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Crusaders vs Blues: Super Rugby Pacific semifinal live scores, blog

16th June, 2023
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Crusaders

52

Match Complete

Blues

15

83
CRU52 : 15BLU

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Roar Guru
16th June, 2023
323
4822 Reads

Crusaders

52

Match Complete

Blues

15

83B. Barrett
82C. Clarke
R. Mo'unga77
R. Mo'unga72
F. Burke70
R. Mo'unga65
57B. Barrett
R. Mo'unga49
L. Fainga'anuku47
R. Mo'unga40
C. Taylor39
R. Mo'unga35
W. Jordan34
24B. Barrett
R. Mo'unga20
L. Fainga'anuku11
R. Mo'unga8
R. Mo'unga3
B. Ennor2

6
Tries
2
5
Conversions
1
4
Penalty Goals
1
0
Field Goals
0

Show Preview

All Black winger Caleb Clarke has returned after an ankle injury to get a call up for the Blues against an unchanged Crusaders outfit in the opening semifinal in Christchurch. Join The Roar for live scores and updates from 5pm AEST.

“He brings a point of difference around the aerial game, if we contest in the air and from kickoffs,” Blues coach Leon MacDonald said of the destructive Clarke.

“But it’s also his ability to beat the first defender and he’s pretty lethal close to the line as well, where he’s so powerful. It’s great to have him back.”

Caleb Clarke of the Blues makes a break during the round 12 Super Rugby Pacific match between the Blues and the Melbourne Rebels at Eden Park on May 06, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Caleb Clarke. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Rieko Ioane plays his 100th game for the club.

The Crusaders are without Sam Whitelock but are hopeful he can return for his final game with the club if they get through the semis.

The Crusaders smashed the Drua in the quarters and while their XV is unchanged there are two changes on the bench with forwards Ethan Blackadder and Zach Gallagher ruled out and replaced by Dominic Gardiner and Corey Kellow.

Limited to five appearances (four starts), Blackadder is out for the rest of the season. He’s one of 12 Crusaders unavailable through injury while three others are tied up with the NZ under 20s.

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History is clearly on the Crusaders’ side, however.

The 13-time champion Crusaders have a 28-0 playoff record in Christchurch, have won 17 of the last 18 matchups against the Blues, and 15 of the previous 16 in Christchurch.

Game information

Venue: Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch

Kick-off time: 5.05pm AEST

Streaming: Stan Sport

Betting: Crusaders $1.60 Blues $2.35

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Teams

Crusaders (1-15): Tamaiti Williams, Codie Taylor, Oliver Jager, Scott Barrett (c), Quinten Strange, Sione Havili Talitui, Tom Christie, Christian Lio-Willie, Mitchell Drummond, Richie Mo’unga, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Jack Goodhue, Braydon Ennor, Dallas McLeod, Will Jordan

Replacements: Brodie McAlister, Kershawl Sykes-Martin, Reuben O’Neill, Dominic Gardiner, Corey Kellow, Willi Heinz, Fergus Burke, Chay Fihaki

Blues (1-15): Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Ricky Riccitelli, Nepo Laulala, Tom Robinson, James Tucker, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii (c), Hoskins Sotutu, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Bryce Heem, Rieko Ioane, Mark Telea, Zarn Sullivan

Replacements: Kurt Eklund, Jordan Lay, Marcel Renata, Cameron Suafoa, Adrian Choat, Sam Nock, Harry Plummer, Stephen Perofeta

Referee: Angus Gardner

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