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Crusaders vs Sunwolves
Super Rugby, 21 April, 2018
|Fulltime - Crusaders 33, Sunwolves 11|
|Referee: Brendon Pickerill|
|Touch judges: Jamie Nutbrown & Cam Stone|
|TMO: Glenn Newman|
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The Crusaders have beaten the Sunwolves 33-11 in a wet and windy Christchurch in a match that confirmed what we all knew already: The Crusaders were always going to be too good, the Sunwolves would try hard, make it difficult, but never really threaten.
The Crusaders take on the Sunwolves on Saturday evening in Christchurch for Round 10 of Super Rugby in what could be a totally predictable game – or the upset of the season. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST.
Despite the apparent mismatch between teams placed 15th and 4th, there are some interesting stories wrapped up with this game.
For the Crusaders there is the ongoing battle in a competitive Kiwi conference. With two losses already this season to the Canes and Highlanders, the Crusaders know that they are in a real fight this season to come out on top.
Currently the Crusaders are in second place in the conference but the Chiefs are just three points behind and the Highlanders just five with a game in hand.
Previously this match had been earmarked as the return of Kieran Read after injury but news this week has put that idea on ice.
The team are going to give him more time and arguably he won’t be seen in a Crusaders shirt until after the mid-season test break.
Meanwhile, the Crusaders will welcome back two of Read’s All Black team mates as both Dagg and Franks make their returns and both will be eager to get back into some form as quickly as possible with both crucial Super Rugby games and tests versus the French on the horizon.
Obviously this isn’t good news for the Sunwolves. This season they’ve been conceding an average of over 40 points a game and far too often these points have come as a result of very poor tackling.
Being outplayed by better players is one thing – sliding off tackles time and time again is really disappointing.
The tourists have made five changes for this game with the most exciting/alarming (delete as appropriate) coming in the halves where there is a brand new combination between Parker and Tanaka.
The two of them are going to have to work very hard to keep some sort of control in this game. It’s very likely that their forwards will be struggling to compete against the home side so the No.9 and No.10 are going to have to deal with limited ball and when they do get their hands on it, it’s probably going to be off the back of a pack going backwards and struggling to get over the advantage line.
It’s hard to see anything else but a Crusaders win here, and a big one at that. It will be interesting to see if the Sunwolves have tightened up on their tackling technique and what their new halves pairing can make happen together but other than these points, the main aim for the Sunwolves will be keep the losing margin vaguely respectable.
Crusaders to win by 25.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST on Saturday.