The Crusaders are through to the 2013 Super Rugby Semi-Finals. This Saturday 27th July see’s Super Rugby’s seven time champions the Crusaders take on 2012 Champions the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton. Crusaders Head Coach Todd Blackadder has selected an unchanged twenty-two that convincingly beat the Reds 38-9 in the Super Rugby Qualifiers.
With both sides vying to secure themselves a place in the Super Rugby Finals it will be an intense, physical and passionate battle. The Crusaders have previously met the Chiefs on twenty-one occasions with the Crusaders winning two-thirds of these encounters and scoring on average 9 points more a game than their Waikato counterparts. However the Chiefs have won the last three of the four encounters and won when it counted, in last year’s semi-final, putting an end to the Crusaders title hopes.
More recently the two sides have met on two occasions this season and have come out level pegging with a win a piece. They last met in round nineteen of the competition when the Crusaders came away with emphatic 43-15 win. Since then the Crusaders have hit their straps and have won their last five matches in a row.
With some great match up’s on the cards; Afeaki/Tamafuna vs Wyatt Crockett, Brodie Retallick vs Sam Whitelock, Matt Todd vs Sam Cane and Kerr-Barlow vs Ellis it is set to be the ‘test match’ of the New Zealand conference. However it all may come down to the battle of the first-fives Carter versus Cruden. Who will come out on top? Either way it is set to be an intense and physical game of rugby with the victors going through to the 2013 Super Rugby Final.
1. Wyatt Crockett, 2. Corey Flynn, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Luke Romano, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. George Whitelock, 7. Matt Todd, 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Dan Carter, 11. Zac Guildford, 12. Tom Taylor, 13. Ryan Crotty, 14. Tom Marshall, 15. Israel Dagg.
Reserves: 16. Ben Funnell, 17. Joe Moody, 18. Luke Whitelock, 19. Richie McCaw, 20. Willi Heinz, 21. Tyler Bleyendaal, 22. Adam Whitelock.