Hunt gets pivotal role for Crusaders

Thu, 02 Mar 2017 07:25
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson has made eight changes matchday 23 that beat the Brumbies for their clash against the Highlanders.

There are two changes in the forwards - the first is at hooker, with Codie Taylor and Ben Funnell rotating so that Taylor takes the starting spot this Saturday.  The other change is in the loose forwards, with Matt Todd returning to wear the seven jersey and Jed Brown on the bench.

In the backs, Seta Tamanivalu shifts to the left wing, allowing Israel Dagg to move from fullback to the right wing. David Havili steps in at fullback, and Mitchell Hunt will start at flyhalf following Richie Mo'unga's hand injury.  

Marty McKenzie takes a spot in the reserves as backs cover, and scrumhalf Mitchell Drummond returns from his broken leg to take a seat on the bench.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Jack Goodhue, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Seta Tamanivalu, 10 Mitchell Hunt, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetu Douglas, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.      
Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 George Bridge.

Date: Saturday, March 4
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.45 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant (New Zealand), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19