RECAP: Crusaders v Waratahs
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the Super Rugby Round One encounter between Crusaders and Waratahs in Nelson.
The 10-time and reigning champions, the Crusaders, begin their pursuit of an unprecedented fourth straight title with a clash against a dangerous Waratahs side in Nelson.
To read our entire REPORT, CLICK HERE!
The Crusaders haven’t lost to the Waratahs at home since 2004, but face a huge challenge from the Sydneysiders with a number of key players missing from their 2019 campaign.
The powerful Crusaders forward pack which laid the platform for their consecutive titles over the past three years has been decimated with retirements and sabbaticals for Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read, Jordan Taufua, Owen Franks and Matt Todd – along with backline general Ryan Crotty.
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Crusaders: 15 David Havili, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Leicester Faingaanuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Mitchell Drummond, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Tom Christie, 6 Tom Sanders, 5 Mitchell Dunshea, 4 Scott Barrett (captain), 3 Oliver Jager, 2 Andrew Makalio, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Isi Tu’ungafasi, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Cullen Grace, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Brett Cameron, 23 Sevu Reece.
Waratahs: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Karmichael Hunt, 11 Alex Newsome, 10 Will Harrison, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Jed Holloway, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Lachlan Swinton, 5 Rob Simmons (captain), 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Robbie Abel, 1 Tom Robertson.
Replacements: 16 Chris Talakai, 17 Damien Fitzpatrick, 18 Angus Bell, 19 Ryan McCauley, 20 Carlo Tizzano, 21 Jack Dempsey, 22 Mitch Short, 23 Jack Maddocks.
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Dan Waenga (New Zealand)
TMO: Shane McDermott (New Zealand)