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Chiefs vs Crusaders
Super Rugby, 2 June, 2018
|FMG Stadium Waikato|
|Fulltime - Chiefs 20, Crusaders 34|
|Referee: Nic Berry|
|Touch judges: Richard Kelly & Cam Stone|
|TMO: Glenn Newman|
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The Crusaders have beaten the Chiefs 32-20 in a solid performance in Hamilton.
The Chiefs go head-to-head with the Crusaders on Saturday evening in Hamilton as both sides look to enter the international window with a win. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST.
Following on the back of a great Kiwi clash on Friday where the Highlanders saw off the Canes, this clash in Hamilton promises more of the same with two exciting teams each with very important prizes to play for.
For the Crusaders they can really hammer home their advantage at the top of the ladder. The Canes’ loss on Friday means that a Crusaders win will take them 10 points clear and even though the Canes will still have the game in hand, the Christchurch teams’ fate will very much be in their hands.
The reigning champions put in a very wise and experienced performance last week in the wet against the Canes. They just gradually squeezed the life out of the men in yellow and despite the terrible conditions played low risk rugby that allowed them to keep amassing points.
For this game against the Chiefs they welcome back three of their All Blacks stars in Joe Moody, Israel Dagg and Jordan Taufua. It will be interesting to see how Dagg slots back in after the time off he’s had this season through injury.
It’ll also be interesting to see how fullback Havili goes. He’s had an underwhelming season so far compared to last year and his first half against the Canes was pretty terrible.
But he really turned things around in the second half and was one of the best players on the pitch. He needs to recapture his previous form and no better time to do it then before the Finals.
This match will allow us to have another look at two of the top fly halves in the world right now in Damian McKenzie and Richie Mo’unga.
Both have had good seasons so far with McKenzie making the switch from No.15 to No.10 really well and Mo’unga impressing as he leads the best side in the comp around with a great combination of flair and control.
For the Chiefs they name the same starting 15 and also welcome back club hero Sam Cane to the bench. It’s easy to get distracted by the talent in the backs for the Chiefs but their forwards are not to be underestimated especially with the talent of players like Retallick. He was great against the Tahs last week and is key to the overall success of the Chiefs this season.
A win for the Chiefs will see them leapfrog back over the Highlanders who have stolen 3rd spot from the Chiefs with their win against the Canes on Friday.
The Chiefs will also know that if they slip up in this game then they’ve got the inform Jaguares just three points behind them and coming up fast! Now is not the time to stumble.
The Chiefs have not lost at FMG Stadium since the middle of 2016. That’s an impressive record of 11 straight wins. They also played well last week and have stable selection which makes them a hard team to beat.
However, it’s the Crusaders isn’t it? No one can beat the men in red and black. With their strength at the set piece and Mo’unga playing so well this should be another win for the competition leaders.
Crusaders to win by 7
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST on Saturday.