Chiefs vs Crusaders Super Rugby: Live scores, blog
The Crusaders' Robbie Fruean scores a try against the Waratahs during round 10 of their Super Rugby match in Sydney on Sunday, April 29, 2012. (AAP Image/Paul Miller)
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The Chiefs Vs. The Crusaders
2012 Super Rugby Tournament, 7 July, 2012
|Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
|The Crusaders 28 defeated The Chiefs 21|
|The Chiefs||The Crusaders|
|Referee: SR Walsh|
|Touch judges: G Williamson & G Jackson|
Chiefs skipper Craig Clarke has a fair idea of what the Super Rugby leaders can expect when a wounded Crusaders side come visiting in front of a sold-out crowd at Waikato Stadium tonight. Join us for live scores from 5:40pm AEST.
The Crusaders are backing up from a 23-22 defeat to the Hurricanes and sit precariously placed at fifth on the table with two rounds to go.
“When they come off losses, they’re pretty ruthless and pretty fired up,” Clarke said.
“It will be intense all right.”
The Crusaders will be desperate to ensure they don’t miss out on making the play-offs for the first time in 11 seasons.
In Hamilton, they will have a starting line-up with 12 All Blacks, including fullback Israel Dagg, five-eighth Dan Carter and No.8 Kieran Read, who are all returning from injury setbacks.
The Chiefs can’t boast the same star power, but their 24-19 victory over the seven-time champions in Napier in March remains in the memory bank.
“I know we can’t rely on that because things evolve,” Clarke said.
“But we can take confidence that, if we do things well, we can beat them.”
The Chiefs have huge motivation as well to secure a victory at Waikato Stadium as they look to their own agenda.
They’ve already wrapped up the New Zealand Conference – even if the Crusaders, their closest pursuers, make up a 10-point gap, the Chiefs would still finish ahead on tiebreak because of more wins.
However, of far greater importance is staying top of the overall ladder – they have a four-point lead over the Stormers – so they secure home advantage throughout the play-offs.
Three years ago, Clarke was a member of the only Chiefs side to have reached a final.
Their reward for beating the Hurricanes to make the title decider was the long trek to South Africa to play top qualifiers the Bulls, who walloped them 61-17.
“We’re focused on accumulating more points,” Clarke said.
“I was part of the team in `09 who had to travel to Pretoria and it’s a tough thing to do.”
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