Chiefs can spoil Crusaders' run

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Cheifs play their final home game against the visiting Crusaders this evening determined to put a dent in the visitor's title run and end a franchise-record seven straight defeats.

The Crusaders, on the other hand, will be looking to get their show back on the road after a shock 32-34 home defeat to the Hurricanes that ended their thirty-six game home winning streak. 

The Cheifs went close away to the Blues last weekend losing 21-17 and could have won it but for a controversial referee's call to allow a Blues' turnover in the final minutes.

The Chiefs traditionally do well at home against the Crusaders, having won the last two games against the visitors, and will want to continue that pattern.

Chiefs coach Warren Gatland says they are up for the challenge. 

“These guys haven’t thrown in the towel, and they continue to work hard and hopefully we’re going to get the bounce of the ball and something’s going to go our way," he told Stuff.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson says they have had "a really honest review" following the Hurricanes game and know where they need to improve.

“We’re coming up against a Chiefs side who have only been beaten by the smallest of margins so far in this competition, and will be desperate for a win in front of their home fans,” Robertson told superrugby.co.nz.

All Black Sam Whitelock will play his 150th game for the Crusaders tonight in Hamilton.

The game is at 7.05pm at FMG Stadium Waikato.

Chiefs: Damian McKenzie, Shaun Stevenson, Anton Lienert-Brown, Alex Nankivell, Sean Wainui, Aaron Cruden, Brad Weber, Pita Gus Sowakula, Sam Cane (c), Lachlan Boshier, Mitchell Brown, Tupou Vaa’i, Nepo Laulala, Bradley Slater, Reuben O’Neill. Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ollie Norris, Angus Ta’avao, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Simon Parker, Lisati Milo-Harris, Kaleb Trask, Quinn Tupaea.

Crusaders: Will Jordan, Sevu Reece, Fetuli Paea, Jack Goodhue, George Bridge, Richie Mo’unga, Mitchell Drummond, Tom Sanders, Tom Christie, Sione Havili, Mitchell Dunshea, Sam Whitelock, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor (c), George Bower. Reserves: Andrew Makalio, Isi Tu’ungafasi, Oliver Jager, Quinten Strange, Billy Harmon, Bryn Hall, Brett Cameron, Leicester Fainga’anuku.