Home team Away Team

Crusaders

  • McNicholl, Whitelock, Nadolo,
    Penalty goals: Slade (7),
    Conversions: Heinz, Slade,
40 - 20

Brumbies

  • McCabe, Moore,
    Penalty goals: White (2),
    Conversions: Lealiifano, Toomua,
  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 3rd May 2014
  • KO 08:35
  • Ground: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Super Rugby preview: Crusaders take on Brumbies in Christchurch

Last updated: 1st May 2014  

Ruaidhri Murphy

Ruaidhri Murphy: Comes on to Brumbies bench

Richie McCaw Crusaders training 2014

Richie McCaw: Back for Crusaders

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Teams

Also see

The Crusaders will play their first home game in over a month when they face the Brumbies this Saturday in Christchurch.

Both sides go into the clash on the back of three wins, with the second-placed Brumbies two victories ahead of the eighth-placed Crusaders.

Last week the Crusaders had a bye, giving champion flanker Richie McCaw an extra seven days to recover from his broken thumb ahead of the clash, in which he will play at number six.

He is one of five changes made by head Coach Todd Blackadder to the starting XV that beat the Chiefs two weeks ago.

Matt Todd retains the number seven jersey and Luke Whitelock comes in at number eight with Kieran Read ruled out due to the concussion suffered against the Chiefs.

Also returning from injury are Kieron Fonotia and Luke Romano. Fonotia will play at centre, seeing Tom Taylor take a place in the reserves, and Romano will provide lock cover off the bench.

The hookers and half-backs rotate again this week, so Ben Funnell will be the starting hooker and Andy Ellis the starting half-back. Corey Flynn and Willi Heinz will be ready to provide impact off the bench.

Centre Ryan Crotty will captain the side in Read's absence and McCaw will take up the vice-captaincy reins.

The Brumbies have made just one change to the side which defeated the Chiefs last weekend, with Ruaidhri Murphy coming onto the bench for JP Smith.

After being ruled out during the warm up last week, Siliva Siliva is again outside the matchday 23, with Josh Mann-Rea to take the back-up hooking spot and jersey number 16.

With the Brumbies squad now stabilizing after an early spread of injuries, director of rugby Laurie Fisher and head coach Stephen Larkham have been able to name an unchanged starting side for the fifth time this year.

The last time the Brumbies defeated the Crusaders in Christchurch was back in 2000, the same year the Christchurch franchise knocked over the Canberra-based side in the final.

"Playing the Crusaders away is a big challenge for everyone, we haven't had a very good record over there and no-one in this side has ever beaten the Crusaders in New Zealand," said Larkham.

"They've had three-straight wins now, including two in Africa which is never easy. After a shaky start to the season they've found some form and will be further boosted by the return of Richie McCaw.

"We've been building over the last three years, not just against the Crusaders, but at rising to challenges and overcoming those challenges. Our attack is much better today than what is has been and we feel internally like we are a better side than we have been over the last couple of years."

Crusaders: 15 Dagg, 14 McNicholl, 13 Fonotia, 12 Crotty, 11 Nadolo, 10 Slade, 9 Ellis; 1 Crockett, 2 Funnell, 3 Franks, 4 Bird, 5 Whitelock, 6 McCaw, 7 Todd, 8 Whitelock.
Replacements: 16 Flynn, 17 Perry, 18 Laulala, 19 Romano, 20 Taufua, 21 Heinz, 22 Taylor, 23 Tuitavake.

Brumbies: 15 Mogg, 14 Tomane, 13 Kuridrani, 12 Lealiifano, 11 Coleman, 10 Toomua, 9 White; 1 Sio, 2 Moore, 3 Alexander, 4 Fardy, 5 Carter, 6 Smiler, 7 Butler, 8 Mowen (c).
Replacements: 16 Mann-Rea, 17 R Smith, 18 Murphy, 19 Whetton, 20 McVerry, 21 Dowsett, 22 A Smith, 23 McCabe.

SkyBet
Click here for more betting
Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super Rugby
Friday 13th February
Super Rugby
06:35Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels
08:40Brumbies vs Reds
17:10Lions vs Hurricanes
Saturday 14th February
06:35Blues vs Chiefs
15:05Sharks vs Cheetahs
17:05Bulls vs Stormers
Sunday 15th February
06:05Waratahs vs Western Force
Friday 20th February
06:35Chiefs vs Brumbies
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs
17:10Bulls vs Hurricanes
Saturday 21st February
06:35Highlanders vs Crusaders
08:40Reds vs Western Force
15:05Stormers vs Blues
17:10Sharks vs Lions
Friday 27th February
06:35Highlanders vs Reds
11:00Western Force vs Hurricanes
17:10Cheetahs vs Blues
Saturday 28th February
06:35Chiefs vs Crusaders
08:40Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies
15:05Bulls vs Sharks
17:10Lions vs Stormers
Friday 6th March
06:35Chiefs vs Highlanders
08:40Brumbies vs Western Force
Saturday 7th March
06:35Blues vs Lions
08:40Reds vs Waratahs

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com