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Crusaders vs Sharks
Super Rugby, 21 July, 2018
|Fulltime - Crusaders 40, Sharks 10|
|Referee: Michael Fraser|
|Touch judges: Ben O'Keeffe & Brendon Pickerill|
|TMO: Shane McDermot|
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The Crusaders go head to-head with the Sharks in Christchurch as the Super Rugby quarter-finals continue. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).
If this was a boxing match, it arguably wouldn’t be allowed to take place, as the two teams are in very different divisions.
In one corner, the reigning champions from Christchurch have home advantage, are on a winning streak of 12 matches, have not lost at home to a non-Kiwi team since Round 1, 2015, have a positive points difference of 247 this season – compared to the Sharks’ negative five – and no South African team has ever won a finals match in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, in the other corner, the Sharks scraped into the finals thanks to points difference.
However, as with all the best underdog stories, there is a glimmer of hope. The team from Durban might have only won seven games this season, but three of those were against the Blues, Highlanders and Chiefs. So they’ve defeated Kiwi opposition and two of those three sides have finished higher up the ladder than the Sharks themselves.
They have some giant-killing experience for sure and have some gun playerss, including Robert du Preez, who is currently the leading points scorer in the competition, and fullback Curwin Bosch, who has racked up over 950 metres with the ball so far this season.
But it’s in the pack where the away team need to stack up, so look for big performances from the whole tight five.
The Sharks will give it everything and in knock-out rugby anything can happen. However, it’s the Crusaders, at home, against a side that have lost more games then they’ve won this year.
Crusaders to win by 18 points.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:25pm (AEST).