Chiefs' pack to front up against Crusaders

Tue, 16 May 2017 09:28
Large brodie retallick v crusaders 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Chiefs are well aware of the task ahead of them as they prepare to take on the Crusaders in Suva in Fiji on Friday.

The Crusaders are still unbeaten in this year's Super Rugby tournament with 11 wins from 11 games. They currently have a four-point lead over the Lions in the combined Super Rugby standings.

A powerful pack loaded with All Blacks has laid the foundation for the Christchurch team's success this year and Chiefs coach Dave Rennie knows that his team will have to be on top of their game up front if they are to beat Scott Robertson's side.

"If they can choke you at set-piece it goes a long way towards winning games," Rennie told allblacks.com.

"We'd expect them to bring that and we will have to front really well in that area.

"It's a big challenge but we've got a fair bit of experience up front. Kane [Hames] and Nepo [Laulala] have had cameos with the All Blacks and Nathan [Harris] and Hika [Elliott], while we've got a couple of second rowers who have worn the black jersey as well.

"It's a big step up, we've had seven non-Kiwi sides to play recently so the intensity will be much higher, but we are looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have been bolstered by the return of flyhalf and co-captain Aaron Cruden ahead of their clash against the Crusaders.

Cruden missed his team's win against the Reds in Round 11 after falling ill. The Chiefs had a bye in Round 12.

Tim Nanai-Williams is also available to be considered for selection this week.

The Crusaders are coming off a 20-12 win over the Hurricanes in Round 12.

Source: @AllBlacks

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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