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PREVIEW: Crusaders v Reds

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Thursday, May 5, 2016    allblacks.com    Getty Images

ROUND 11: Crusaders v Reds, 7.35pm Friday 6 May, Christchurch

TALE OF THE TAPE
Christchurch hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the Reds with eight straight losses in the city since their last win in 1999. To compound matters, the Crusaders are on a hot run of seven straight wins – their longest winning streak since 2008. Both teams are coming off good wins though, with the Crusaders taking out the Brumbies 40-14 in round nine and the Reds putting away the Cheetahs 30-17 last week.
FANTASTIC FRISBY
With the world-class Will Genia now playing in France, 23-year-old Nick Frisby has made the Reds number nine jersey his own this year. Boasting electric speed and an astute kicking game, Frisby provides a great foil to young pivot Jake McIntyre and is a constant threat from the base of the ruck. Coming off a sensational two-try performance against the Cheetahs last week, another outstanding effort will undoubtedly put Frisby’s name squarely into Wallaby calculations.

MAGIC MIKE
It has been a big week for Sydney-born prop Mike Alaalatoa. After announcing a two-year contract extension at the Crusaders, the 130kg powerhouse was named for his first Crusaders start after seven appearances from the bench. With exceptional power and strong scrummaging, Alaalatoa will be looking to make an impact when he pulls on the Crusaders number three jersey for the first time.

TACKLE BUSTER
Despite losing the dynamic Samu Kerevi to a broken hand last week, the Reds still boast a dangerous ball runner in the rampaging Hendrick Tui. The Japanese international leads all loose forwards in Investec Super Rugby for carries (93) and is fourth among all players in defenders beaten (33). The Crusaders loose forward trio will need to work in unison to defuse the threat posed by the 106 kg powerhouse.

BE THERE
With a fine day forecast in Christchurch, the stage is set for running rugby at AMI Stadium. Get TICKETS HERE to experience the action live!

TEAMS

Crusaders:
15: Israel Dagg 14: Johnny McNichol 13: Kieron Fonotia 12: David Havili 11: Jone Macilai 10: Richie Mo’unga 9: Mitchell Drummond 8: Kieran Read 7: Matt Todd 6: Jordan Taufua 5: Sam Whitelock 4: Scott Barrett 3: Mike Alaalatoa 2: Codie Taylor 1: Wyatt Crockett
Reserves: 16: Ben Funell 17: Joe Moody 18: Owen Franks 19: Luke Romano 20: Tim Boys 21: Andy Ellis 22: Ryan Crotty 23: Marty McKenzie

Reds: 15: Karmichael Hunt 14: Chris Feauai-Sautia 13: Campbell Magnay 12: Anthony Fainga’a 11: Eto Nabuli 10: Jake McIntyre 9: Nick Frisby 8: Curtis Browning 7: Liam Gill 6: Hendrick Tui 5: Rob Simmons 4: Bean Matwijow 3: Greg Holmes 2: Andrew Ready 1: James Slipper (C)
Reserves: 16. Saia Fainga’a, 17. Sef Fa’agase, 18. Sam Talakai, 19. Cadeyrn Neville, 20. Michael Gunn, 21. James Tuttle, 22. Sam Greene, 23. Junior Laloifi