Match Details: Chiefs v Crusaders, Saturday 24 June 2023, FMG Stadium Waikato, 7.05pm NZT. Watch live on Sky Sport.
Won: Chiefs 19, Crusaders 27
Last time: Chiefs 34-24 Crusaders, 29 April 2023, Hamilton
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe
FORM: Chiefs (Played 16, won 15, lost 1) Crusaders (Played 16, won 12, lost 4).
Whatever way Saturday's final goes, history will be made. A win for the Chiefs would be remembered as the side who ended the most remarkable winning streak in Super Rugby history.
It would also be their third win over the Crusaders in a season, something they have never achieved. The Chiefs have won all eight of their previous home games in the finals of Super Rugby. The Crusaders have lost 10 of their last 13 finals games when the away team, although their last loss was in 2016 to the Lions in Johannesburg.
Chiefs pivot Damian McKenzie has gained 7885 metres through kicks in 2023, over 1000m more than any other player. Crusaders fullback Will Jordan has scored nine tries in 10 games against the Chiefs throughout his career.
In the final, Chiefs co-captain and flanker Sam Cane will play his 150th Super Rugby game. He has faced the Crusaders most often, 25 times, and his three tries against them are more than any other opposition. Crusaders flanker Tom Christie has made 218 tackles, the most by any player in 2023. Chiefs fullback Shaun Stevenson has been involved in 18 of his side's tries this year, scoring 11 and assisting seven others – the most by any player.
Crusaders wing Leicester Fainga'anuku has made dominant contact on seven carries per game, the most in the competition and two more than any of the Chiefs. Home hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho has beaten 3.4 defenders per game this year, the second-most in the competition and over one per game more than any Crusader.
The Crusaders go into the final having scored the most points, averaging 34.9 a game, with the Chiefs third on 33.4 and scoring the most tries, 4.8 per game compared to 4.3 (fourth) for the Chiefs.
However, the Chiefs have beaten more defenders with 28.8 (first) compared to 26.4 (fifth) for the Crusaders, and they have kicked more from hand, 29.1 (first) to 25.4 (second).
The Chiefs have also missed the fewest tackles, 17.6 (first), compared to 22.5 (third) by the Crusaders. Line breaks favour the Chiefs with 7.4 (second) compared to 6.1 (sixth) by the Crusaders, while the home team have conceded fewer turnovers, 12.1 (sixth) to the Crusaders with 12.9 (ninth). They rank first and second in scrum and ruck success, with the Chiefs 97.3 per cent in scrums to the Crusaders' 96.2, while in the rucks, the Chiefs average 96.3 and the Crusaders 96.2. In the lineouts, the Crusaders average 86.5 per cent (fourth) compared to 84.0 (ninth) for the Chiefs.
The Crusaders know how to win finals. Of the 16 times they have played a final, they have won 12, while the Chiefs have played four finals for two wins (in 2012-13)
1: Aidan Ross 2: Samisoni Taukei'aho 3: George Dyer 4: Brodie Retallick 5: Tupou Vaa'i 6: Pita Gus Sowakula7: Sam Cane (Co-Captain)8: Luke Jacobson 9: Brad Weber (Co-Captain)10: Damian McKenzie11: Etene Nanai-Seturo 12: Anton Lienert-Brown 13: Alex Nankivell 14: Emoni Narawa 15: Shaun Stevenson
16: Tyrone Thompson 17: Ollie Norris 18: John Ryan 19: Naitoa Ah Kuoi 20: Samipeni Finau 21: Cortez Ratima 22: Josh Ioane 23: Rameka Poihipi
1: Tamaiti Williams 2: Codie Taylor (VC) 3: Oliver Jager 4: Scott Barrett (C) 5: Sam Whitelock 6: Sione Havili Talitui 7: Tom Christie 8: Christian Lio-Willie 9: Mitchell Drummond 10: Richie Mo'unga 11: Leicester Fainga'anuku 12: Jack Goodhue (VC), 13: Braydon Ennor 14: Dallas McLeod 15: Will Jordan
16: George Bell 17: Kershawl Sykes-Martin 18: Reuben O'Neill 19: Quinten Strange 20: Dominic Gardner 21: Willi Heinz 22: Fergus Burke 23: Chay Fihaki