RECAP: Crusaders v Highlanders
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to our coverage of the Super Rugby Aotearoa Round Nine encounter between the Crusaders and Highlanders in Christchurch.
The Crusaders have won their last five completed Super Rugby games on the bounce against the Highlanders, each time by a margin of 20 points or more.
The Crusaders’ succumbed to a 34-32 defeat to the Hurricanes in their last home game (Round Seven – Super Rugby Aotearoa) and will be out to avoid back-to-back home losses for the first time since April 2015.
The Highlanders are on the hunt for back-to-back away wins for the first time since April 2018 after snatching a come-from-behind 33-31 win over the Chiefs in their last away game (Round Six).
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Crusaders: 15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Quinten Strange, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Codie Taylor (captain), 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Makalio, 17 George Bower, 18 Oliver Jager, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Sione Havili, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Leicester Fainga’anuku.
Highlanders: 15 Mitch Hunt, 14 Josh McKay, 13 Michael Collins, 12 Sio Tomkinson, 11 Jona Nareki, 10 Josh Ioane, 9 Aaron Smith (co-captain), 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Pari Pari Parkinson, 3 Jeff Thwaites, 2 Ash Dixon (co-captain), Ayden Johnstone.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 20 Jesse Parete, 21 Folau Fakatava, 22 Ngane Punivai, 23 Teariki Ben-Nicholas.
Referee: Paul Williams
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser, Brendon Pickerill
TMO: Ben O’Keeffe