Super Rugby Semi Finals Preview

Super Rugby Semi Finals Preview

The Crusaders, Lions, Waratahs and Hurricanes will all be looking to secure their place in the Super Rugby Final this weekend.


The remaining two New Zealand sides will face off in Christchurch, while the Lions will host the 2014 champions Waratahs. 

Road to the Final:

Crusaders v Hurricanes

The statistics suggest that the Crusaders are due for a home playoff loss having won 19 of their previous home playoffs. The Canterbury side has also failed to lose a game while Scott Robertson has been at the helm.

The last team to beat the Crusaders were the Hurricanes in 2016, the same year the Wellington-based side won the competition. 

The Hurricanes will be confident heading into the fixture after being one of the two sides to beat the Crusaders this season and have beaten the Crusaders in eight of their last 12 meetings. 

 

How the two sides Lineup: 

The Hurricanes have named unchanged starting XV with the addition of Ardie Savea on the bench the only change to the side. Savea, however, is bracketed alongside Reed Prinsep for the match.

The Crusaders, on the other hand, have welcomed All Black Joe Moody back to their starting XV with Tim Perry replacing Wyatt Crockett on the bench. 

Key Battles:

There are a number of mouth-watering player match-ups in this clash.

The Hurricanes will need to nullify the impact of the Crusaders pack while the Crusaders will look to keep Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara at bay. 

Richie Mo'unga, like Damian McKenzie last weekend, will be looking to make a statement against the All Black incumbent. 

The battle at the breakdown between Matt Todd and Gareth Evans will also be an intriguing one with both players having outstanding games last weekend.

See the kick off time in your area, tv channels and more HERE

Lions v Waratahs

The Lions will be backing the Hurricanes to beat the Crusaders this weekend as they would then host a Super Rugby Final for the second year in a row if they are able to overcome the Waratahs.

The home side has featured in the last two Super Rugby finals but has failed to clear the final hurdle to the lift the title and will that it will be third time lucky. 

The Lions are the only team this season to hold the Waratahs scoreless although the Waratahs were without the services of Israel Folau for the clash.

The Wallaby fullback is dangerous in South Africa scoring 7 tries and assisting a further two in his last 5 games in Tahs jersey in the Republic. 

How the two sides Lineup: 

Both sides have made a single change to their starting XVs for different reasons. Tolu Latu gets his first start of the season after a number of brilliant cameos off the bench, while the Lions have lost form flanker Cyle Brink to injury, he is replaced by Lourens Erasmus. 

Harold Vorster and Taqele Naiyaravoro will both run out for their 50th Super Rugby cap.

Key Battles:

An obvious battle will be between to the two 10s who have performed well all season to get their respective sides to the Semi-finals.

Elsewhere, there will be a big clash up front with the two form hookers colliding, Malcolm Marx furthering his claim as World Rugby's best hooker while Lotu is in superb form.

The battle in the midfield will be an intriguing one with Kurtley Beale sparking the Waratahs comeback last week, while Curtis Rona is vying for a Wallaby starting jersey.

As mentioned before Harold Vorster will want to make his 50th cap a memorable one with the dangerous Lionel Mapoe alongside him.

The back three is another massive battle with the Waratahs possessing plenty of try-scoring threat with Israel Folau, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Alex Newsome.

See the kick off time in your area, tv channels and more HERE

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