Home team Away Team


  • Fonotia,
    Penalty goals: Taylor (3),
14 - 13


  • de Allende,
    Penalty goals: Catrakilis (2),
    Conversions: Catrakilis,
  • Super Rugby
  • Overall Group
  • 8th Mar 2014
  • KO 06:35
  • Ground: AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Super Rugby: Crusaders v Stormers preview

Last updated: 7th March 2014  

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The Crusaders host the Stormers in Christchurch on Saturday with both sides already under pressure early in the Super Rugby season.

Both have made underwhelming starts to the season. The Crusaders have lost twice, while the Stormers are yet to convince as genuine contenders for the title despite one win from their two fixtures.

Although the Crusaders are at the bottom of the Super Rugby table and despite the loss of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who is out of action for eight weeks with a broken thumb, it's still early in the competition and the seven-times champions are notoriously slow starters.

But they are determined to get their 2014 show on the road and the Christchurch-based outfit's assistant coach Dave Hewett said the manner in which the Crusaders gave up a convincing lead in last weekend's loss to the Blues was thoroughly unlike a team which has won seven championships.

He said the Crusaders' coaches and players were trying to respond calmly to the failures that performance has highlighted.

"Yes, you can get angry and we are angry and they (the players) are angry," explained Hewett.

"They are all angry with themselves and they are angry with their performance."


The Crusaders hold the historical edge over the Stormers having won 14 of the previous 18 matches between these two franchises. Adding to that, they have never lost to the Stormers in Christchurch which makes the visitors' task more daunting.

The Stormers didn't overly impress in their 19-18 victory over the Hurricanes in Cape Town and know they have to deliver a much-improved performance if they want to change their dismal record in Christchurch.

Apart from their poor form in Christchurch, South African teams in general have failed to inspire against the Crusaders since 1996. Out of the 44 matches hosted by the Crusaders against teams from South Africa, they've lost twice and drawn twice.

That equates to a staggering 91 per cent winning rate, which is by far the best of any team against foreign opposition. The average score between the Crusaders and South African opposition over this period is 37-19, with the New Zealanders scoring four tries to two on average.

Stormers captain Jean de Villers knows that a victory this weekend will be a big boost for his side on their overseas tour, which also includes games against the Chiefs, Brumbies and Reds, who, like the Crusaders, have all won the tournament already.

The men from the Cape suffered a shock defeat to the Lions in their opener before their narrow win over the Hurricanes. An area of concern is their back-line play which has lacked imagination at the best of times.

Despite that, they possess potent attackers in De Villiers, Gio Aplon and Jaco Taute, who could swing the course of a match with moments of brilliance. They also know that the Crusaders' poor start to the season presents them with an ideal opportunity to break their duck in Christchurch.

Crusaders: 15 Slade, 14 McNicholl, 13 Lee-Lo, 12 Crotty, 11 Dagg, 10 Taylor, 9 Heinz; 1 Crockett, 2 Flynn, 3 Franks, 4 Romano, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 6 Luke Whitelock, 7 Todd, 8 Read (capt)

Replacements: 16 Funnell, 17 Perry, 18 Laulala, 19 Bird, 20 Taufua, 21 Ellis, 22 Bleyendaal, 23 Fonotia

Stormers: 15 Taute, 14 Van Wyk, 13 De Villiers (capt), 12 De Allende, 11 Aplon, 10 Catrakilis, 9 Groom; 1 Kitshoff, 2 Ntubeni, 3 Malherbe, 4 Rhodes, 5 Steenkamp, 6 Fourie, 7 Burger, 8 Vermeulen

Replacements: 16 Liebenberg, 17 Kebble, 18 Cilliers, 19 Botha, 20 Carr, 21 Schreuder, 22 Grant, 23 Tagicakibau

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Forthcoming Super Rugby Fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday 27th March
Super Rugby
06:35Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels
09:00Reds vs Lions
Saturday 28th March
05:30Chiefs vs Cheetahs
06:35Highlanders vs Stormers
08:40Waratahs vs Blues
15:05Sharks vs Western Force
17:10Bulls vs Crusaders
Friday 3rd April
07:35Hurricanes vs Stormers
09:40Melbourne Rebels vs Reds
Saturday 4th April
07:35Chiefs vs Blues
09:40Brumbies vs Cheetahs
14:00Sharks vs Crusaders
16:05Lions vs Bulls
Friday 10th April
08:35Blues vs Brumbies
Saturday 11th April
08:35Crusaders vs Highlanders
10:40Waratahs vs Stormers
12:45Western Force vs Cheetahs
14:00Bulls vs Reds
16:05Lions vs Sharks
Friday 17th April
08:35Crusaders vs Chiefs
Saturday 18th April
05:30Hurricanes vs Waratahs
08:35Highlanders vs Blues
10:40Brumbies vs Melbourne Rebels
12:45Western Force vs Stormers
16:05Sharks vs Bulls

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Phil Edwards

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