Recap: Chiefs v Crusaders – round 8 of Super Rugby Aotearoa

Quinten Strange of the Crusaders juggles the ball near the line during the Super Rugby Aotearoa clash the Chiefs.

Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Quinten Strange of the Crusaders juggles the ball near the line during the Super Rugby Aotearoa clash the Chiefs.

* NZR unveil ‘Stand As One’ Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy

Where: FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

Kick-off: 7:05pm, Saturday

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe

NZ TAB odds (as of Friday PM): Chiefs $3.05, Crusaders $1.34

Weather forecast (as of Friday PM): Saturday forecast is for sunny spells with cloudy periods but the chance of an afternoon shower. Light winds with a high of 15C.

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.

Team news: Angus Ta’avao back from freak injury for Chiefs’ clash with Crusaders

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.

Team news: Family bereavement rubs out Crusader Joe Moody against Chiefs

The big storylines

It’s ‘everyone versus Crusaders’ as Chiefs look to play spoilers

‘I didn’t expect to be back’: Aaron Cruden eyes his 100th Super Rugby match for Chiefs

Why the equation is simple for the competition-leading Crusaders

Shoulder injury rules Chiefs wing Solomon Alaimalo out for remainder of Super Rugby Aotearoa

NZ Rugby ref boss warns players to show more ‘respect’

Warren Gatland sees some light amid the gloom of Chiefs’ losing streak

Prediction: The luckless Chiefs will be desperate to stop the rot in Aaron Cruden’s centenary appearance for the franchise, but the visit of the defending champions means life doesn’t get any easier. The Crusaders will no doubt be hurting after their long, unbeaten home record was broken by the Hurricanes last week. They’re still in pole position to win the competition by finishing first and should be too good for the Chiefs, who are low on confidence, on a record losing run. Crusaders to win by 10.

How to follow: Stuff’s live blog will kick off at 6:35pm.