Battle For Supremacy

Picture: David Rowland/AAP
The Chiefs are hoping to secure the New Zealand Conference with a win over the Crusaders Picture: David Rowland/AAP
Chiefs v Crusaders  
Saturday April 19 - 5:30 PM (AEST)
Waikato Stadium

What did they do last week? The Chiefs struggled to put the Rebels away, starting as well as they have all year but failing to carry on. The Crusaders came on strongly in the final quarter to blitz the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Things you need to know: The Chiefs have Brodie Retallick available after he passed all tests after a head knock last week. They have named Pauliasi Manu at loosehead prop and in the loose forwards Liam Messam and the latest Chiefs centurion Tanerau Latimer will be on the flanks of the scrum. Liam Squire has been named at No.8. Tawera Kerr-Barlow starts at halfback while wing Asaeli Tikoirotuma has recovered from a knee injury and will start. The Crusaders have beefed up their front row with Owen Franks returning at tighthead prop. Luke Romano is still out with a calf injury however while others still on the injured list are: Keiron Fonotia (hamstring), Richie McCaw (thumb), Joe Moody (ankle). Tom Taylor will start at centre.

Reason to watch: This has become one of the big games in Super Rugby in New Zealand in recent years and there is every reason to believe that this will be another classic contest that will hopefully not be affected by weather conditions.

Reason to turn away: There should be no reason to discount this game. If this isn't to your liking you will never be satisfied.

Say what: "It's close and we will click in the next two or three weeks." – Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna.

Final instructions: The Chiefs outdid the Crusaders in their first match this year by doing what the Crusaders, in their pomp, used to do and come home strongly in the latter stages. Both teams need to make a good start, and the Chiefs need to build on what was their best start of the season in last week's first 20 minutes. It is a tough task for the Crusaders who have had the return trip from South Africa and then a flight north to Hamilton. The home advantage and the need to extend their concentration and control as they head into the business end of the season will be the Chiefs' focus and that should be enough to see them remain the top New Zealand side.

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