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Crusaders vs Highlanders
Super Rugby, 6 July, 2018
|Fulltime - Crusaders 45, Highlanders 22|
|Referee: Brendon Pickerill|
|Touch judges: Michael Fraser & Jamie Nutbrown|
|TMO: Aaron Paterson|
The Crusaders go head-to-head with the Highlanders in Christchurch as both sides look to build momentum into the finals. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).
The Crusaders have secured their spot in the finals and the Highlanders are pretty much guaranteed to play rugby into late July as well.
But the sub stories should not be ignored – this game matters!
Kieran Read will likely take the field for kick off and get his first minutes of competitive rugby in 2018. He says that his back is feeling fine and the real issue is his match fitness and sharpness, so there’s a chance we’ll only get to see 40 to 50 minutes of him.
It’s also a big game for the old warhorse Wyatt Crockett – the Crusaders legend will rack up his 200th Super Rugby game. Love him or hate him, to have 200 not out against your name in the professional era is impressive.
The Crusaders might have talent across the park and be leading the overall competition but the international break and the bye last week means now is the time to get back up to speed and charge into the finals in peak form.
The Highlanders are one of only two teams to beat the Crusaders this year and they definitely have the talent to be a threat. Ben Smith needs to fire and the 9-10 combo of Aaron Smith and Lima Sopoaga must be at its best.
The Highlanders are in sixth position on the overall ladder and with a home game against the Rebels in the final round they are a good bet for the finals. However, the flying Jaguares are just behind them and so a win today for the men from Dunedin will take the pressure off that final game.
The Crusaders will have to play well to win, but with so much to inspire them, as well as their usual professionalism, they should secure victory.
Crusaders by 12 points.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:25pm (AEST).