Round 2 Preview: Crusaders v Hurricanes (2021)

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Match details: Sunday 7 March, 4.35pm, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe

Played: 40

Won: Crusaders 24, Hurricanes 13, Drawn 3

Last match: Hurricanes 32, Crusaders 34 (25 July 2020)

Watch: Sky Sport (NZ) Rugby Pass (selected international territories)

 

HURRICANES HOODOO

The Crusaders record at home is among the most dominant in world sport. Orangetheory Stadium has become an impenetrable fortress for the Red and Blacks with just two losses coming at the ground in the last four and half years. The Hurricanes will be buoyed by the fact both of those losses have come against them. The most recent was in the last clash between the sides in July 2020. A Wes Goosen double and five penalty goals from Jordie Barrett helped steer the Hurricanes to a memorable 34-32 win over the eventual champions. The Hurricanes will no doubt use that victory as inspiration as they seek rare back-to-back victories over the Crusaders.

 

 

CROWDS WELCOME

With confirmation that New Zealand will move back to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 at 6am on Sunday, there will be no limit on crowd numbers at Orangetheory Stadium on Sunday. A family friendly kick off time of 4.35pm and a promising forecast of 20 degrees provide the perfect recipe for a memorable day of footy in the Garden City. Grab your tickets HERE.

SEVU v SAVEA

Sky Super Rugby Aotearoa is stacked full of world class head-to-head match ups but not many are as tantalising as the one between flyers Sevu Reece and Julian Savea. At their peak both players have been rated among the most devastating finishers in the world. Julian Savea was arguably at his finest during the 2015 Rugby World Cup while Reece was nominated for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award during his outstanding 2019 season. This will be the first time the two x-factor stars have crossed paths in Super Rugby and will most certainly be worth the wait.

 

STATCHAT (Opta)

The Crusaders were the only team to make 100+ tackles in Round 1 with 130 tackles. The next best team were the Blues with 95 tackles made.

 

THE SCOOP

As the Highlanders found out in round one, you have to be at your absolute best to even get close to the Crusaders. The Highlanders had plenty of time in the Crusaders half but just couldn’t break through. The Hurricanes need to find a way to bust a hole in the Crusaders defence and it could come through hooker Asafo Aumua who scored two tries against the Blues last week or the potent running of Ngani Laumape in the midfield. If it's not Aumua or Laumape then the Hurricanes have plenty of other attacking threats in the form of Jordie Barrett, Julian Savea, Wes Goosen and Peter Umaga-Jensen. The Crusaders defence will have to be as good as it was in round one to walk away with the 'W'.

TEAMS

 

Crusaders:

1.  Joe Moody 2.  Codie Taylor (VC) 3.  Michael Alaalatoa 4.  Scott Barrett (C) 5.  Samuel Whitelock 6.  Ethan Blackadder 7.  Tom Christie 8.  Cullen Grace 9.  Mitchell Drummond 10. Richie Mo'unga 11. Leicester Fainga’anuku 12. Dallas McLeod 13. Jack Goodhue 14. Sevu Reece 15. David Havili (VC)

 

Reserves: Brodie McAlister, George Bower, Fletcher Newell, Quinten Strange, Sione Havili Talitui, Bryn Hall, Fergus Burke, Will Jordan

 

 

Hurricanes:

1: Fraser Armstrong 2: Asafo Aumua 3: Tyrel Lomax 4: James Blackwell 5: Isaia Walker-Leaware 6: Reed Prinsep 7: Du’Plessis Kirifi 8: Ardie Savea © 9: Jonathan Taumateine 10: Jackson Garden-Bachop 11: Julian Savea 12: Ngani Laumape 13: Peter Umaga-Jensen 14: Wes Goosen 15: Jordie Barrett

 

Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Xavier Numia, Tevita Mafileo, Liam Mitchell, Devan Flanders, Luke Campbell, Billy Proctor, Salesi Rayasi

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