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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28