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, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
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Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
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Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
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Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
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Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 7 4 0 3 21
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 15
Reds 8 3 0 5 13
Sunwolves 8 0 0 8 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 6 0 2 29
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Blues 7 2 0 5 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 30
Bulls 8 4 0 4 19
Sharks 9 3 1 5 18
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14
Jaguares 7 3 0 4 12