History looms large over Crusaders v Blues semifinal

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The Blues had beaten all before them, including a rare win over the Crusaders in Christchurch, but the Crusaders upset the Blues' lineout en route to a 21-7 win and their seventh Super Rugby title in succession.

The sides have met 42 times since the beginning of Super Rugby in 1996 – the Crusaders winning 32 times.

Their first Super Rugby title in 1998 denied the Blues a hat-trick of titles in the first three years of Super Rugby and set in train a Crusaders dominance that yielded 11 Super Rugby titles.

Robertson said on crusaders.co.nz the teams had a history of 'some great games', and he was excited to meet the Blues again in a playoff.

"It's good, genuine finals footy. A little bit of history from last year will add a bit of spice to it.

"It's going to be a hell of a match."

Crusaders assistant coach Scott Hansen said the Blues were a formidable team who deserved their spot.

"We need to prepare for a Blues team that understands their strength: the ball in hand.

"They are a dynamic team, they are powerful. So, we can expect them and prepare for them to hold the ball more."

Prospective All Blacks prop for 2023, Tamaiti Williams, was looking forward to playing against incumbent All Blacks Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Nepo Laulala in the front row.

Williams said, "It's exciting. There's nothing better than having the Blues at home. They've got some good experience in that front-row, mentors to me."

SEMIFINAL: Crusaders v Blues, Friday 16 June, 7.05pm, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch. TICKETS.


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