Preview: Chiefs v Crusaders
Thursday, April 17, 2014 Sportal.co.nz Getty Images
Things you need to know: The Chiefs have Brodie Retallick available after he passed all tests after a head knock last week. They have named Pauliasi Manu at loosehead prop and in the loose forwards Liam Messam and the latest Chiefs centurion Tanerau Latimer will be on the flanks of the scrum. Liam Squire has been named at No.8. Tawera Kerr-Barlow starts at halfback while wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma has recovered from a knee injury and will start. The Crusaders have beefed up their front row with Owen Franks returning at tighthead prop. Luke Romano is still out with a calf injury however while others still on the injured list are: Keiron Fonotia (hamstring), Richie McCaw (thumb), Joe Moody (ankle). Tom Taylor will start at centre.
Reason to watch: This has become one of the big games in Super Rugby in New Zealand in recent years and there is every reason to believe that this will be another classic contest that will hopefully not be affected by weather conditions.
Reason to worry: There should be no reason to discount this game. If this isn't to your liking you will never be satisfied.
Say what: "It's close and we will click in the next two or three weeks." – Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna.
Final instructions: The Chiefs outdid the Crusaders in their first match this year by doing what the Crusaders, in their pomp, used to do and come home strongly in the latter stages. Both teams need to make a good start, and the Chiefs need to build on what was their best start of the season in last week's first 20 minutes. It is a tough task for the Crusaders who have had the return trip from South Africa and then a flight north to Hamilton. The home advantage and the need to extend their concentration and control as they head into the business end of the season will be the Chiefs' focus and that should be enough to see them remain the top New Zealand side.
Chiefs: 1.Pauliasi Manu, 2.Rhys Marshall, 3.Ben Tameifuna, 4.Michael Fitzgerald, 5.Brodie Retallick, 6.Liam Messam (captain), 7.Tanerau Latimer, 8.Liam Squire, 9.Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 10.Gareth Anscombe, 11.Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12.Bundee Aki, 13.Andrew Horrell, 14.Tim Nanai-Williams, 15.Tom Marshall.
Reserves: 16.Nathan Harris, 17.Jamie Mackintosh, 18.Josh Hohneck, 19.Matt Symons, 20.Sam Cane, 21.Augustine Pulu, 22.Anton Lienert-Brown, 23.Jordan Payne.
Crusaders: 1.Wyatt Crockett, 2.Corey Flynn, 3.Owen Franks, 4.Dominic Bird, 5.Samuel Whitelock, 6.Jordan Taufua, 7.Matt Todd, 8.Kieran Read (captain), 9.Willi Heinz, 10.Colin Slade, 11.Nemani Naholo, 12.Ryan Crotty, 13.Tom Taylor, 14.Johnny McNicholl, 15.Israel Dagg.
Reserves: 16.Ben Funnell, 17.Tim Perry, 18.Nepo Laulala, 19.Jimmy Tupou, 20.Luke Whitelock, 21.Andy Ellis, 22.Tyler Bleydendaal, 23.Adam Whitelock.
Referee: Garratt Williamson
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