Crusaders v Highlanders



  • Crusaders

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    BNZ Crusaders team named to play the Highlanders

    The BNZ Crusaders will host the Highlanders on Friday night in Christchurch, in what is the second to last round of the Investec Super Rugby regular season.
    
    Head Coach Scott Robertson has named his side for the match, which features the return to the starting line up of eight players from All Blacks duty, and the highly anticipated return of No. 8 Kieran Read from injury.
    
    Sam Whitelock is back from his successful three-Test series as Captain of the All Blacks to start at lock and resume the captaincy, while both Matt Todd and Ryan Crotty will resume their respective roles as Vice-Captains. 
    
    Prop Wyatt Crockett will play his 200th Investec Super Rugby match this week, and will run out on to 'Wyatt Crockett Stadium' to bring up the milestone. It was announced earlier this week that the stadium would be renamed for this match in acknowledgment of Crockett's achievement.
    


  • Highlanders

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    Highlanders Name Team For Big Southern Derby

    The Pulse Energy Highlanders have named their team to take on the Crusaders on Friday night in the big South Island derby match.
    
    With 24 players named Liam Squire is bracketed with Elliot Dixon as he works his way back from his shoulder injury he sustained in the recent All Blacks test match series. A final assessment of his fitness will be made closer to kick-off.
    
    It could be a big night for young Tasman lock, Pari Pari Parkinson. If he is included in the starting 23, and takes the field, it will be his super rugby debut. In the loose forwards the competition for the number seven jersey continues with James Lentjes replacing Dillon Hunt.
    
    The versatile Richard Buckman comes in for Tevita Li on the left wing while the rest of the backline has a settled look to it.
    


  • That looks pretty close to the strongest team the Crusaders can name - probably switching Taufua with HBC and maybe Samu. I'm guessing now that Pete Samu is reverting to his Australian roots, his development at the Crusaders will grind to a halt - unless he's clearly the best option available. Give the play-off minutes to someone who is staying next year.

    Be interesting to see whether they pick Wyatt or Tim Perry for the play-off games. At times Wyatt's looked like he's just hanging on this year, but he's certainly done a great job while the others have been regularly injured.

    I'm a bit surprised they've got Codie Taylor on the bench for this game - I think he still has to miss a game - though if he doesn't take the field can that count? 🙂

    Strange ahead of Romano is the other interesting call.

    Big call in the backs is to leave Dagg out of the 23. I think it's really a straightforward call - Dagg hasn't played close to the level of Bridge, Mataele or Havili yet, so form trumping experience.

    If we can wrap up the "Minor Premiership" this weekend, I reckon he'll get a run next week to press his case.



  • @chris-b

    Interesting to see the Highlanders choosing to field all the AB's bar Hunt. They will need to rest a few v the Rebels next week, which will be great news for the Rebels in a battle for 8th spot perhaps.



  • @arhs Always interesting to see how these coaches strategize - no-one wanting to be seen to pull the same trick the Stormers used to do many years ago - rolling over with weak teams during their NZ tour.

    Maybe it's bad for morale, but occasionally I reckon rolling over isn't a bad strategy - and especially this year with the requirements on compulsory resting of ABs.



  • @chris-b If we get home in this game I would expect to see Taylor,Barrett maybe Hall rested for the Blues game
    Giving some more game time for Strange, and Drummond before the playoffs



  • Odd bench for the Highlanders with two First Five Eights ?!
    Great to see Parkinson in the mix. He is one to watch in a near future IMO.



  • @cgrant sort of points to the Highlanders kicking a lot strange bench must be a game plan of some sort
    If they lose a Thompson or Naholo early it maybe a risky move Re.Strike Power



  • @cgrant said in Crusaders v Highlanders:

    Odd bench for the Highlanders with two First Five Eights ?!
    Great to see Parkinson in the mix. He is one to watch in a near future IMO.

    With Buckman and Smith already out there, and Ioane and F Smith both having spent a decent amount of time in the outside backs, that bench doesn't look all that strange.



  • @chris said in Crusaders v Highlanders:

    @cgrant sort of points to the Highlanders kicking a lot

    No shit, kicking a lot is the highlanders gameplan every week



  • @sammyc Well instead of Every 2nd ball it will be every fuckin ball this week with that bench



  • Tokolahi out of the Highlanders' line-up for tomorrow.

    Highlanders tighthead prop Siate Tokolahi will not play in tomorrow night’s southern derby against the Crusaders.
    
    He has reinjured his right knee that kept him on the side lines with an MCL problem for six weeks and has been deemed unfit to play this weekend.
    
    Tokolahi will be assessed over the next few days before any decision is made on his availability in the short term.
    
    Guy Millar has travelled to Christchurch with the team as a replacement.
    
    Loose forward Liam Squire will be given until tomorrow to prove his fitness for the match.
    

    https://www.odt.co.nz/sport/rugby/highlanders/tokolahi-out-crusaders-clash





  • Congrats Wyatt Crockett - huge achievement.



  • Awful 'clearance' by Sopoaga.



  • Highlanders starting this week like they started last week.



  • Fuck L Whitelock is good. It's a shame some people get stuck in the past...



  • How pants is Sopoaga playing this year?



  • @antipodean said in Crusaders v Highlanders:

    How pants is Sopoaga playing this year?

    Think he's already in London enjoying the heatwave.



  • @bones said in Crusaders v Highlanders:

    Fuck L Whitelock is good. It's a shame some people get stuck in the past...

    Like last week when he was horrendous?