PREVIEW: All Blacks dominate Crusaders and Highlanders clash

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 09:58
Large scott robertson celebrates 2017 800

SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON: Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has included nine All Blacks in his starting XV for their final match of the pre-season Highlanders.

The 29-man squad, who will travel to Waimumu, will be captained by Sam Whitelock, while Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty have been named vice-captains.

2018 will be the third year the Crusaders and Highlanders have contested the Farmlands Cup.

In 2016, the inaugural match in Waimumu ended in a 19-all draw, while the Crusaders won last year's pre-season game in Darfield.

Highlanders also welcome back some All Blacks for the first time this season with Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Lima Sopoaga and Waisake Naholo all named to start.

Liam Coltman will also play his first match since injuring his ankle in the 2017 quarterfinal against the Crusaders.

Head Coach Aaron Mauger appreciates the significance of the match "We are certainly approaching the game as our final dress rehearsal before our first round clash with the Blues. It’s a good opportunity to give a few guys some rugby who haven’t been involved in the field so far this preseason,"

The team has an experienced look to it with no debutants in the starting fifteen. The side will be co-captained by Ben Smith and Ash Dixon.

Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Braydon Ennor, 11 Richie Mo'unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Peter Samu, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Scott Barrett, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Chris King, Ben Funnell, Oliver Jager, Luke Romano, Quinten Strange, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Billy Harmon, Mitchell Drummond, Mithcel Hunt, Jone Macilai, Tim Bateman, Manasa Mataele, George Bridge.

Highlanders: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Matt Faddes, 12 Rob Thompson, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Ash Dixon, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Alex Ainley, 20 Dan Pryor, 21 Elliot Dixon, 22 Kayne Hammington, 23 Fletcher Smith, 24 Teihorangi Walden, 25 Tevita Nabura

Date: Thursday, February 15
Venue: Fred Booth Park, Waimumu
Kick-off: 18.00 (3.00 GMT)
Referee: TBC

 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
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
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
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
RESULT SCORE
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
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 8 5 1 2 24
Rebels 87 4 0 4 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
Chiefs 8 6 0 2 26
Highlanders 7 5 0 2 24
Blues 8 2 0 6 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
Jaguares 9 4 0 5 16
Stormers 9 3 0 6 14