hurricanes 11 Crusaders 20 in Wellington
2005 Hurricanes 20 Crusaders 40 in Christchurch
2004 Hurricanes 37 Crusaders 15 in Wellington
2003 Hurricanes 21 Crusaders 37 in Christchurch
2002 Hurricanes 20 Crusaders 48 in Wellington
2001 Hurricanes 41 Crusaders 29 in Christchurch
2000 Hurricanes 28 Crusaders 22 in Wellington
1999 Hurricanes 18 Crusaders 18 in Christchurch

Sharks vs Reds

Sharks have won 3, Reds have won 7

2007 Sharks 59 Reds 16 in Brisbane
2006 Sharks 36 Reds 28 in Durban
2005 Sharks 25 Reds 30 in Brisbane
2004 Sharks 5 Reds 6 in Durban
2003 Sharks 13 Reds 22 in Brisbane
2002 Sharks 29 Reds 30 in Durban
2001 Sharks 27 Reds 32 in Brisbane
2000 Sharks 13 Reds 24 in Durban
1999 Sharks 13 Reds 34 in Brisbane
1998 Sharks 30 Reds 20 in Durban

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